The artisan podcast taps into creativity, inspiration and the determination it takes to be an artisan. Guests share stories of lessons learned along their creative journey. Created for artisans, by artisans. This podcast is brought to you by artisan creative, a staffing and recruitment agency focused on creative, digital and marketing roles. Tune in to hear creators, designers, artists, and innovators share their story and inspire. artisancreative.com
ep29 | Suzan Oslin | Creative Technologist | AR/VR
Suzan is an independent XR creator with a focus on persistent, geo-spatially located AR. She uses immersive technology to build aspirational futures that reflect her own wonder and awe for the beauty of life–at the same time revealing ugly truths that endanger our very existence. Using her mastery of experience design, she crafts interactions intended to engender empathy and motivate positive action.
Where are you? It's beautiful where you're sitting.
I’m at the AR House here in Los Angeles, and it's a co-working, co-living space run by Aidan Wolf and Lucas Rizzotto. Every month, they bring in ten new artists, where we live and collaborate together for four weeks. And it's in a beautiful house in the hills of Hollywood. We have a pool and a sauna and we invite people in from the public to be a part of the community and it's just a really amazing place for artists and creators to be inspired, build relationships, and build cool stuff.
What a beautiful idea for collaboration. All AR projects?
Not necessarily but it's pretty much AR/VR as far as I know. Some artists come in and they're not necessarily developers, they're designers or illustrators, but they're pretty passionate about the AR/VR space, and they'll work usually with one of the devs to build stuff.
Okay, let's step backwards just in case there are some people in the audience who may not be familiar with AR/VR. Can you just give us a quick little rundown of augmented reality/ virtual reality and then we'll start with how you got started in this.
There's sometimes a lot of confusion about that. Virtual reality is when you're completely immersed within a digital or virtual world, and that's usually through a headset, and there's no relationship to the outside world at all. You're completely in a created and fabricated world.
Augmented reality is when you are in the real world and your real world is being augmented by digital or virtual objects. So it's a layer over top of the real world, and usually that's done with your phone, or augmented reality glasses. There used to be a distinction of mixed reality. Mixed reality and augmented reality are kind of coming together into one thing and people talk less about mixed reality. I think it pretty much put it all together with augmented reality.
And how does that play into where your career started from, which is in the UX space and what was the trajectory for you and the transition for you from traditional UX into what you're doing now?
Well, my career actually didn't start in UX. So when you and I met, my UX career was starting. I actually have a background in visual effects and animation and I've worked in the film industry for a number of years, so the 3D world is not a stranger to me. I had been doing UX for about 12 years.
I don't think I wrote a single line of code in that whole time and my background is very much in technical art. To be honest, I was getting a little bit bored with user experience design and wasn't challenged in the way that technology really challenges you. I was in a space where I was looking for my next evolution of my career. That's when I started to see, around 2018, and I started to see a lot of posts on LinkedIn and whatnot about augmented reality and virtual reality. It was more virtual reality at that time. To me, it seems like a no brainer to kind of go back to my roots, but also bring with me, my user experience design and hope to make an impact in terms of a new technology and bring in those concepts of user experience design. So often when a new technology is being created, a lot of the applications and experiences are created by the developers. And I know it makes sense because they're the ones figuring out the technology. So those are the ones that get built first and so I really wanted to have a presence of user experience in
ep28 | daniel sieberg | storyteller, entrepreneur
Co-Founder, Chief Content Officer: GoodTrust
Director, Innovation Marketing, Moody's
Author: The Digital Diet (2011); Digital Legacy (2020, w/ Rikard Steiber)
Welcome to the artisan podcast as we welcome Daniel Seiberg as our next guest. Daniel is the Co-founder and Chief Content Officer of Good Trust and the Director of Innovation Marketing at Moody’s. But above all, Daniel is a storyteller. Throughout his career he has told stories of brands and stories of people as a journalist, as an author, as an entrepreneur. He has traveled to over 70 countries and has worked in marketing, communications, product, and partnerships at many well known companies including Google as well as many news outlets. I’m so excited to have Daniel here so that we can talk about storytelling and how that impacts interviewing and how we can show up as our authentic selves, not only to an interview but any role that we start. So, with that, let’s welcome Daniel.
Hi, Katty. It’s wonderful to be with you and dwell in possibilities as the sign over your shoulder reads and talk about storytelling. Probably one of my favorite subjects.
Yeah, thank you. I was fascinated when we had met a few weeks ago just to talk about the concept of storytelling and wanted to bring that to the audience here. Obviously, the audience who listens here are all storytellers… whether they're visual storytellers, or writers, or marketers. But this concept of storytelling is so important, and as we are recording this, the gardeners have come. So for the audience, just giving you a little warning if you're hearing noise, it’s out of my control.
