Windowsill Chats is a podcast for artists and creatives who are curious about what it's like to live, work & walk a creative path. You'll find honest stories, refreshing tips, artistic business advice and real conversations with global artists & makers just like you. Host Margo Tantau, a 30+ year Creative Director, Product Designer & maker, is a cheerleader for your success. Come grab a cuppa & join her in her sunny windowsill.
Putting the Art in Heart: How Rachel Phillips Combines Journaling, Scrapbooking and Storytelling Through Heart Journaling
Margo is joined by fellow PNW island dweller, Rachel Phillips. Rachel is a mama to three boys, 32 chickens, and a 'robust' amount of art supplies. She refers to herself as a little Anne of Green Gables with a dash of Pippi longstocking and a side of Laura ingalls and holds a master's degree in wildflower picking, a doctorate in smearing paint and has studied extensively under the likes of mother nature, Grandfather Twilight and Bob Ross YouTube videos. Rachel has been practicing heART journaling for over a decade as a way for her to tell her story and the stories of people she meets along the way. They are jam-packed full of art, artifacts (heARTifacts), quotes, lists, collages, illustrations and pretty much everything but the kitchen sink. Her creative niche is joy and she does and makes whatever she feels like, whenever she feels like while giving others permission to do the same.
[10:27] Why Rachel was led to journaling and the nostalgia it brought
[16:14] Moving to an island helped me relax.
[22:59] Storytelling: how stories connect generations and spark magical experiences.
[28:30] Fitting your creativity in as it works for you. Why Rachel does pick-up pages instead of morning pages.
[29:33] Rachel’s new online course and unique way of sharing creative tips for journaling.
[34:58] How she’s manifested her current life and what she hopes to manifest in the future.
[45:06] Living authentically and honestly and the pros and cons that come with it.
[46:29] Being multi passionate
[56:02] Who inspires Rachel
Connect with Rachel:
Continual Creative Discovery: Embracing Challenges, Forging Connections, and Attaining Financial Success Through Artistic Endeavors With Becky Dawson
Margo is joined by artist, illustrator and quintessential creative entrepreneur, Becky Dawson. Becky started screen printing t-shirts in her spare bedroom 12 years ago with a little knowledge and a lot of hope (and creativity) and has since evolved into designing and manufacturing her own line of paper and gift products sold in 100’s of stores worldwide. She paints, draws, and makes ceramic creations on top of owning and managing a brick and mortar gallery & gift shop that exclusively carries her art and products. Becky’s art is a creative world full of mythical creatures, farm animals and pets, plants and flowers and she’s inspired by the beautiful, the unusual, joy, and fun.
[00:55] Becky’s early creative path going from hairstylist to graphic tee designer and Etsy shop owner
[07:55] Discovering creative potential and consistent income through new endeavors
[18:06] Finding new ways to manage and ship products in order to focus on her art
[20:03] How Becky built her brand locally and why she opted out of most trade shows
[27:48] Finding connection through art and conversations with others
[36:13] Getting into ceramics
[42:29] How slow periods have led to artistic growth and expansion
[44:17] Getting creative during the pandemic and opening her self-serve gift shop
[51:19] Advice for emerging artists and creatives on finding their own path
[54:22] People inspiring Becky
Mentioned in this episode:
Connect with Becky:
Fostering Creative Confidence: How Faigie Kobre Cultivates Creativity and Critical Thinking in the Classroom and Beyond
Margo is joined by elementary school art teacher Faigie Kobre. Faigie uses a choice based method called TAB (teaching for artistic behavior) and has recently developed a program for schools called Beyond Copycat Crafts that helps other teachers aid in how to give children developmentally appropriate, creative art instead of copycat, cookie cutter crafts. Faigie also has taught adult creativity through mixed media and alcohol inks. She teaches the difference between creativity and artistic ability and how our own thoughts on this subject likely stems from our childhood experiences.
[02:53] How a business course unexpectedly sparked creativity in Faigie
[08:34] Why she was initially rejected from a coaching program and how taking initiative changed her coaches mind
[12:02] How perfectionism stifles creativity; art is problem-solving.
[21:04] How and why creativity develops differently in us and when we begin to see self-doubt with our own creative abilities
[22:27] How mixed media art has been both transformational and liberating for Faigie
[27:39] Teaching for artistic behavior. Faigie’s choice-based program that teaches drawing, collage, painting and creates an exciting learning environment for kids
[31:36] Guiding kids to embrace challenges in creativity
[33:11] Integration of art in education and curriculum
[37:06] Teaching art concepts with freedom, not restrictions
[47:49] How she got involved with alcohol inks and her course
Connect with Faigie:
Growing a Successful Brand Through Unconventional Creativity: Exploring the Unique and Timeless Sound of Audio Fiction Podcasting with Marcus of El Extraordinario
Margo is joined by co-founder and creative director of El Extraordinario, Marcus Hurst. El Extraordinario is an award winning creative outfit specialized in audio fiction and podcasts making timeless long form content with high production values and a strong emphasis on sound design. Looking more to music record labels like XL Recordings as inspiration for creating podcasts rather than traditional podcasting, El Extraordinario is anything but traditional.
