In lieu of a blog post this week, I want to share an interview I conducted with Paul Jarvis, web designer and author of “The Good Creative,” earlier this week.

I’ll have more to say on this later, but I want to make sure this gets shared. Simply put, reading and listening to Paul has changed the way I work. It has made me less afraid to turn a problem or challenge on its head. It has made me less afraid of the seemingly dire consequences that contemplative people such as myself are convinced are on the way. And it’s made me tremendously appreciative of the people who support me in my creative endeavors.

See for yourself as I struggle to maintain my composure while speaking to one of my favorite authors. Thanks for taking the time, Paul, it was an absolute pleasure!


on what being a creative really is:

“it’s taking an idea, turning it into something tangible (and marketable, if that’s the direction you want to go), and to me that is creative […] in order to be creative, you need to find the way you tell your story or create your art using your unique voice. Curiosity is really important for any creative to figure out how it is you create.”

on the importance of having a hobby:

“I also like to do lots of things that don’t have any monetary value, which I would never want to somehow market. Every time I go out I like to take my camera with me, I like to post those photos to Instagram, but I would never really want to have a job as a photographer because I wouldn’t want it to be a business. I just like to do it for the sake of itself.”

on adapting your work to those who may not be your chosen audience:

“As long as my message is still the same and intact, and what I’m trying to say sounds like me, then it’s okay. Adapting your art is fine, as long as it stays true to you and the original message is intact.”

on finding value in the process (as opposed to the outcome):

“I think a lot of it comes down to the ‘why’ there. Focusing on the process is important because it forces you to be present. If you want to get an ‘A’ in school or you want to get a degree, those are sort of intangible at the time. Being present with your intention is moving you toward that outcome.

Unless people are taught what goes into making something, they might not value it as much, so I like to share how I go from A to B with the work, so people get the inside story. You appreciate the band more when you watch [Behind the Music] those, and they’re interesting too- when someone who’s not a musician sees what goes into making an album or doing a tour […] you appreciate it more deeply.”

Thanks again to Paul for giving me an hour of his time, and thanks also to Courtney O’Connell, curator of the 5 Habits of Educators course of which this Q&A was a part.

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