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Ceramicist Kate Malone, MBE, on developing creative confidence and crystalline knowledge

Ceramicist Kate Malone, MBE, on developing creative confidence and crystalline knowledge

“I’m not a risk taker… but I have blind faith.”

Insta: @kate_malone_ceramics / katemaloneceramics.com / adriansassoon.com

In this mini-series of the podcast, I’m focusing on the topic of Creative Risk – diving into practices that embody a high degree of risk taking and uncertainty, but in very different ways.

This conversation is with Kate Malone, MBE, one of the UK’s leading ceramic artists with an illustrious career spanning thirty years. Her work is inspired by the joy and optimism of Nature, and often features large, hand-made pieces inspired by fruit, nuts, berries and pumpkins.

Much of her work is coloured by the addition of crystalline glazes, and she is renowned for her research and experimentation in this area. And we dig into in the episode.

Her exuberant work has won her an array of commissions and collaborations, including major public art projects. Kate was awarded an MBE in 2019 for services to ceramic art.

Some of the topics we cover in this conversation include:

  • Managing risk and uncertainty both in her studio based practice, as well as when undertaking ambitious public art projects
  • Developing confidence as a maker and finding your own artistic voice
  • How she thinks about selling her work in an elite marketplace

And we finish with an absolutely brilliant creative challenge to apply to your own practice.

So please enjoy this energizing and thought provoking conversation.

Posted by jeremiah.krage@gmail.com in Art business, Business, Ceramics, Creative business, creative risk, fun, Play, Sculpture, Season 4 - Creative Risk
Magnus meets Tinky Winky

Magnus meets Tinky Winky

“I enjoy working within creative constraints”

In this episode, the tables have been turned, and I am on the other side of the microphone!

In the last series of the podcast, I interviewed Magnus Goransson, Design Director at LEGO’s Creative Play Lab. And after our conversation, Magnus reached out and offered to interview me in return – specifically about my performance work.

One of my many roles as a creative is being a creature performer. I trained as an actor and I specialise in bringing non-human characters to life. One of the most well-known of these was Tinky Winky from Teletubbies. And as you’ll hear, this struck a chord with Magnus, who was intrigued to know more.

Some of the topics we cover in our conversation include:

  • how I discovered the world of creature performance
  • my early training and how it continues to influence my work today
  • how that training overlaps with how designers work
  • how I use physical constraints to inform the creative process
  • we talk about some of the unique challenges of this line of work
  • and we compare notes on a few practical tips for creatives

Please enjoy this slightly different episode of The Practical Creative!

Posted by user in Creative business, creature performer, fun, Play, puppeteer, Season 3, Strange Ideas, Thoughts, Updates
Season 3 – “The Power of Play” wrap up episode

Season 3 – “The Power of Play” wrap up episode

“stay curious!”

In this wrap up episode, I recap all my guests in the season exploring the power of play, and highlight some of the key strategies and takeaways that anyone can use to incorporate more play into their lives and creative practice.

Posted by user in Business, Creative business, Drawing, fun, futurism, Painting, Play, puppeteer, science fiction, Season 3
LEGO’s Magnus Goransson on Playing as Adults and Maintaining your Creative Spark

LEGO’s Magnus Goransson on Playing as Adults and Maintaining your Creative Spark

“dive headfirst into something”

Magnus Goransson on LinkedIn

Magnus works at LEGO as Design Director in the Creative Play Lab – where he works with teams to design and develop toys of the future. His work is informed by a huge and constantly growing body of research conducted by LEGO into both how, and why, children play. And in this conversation, we cover a range of topics including:

  • how LEGO fosters a culture of play amongst it’s employees (and makes it sound like an amazing place to work!)
  • the benefits of working in teams to prevent and overcome blocks
  • the reality of designing products for a major corporation, particularly as a creative person, and how this can lead to burnout
  • why adults prefer to have ‘hobbies’ rather than admitting to ‘playing’
  • we also talk about how Magnus managed to find alternative outlets for his own creativity as he moved from being a hands-on designer to a director

And as always, we finish with a challenge to really ‘engulf yourself in play’.

