202 episodes

Where do brilliant ideas come from? And, is it possible to do great work under pressure every single day? The Accidental Creative podcast explores how to stay prolific, brilliant and healthy in life and work as a creative pro. Host Todd Henry (author of the books The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, Louder Than Words, Herding Tigers, and The Motivation Code) interviews artists, authors and business leaders, and offers tips for how to thrive in life and work. Listen in and join the conversation at AccidentalCreative.com.

The Accidental Creative with Todd Henry Todd Henry

    • Business
    • 4.5 • 468 Ratings

Where do brilliant ideas come from? And, is it possible to do great work under pressure every single day? The Accidental Creative podcast explores how to stay prolific, brilliant and healthy in life and work as a creative pro. Host Todd Henry (author of the books The Accidental Creative, Die Empty, Louder Than Words, Herding Tigers, and The Motivation Code) interviews artists, authors and business leaders, and offers tips for how to thrive in life and work. Listen in and join the conversation at AccidentalCreative.com.

    The Silent Killer Of Your Creative Process

    The Silent Killer Of Your Creative Process

    In the creative process, one of the silent killers is expectation escalation.
    It’s very important that we have a healthy understanding of our abilities and developmental opportunities, but for some of us, myself included, our expectations of ourselves and our work is our greatest competitor to full, free creativity.
    In his work On Intelligence, Jeff Hawkins writes of a phenomenon in the mind called the “invariant representation”. This is a mental construct that represents the ultimate form of whatever subject we are considering. In other words, and this is greatly simplified, the ultimate chair, table, lamp, etc., all exist in our mind in some form and are used to compare all of our experiences to determine what we are seeing and experiencing. The same thing happens with our art. We create mental constructs, or invariant representations, of what great work would look like, and often these are so high and perfect that it would be nearly impossible to achieve them.
    When we do this, we not only limit ourselves creatively, we also lose all sense of awe and wonder in the creative process. Creativity is about constant discovery. It’s the process of continually opening wrapped packages to discover what’s inside. Yes, it is work, but the work is often lost in obsessive and focused discovery. When we fall prey to the silent killer of expectations, we are much like a kid opening a present on their birthday, certain that there’s a cool video game inside the box, only to find socks or a lame rugby shirt. In that moment, all momentum is lost, and for us, all creative momentum goes away in favor of the practical effort required to get our project to match our invariant representation.
    We can pick up unhealthy expectations from three unique sources, and each requires its own remedy:
    1. Our heroes.
    Many of us began making art in whatever form because we were inspired by others to do so. In other words, we experienced the art of someone great - someone who had been pursuing the path to uniqueness and found their voice - and we were inspired to begin along the same path. When we did, we started off by imitating, (passive imitation phase of the uniqueness curve), and began to diverge and experiment with our own style. When we do this, however, the pressure we feel is often to force our experiment to fit the mold of something our heroes would do. To say it differently, our experimentation with new forms and styles begins to feel forced because it’s something new, and we are tempted or possibly feel pressure to bend our work to fit the mold of someone else. Or, worse than that, we think our work is no good because it doesn’t seem to measure up to some invisible standard we’ve set based upon our experience of other peoples’ work.
    In his incredible book, Free Play, Stephen Nachmanovich writes, “It’s great to sit on the shoulders of giants, but don’t let the giants sit on YOUR shoulders! There’s no room for their legs to dangle.”
    In other words, we can carry the weight of our heroes on our shoulders and feel the burden to carry their work forward in some way. When we do this, we are denying our own creative skills and passions and trying to live up to someone else’s standard.
    Be encouraged, though. Every accomplished artist at some point doubts their abilities. Every great artists wonders if they should be doing something else. The brilliant and prolific ones, however, don’t allow those thoughts to prevent the creative process from taking form. They continue to make in the midst of their doubts.
    Make in the midst of your doubts. Don’t allow others’ work to cause you to doubt your own. Know yourself and your abilities. Continue to push on and make with a confidence that what is there is valid simply because it’s there.
    2. Our own work.
    When we’ve seen a degree of success in our work, it’s easy to allow our greatest achievements to pressure all of our future creative endeavors. Again, we come back to

    • 20 min
    Happy People Are Annoying (with Josh Peck)

    Happy People Are Annoying (with Josh Peck)

    We live in an age in which we often only see the best aspects of the lives of others. People share their successful destination, but not the (often difficult) journey they took to get there. This leaves many people thinking there's a missing "manual" that everyone else has but they somehow overlooked.
    Today's guest is Josh Peck. His new memoir Happy People Are Annoying shares his journey from child star to acting alongside some of the biggest names in the industry. We discuss why growing up as a child of a single mother impacted how he thought about business, great advice he received from Sir Ben Kingsley, and why love of craft is about more than just a feeling but is a deeper sense of connection to the work.
    This episode is sponsored by http://indeed.com/creative (Indeed).
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Herding Tigers podcast
    Listen to the Herding Tigers podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.

