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A Beautiful Anarchy

Hosted by photographer, author, and former comedian David duChemin, A Beautiful Anarchy is a deeply human, honest, and insightful mostly-weekly kick in the pants for anyone who longs to create anything with soul and too often finds themselves mud-wrestling with the muse to do so. A Beautiful Anarchy is a candid ongoing exploration of what it means to be an everyday creator, whether you're a writer, photographer, sculptor, or a puppeteer who works exclusively with vintage macrame owls. The struggles and rewards of bringing something new into the world are universal, and you’re not alone. Let's talk about it.

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CROWDSOURCING JOY

Creative people often find their emotional lives connected a little too tightly to their work: happy when things go well, unhappy when the work gets hard or doesn’t get the reactions we hoped. But is art-making about happiness and have we created a desire for the process and the work itself that is a counterfeit for something better? You’re not alone if you experience emotional ups and downs with your work, it’s natural, but I think we can make those ups a little higher and the downs a little less shattering - and more predictable - by looking for something better than just happiness.

11mins

11 Jan 2020

Rank #1

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MAKE THE TIME

Without exceptions the most fruitful times in my creative life, and I include my business in this, because I am making my business just like I make photographs or write books, the most fruitful times are the ones in which I hustle and work hard. Sometimes it’s the work of generating ideas, or connecting to my audience, other times it’s getting the new website done, the new book written, or the new client project off the ground. If we all had nothing else to do and no other complications in our lives this would be hard enough. But add life into the mix - kids, spouses, running a household, and all the other distractions and you can be forgiven for thinking it's a miracle we get anything done at all. I want to help you find that miracle more often.

15mins

22 Sep 2019

Rank #2

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JUST AN AMATEUR?

It’s common-practice to describe our art-making efforts as either amateur or professional, the amateurs often feeling they aren’t “real” artists when in fact some of the great creative efforts have been made by people who hung on to a so-called real-job and did their work in the margins, do it “merely” for the love of it. But there’s nothing mere about love and just because you do this part-time doesn’t mean it won’t take full-time commitment.

9mins

2 Nov 2019

Rank #3

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TAKE ME DEEPER

This episode is an exploration of some of the distractions that keep us from our best work and getting more easily into the flow, and the need for time, focus, and solitude to get more reliably to that flow.

11mins

9 Nov 2019

Rank #4

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BE VERY YOU

This is an episode about the struggle to be (and become) fully ourselves. Defiantly so, even.

7mins

19 Oct 2019

Rank #5

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ABOUT PERFECTION

On the surface perfectionism sounds like one of those flaws you readily admit to because really it’s a modest way of saying, see, I’m not perfect after all, but really, I’m pretty close. Like you're admitting to being flawed like everyone else but that your particular vice is the relentless pursuit of having no vices. It’s like you’re saying, "no, really, I’m not the person you think I am. Sometimes I rescue too many kittens, or give too much money away.” Oh, me? I’m a perfectionist. Like you’re just too much of a good thing.And you know when you stack that up against all the other crap that we sweep into the dark corners and hope no one will see, it’s pretty benign. But in the creative life, if what we’re talking about is the way we make things, and get things done, the idea of perfect and the quixotic search for it, is deeply self-sabotaging.

13mins

5 Oct 2019

Rank #6

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LEAVING DAFEN

This is a conversation about the insufficiency of craft and imitation in the creation of art that is authentic to who you are, and the need for courage above all things in this pursuit.

9mins

12 Oct 2019

Rank #7

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WHERE IS YOUR HALL PASS?

You’re not alone in feeling at times like you need permission to operate outside the so-called rules and colour outside the lines. You’re not the only one to ask, “but who wants to hear what I have to say?” or “who am I to put my work out there?” Who are you? The same one-of-a-kind-but-still-totally-different-from-the-rest-of-us kind of human being that any other everyday creative has been through history. We need your art, but more importantly: you need it.

