There's no magic creative career fairy
You've got the creative skills, and you've got the ideas. How do you translate that into actually building a sustainable career?
Enter The Autonomous Creative: A talk show where we dive deep into the unseen reality of what it means to be a professional creative and to build a life around creative work.
"Such an informative and enriching conversation!
– Crowdcast user APetty
- Tom Hart
- Alexander Chee
- Robbi Behr & Matthew Swanson
- C. Spike Trotman
- Sarah Firth
- Tomm Moore
- Gene Luen Yang
- And many more!
Don't wait to get discovered
You've quietly invested years in the work that's most important to you.
Now find out how to get it into the hands of fans and paying customers—without selling out or setting yourself up for failure— with this free, on-demand masterclass.
If your best creative work is languishing unseen, you'll love finding out:
- How building an audience can stop feeling excruciating and start feeling aligned, awesome, and even (dare we say it?) fun
- Why you don't need to splash your whole life all over the internet to build an amazing fanbase
- How to control your own message and impact
- The one thing you need to do to make an impact on the world with your work
- AND MORE!
PLUS: Walk away with a brand new social media bio that will turn heads and make fans!
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All Podcast Episodes and Show Notes
Being protective of your creative time (and saying no), with Myla Goldberg
Listen to the episode: “You have to protect that time because no one’s going to protect it for you, and no one’s going to give it to you. Only you can give it to you.” On this episode, I’m joined by my long-time friend, novelist Myla Goldberg. In 2000, Myla found breakout success with her…
Creative problem solving and creative self-care, with Victoria Lansford
Listen to the episode: On this episode of the Autonomous Creative, I’m joined by metalsmith, Victoria Lansford. Victoria specializes in old world metalsmithing techniques, like Russian Filigree and Eastern Repoussé, and passes these skills onto others through her many workshops and videos. Victoria calls creative problem solving her ‘ultimate superpower’, and she’s hardly exaggerating. Whether…
Challenging the dominant culture— intent vs. interpretation with Ronald Wimberly
Listen to the episode: There are moments when your work clicks for people— they see what you’re trying to put together— and that’s when you feel great about what you’re doing with your work.And there might be other times when people aren’t quite following. The breadcrumbs just aren’t enough to lead them through the forest.When…
Building a healthy relationship with your creative work, with Nicole Lewis-Keeber
Listen to the episode: Are you in a healthy relationship with your business? With your creative practice? Or is it unrequited love? On this episode of The Autonomous Creative, I talk to psychologist, author and business therapist, Nicole Lewis-Keeber. As a business therapist, Nicole uses her eighteen years of experience as a clinical social worker…
When it’s time to walk away from a creative career (and why that’s totally OK), with Julia DeWitt
Listen to the episode: Julia DeWitt spent most of 2020 at a Zen Buddhist monastery and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in social work. So…why is she on the Autonomous Creative? Because for the prior eight years, she had an incredibly successful career in podcasting.I met Julia in 2012, while she was l interning…
What does it actually take to find 1,000 True Fans? with Matt Madden
Listen to the episode: What does it actually take to find 1,000 True Fans? Seriously, where are they hiding? Your work is amazing. You’re constantly promoting on social media. You already know that your creative business isn’t bringing in the kind of money you need…especially in a reasonable time frame. So, why is that? Finding…
How to go from making some money to making a living as a creative, with Matt Madden
Listen to the episode: I’ve been thinking and talking a lot with creative people about how they make a living, how they struggle with money, and what they might do differently to bring in a reasonable income. It comes up in virtually every coaching call. I talk about it with friends. I ask people rude…
Kickstarting strange and amazing comics (and making a living!), with C. Spike Trotman
Listen to the episode: Cartoonist and publisher Spike Trotman publishes books she considers “strange and amazing.” Her company Iron Circus specializes in “underrepresented voices, underrepresented themes, stuff that has not got a big audience quite frankly or a lot of people catering to it right now.” Sounds like a recipe for struggle. Yet they’re KILLING…
Envy as a virtue: How to turn your greenest eyed demon into a tool for success, with Lisa Frühbeis
Listen to the episode: Cartoonist and graphic recorder Lisa Frühbeis has made bold moves that have led to an incredibly rapid career trajectory in the last few years, starting with pitching a comic strip to a newspaper straight out of school…and then parlaying the end of that strip into a book deal, and then much…
Navigating the midlife pivot to a creative career, with Martha Rich
Listen to the episode: Martha Rich is commercial and fine artist who took a long and circuitous route through many day jobs (Workman’s comp insurance. Hotel front desk clerk. Repo woman?) to pivot to an art career at the age of 37. Now Martha makes a full-time living as an artist making work that brings…
Why being a multi-passionate creative is your strength, with Sarah Firth
Listen to the episode: “What theories about myself and my creativity am I willing to test? Am I willing to fail?” Sarah Firth is an awesome cartoonist and graphic recorder, among many other things. Sarah takes a bit of a mad scientist approach to her creative life. She embraces experimentation and testing to try to…
How to make a career out of art, with Tom Hart
Listen to the episode: It’s no secret—building a career with your creative practice is difficult. But for those of us who value autonomy, freedom, and making room for passion (and who doesn’t??) building a career out of art can feel like a necessity. My guest for this episode of The Autonomous Creative, Tom Hart, is…
When to quit your day job (or when not to!), with Robbi Behr and Matthew Swanson
Listen to the episode: Quitting your day job — That’s billed as the final frontier for artists. Proof of success. And if someone tells you not to? Generally an insult. But the reality of being a successful creative professional isn’t so black and white. Quitting your day job is a laudable goal (by all means,…
How to finish writing your novel: don’t write for free, with Alexander Chee
Listen to the episode: If you haven’t finished writing your novel yet, you could lay the blame on any of a myriad of reasons. You’ve got too many commitments, your day job or freelance work sucks up all your time, you’ve got kids, a spouse, friends (never mind your own physical and mental health) competing…