In The Creative Shift with Dan Blank, I interview writers and artists who have doubled-down on their creative vision. I delve deep into how they moved from merely dabbling with ideas to becoming a doer — someone who creates, finishes, and shares their work.
My questions tend to focus on the aspects of managing one’s career that are hidden: how we make decisions, deal with anxiety, the habits and routines that matter, and the reality of what it looks like to be a full-time creative professional.
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Navigating Creative Burnout, with Illustrator & Author Rebecca Green
How do you navigate creative burnout? That is something that illustrator/author Rebecca Green has been working through. With more than 225,000 Instagram followers, and a thriving career filled with art, books, and other projects, youl would think that managing creative focus would be easier for her. But it isn’t. She goes deep in our conversation to discuss the reality of what it means to find balance and fulfillment while pursuing your creative vision.
Embracing Possibility, with Illustrator and Writer Meera Lee Patel
Meera Lee Patel and I dig into her journey as an artist, and how she made a profound creative shift to become a full-time artist and writer. Her latest book, My Friend Fear, is an amazing work that turns fear into something beautiful. She talks about the turning point for no longer ruling her life by fear. She says: “Being scared is not a good enough reason to do things.”
“Not only does it not get any easier, it actually gets harder.” My Interview with Author Dani Shapiro
Writers and artists often seek to reach a place Where it is easier to create, easier to feel validated, easier to reach your audience, easier to get your next book deal, or client, or exhibit, or the like; to where it is easier to earn money from your craft. Author Dani Shapiro responds with this, “Not only does it not get any easier, it actually gets harder.” In our interview, she talks about the emotional side of the creative process in a way that I think every writer and artist needs to hear.
“It’s not just what film you want to make, it’s what film can you make.” My interview with filmmaker Angela Tucker
In this interview, Angela and I talk about the realities of crossing that gap from one’s creative vision to making it a reality. What jumped out at me was how incremental everything is in her work. From both the creative side to the funding side, her work moves forward one small commitment at a time. She also talked about how how large projects start with small conversations and experiments.
Why Caring is at the Heart of Creating. My Interview with Tina Roth Eisenberg
How can one woman not only manage five huge projects/businesses, but do so in a way that empowers other creative professionals to grow their craft and earn more revenue? Today, I talk to Tina Roth Eisenberg, who runs temporary tattoo company Tattly, a monthly meetup series CreativeMornings, a to-do list app called TeuxDeux, a collaborative workspace called Friends Work Here, and the popular design blog Swiss-Miss.com.
“One thing I would tell my younger self is to not be afraid to take risks.” My Interview with Children’s Book Writer and Illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi
In our chat, we discuss how Debbie took a huge risk in leaving her safe corporate job to pursue a creative career, how she deals with both positive and negative feedback, and why you should regularly move a little bit outside of your comfort zone in order to move your creative work and career forward.
Finding Fulfillment and Success as a Creative Professional, With Elise Blaha Cripe
How do you forge your own path to success with your creative work? Elise Blaha Cripe tells us how she turned a blog into platform, a podcast, and a series of products that has helped her thrive. But more than that, I was blown away by her reflection on what she has built, after 10+ years: “I have felt more and more fulfilled by the work that I am doing.”
Social Anxiety and Sharing Your Creative Work. My Interview with Ellen Hendriksen, PhD
Psychologist Ellen Hendriksen helps millions calm their anxiety and be their authentic selves. In our chat, we dig into topics that writers and artists constantly struggle with, including: impostors syndrome, permission to create, comparison to others, seeking validation, sharing your work publicly, collaboration, and entrepreneurship.
“Whatever You Are Doing, Be Fully Engaged In It.” My Interview with Illustrator and Writer Jake Parker
There was a moment in illustrator and writer Jake Parker’s career, where this is what he, his wife and five children faced: “There was a summer there where we had no money. We went through savings. We had some food storage we saved for when times get hard, and we were like, “Let’s break out the mac and cheese and beans. I was really depressed, I took serious stock of everything. I said, “This is never going to happen.” In this moment, he did something that I found astounding. He didn’t hide away, he didn’t diminish. Instead he did this: “I doubled down on sharing online and hitting my social media hard. I really figured out where jobs were coming from, and about three months after, everything started falling into place.”
“I was back to work two days after I gave birth.” On making documentary films, with Stephanie Wang-Breal
In this interview, Stephanie and I discuss the risks she has taken as she navigated her career, and the many ways that she make hard decisions that lead to more meaningful work. One thing that jumped out at me is the nature of how a documentary film is made. She begins without knowing who the characters will be, where there story will go, and if it will lead anywhere. Also, that funding can only happen after she has committed a year or more to the project, and from there, it can take an additional three years for a grant to actually come through.
Stop Following Others, Be More Like Yourself. My Interview With Musician Will Ackerman
When I asked Will Ackerman about the journey from playing his guitar in an alcove in college, to earning all that money, this was his description of what happened: “If you begin something that is inspired entirely by heart. You are not chasing something that is indicated in the current market to be viable. Because of the love of it, you are willing to do something whether it has economic potential or not. That it is something you love. In so doing, you end up being a unique thing, that happens to hit the world between the eyes.”
Find More Time For Creative Work You are Proud Of, With Writer and Podcaster Srini Rao
In this episode, I speak with Srini Rao, who is the host and founder of The Unmistakable Creative podcast, and the author of Unmistakable: Why Only Is Better Than Best. In this chat we discuss how to find more time to do the creative work that you love.
The Business of Being a Writer, My Interview with Jane Friedman
Today I’m excited to share my interview with author and publishing expert Jane Friedman. In our discussion, we dig into the nuts and bolts on how to earn a living as a writer.
We frame the conversation around her new book, The Business of Being a Writer, which shatters romantic assumptions around publishing, but then arms you with practical advice on how to develop your career.
The Man Who Writes 10 Books Per Year – My Interview with Michael La Ronn
How can one man write 10 books per year, while working a full-time job, going to law school in the evenings, and raising a young family? Today we find out. I am so excited to share my interview with author Michael La Ronn. He has published more than 40 books in the past six years: science fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction books on writing.
Many people have asked me what equipment I use to podcast, here are two posts that outline my tools and process in great detail: