When unforgettable moments happen, they need to be celebrated. Thanks to Andy J. Pizza, Chalk + Ink exists. So, it's only fitting that for the fiftieth episode Chalk + Ink celebrates Andy and what he gives to the creative world week in and week out.
We talk about the definition of creativity, what it means when art works, and tips for creating a successful podcast.
Unlike most people who define creativity as something new, for Andy creativity is about sustaining humanity. We need stories to be fresh, updated, and relevant, to keep us captivated, but as creators we don't need to reinvent the wheel. For more on storytelling, check out Brian McDonald's Invisible Ink or listen to his podcast You Are a Storyteller.
Andy then moves on to explaining that art only works if it moves people from one emotional state to another. He dives deep into this topic on his 391st podcast episode-"How to Move People with Your Creative Work on a Deeper Level." Definitely worth a listen, as are all of his Creative Pep Talk episodes.
In order to create a successful podcast, Andy recommends creators do the following three actions:
1) Podcast Consistently for a Long Time
Andy's podcast, Creative Pep Talk, picked up steam in its third year.
2) Niche Down
Focus on a small group of people. Make the content for those people outstanding so that they convert people who aren't like them into listeners.
3) Speak on Other People's Podcasts
All the spoils of creativity "are in locking arms with your peers."
So how does Andy get everything done? He relies on his creative team, which includes his wife, Sophie Miller, and his agent, Ryan Appleton, and he makes the most out of his energy clock. For more on making the most out of one's own energy clock, read Molly Fletcher's The Energy Clock or listen to her talk about her book here.
If you aren't familiar with Andy's engaging children's books, be sure to check out Dream Machine and A Pizza with Everything on It.
Before our next episode, be sure to read Emily Francis’s If You Only Knew: Letters From an Immigrant Teacher. It’s an epistolary memoir that shines a light on all that we have to be grateful for and on the power of educators to encourage or discourage their students. Don't have time to read it? Check out this video.
One of my intentions for 2023 is to become more vulnerable, and as Andy said, fold more of myself into my art. So, I’ve been thinking about how I could do that on Chalk + Ink. That’s why in addition to assigning the homework for listeners at the end of each episode, I’m going to share with you the homework I’m giving myself. Then at the beginning of each episode, I’ll let you know the progress I made or didn’t make on my own assignment.
I've already ordered The Energy Clock, and I plan on listening to one new education and/or writing podcast each month of this year. Then, if the podcast seems like a good fit, I'll reach out to the creator to see if they're interested in a swap. Have recommendations for me? Leave them in the comments below.
Finally, I want to give a shout out to Sarah Brannen for Chalk + Ink’s podcast art. If you haven’t read Sarah’s book, Uncle Bobby’s Wedding, check it out. It’s on the ALA 2021 Rainbow List and Bank Street's Best Children's Books 2021.
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