Mighty Creative Podcast Episode 105: Creating in a Time of Uncertainty

Creating in a Time of Uncertainty – Mighty Creative Podcast, with Kim Werker

An exploration of how our creative hobbies and interests can help to keep us grounded during times of uncertainty.

Show Notes

Subscribe to Mighty Creative on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyStitcherTuneInSoundcloud or search for it in whatever podcast app you love. And if you're enjoying it, please rate it so more people can find it and get more in touch with their creativity.

Support the podcast by becoming a Supporting Member, and enjoy super perks, too.

Mighty Creative Podcast Episode 104: How to Make Yourself a Stress-Free Creative Habit

Mighty Creative Podcast Episode 104: How to Make Yourself a Stress-Free Creative Habit

I tried so many creative challenges and failed at every single one. In this week's podcast, hear about what I changed in my approach that finally led me not only to succeed at finishing a challenge, but that enabled me to establish a daily creative practice that didn't stress me out but made – and continues to make – me so happy.

Show Notes

  • Each episode this season begins with a short clip of a maker or artist talking about a recent project they were obsessed with. I recorded all of these in April of 2019 at Camp Thundercraft, a retreat for creative businesspeople held each spring and hosted by the folks behind Urban Craft Uprising. I'm very excited to be going back to teach two classes at the 2020 retreat coming up.
  • This week, we hear from macrame artist Katie George. This is the La Croix project she mentions. 😍 right?
  • In the pod I list four things you can do to set yourself up to succeed at forming or maintaining a healthy creative practice and habit.
  • Plus a bonus you can (I mean, should if I'm gonna get all prescriptive about it) apply to the beginning stages of doing or making anything new.
  • Here's a direct link to the group Alice formed that's just for folks working on a daily project or creative habit. Joining our online community is free!
  • If you'd like more help identifying what you need and want from a creative habit so you can design one that's easy and natural to keep, the Year of Making ebook will help. And be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you hear about workshops as soon as I announce them.

Support the podcast by becoming a Supporting Member, and enjoy super perks, too.

Subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotifyStitcherTuneInSoundcloud or search for it in whatever podcast app you love. And if you're enjoying it, please rate it so more people can find it and get more in touch with their creativity.

Mighty Creative Podcast Episode 103: Distributed Cognition (Lists!)

Mighty Creative Podcast episode 103 cover art

I first learned about the concept of distributed cognition when I was an undergrad studying linguistics, but I didn't know what it was called until I studied it again in grad school. For an absolutely impenetrable “explanation,” read this.

For our non-academic purposes, let's consider distributed cognition a way to extend our individual ability to keep stuff in mind. We might ask our spouse to help us remember to take our vitamins each morning – this is a way of extending our own memory to be aided by the memory of another person.

In today's podcast, I wax on about lists. Making lists is, to me, the ultimate (and delightfully simple) distribution of my cognition. Without making lists, I am a constant victim of my routine failure to remember to do all kinds of things, from the trivial to the very important. Putting these things down into a list means I can rely on the list instead of on my flaky memory – I take each item out of my brain and put it onto paper (or into an app, or whatever).

When it comes to our creative projects and fantasies, getting stuff out of our heads can be just as useful as it is for us to get anything else out of our heads. When we use the tools we have to distribute all the myriad things that are constantly swimming around in our minds, we help ourselves to think more clearly, and to fit more things into our days – because we stop losing things to our fallible memories.

Have a listen, then hit reply and tell me about the creative lists you keep!

Show Notes

  • Each episode this season begins with a short clip of a maker or artist talking about a recent project they were obsessed with. I recorded all of these in April of 2019 at Camp Thundercraft, a retreat for creative businesspeople held each spring and hosted by the folks behind Urban Craft Uprising. I'm very excited to be going back to teach two classes at the 2020 retreat coming up.
  • This week, we hear from artist, designer, and crafts instructor Robert Mahar, whom I did not fangirl upon meeting, I swear to you. I had the pleasure of taking an embroidery workshop from Robert at camp last spring, and it was fabulous. I still pull out the massive project every now and then when I need a quiet thing to do.
  • My list-making system of choice is a bullet journal; I carry mine with me wherever I go. I do not make fancy spreads in it. In fact, I do not make any spreads in it whatsoever. (I have in the past, but I never keep up with them, so I've just stopped wasting my time with them). In addition to my daily to-do lists, I take notes from meetings and workshops in there, jot down project ideas, and put in anything else I want to protect from the bottomless abyss of my unreliable memory.
  • Also, my husband and I share a grocery-list app (also a Google calendar, and I don't know how other people who live together can manage without one of those), and I use Todoist as an online list-maker (usually for things in the future I want to be reminded about).
  • I mentioned my unrealistically long Ravelry queue. I do want to apply such an approach to other kinds of projects I want to make, too. In the podcast I said I'd do this in my bullet journal. But maybe it'd be more useful to keep all the lists on a Trello board…

Support the podcast by becoming a Supporting Member, and enjoy super perks, too.

Subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify, StitcherTuneInSoundcloud or search for it in whatever podcast app you love. And if you're enjoying it, please rate it so more people can find it and get more in touch with their creativity.

Mighty Creative Podcast Episode 102: Derivative Crafts & Remixing

Mighty Creative Podcast Episode 102: Derivative Crafts & Remixing

My husband sent me a screenshot the other night, of a comments thread on a NY Times recipe for Spicy Sesame Noodles with Chicken and Peanuts:

Screenshot of comments thread

He sent this to me because he knew I'd appreciate it from my crochet editorial days. And boy did I.

What he didn't know is that I'd already recorded this podcast episode, and that I talked about this very thing in it.

The episode is about the derivative nature of crafts – and not in a bad way. In a good way, which involves learning from each other and remixing what we learn to create new things. And it's about craft instructions being guidelines that are not the law! We can chose to change anything we want in the projects we make. Sometimes things may not turn out like we want them to, but that's half the fun.

Hit reply and tell me about a project you made by mixing in elements from a few different sources, or by going off-book from a pattern!

Show Notes

  • Each episode this season begins with a short clip of a maker or artist talking about a recent project they were obsessed with. I recorded all of these in April of 2019 at Camp Thundercraft, a retreat for creative businesspeople held each spring and hosted by the folks behind Urban Craft Uprising. I'm very excited to be going back to teach two classes at the 2020 retreat coming up.
  • Today we hear from artist Zoe Osenbach, who makes incredible works out of found objects.

Discuss this episode in our online community right here!

Support the podcast by becoming a Supporting Member, and enjoy super perks, too.

Subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherTuneInSoundcloud or search for it in whatever podcast app you love. And if you're enjoying it, please rate it so more people can find it and get more in touch with their creativity.

Mighty Creative Podcast: Episode 101 – Prerequisite Procrastination

Mighty Creative Podcast episode image reading: Episode 101: Prerequisite Procrastination

Welcome to the new podcast!

This episode is about the very thing that kept me from making the podcast for nearly three years. Prerequisite procrastination. What a pain.

I put my finger on what to call this particular subspecies of procrastination during a video conversation with members of our online community (we do things like talk about the specific ways we procrastinate; you should get in on this).

Listen for what this wee beast is, and what we can do to defeat it so we start making things we really want to make (like, as I said, this podcast).

Show Notes

  • Each episode this season begins with a short clip of a maker or artist talking about a recent project they were obsessed with. I recorded all of these in April of 2019 at Camp Thundercraft, a retreat for creative businesspeople held each spring and hosted by the folks behind Urban Craft Uprising. I'm very excited to be going back to teach two classes at the 2020 retreat coming up.
  • Kicking things off is a clip of ceramicist Sean Forest Roberts of Forest Ceramic Co. talking about some incredibly intricate mugs he makes out of dozens of layers of colour. You have to see it to really get it. Since I met him and learned of his work, I have been desperately coveting a Galaxy mug 😍.
  • Here are some of my favourite things to do when I'm stuck in a procrastination rut:
    • Set a timer. I can do anything for 20 minutes, and often all I need to get out of my head and into making something is decide to just do it for a few minutes. Doing it a little bit is far better than not doing it at all.
    • Along similar lines, this tired cliche: Done is better than perfect. It is so tired. And it is so true.
      • (You will notice that the sound quality of the Camp Thundercraft clips this season are not the best. I considered the task of cleaning up the audio one of the prerequisites that kept me from making this podcast for ten months. I have cleaned them up, believe it or not, but really, I just needed to stop worrying about it and just make the episodes.)
    • Consider whether I really want to do the thing I'm putting off. There's a section in Make It Mighty Ugly where I write about gut feelings. Sometimes we need to do something that makes us uncomfortable, because we grow from it. Sometimes, though, we feel uncomfortable because it's a terrible idea. We do ourselves a great service when we get to know the difference.
    • Throwing my first try under the bus. Sometimes, I procrastinate because I'm so excited about the idea of making something that I become terrified that the thing I make will be awful. So I make my first attempt an effort at making it terrible – doing it too fast, or not reading the instructions closely, or using crap materials, or whatever. This way I can't be disappointed, and I will at least be making something. After this first terrible attempt, there's nowhere to go but up.

Discuss this episode in our online community right here!

Support the podcast by becoming a Supporting Member, and enjoy super perks, too.

Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Soundcloud or search for it in whatever podcast app you love. And if you're enjoying it, please rate it so more people can find it and get more in touch with their creativity.

None of the things I'm mentioning here are ads, but in some cases I am using affiliate links – these help to support my work and the podcast.

Mighty Creative: The Podcast Is Back

Mighty Creative: The Podcast Is Back

The podcast is back, with a new name! It's still about what motivates us to make things, how to make space in our lives for creative adventures, and how to have more fun with it all. But the format will be simpler than it was a few years ago and the episodes will be pretty short. Listen for more details!

Look for new episodes of Mighty Creative in February, 2020. For now, be sure to search for the new name in your podcast app, and subscribe!