The Create & Thrive Podcast
Self-Awareness, Creativity, & Self-Worth with Erica Ando [235]
Jun 29, 2020 · 1 hr 1 min
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Putting our creations out into the world always comes with a frisson of tension – especially when we closely connect our self-worth to our work.

My guest today – Erica Ando – and I have a frank discussion about this in today’s episode.

Erica has a background in sculpture and textile design, and now works with other artists to help them grow their careers.

We talk about developing self-awareness; why you need to de-couple your sense of worth from your work; how to cope with negative feedback; and the power of boredom.

You can listen to this episode below, or on your fave podcasting app!

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Highlights from this episode:

  • After studying sculpture, Erica worked in a variety of positions in arts in fashion then started her own business as a textile designer. She found she was spending more time on business tasks than on the making.
  •  “If you turn your hobby into your business then you need a new hobby” {Jess}
  • Jess discusses some of the results State of Handmade survey from The Business of Making team including that makers are spending around 50/50 between making products and business and administration work.
  • Develop your self-awareness. Have breaks, rest and care for yourself when needed to keep your work sustainable.
  • “You have to be vulnerable when you’re creating, don’t you? You’re tapping into your own self to bring something into being in the world and that’s scary” {Jess}
  • The longer you spend in business the more you will be able to detect which negative comments and feedback are a legitimate criticism and which are the author’s personal problem.
  • In creative and handmade fields, it can be very difficult to separate yourself from your work after pouring so much time and energy into a piece.
  • “Other people’s opinions about my work don’t define me, my work doesn’t define me. My work is part of who I am.” {Erica}
  • Jess and Erica share anecdotes about the buzz of unexpectedly seeing someone wearing one of their pieces out in the community.
  • It’s normal to fixate on a negative comment or piece of feedback no matter how many positive ones you have received. If you detect this cycle happening, try going back and reading positive comments and feedback to help reset your balance.
  • Erica recommends getting problems out of your head by writing them down on paper to free up your focus.
  • Mindfulness meditation provides opportunities to observe and process your thoughts without distraction.
  • “Being bored is amazing. It’s probably something we need to do more as creative people.” {Erica}
  • Jess and Erica discuss the value of habits and systems and both recommend Atomic Habits by James Clear.
  • “Work is never finished. You are never going to be done. Ever.” {Jess}
  • Visit Erica’s website here.

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