    • 29 min
    Atomic Habits (with James Clear) - from 2018

    Atomic Habits (with James Clear) - from 2018

    Twyla Tharp once wrote “Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is the result of good work habits.” If we want to succeed, we need good habits.
    On the flip side, Warren Buffet said “Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken”, meaning that our bad habits often don’t seem that bad until they get to the point where we can no longer easily break them.
    So if habits are that important, understanding how they are formed, changed, and broken is crucial if we want to be prolific, brilliant, and healthy in life and in work.
    On today’s show we have a guest who can help us better understand the habits that form the foundation of our success or failure. His name is http://jamesclear.com/ (James Clear), and he’s released a book called https://amzn.to/2CKA8E1 (Atomic Habits), which is about the small changes we can make in our daily life to create big change on the other side. It’s a guidebook to healthier habits in life and work, and our conversation with James is coming up in just a moment.
    Please support the show by subscribing to http://acpremium.me (AC Premium). Get ad-free episodes, bonus episodes, and more.
    This episode is sponsored by http://bamee.com/accidentalcreative (Bambee).
    This episode is sponsored by http://omsphoto.com (OMS Photo).
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Herding Tigers podcast
    Listen to the Herding Tigers podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.

    • 28 min
    The Elements Of Great Culture (with Daniel Coyle)

    The Elements Of Great Culture (with Daniel Coyle)

    What is a “culture”? We hear that word tossed around in organizations all the time, but it’s often difficult to know what people even mean when they say that word. Worse, managers often talk about building or growing a great culture without a full understanding of what a great culture might even look like.
    Today’s guest is Daniel Coyle. He’s spent many years studying culture and has written a few best-selling books on the topic, including The Culture Code. On this episode, he shares his definition of culture and offers practical tips for building a great one from his new book https://amzn.to/3OVLxD5 (The Culture Playbook).
    Please support the show by subscribing to http://acpremium.me (AC Premium). You'll get ad-free episodes, access to the full archives, and more.
    This episode is sponsored by http://indeed.com/creative (Indeed).
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Herding Tigers podcast
    Listen to the Herding Tigers podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.

    • 26 min
    The Earned Life (with Marshall Goldsmith)

    The Earned Life (with Marshall Goldsmith)

    What does it mean to be successful? I wrote in my book Die Empty that how you define greatness defines you, meaning that what you aspire to - even if you haven’t clearly articulated what it is - will shape how you go about your days and determine your priorities for you. If you don’t have a clear understanding of what success actually means to you, it’s possible to spend your entire life chasing vapor.
    Today’s guest is one of the most respected coaches on the planet. http://marshallgoldsmith.com (Dr. Marshall Goldsmith) is the author or editor of 41 books, which have sold over 2.5 million copies, been translated into 32 languages and become listed bestsellers in 12 countries. He is one of a select few executive advisors who has worked with over 200 major CEOs and their management teams. His new book is called https://amzn.to/3ER9iqZ (The Earned Life: Lose Regret, Choose Fulfillment), in which he discusses the patterns of people who grow a life of meaning and purpose. In this episode, we discuss the nature of an “earned life” and how to be more purposeful in life and work.
    Please support the show by subscribing to http://acpremium.me (AC Premium). You'll get ad-free episodes, bonus episodes, and more.
    This episode is sponsored by http://omsphoto.com (OMS Photo).
    This episode is sponsored by http://storyblocks.com/tac (Storyblocks).
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Herding Tigers podcast
    Listen to the Herding Tigers podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.

    • 29 min
    5 Steps For Planning Your Day For Optimal Creativity

    5 Steps For Planning Your Day For Optimal Creativity

    You have four finite resources to spend on behalf of what matters: focus, assets, time, and energy. How you allocate these four resources will often determine your success or failure. How intentional are you about making plans to spend them in the right places?
    On this episode, I share a simply 5-step method for planning your day that I've been using for years:
    Plan your week
    Review your goals and "main things"
    Plan your day
    Review your day
    Reveiw your week

    Want to support the show and receive ad-free episodes? Subscribe to http://acpremium.me (AC Premium).
    This episode is sponsored by http://indeed.com/creative (Indeed).
    This episode is sponsored by http://shopify.com/accidentalcreative (Shopify).
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Herding Tigers podcast
    Listen to the Herding Tigers podcast wherever you listen to podcasts.

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
468 Ratings

468 Ratings

Tim Woosley ,

Bringing Light to Creatives!

Todd is doing creative a big service by talking with other creatives and hearing their thoughts about their processes. It’s awesome to crack open the minds of other brilliant people and see how they tick and feel about their efforts. Keep it up, Todd!

caleb_podcasts ,

Awesome Podcast!

Todd is a great host that really taps into the minds of creatives which provides his listeners with the knowledge it takes to use their creativity to achieve success. This is a must listen!

malfoxley ,

Great show!

Todd, host of the Accidental Creative podcast, highlights all aspects of prolific people and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

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