So please enjoy!

Posted by user in Business, Creative business, fun, Play, Season 3
Artist Sandy Brown on the Power of Making with an Empty Mind

Artist Sandy Brown on the Power of Making with an Empty Mind

“it’s not only about how to do art, it’s how to live”

sandybrownarts.com

Sandy is an award winning artist whose work appears in collections around the globe. Her work is the result of a fierce commitment to a spontaneous and intuitive process. In fact, you’ll hear the phrases ‘letting go’, ‘being in the here and now’ and ‘empty mind’ several times in this interview. Working across media, including ceramics, painting, installation and sculpture, Sandy’s work is always bold, energetic, and hugely life-affirming.

This conversation was recorded at her home in the seaside village of Appledore, Devon, in the UK, where Sandy also has her studio and exhibition space. Some of the topics we cover include:

  • key moments that helped her to define her intuitive approach
  • how Sandy cultivates a state of ‘not knowing’ when creating her work
  • the value of trusting intuition and allowing your body to lead your creative process
  • dealing with uncertainty, fear, and not liking your work
  • the importance of ‘letting go’ and saying yes

And what drives her to consistently take on new and bigger challenges.

This was a delightful conversation with one of the bravest artists I know. Sandy’s commitment to, and trust in, the act of letting go, of not knowing – is as challenging as it is inspiring. Please enjoy.

Posted by user in Artist Entrepreneur, Ceramics, Drawing, fun, Painting, Play, Sculpture, Season 3
A Play Date for Practical Creatives

A Play Date for Practical Creatives

“moving from ideas and inspiration, into action”

A brief, interim episode and catchup! Checking in with you, recapping some of the creative challenges from my guests, and a book recommendation to improve your inner dialogue.

You can find all the creative challenges from my guests in this season here.

The book I *highly* recommend is “The Inner Game of Tennis” by W. Timothy Gallwey. His insights into the inner dialogue that we all have (either on the tennis court or in the studio), are profound. He makes a brilliant case for re-balancing the relationship between the ego-led self, and the intuitive, creative self.

Posted by user in fun, Play, Season 3, Thoughts, Updates
Dr. Mike Rucker on Living a Deliberate Life (and having fun along the way)

Dr. Mike Rucker on Living a Deliberate Life (and having fun along the way)

“fun, and different aspects of play, really do have medicinal benefits”

michaelrucker.com

Mike is an author and entrepreneur and he also conducts research into workplace wellness. So what does this mean, and how does it fit into the theme of play? Well, I’m glad you asked. Mike has created some fantastic tools for measuring and assessing how you spend your time – in order to live a more deliberate life – and this includes simple things you can start doing today to put more fun into your life.

Some of the topics we cover include:

  • why a ‘balanced life’ is a fallacy
  • we explore Mike’s Play Model (see below), which offers a helpful vocabulary for categorizing different activities in your life
  • using a time log to really focus on how you’re spending your time, and where you might be able to, as Mike puts it, “sprinkle a little more fun into your life”
  • how to be more proactive and avoid waiting for pain to move you into action

And how Mike uses long-term goal setting to create the life he wants now, and in the future (and ensuring that he has fun along the way).

Plus, Mike leaves us with a challenge to take some of the ideas in this conversation and apply them to your own life, by examining how you spend the 168 hours of your week.

If you’ve ever heard the saying that “life is about the journey, and not the destination” and wondered how to have more fun along the journey, there are definitely some ideas in this conversation that will be of interest.

Finally, if you’d like to have a go at Mike’s challenge and apply his Play Model to your 168 hours, you can find out more here.

Posted by user in author, Business, fun, Play, Season 3
Playing in different worlds with puppeteer and sci-fi author Mary Robinette Kowal

Playing in different worlds with puppeteer and sci-fi author Mary Robinette Kowal

“It’s about remembering to trust your taste.”

maryrobinettekowal.com

Mary Robinette is a puppeteer, audiobook narrator, science fiction author, and she is no stranger to winning awards. One of her short stories won a Hugo award, she won the Campbell award for Best New Writer, and one of her novels was nominated for a Nebula – all of which are a big deal in the science fiction and fantasy genre. But her list of accomplishments goes on, with Mary Robinette also winning two UNIMA awards for her work in puppetry.

I was delighted to get the opportunity to talk to Mary Robinette about her work; particularly as she has found success in what appear to be two very different worlds – although she disagrees, and you’ll hear why.

Some of the topics we cover include:

  • the importance of ‘doodling’ and how she uses to get out of feeling ‘stuck’
  • managing depression as a creative, and still getting work done
  • the importance of valuing your own taste

And a wonderful writing challenge to encourage you to ‘cross pollinate.’

This was an intriguing, and surprisingly frank, conversation that covered a wide range of topics and offers an insight into two fascinating, creative worlds.

Posted by user in author, depression, Play, puppeteer, science fiction, Season 3
Play Futurist Yesim Kunter on Building your Creative Muscle and Tickling your Brain

Play Futurist Yesim Kunter on Building your Creative Muscle and Tickling your Brain

“Mistakes are really great…I think you need to have fun with them”

yesimkunter.com

Yesim is a play expert and futurist who has worked with major international brands such as LEGO, Hasbro and Toys R’ Us. Her work has taken her from studying children at play and toy design to teaching executives how to access their own innate power of play.

This was an utterly fascinating conversation, and Yesim does a brilliant job of creating a vocabulary and context that takes the idea of play from something that we might dismiss as frivolous or reserved for the weekend, and instead she places it front and centre, as a fundamental aspect of the human experience (including adults), and even that play is a power that we all have access to, and one that can be cultivated on a daily basis.

Other topics we cover include :

  • Cultural differences in play
  • How to teach play and innovation
  • context on why play has been relegated to ‘child-only’ status
  • the connection between play and failure

Plus a fantastic challenge at the end to practice playfulness by ‘tickling your mind’.

This was a fascinating and inspiring conversation about perceptions of play, the need for play even as adults, and practical steps you can take to increase your own ‘play muscle’ – so please enjoy.

Posted by user in Artist Entrepreneur, Artrepreneur, Business, Creative business, futurism, Play, Season 3
Author and Filmmaker Charlie Hoehn on Play as Work, Wrestling, and Shifting out of ‘Seriousness’

Author and Filmmaker Charlie Hoehn on Play as Work, Wrestling, and Shifting out of ‘Seriousness’

“you can approach work through the lens of work, or you can approach work through the lens of play”

charliehoehn.com

Charlie is an author, filmmaker and marketing strategist. His work has led to rubbing elbows with the likes of Tim Ferriss, Ramit Sethi, Gary Vaynerchuck, the list goes on, and he’s given talks for Google and The Pentagon. Charlie’s written two books about play, one chronicling his discovery of play as an antidote to anxiety, and another celebrating how luminaries throughout history have valued play; including Bob Dylan, Plato, JK Rowling, Einstein, Jay-Z and Mark Twain.

Charlie has a fascinating relationship to the spirit of play and it’s value to mental health and happiness – which we really dig into.

Some of the other topics we cover include:

  • how Charlie used play to treat his anxiety which then lead to writing ‘Play it Away’
  • some of the mindshifts he made to bring more joy into his life and work
  • how improv and wrestling can foster play
  • how he turned writing a book into a playful project collaborating with 50 artists from around the world
  • the value of journalling
  • how to create opportunities for more play in your daily life

And there’s a brilliant challenge at the end to help kick-start your own play project

Charlie was an amazing guest, and this conversation is full of so many great takeaways – please enjoy!

Charlie’s books can be found on Amazon:

And Charlie recommends this TEDx talk by Dr. Peter Gray:

Posted by user in author, Business, Creative business, depression, Play, Season 3