033: Envy, Comparison, & Creativity

This week’s episode is all about envy and comparison. In particular, Anna and Maria delve into what it’s like to experience these feelings in the realm of our creative outlets. We regularly compare ourselves to others in all sorts of ways, but as creatives, we can get particularly obsessed with comparison when it comes to our craft. Our hosts talk about their own experiences being both inspired and discouraged by others’ creative output, and explore the ways in which comparison can get in our way when we’re trying to produce original work. Ultimately, they apply PMA to the situation and arrive at a conclusion that allows them to use envy as a tool for self-reflection. Maria shares an envy-exploring exercise involving alumnae/i magazines, and Anna brings in a classic bit of wisdom from none other than Dr. Seuss.

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031: Creative Inspiration

As creative people, we love inspiration. It feels great...that is, when you have it. So how do we go about getting inspired? What is inspiration, anyway? Our hosts discuss a wide range of inspiration-related topics, including the inspiration we find in other people’s work, and the mysterious and ineffable qualities of this elusive force. Is inspiration something we take in from the world around us, or is it something that already exists inside each of us? Is it a unique entity with a mind of its own? Is it, perhaps, all of the above? We hope you enjoy this fascinating and rather philosophical discussion as much as we did!

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030: Alanna Okun on Crafting & Writing

This week Anna and Maria welcome a very special guest, Alanna Okun. Alanna is a writer, editor, and crafter...in other words, a very appropriate guest for Never Wear Boring Socks. An avid knitter, she even makes her own un-boring socks. Alanna’s work can be found on Racked, Buzzfeed, NPR, Apartment Therapy, The Hairpin, and The Billfold, and she’s appeared on Good Morning America and The Today Show. Our hosts talk to Alanna about crafting, writing, and her recent project that merges the two: her first book, The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater. Alanna also talks about paid creative work vs. creativity for its own sake, why crafting is so welcome in today’s tech-focused world, and her extensive yarn collection.

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023: Sock Talk: Updates & Reflections

A lot has happened since Never Wear Boring Socks was born, so our hosts took the opportunity to reflect on their experiences and share a few updates. Topics include charitable donations, a newly released EP from a past podcast guest, the PMA award of the year (yes, of the year, even though it is only February. This was a very impressive display of PMA), the statuses of Anna’s and Maria’s New Year’s resolutions, current creative projects, some general life updates, and a discussion of what Anna and Maria have gained from the podcast over the course of the first 23 episodes.

 

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022: Sharing Creative Work

Anna and Maria return to the topic of creativity this week, specifically addressing the process of sharing creative work. They tackle the various fears that might preclude us from sharing work, discuss the benefits of sharing our products with others, and some things to keep in mind along the way. Ultimately, they decide that although sharing work is scary, it helps us become better and more confident artists. And it makes us want to share more!

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011: Variety is the Spice of Life!

This week, Maria and Anna switch things up a bit (because, after all, variety is the spice of life). To remind themselves (and listeners) of the inner childlike wonder and creativity that is always somewhere inside them, they transform the Never Wear Boring Socks podcast to the Never Wear Boring Socks theatre company, and read from a play they wrote, directed, and acted in along with their siblings when they were younger. Following this reading, our hosts put each other on the spot and ask one another some thought-provoking questions. Finally, they finish up the episode with their recent favorites in regards to food, fall, film, and more. Maria and Anna needed a break this week from the craziness of life, and we hope you enjoy listening to this fun, relaxed, and somewhat silly episode as much as we did recording it.

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006: Creativity

This week Anna and Maria talk about creativity, and they both have a quite a lot to say about it...so much, in fact, that it was agreed there will definitely be more episodes on this topic in the future. The cousins discuss the benefits of creativity, what counts as creativity (hint: it doesn’t have to be painting or writing a novel!), what it means to identify as a creative person, dealing with judgment from yourself and others, doing creative work as a career, and how Anna and Maria’s relationships to their creative outlets have changed over time. Also, Maria’s recent experience getting out of a creative rut leaves Anna hopeful and with some practical takeaways. Plus, a fun call to action to our listeners at the end of the episode!

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