This is all part of our story right now.
This is the story of working from home.
It is what it is.
Yep, life in 2022.
Yep, we will speak loudly to overcome that. So, Daniel, how did you get started on this path? Let’s go there first.
Yeah, absolutely and I will keep my origin story relatively tight. I would just say that my father spent his career as an engineering electronics technician working with oceanographers who went to the North Pole to study climate change. So I was exposed to the “how does anything work” kinds of questions from an early age. My family believes in service and my sister is a nurse practitioner. So that's a little bit of my orientation in the world.
And then coupled with that, my maternal grandmother died of complications from Alzheimer's and I can distinctly remember what it was like to see her at her 75th birthday party, and as an awkward 14-year-old walk up to her with a present and for her to say, “Oh, this is lovely, dear, thank you, and who are you?” And for the two of us to sort of die in front of each other in that moment. So what struck me is the value of our stories and how we pass them on. How we convey them. They're sort of the storytelling or how we do that. There’s the tools that we use to tell those stories, there's the subject matter, that people, and everything wrapped up in what it means to tell a story and of course to listen, to receive, or to watch. So that, I think, is what ultimately pushed me into a career of being a journalist. In my case, it was science and technology. I did a master's degree in journalism with a focus of technology at The University of British Columbia…. a long time ago.
The arc of my career went through working at CNN, covering those subjects including space and environment, and on to CBS News, and ABC and then I pivoted away from being a practicing journalist, if you will, to focusing on technology and I would say helping others use technology to tell stories. So I spent several years at Google and helped to create a couple of teams in service of empowering newsrooms to use technology to tell stories in new ways with data through d
ep27 | the artisan podcast | dr. heidi hanna | creativity & tools for stress mastery
Dr. Heidi Hanna is a best-selling author of 7 books, is an authority on stress mastery and brain-based health and performance.
Very nice to have you here. And you and I have worked together several times through the Entrepreneurs Organization and I was on your podcast for stress mastery. I would just really love to have a conversation about stress and specifically as it pertains to creativity since the audience that we are speaking to is primarily on the creative side, both writers as well as designers and marketers.
Let's talk about stress. But let’s before that talk about how did you fall into this field?
Heidi: Well, I'll give you the shorter version of the story. So we don't take up all of our time. But I really struggled with stress from an early age, so much so that I ended up fainting and losing consciousness and went to a lot of different doctors. This is around the age of 11 to 12 years old, went to a bunch of doctors, they couldn't figure out what was going on. I was diagnosed with a lot of different confusing things.
But ultimately, at the end of the day, they said it's probably just stress. And so that word meant a lot to me at a very early age and I couldn't understand it. Of course, my parents did the best they could to try to teach me how to cope with that. But it's just something we're not really taught. We're not really taught what stress is or how to cope effectively with it. I think we're talking about it more now. But it still seems like it's this big, bad beast that's out there that we're fighting against. Instead of the way I like to look at it ,it's a relationship we have with the circumstances of our lives, based on our demand versus capacity.
And so it can be physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, or social. Creative people certainly have a lot of unique challenges in the stress space, which I know we'll talk a little bit more about. And a lot of us who are creative are also highly sensitive to stress. So we can get moved by stress in either direction, positively or negatively. And I think that that was me even though I didn't see myself as a creative person as a child. I was very influenced by the emotion and the energy around me. And so stress became really kind of debilitating in some ways and led me down this path to understand it. So I studied nutrition, exercise, physiology, psychology, neuroscience, everything to kind of come to a better understanding of what's actually happening when we say that we're feeling stressed.
Katty: What is actually happening?
Heidi: I do think that the first thing again, to keep in mind is that it's a relationship that each of us has, and so it's very much based on a perception of this gap between demand and capacity. So if we believe that we have the resources that we need to cope with those demands, then we have a very different stress reaction pattern that's more like acute stress.
So if there's actually an emergency and we have to do something, we have the production of adrenaline. We have that kind of fight or flight feeling, but that's for a short period of time. That's only if something's about 30 minutes or less. If we experienced more chronic stress or we don't think that we have the resources to deal with what's being asked of us, then it moves into more of a chronic state, primarily fueled by cortisol, which is a more long-term survival hormone. And this is where we start seeing immune function go down, brain function go down, memory attention and we see the more toxic side of the stress reaction pattern which estimates are that stress like that is responsible for about 75 to 90% of medical visits.
