Everyday Creative People is a weekly interview series dedicated to showcasing the real face of creative living. Each week, I interview a diverse selection of doers, dreamers, and makers to talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of cultivating an active creative practice in your life (whatever your end goal may be).

For anyone who wishes they had more time and freedom to play, who struggles with creative blocks, or who is trying to figure out how to make a living while making art, we're here to stumble through the madness by your side.

This week's guest is J.M., a fellow theatre kid from my college years.  Today, J.M. is a physicist and the author of the political webcomic Doomed To Repeat it. They have always enjoyed drawing and cartooning and harbors a deep love of political and historical analysis. This is not J.M.'s first bout with mixing creativity and analytical thinking as they have degrees in Theatre and Physics from Mary Washington College. JM also loves Rugby and truly terrible young adult fiction novels. J.M. lives in Northern Virginia with their wife, Becky, two young kids, and two slightly annoyed cats. In today's episode, we discuss themes such as making time for art with two kids and a full time job, discovering the intersections and balance between science and the arts, making creative work on a deadline, and more.  You can check out J.M.'s work at doomedtorepeatit.net, on the Facebook page Doomed to Repeat It, or follow them on Twitter @doomed_2_repeat
At the age of 7, Eric Harper was struck dumb by a piece of music he heard playing on the radio - and he immediately knew that he would do anything if he could figure out how to give people that same feeling.  In today's episode, Eric gets real about the sacrifices he has made and lessons he's learned along the way to becoming a successful professional musician. Award Winning Flamenco Guitarist Eric Harper creates not only a unique sound all his own but his music is melodically entrancing, virtuosically ferocious and harmonically soul-stirring to the core. Among other achievements Eric has also co-scored Kevin Spacey’s movie entitled “Inseparable”, worked closely with amazing people such as The Office’s Rainn Wilson and has over 80 TV show credits to his name. To learn more about Eric and hear some of his music, you can check out his website, ericharpermusic.com or follow him on his Youtube channel.
This week I spoke with creative catalyst and painter Lisa Hanash, about embracing your artist self and becoming ok with imperfection. From a young age, Lisa has always appreciated the beauty around her. From her trip to Europe in 2012 to the bottom of her street in the Lachine neighborhood of Montreal, Lisa would wait to capture moments on her camera. After graduating from university in 2014, the places that inspired her once through a lens became her inspiration to paint on canvas. After rummaging through her grandmother's basement and finding old canvas, palettes, art books, watercolors, and old paintbrushes, Lisa had her base to start a new journey. Her hope is that, as she feels greater liberation from her limitations, that others would find the courage to do the same in whatever expression they have. Her vision is to see a city with a renewed sense of hope, inspiration, and transformation. You can find Lisa's work on her website lisahanash.wix.com/artbylisa or on Facebook at Lisa Hanash Art. Photo credit: Bree Elizabeth.
Multi-dimensional LA-based artist, writer, composer, and performer Justin Sky, is not afraid to try his hand at whatever new creative medium will best serve his purpose. In my conversation with Justin I found him to be deeply spiritual - we talked a lot about opening yourself up to the creator within and allowing the art to just flow out of you. He has followed his instincts to great success, with doors practically falling open for him along the way. Justin uses his craft to push his audience to reflect and navigate our many realities. Distinguished first-place emcee of the Dub Magazine Street-Level Hip Hop Competition, International recurring main-stage performer at Festival Azure (Portugal), and emcee of tour de force Los-Angeles super-group The West Coast Get Down; Justin Sky is no stranger to the big stage. A consummate writer, Sky released his book There's Comfort in The Darkness with Over the Edge Books in October 2016. A meditation on life's most vital quandaries, There's Comfort in the Darkness was accompanied by visual and musical installments marrying such themes in expert fashion. Having performed with such musical talents as Mickey Factz, Kamasi Washington, Ill Camille, Miles Mosley and Thundercat, Sky has also maintained local (LA) and distant (Puerto Rico) performing residencies. Justin Sky recently released his highly anticipated debut EP, EDEN, on December 1st, 2017. For more info on Justin and his work, visit JustinSky.com
Michael Burgos is an internationally acclaimed writer and performer. His one-person show, The Eulogy, is a six-time internationally award-winning comedic play and has been performed nearly 150 times in 25 cities worldwide. He holds a Diplôme from École Philippe Gaulier and a B.A. in Theater from George Mason University, where he received the Chris Parsons Acting Award, the Greenspring Players Scholarship, and the Outstanding Achievement in the Major Award.
He has taught theater with Acting For Young People since 2010 and has written and directed over twenty short plays for children.
In this episode, Michael and I talk about working on the business side of music versus the artistic side of music, following the creative bug from one art form to another, learning to listen to your body, the magic of walking through open doors, and more.
Visit TheEulogyPlay.com or find him on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with Michael's work!
Cat Francis is a singer/songwriter and musician from Brooklyn, New York. At a very young age she expressed a passion for poetry writing, arts, religion, and philosophy - publishing her first poem at age 11. Her love for writing led her to learn how to play the acoustic guitar, and piano. In 2015 she released her first all-acoustic EP 'Saint Francis: Finding Faith.' This EP has received rave reviews, including some notable attention by AFROPUNK. Since the release, Cat had her first child and became a birth Coach, or Doula. These new changes infused Cat with new inspiration for her music and manifested a new jazz and Neo-Soul inspired sound. In 2017 Cat Francis has joined forces with a Brooklyn based band "Bell Shows" Cat Francis continues to make more music and works diligently to release new music reflecting her evolution as an artist. Cat Francis' new EP is set to drop in March 2018. In this episode, we discuss inspiration, creative blocks, and motherhood. Visit Cat's Soundcloud page to hear her music, and follow her on Twitter or Instagram @thecatfrancis.
Anaïs Maranda is a musician from Quebec City who has been living in Montreal for 10 years. She loves to contemplate the why and how of creating, and to understand a little better techniques to achieve these projects. She hosts the Podcast Muse, teaches singing, works on her music, and works as a coordinator for the Montreal International Jazz Festival. You can find her work at http://desmotsquisonnent.com, and listen to her music on Spotify or iTunes under her name, Anaïs Maranda. In this episode, we discuss Anaïs' creative journey, the ups and downs of doing non-creative (paid) work in the creative field, making tough decisions about money, and much more - all in the pursuit of creative fulfillment.

