What I Learned From Interviewing 20 Amazing Creative Women


If you followed along with me on the Creative Souls Summit, you know there was SO much wisdom shared. It's a lot to take in! And as the person experiencing each conversation face to face, I had to start taking notes halfway through doing all the interviews. I felt like I was going to burst with revelations. I'm happy to conclude this journey with what I've been able to put into words about my experience in having these twenty awe-inspiring convos.

Here's what I learned:

1) Not all artists are alike.

A big worry I had going into this series was that, after so many interviews, the conversations and answers might get redundant.

I mean, don't we all do the same thing to balance our schedule, deal with our inner critic and find our style?

As it turns out-- no, we don't.

The meat of the creative process is actually totally different for everyone. There is no cooky cutter way to be a creative (...in retrospect, of course, this feels pretty obvious).

The ways we deal with challenges, fall in love with creating and our journeys that brought us here are as vastly different as the work we create.

2) But we do have a lot of things in common.

One of the things that felt so nourishing in doing all of these was all of the heart-to-heart relatability. All the moments of, "Me too."

I asked everyone "What do you love about being an artist?" or "What do you love about being creative?" (depending on what came out in the moment).

I would say about 65% of the women answered: The Freedom.

Though every answer I received to this question was brilliant (how could it not be?) my heart melted every time I heard Freedom. This has been the biggest joy I have gained from making art, as well. For some odd reason, it never dawned on me that it was SO common. Something about hearing so many women say that this is what they have gained access to, as well, made me feel that much more connected to all the other artists in the world. Like we are all freeing ourselves together one brushstroke, word written or song sung at a time.

3) Not all of us like to show up on camera. But that doesn't mean that we don't have a TON of wisdom to offer.

I can't tell you how many artists I reached out to with the idea of this project who told me that the idea of talking on camera made them uncomfortable.

But the mention of their uncomfortability was usually followed up with, "So I guess that means I should breach my comfort zone and do it."

Shoutout to Marissa Huber for my favorite response: "That sounds awesome and terrifying! So, I guess I must say yes!"

Yeah, creative women are awesome.

I think for a lot of us artists, we're used to letting the work speak for itself. We like to let the spotlight fall on our creations-- I know I do.

But the truth is, there is a lot of processing and growth that goes on behind the scenes of those creations. Perhaps one of the most rewarding things about doing this series was having the honor of opening up a container for those insights to be shared when they otherwise might not have been.

3.5) Also, there's hope for us shy artists!

I am not separate from this group. This project was totally scary for me. Though I am a lover of deep + meaningful conversation, I'm also an introvert and I get very nervous when there's a camera around (it's amazing how the "on" button can put me into a totally different state...who else can relate?!)

In fact, before recording my very first conversation I was so nervous I couldn't help but spill my nerves to the interviewee-- Vienda Maria. As someone who I believe gets interviewed often, she was amazingly comforting and I'm forever grateful that she is who I broke the ice with!

The good news is this: you CAN improve. I only felt half-way like I was going to vomit by interview #5, and was almost starting to feel natural by interview #15.

It was worth getting over the hump. And as a result, I feel like a lot of my fears around being seen have been healed, just a little bit. I even noticed myself feeling more confident in my own voice in my day to day life. An unexpectedly awesome side effect!

4) This project quickly went from being a series of conversations to a series of celebrations.

As creatives, we love what we do. We share what we're working on, we might even write a bit our process. But the cool thing about connecting with others in the community was the permission to CELEBRATE this love that we have. Something I don't always feel free to do with my non-creative friends. I could feel the excitement build when I would as a question that struck home with the woman I was talking to, like she was bursting to talk about it. What a cool thing. It feels so good to love something and to be able to share that love with others.

5) Creative women hold amazing values: one the of the most common ones I saw in doing these conversations was the value of showing up and being real, honest and transparent.

YES. This made me particularly proud to be a member of this community. As people who tend to spend a lot of time on social media, I love that we are all prioritizing being real with our people. Being real breads connection. And isn't that what we are all really craving more of?

6) As creatives, we should have these conversations with each other more often.

One of the main reasons I wanted to put this series together was to inspire other people to begin or to deepen their own creative journey-- because mine has been so life changing. I wanted to spark inspiration and awaken the creative side of those who hadn't yet gone their.

What I didn't expect was the pure value I got from the wisdom that these women had to offer. After I hung up with each one, there was usually one or two things they said that stuck with me. And I was then inspired to deepen my own journey and put it into practice.

After my call with Amanda Sandlin, I headed to Pinterest and began taking notes.

When I found myself doing something I felt proud of in the studio, I heard Lindsay King's voice in my head about taking a moment to love my own marks.

After my conversation with Monika, I felt inspired to start talking more about the real behind the scenes and what it takes.

(I could go on forever with this...)

All in all, I realized how much I'm craving to have more of these conservations with other artists. I would like to make that happen on a regular basis (ideas floating around left and right ;).

I have grown a ton since doing this project. I feel inspired, I feel less afraid to reach out to people and I realize: each of our individual voices is NEEDED. So I encourage you to share yours, whether that be to a friend or online--our stories have the power to heal + to inspire.

Thank you for following along with me. It's not too late to access the conversations and again, they'll be up for a month if you haven't gotten to them all yet.

Did you have any favorite conversations that spoke to you or a single takeaway that stood out? I want to know! Share with me in the comments.

xoxo,

Devon


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