How do creatives work? What kinds of materials and processes do they use? What motivates or inspires them to keep creating? What can we learn from their different practices? Hear artists and creatives talk about the 'how' and 'why' of what they do.
Intro, stings and outro music are from "Chasin' It" by Jason Shaw under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Jason_Shaw/)
Fire, Clay & Ice - How the artist CASSILS works with risk
CASSILS is a visual artist working in live performance, film, sound, sculpture and photography. They have achieved international recognition for a rigorous engagement with the body as a form of social sculpture – So what does this look like in practice?
It means creating powerful works of art across a host of media, often with a strong performative element; this includes undergoing a gruelling physical transformation to gain 23 pounds of muscle in 23 weeks, or saving all their urine for 200 days, or being set on fire by a stunt team. And we dig into the meaning behind each of these in the interview.
Each of Cassils artworks is rooted in deep conceptual, often political, explorations. And although they often involve a degree of risk, they are never reckless – a distinction Cassils is very clear to make.
Some of the topics we covered in this conversation include:
The rigorous approach applied to creating new pieces of work
Responding to prompts: how they’ve created work in response to both commissions and emerging cultural and political events
How they think about risk, and why it’s become a feature in their work
Why performing live in front of an audience has been integral to many their pieces
And we finish with a brilliant Creative Challenge that really asks us to consider the power of our skills as artist, and how we choose to use it.
I started the conversation by jumping straight in and asking Cassils for some context on how they navigate the process of taking an idea into a completed work. Please enjoy.
Ceramicist Kate Malone, MBE, on developing creative confidence and crystalline knowledge
This conversation is with Kate Malone, one of the UK’s leading ceramic artists with an illustrious career spanning thirty years. Her work is inspired by the joy and optimism of Nature, and often features large, hand-made pieces inspired by fruit, nuts, berries and pumpkins.
Much of her work is coloured by the addition of crystalline glazes, and she is renowned for her research and experimentation in this area. And we dig into in the episode.
Her exuberant work has won her an array of commissions and collaborations, including major public art projects. Kate was awarded an MBE in 2019 for services to ceramic art.
Some of the topics we cover in this conversation include:
Managing risk and uncertainty both in her studio based practice, as well as when undertaking ambitious public art projects
Developing confidence as a maker and finding your own artistic voice
How she thinks about selling her work in an elite marketplace
And we finish with an absolutely brilliant creative challenge to apply to your own practice.
So please enjoy this energizing and thought provoking conversation.
Painting in Freefall - my conversation with artist and skydiver Michelle Nirumandrad
In this episode I’m speaking with skydiver and artist Michelle Nirumandrad who collaborates with the wind on a concept called ‘Captured Sky’. What this looks like in practice is Michelle literally jumping out of airplanes with paint and canvas, and collaborating with the sky as she falls, to create striking artworks that literally ‘capture the sky.’
In this conversation we cover a host of topics about her practice including:
How she first conceived of working this way
The incredible technical and creative challenges that arose, and she is continuing to grapple with
How she re-purposes her waste materials to create more artworks
And a fantastic creative challenge at the end.
So please enjoy this inspiring and exhilarating conversation!
Creature performer and artist Jeremiah Krage on the many challenges of bringing non-human characters to life
In this episode, the tables have been turned, and I am on the other side of the microphone!
In the last series of the podcast, I interviewed Magnus Goransson, Design Director at LEGO’s Creative Play Lab. After our conversation, Magnus reached out and offered to interview me in return – specifically about my performance work.
One of my many roles as a creative is being a creature performer. I trained as an actor and I specialise in bringing non-human characters to life. One of the most well-known of these was Tinky Winky from Teletubbies. And as you’ll hear, this struck a chord with Magnus, who was intrigued to know more.
Some of the topics we cover in our conversation include:
- how I discovered the world of creature performance
- my early training and how it continues to influence my work today
- how that training overlaps with how designers work
- how I use physical constraints to inform the creative process
- we talk about some of the unique challenges of this line of work
- and we compare notes on a few practical tips for creatives
Please enjoy this slightly different episode of The Practical Creative!
Season 3 "Power of Play" Wrap Up
In this wrap up episode, I recap all my guests in the season exploring the power of play, and highlight some of the key strategies and takeaways that anyone can use to incorporate more play into their lives and creative practice.
LEGO's Magnus Goransson on Playing as Adults and Maintaining your Creative Spark
Magnus works at LEGO as Design Director in the Creative Play Lab – where he works with teams to design and develop toys of the future. His work is informed by a huge and constantly growing body of research conducted by LEGO into both how, and why, children play. And in this conversation, we cover a range of topics including:
- how LEGO fosters a culture of play amongst it’s employees (and this is really fun)
- the benefits of working in teams to prevent and overcome blocks
- the reality of designing products for a major corporation, particularly as a creative person, and how this can lead to burnout
- why adults prefer to have ‘hobbies’ rather than admit to ‘playing’
- we also talk about how Magnus managed to find alternative outlets for his own creativity as he moved from being a hands-on designer to a director – and this was fascinating
And as always, we finish with a challenge to really ‘engulf yourself in play’.
So please enjoy!