Awais Javed is a neurobiologist studying the development of the retina for his PhD. He is a first-generation Saudi-born Pakistani who has been fortunate enough to live and travel to the U.K and Canada for his studies. Growing up in Saudi Arabia, Awais had zero exposure to the act of artistic creation, and didn't really get into the arts at all until he was in London studying for his undergraduate degree. About two years ago, he started to dabble in oil paintings and now he is hooked. In his brief time as a self-taught visual artist, he has developed a surrealistic style. His influences include Salvadore Dali, Rene Magritte, and more recently, David Lynch. In this episode, we discuss what it's like to discover art later in life, we talk about the places where art and science intersect, the importance of choosing friends who will support your creative self, and balancing being a full time professional with an active creative practice.
I'm so psyched to announce the launch of my brand new podcast, Everyday Creative People! I created this podcast because I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there about what it means to be a creator, and who gets to be put up on a pedestal and given the label of “artist.” I believe that creative people come in all shapes and sizes, and that cultivating a creative practice is healing for the soul. In fact, I think that creative play is an essential ingredient for self care, and something that we don’t get nearly enough of in this results-focused, electronic device-dependent modern world we live in. I've personally experienced the crippling effects of self-doubt, fear, and lack of direction in my creative life – and the resulting burnout from my professional life because I wasn’t getting the self-care that I needed to thrive. It took not one, but TWO bouts of burnout before I finally started figuring out how to re-ignite my own creative practice. And maintaining it is an ongoing journey. So, I created this podcast for people like me. It is my hope that my listeners will get inspiration, ideas, tools and tips for how to deal with the challenges you face in your efforts to cultivate a creative practice in your life. If this sounds like the kind of thing you’d like to listen to, please take a moment to subscribe to Everyday Creative People, so you never miss an episode. And if you’d like to be part of a community with other people who are also on this journey, please come join the conversation over in the Creative Playground Facebook group.