14mins

28 Dec 2019

Rank #8

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A LIFE AT THE IMPROV

The rules of improv are not complicated and, depending who you ask, they vary, but there are 4 that are universal, guiding principles that keep things on track and keep the actors moving headlong into the funny rather than those long awkward moments that foretell a comic death. That’s not to say they guarantee success, no improv actors in the world have been spared the crickets in the audience that signal a wrong turn into the territory of the unfunny. Risk and uncertainty is the stage on which improv plays out, as it is in life. But these rules give the best shot at working well together and moving in a collaborative direction, rather than getting derailed and I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to see improv as a metaphor for everyday creativity. Listen in to learn more.

9mins

1 Feb 2020

Rank #9

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FEED THE STARVING ARTIST

A pragmatic 15-minute episode about connecting with the audience for whom we make what we create, and from whom we hope to make both a life and a living, for those of us who do this as not only craft but commerce. No one likes talking about this stuff but I think that’s because it so often lacks soul and humanity. Make this the year you start to intentionally connect with your audience by email. Here’s why.

15mins

25 Jan 2020

Rank #10

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BETTER QUESTIONS?

Much as we look for answers to questions in the creative life, it’s the quality of the questions that determines how fruitful the pursuit of those answers might be. Better questions are much more valuable than good answers. Let’s talk about it.Click here for a full transcript of this episode: https://www.abeautifulanarchy.com/podcast/episode-020 A Beautiful Anarchy is posted 3 out of every 4 weeks. On those 4th weeks you can get your fix by subscribing to On The Make, my monthly missive about the creative life sent straight to your Inbox. Click the link below to subscribe and we’ll send you the next issue we publish, as well as a PDF of my short book, Escape Your Creative Rut, 5 Ways to Get Your Groove Back: http://eepurl.com/gCkNYn You can find me elsewhere at:My blog: https://davidduchemin.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/visionisbetter Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/davidduchemin Thanks so much for being part of this. It would mean the world to me if you'd tell others where to find this podcast, leave a rating or review, or drop me a line at talkback@aBeautifulAnarchy.com.

15mins

29 Feb 2020

Rank #11

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NOW WHAT?

Starting new work means eventually it comes to an end in some form and while the feeling of being done and shipping that latest thing is often euphoric, it often comes with a hangover and an uncertain feeling left by the absence of that thing we’ve been working on, like our constant companion is just suddenly gone. You’re not the only one feeling a little bit like you might be drifting, so what do you to next?

12mins

8 Feb 2020

Rank #12

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SECOND PLACE

In the 7th grade I won 2nd place in a contest in which I was the only entrant. To say it scarred me for life is an overstatement but it made me profoundly suspicious of the toxic instinct to compete and compare, most especially in creative efforts. Our inner creative journey can never be mapped with external vectors or comparisons, here’s why that matters.Click here for a full transcript of this episode: https://www.abeautifulanarchy.com/podcast/episode-019 A Beautiful Anarchy is posted 3 out of every 4 weeks. On those 4th weeks you can get your fix by subscribing to On The Make, my monthly missive about the creative life sent straight to your Inbox. Click the link below to subscribe and we’ll send you the next issue we publish, as well as a PDF of my short book, Escape Your Creative Rut, 5 Ways to Get Your Groove Back: http://eepurl.com/gCkNYn You can find me elsewhere at:My blog: https://davidduchemin.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/visionisbetter Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/davidduchemin Thanks so much for being part of this. It would mean the world to me if you'd tell others where to find this podcast, leave a rating or review, or drop me a line at talkback@aBeautifulAnarchy.com.

9mins

22 Feb 2020

Rank #13

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BEAUTIFUL WARRIORS

I never learned to fight, but I got picked on plenty in school. And then my mother put me in Judo and like a wimpier version of the Karate Kid, I learned to take a fall, and I learned to respect the fight and fear it less. This episode isn’t about Judo, and I’d still prefer to be a lover, not a fighter, but as the creative life contains more than its share of struggle, we should probably talk about it. I also get around to explaining the fish on the album art; trust me, it’s relevant.