So we know that stress has this toxic side. But I would also remind us all that if we didn't care about something, we wouldn't feel stressed. So stress can also be an indication of
ep26 | the artisan podcast | finnian kelly | intentionality coach & entrepreneur
Our guest today is Finnian Kelly. Finnian has 12 years of entrepreneurship experience. He’s started 7 companies and has had 3 successful exits, 2 acquisitions, 2 failures, and 2 he’s still busy with and running. He has won multiple awards for being an impact-driven leader. He’s here today to talk to us about the power of intentionality and what it means to go inwards and really feel your way through your intentions as you plan your career, your next step, your job, or your next freelance opportunity. Enjoy.
You can find Finnian Kelly at:
Finnian: So I like to think of all freelancers, really, they're all entrepreneurs. Every entrepreneur in some regard started as a freelancer, like, let's face it, we were all offering something. And then we managed to realize that perhaps our skill sets were great at bringing other people involved into the vision, and then we grew into something bigger.
So even just having that mindset that there's potentially something more available to you, is part of the intentionality process. When I think about intentionality, I define it as it's all about defining how you want to feel, and then taking deliberate action towards it. That combination of vision plus action.
Now freelancers were intentional to make the decision to become a freelancer. There was a reason you were like, I want to feel free. I want to feel like I have a choice. I want to feel liberated from not having to work in a corporate day job. So there was a vision. And then they took some action. They went well, “I'm going to stop putting myself up for some services or some jobs. I'm going to promote myself a little bit. I've had to like quit my day job and move into this realm.”
Now then what happens is sometimes what worked for us then is what holds us back. So we're getting into this place. And now to keep that vision going, we start focusing on “I've got to do this, I've got to do that.” And we forget about the bigger vision. What's the next vision from that? And we can get stuck into the minutiae and feeling like well, I've got to get this next job to be able to pay for these needs and we feel constricted so the freelancer suddenly becomes constricted from the life that they've created for themselves.
So we need to step back and go back to that moment that you did when you decided to move from the corporate world perhaps it was corporate world or another small business into a freelancer. You had a vision and this needs to be a continuous process and go “Alright, where I'm at right now… Yes, it was my original vision. But is this still my vision? Or is this something more? Perhaps I'm not working with the clients that I really want to be working with. Perhaps I'm I don't have as much freedom as I thought I'm actually working nonstop, and I'm always just catching my tail.”
So getting connected to that big picture would be really, really wonderful, and I talk about that it's not just a vision of materialistic objects, it's all about feelings. Get connected to those feelings. That's the fundamental thing of intentionality is how do you want to feel?
And with the new year coming up, it's a great time whenever this is shared, it's going to be in the new year. And having that awareness of stepping back and going, “Okay, I'm where I'm at right now. What is it that I really want to be feeling? Perhaps I want to feel more inspiration with my work, perhaps I want to feel more proud. Perhaps I want to feel more fulfilled.” And get connected to those feelings and then start going, “Okay, I want those feelings, what are some potential pathways that I need to take in order to get there and that will help me line up the action that I need to take throughout that year.” So that's where I'd be starting.
Katty: I've heard you say intentionality and really focusing on the end part, the inne
ep25 | the artisan podcast | keith roberts | creator of the oak journal
Check out our episode with Keith Roberts, Entrepreneur | Author & Keynote Speaker | Creator of the Oak Journal.
We chat about creativity, mentorship, entrepreneurship and so much more/----more----
Katty: I'm so excited to interview a good friend, Keith Roberts, an incredible creative and the creator of The Oak Journal, for this session of the Artisan Podcast. Hello, Keith, welcome.
Keith: It's an honor to be here, thanks for having me.
Katty: I'd love to start the conversation, Keith about you as a creative and how you got your start and then we'll make that move into where you are today with The Oak Journal.
Keith: Great. So my start, I actually went to Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California, where I got a degree in Industrial Scientific Photography with a minor in Undersea Photography, so really applicable to the real world….sarcasm there!
I think one of the many gifts that I took away that was a life changer for me with Brooks was the level of presentation and professionalism that was required. It was easy to get into Brooks Institute of Photography, it was incredibly hard to graduate. There were 58 students in my class and 12 graduated. If you got to C you failed, you had to retake the class. A second C you were expelled.
So they were really about making exceptional artists and not about just making money, which I really appreciate, and being somebody that's owned an agency for 25 years and seeing what a lot of the schools turn out now that are based on profit versus not, really instilling what the students need to have a successful career as a creative. That was enormous for me. The other thing that I took away from that was, you know, a very special relationship with the founder of the school, Ernest Brooks. I minored in Undersea Photography and I got to spend several months living on a boat diving every day with a gentleman who has, you know, an exhibit in the Smithsonian Institute for his underwater photography. We had Jean-Michel Cousteau, Jacques Cousteau’s son, dove with us for several expeditions. So the taste for once-in-a-lifetime experiences, I got at a very early age.
