The Autonomous Creative

Exploring how creative professionals work

Too often the path to a full-time creative life is shrouded in mystery and (at best) misleading myths about how creative professionals “should” work. This makes it hard for aspiring creatives to get a clear view of how professionals actually do work.

As a creative yourself, you know that whenever two artists or writers get together, no matter their field, inevitably the conversation turns to, “No, but seriously, how do you do it?” We each imagine the other person has some kind of secret, that they’ve made the leap over the giant chasm between beginner and pro, and feel safe on the other side.

Inevitably, neither person feels that way at all, and is amazed to realize that from the outside, they seem to have it all figured out.

This show is that conversation. And you’re invited.

The Autonomous Creative seeks to free creatives from the damaging belief that, as artists, we’re somehow incapable of building autonomous, sustainable careers if we choose  the work that’s closest to our hearts.

Get fired up by these conversations with professional creatives — including writers, podcasters, filmmakers, designers, visual artists, cartoonists, journalists, academics, and others — where we reveal what the real road to success looks like (bumps, potholes, detours, and all).

Join cartoonist, author, and creative coach Jessica Abel and her guests in live conversations that dive deep into the unspoken reality of what it means to be a professional creative and to build a life around creative work.

Join us live to participate in Q&A with some of your favorite creatives. Click here to sign up to get a notification in your inbox every time we schedule a new, live event.

About Your Host:

Cartoonist and creative coach Jessica Abel is the founder of the Creative Focus Workshop, Authentic Visibility, and the Autonomous Creative Collective. She helps committed creatives and creative businesses stop grinding and carve out the deep focus needed to finish—and launch—the game-changing work they want to be known for.

Jessica makes a career out of demolishing preconceived notions of the limits of a creative life. She's author of a dozen books, including Out on the Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio, and Growing Gills: How to Find Creative Focus When You’re Drowning in Your Daily Life. She's lived abroad in France and Mexico for a combined 6 years, she designed and chairs the illustration program at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and she lives with her husband and two kids in Philadelphia.

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