12mins

30 Nov 2019

Rank #14

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DEEPER WORK

I’m a big fan of being intentional about life, and how I spend my time is among the biggest decisions I make, and often, some of the hardest. You’re not alone if you got to the end of this past year and looked back and hadn’t accomplished some of the bigger pieces you wanted to. You’re also not alone if you’re vowing to do better this coming year. But all the vows never help unless you put them in to action. Here are 3 strategies for getting the kind of blocks of time you need to do that. The short notes: carve out daily time, weekly time, and a solid annual block, put them on the calendar and make then non-negotiable. You and the muse need time together.

13mins

4 Jan 2020

Rank #15

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THE PROBLEM WITH MUSES

In ancient greek mythology there were 9 muses, responsible for the worlds of literature, science and the arts. They were the sources of inspiration, minor goddesses who could be credited and praised for the best of our creative efforts, and I suppose, blamed when it all went to shit and nothing was flowing. The problem with muses is that they aren’t forces external to ourselves. They are neither our creative salvation nor the ones responsible for whatever version of writer’s block applies to your specific creative endeavours. The problem with muses is precisely that they are us and we are them. You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to get to work.

12mins

16 Nov 2019

Rank #16

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SELL WITH SOUL

Not everyone wants to sell their work, but for those that do it’s a different kind of struggle, a more complicated one with a lot of mixed feelings. But you can do it well, in a way that sustains your work and brings value to the world, though you’ve probably got to re-calibrate some of your thinking to do so.

13mins

7 Dec 2019

Rank #17

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LEARNING TO DROP

One of the most common barriers to starting, finishing, and sharing our work is the crisis of self-confidence that comes from the voices we’ve listened to so long that they become a part of us. Learning to call those voices out, and learning to believe that we can do what we set out to do in the creative process, is a first step. The creative process, no matter what the discipline is always uncertain and it takes an insane amount of belief in our ability to take first steps into the unknown if we’re going to take those steps at all. It takes a re-defining of the concept of failure, a better understanding of the process, and, at least for this episode, a juggling lesson.

15mins

14 Dec 2019

Rank #18

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Saying Yes to No

Most of us learned to say No when we were babies. Some of us spent months saying No to everything. No we can hardly coax it out of our mouths when we need to, and this inability to say No is sabotaging our big Yes. We can’t do it all, and only knowing your Big Yes and defending it with an army of No is going to help you get your most important work done. Let’s talk about it.Click here for a full transcript of this episode: https://www.abeautifulanarchy.com/podcast/episode-037 A Beautiful Anarchy is posted 3 out of every 4 weeks. On those 4th weeks you can get your fix by subscribing to On The Make, my monthly missive about the creative life sent straight to your Inbox. Click the link below to subscribe and we’ll send you the next issue we publish, as well as a PDF of my short book, Escape Your Creative Rut, 5 Ways to Get Your Groove Back: http://eepurl.com/gCkNYn You can find me elsewhere at:My blog: https://davidduchemin.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/visionisbetter Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/davidduchemin Thanks so much for being part of this. It would mean the world to me if you'd tell others where to find this podcast, leave a rating or review, or drop me a line at talkback@aBeautifulAnarchy.com.

17mins

8 Aug 2020

Rank #19

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MISTAKES + MUTATIONS

Our creative lives are full of mistakes and missteps, but what if we embraced those rather than fearing them, looking to them as possibilities and relying on them as mutations that drive the evolution of our work. What if we saw them with less fear? Would we stop playing it safe and do better work? Let’s talk about it.Click here for a full transcript of this episode: https://www.abeautifulanarchy.com/podcast/episode-032 A Beautiful Anarchy is posted 3 out of every 4 weeks. On those 4th weeks you can get your fix by subscribing to On The Make, my monthly missive about the creative life sent straight to your Inbox. Click the link below to subscribe and we’ll send you the next issue we publish, as well as a PDF of my short book, Escape Your Creative Rut, 5 Ways to Get Your Groove Back: http://eepurl.com/gCkNYn You can find me elsewhere at:My blog: https://davidduchemin.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/visionisbetter Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/davidduchemin Thanks so much for being part of this. It would mean the world to me if you'd tell others where to find this podcast, leave a rating or review, or drop me a line at talkback@aBeautifulAnarchy.com.

13mins

27 Jun 2020

Rank #20