Marcus shares his experiences in the world of blogging, journalism, and now podcasting, and how he’s found success in being adaptable, assembling a solid team, brand partnerships, how he manages social media personally and professionally and much more.
[02:23] Blogging and its impact on journalism
[06:57] The monopolization of blogging
[11:49] Developing a different approach to journalism
[19:08] The importance of high production values and audio engineering with the types of content he produces
[23:16] Creating a successful sponsored brand podcast in partnership with Switzerland Tourism
[25:48] Coming up with new ideas and how to execute them. Exploring the freedom and risk-taking that comes into play at El Extraordinario
[33:13] Spanish elegance and politeness with ground rules.
[38:26] Benefits of having a small team and understanding each person's unique values
[39:45] Connections and creativity within the podcasting realm
[48:07] Spanish speaking markets versus English speaking markets
[50:03] Upcoming podcast projects
[54:22] People and things currently inspiring Marcus
Connect with Marcus:
Party of One: Sheila Kamuda's Healing Journey through Gratitude, Creative Journaling, and Self-Empowerment
Margo is joined by certified empowerment coach, Sheila Kamuda. Sheila was inspired to become a coach through her own healing journey after the loss of her husband, and leadership experience where she directed a team of 20 creatives and eventually started Live Out Loud Coaching. She is passionate about helping professionals value who they are and what they "bring to the party" and recognize they have not been put here to just take up space but to realize their full potential.
In this episode, Sheila opens up about her own healing journey and how it led her to create her coaching company, her creative practices that helped aid in her healing journey, how to embrace your own brilliance, the power of gratitude, her books and a whole lot more.
[04:31] How grieving led to writing letters to her husband and where she received the message to become a coach.
[09:23] Boosting your own confidence and recognizing your accomplishments.
[22:25] Her innovative journal with empowering and simple prompts.
[23:49] Choosing happiness, gratitude, kindness, and self-love. Magical, life-changing principles in a gratitude journal.
[29:20] Overcoming self-doubt, releasing blocks, and trusting intuition.
[32:55] The power in reflecting on past actions and seeking improvement.
[37:39] Her book and how it helps individuals embrace being alone and heal.
[48:41] Who inspires Sheila
Mentioned in this episode:
Connect with Sheila:
Connect with Margo:
Colors of the Sun, Songs of the Moon: Melissa Lakey’s Artistic Insights, Gallery Success, and the Evolution of Creative Observations
Margo is joined by contemporary visual artist and illustrator Melissa Lakey. Melissa is based in Joshua Tree, California, where the windows of her art studio look out into the Mojave Desert. Her colorful work celebrates the landscape and animals of the American Southwest and her love of cowboys, road trips, and summer vacations. Melissa shares on observing others and how it can inspire our own creative processes, the concept of using sketchbooks with specific themes and approaching journaling, overcoming creative obstacles and more.
[01:32] An introduction to Melissa
[05:12] Her unique art journey: finding passions and discovering new possibilities
[12:25] Exploring different techniques and materials in vibrant art
[13:13] Her love for art supplies and some of her favorite tools
[20:21] Her first residency experience and the inspiration and motivation she found in attending
[26:29] First show in Joshua Tree and the feedback she received
[35:39] Thoughts on self-identification and artistic work
[39:20] Her sketchbook practice and how it aids in her projects and bigger works
[42:42] The value she finds in exploring other artists methods
[47:59] Thoughts on teaching
Margo and Melissa also discuss why she took a break from creating and the fears that come up when taking a break, her number one tip for 100-day projects, why social media friends have been pivotal in her career and why she doesn’t live post her work but rather waits a month or so to post.
Mentioned in this episode:
Sarah Dyer (https://www.sarahdyer.com/)
Sou'wester Lodge Artist Residency (https://www.souwesterlodge.com/art/artist-residency/)
Hey There Projects (https://www.heythereprojects.com/)
Wyatt Hersey (https://www.wyatthersey.com/)
Emma Carslile (https://www.emmacarlisle.com/)
Natalie Lundeen (https://natlundeen.myportfolio.com/)
Connect with Melissa:
"Colors of the Sun, Songs of the Moon" in Taos, NM from August 19th - September 20th (https://www.instagram.com/lunojo_gallery/)
Sketchbook Workshop (https://inkygoodness.samcart.com/products/sketchbook-workshop-melissa-lakey/)
Connect with Margo:
What an amazing hour
I absolutely love listening to the podcast as I work in the evening. I usually like listening to other artists and understand their journeys. The makers and other creatives who appear here are such an inspiration. I have just recently discovered this channel and I have a lot of catching up to do. Look forward to many more such episodes.