Katty: Oh my gosh I got goosebumps. That's incredible to have that opportunity at such a young age, that just opened up the whole world for you to be able to look at everything through their eyes too.
Keith: Yeah, and I would say it also set an expectation that I did not want to have an ordinary life. I remember to this day at my grandmother's trailer in rural Indiana she had a poster of the poem, The Road Less Traveled. And I always remember that last verse “Two roads diverged in a road and I took the road less traveled by and that has made all the difference” and that was an early opportunity to see when everybody else is sitting in a classroom or working on being an engineer, which was the safe job in the 90s you know, and my dad was an engineer, and that was the safe route to go..what was possible if you really followed your passion.
Katty: Beautiful. And I know that, unfortunately, Ernest Brooks passed away recently. And you wrote a beautiful tribute about him. Can you talk a little bit about mentorship and just kind of what that meant for you to be under the tutelage of this incredible person?
Keith: Absolutely, and thank you for giving me the opportunity to continue to honor Ernie. He was one of the many mentors that I've continued to work with. It was a gift and I think, realizing as a Buddhist, I believe that there is no such thing as a coincidence, but when the student is ready to teach her presents itself and I think there are so many lost opportunities when people don't realize that there's this synchronicity happening all around them.
And so, with Ernie Brooks, I remember something specifically said that the boat we lived on was “Just Love.” and he said, “The time we spend upon just love is not deducted from our lives.” And it still chokes me up to this day, and I think that's why h
ep24 | the artisan podcast | jaime levy | ux strategist, author, speaker
Jaime Levy, Ux Strategist, Speaker and author of UX Strategy: Product Strategy Techniques for Devising Innovative Digital Solutions
available in 6 languages and now also on Audible
You can find Jaime on LinkedIn and on jaimelevy.com
Katty: I’ve been watching your career trajectory, and I was super excited to see that you had written a book, UX Strategy and that the audio version has just come out. So I wanted to have a conversation about you, about the book, and how you started your path.
One thing that I've noticed is this trend of reinvention with you from a designer to a strategist to an author to a public speaker to a professor, and how all of that's going to come together for you. I just found that fascinating, so I'd love for you to talk about your origin story and what's steps you've taken to come here.
Jaime: Let's see. Well, I guess it started even before the browser when I was creating my floppy disk magazines, and I was a graduate student at NYU, and just really interested in nonlinear storytelling.
And then trying to invent this new medium like it was just this total insane dreamer thing. And I guess because of the floppy disk I made, I actually finished it, and then I successfully brought the product to market by selling it. A floppy disk that opened into a HyperCard or Director presentation. I know for all the newbies, they're like, “What are you talking about?” Don't worry, you don't need to know this old-school stuff.
But you know it used to be really hard to make interactive presentations, but the upside of all of that was that you could be the first or you could do something that is only mediocre in design. But because it was the first it was like “yay.”
That was how I started out. I was a horrible interface designer and a horrible coder. But I just kept pounding on these floppy disks, and then, the short version of it is Billy Idol bought one, and then it got launched as a commercial endeavor and then I got my gigs at EMI records and Viacom. And it all just kept going from there you know to eventually, doing an online magazine, and then getting a creative director role and just constantly working.
I really believe that if you just keep working, and applying yourself, and learning new things, that eventually you'll connect and get whatever it is that you want. Some job, or some gig, or an opportunity. And I think that relentlessness to persevere was something that has stayed with me, and I actually need to kind of manifest it now as I'm starting the next chapter of my career.
Before UX, it was called interface design and then after interface design, then it was web design and then after web design, then we had information architecture and interaction design. And by the time I got back to LA after 9/11 and the dot com thing crashed in New York, as well as, San Francisco and LA, I came back here and it seemed at that point I needed to focus.
And I should mention early on as a result of the (floppy) disk I was asked to be a part-time professor at NYU, and I did get flown around the country and the world, to speak at conferences, and I think like when you have that success when you start out you think that's normal. And so for me, it's just been catching up with my old normal, and it's a curse and a blessing, and the blessing is obvious because you're like, oh, I just want to continue to be a public speaker, I want to continue being known or recognized for my work. But the negative consequences, it's an addiction, it's like a high that you set here and you think, Oh, I always have to be at this level of an overachiever. And so, you know, in that sense I feel like I didn't engage in my own personal life, you know because I sacrificed it for my career so much and didn't really like relax into it until my 30s when I got back to Los Angeles.
Katty: Interesting. I saw you actually speak about it in one of your talks. I think was your Brazil talk about being an overachiever