How do you start something?
You just start. One of my guiding principles is:
“If you want to do something, you have to do something.”
My name is Sean Harley but everyone calls me Tucker. One day I’ll share that story but not right now.
I’m a singer songwriter from Calgary Canada. I have a 5 Song EP, a kids book and bleach-screened t-shirts. I’ve worked with visual artists to create a series of Dream Jars for song Girl All Alone. A jazz artist did a spectacular version of my song Almost In Love on her debut album and I’ve had a song performed and produced by Eric Dover the touring guitarist for my favourite band Jellyfish (he’s also a collaborator of Alice Cooper). I have quite a few other projects on the go so I hope you’ll stick around as I attempt to stay focused enough to finish them. By day I’m a User Experience designer at a large communications company in Canada. I work on software apps and websites for internal use by the employees and customers. Both feed my creativity differently and I was curious how other people balanced their professional and personal creativity so I decided to talk to them about it and start a podcast to share the stories.
So back to the beginning. How do you start something? You just start. That doesn’t mean you finish right away though.
I’ve been starting this podcast for about 8 months now. It’s had a couple different names and a couple different formats. I bought the domain name and set up the blog and the feed to go to iTunes and the other podcast directories. I branded it, chose the font and the colour. Wrote the elevator pitch and bought the portable voice recorder for interviews.
The starting wasn’t the scary part though. It was the finishing that was scary. Some of my favourite podcasts are up in the hundreds and go a few times a week if not daily. I felt like if I started it would just go forever … that’s pretty daunting and it made my little podcast feel too big. I also had a really big list of people I wanted to talk to and it seemed to grow everyday. People I knew and people I didn’t. I was also worried about whether or not an audience would find what I was trying to figure out interesting.
It became a little overwhelming and I stopped starting. So, I had to create some little rules and constraints to make the whole endeavour seem manageable, useful and interesting.
So the rules are:
1) Podcasts are weekly. One week is a short episode with just me ranting into the universe and the next week an interview.
2) Episodes come out as a series. This allows me to not feel overwhelmed by the foreverness. The first series is 6 episodes, three interviews and three just em’s. The next series will be the same. There could be a few weeks between series and once a series is compete I have permission to go on permanent hiatus if I decide podcasts aren’t for me.
3) The interviews are for me. The podcast is for you. I get to talk to people I’m interested in about the topic of creativity. I always enjoy the topic when ever I talk about it with people so I decided to formalize the conversations a little and record them. Hopefully you’ll find them interesting too. Looking at it this way means I don’t have to feel like I’m trying to please someone else. That doesn’t mean I won’t take guest suggestions or ideas to improve the podcast. It just means that the conversations are for me and the podcast is for you.
The Spark And The Art podcast will be about creativity. Professional creativity and personal creativity and how the two relate. We’ll explore the difference between a job and a passion. We’ll discuss how the things you learn from your creative pursuits improve your everyday life.
I have musicians, animators, illustrators, chefs and more on my list of people I want to talk to and people who’ve already agreed to be on the show.
I had the spark of an idea. I did the work and here it is, the art. Episode one.
Visit TheSparkAndTheArt.com for show notes, a podcast archive and ways to subscribe. While at thesparkandtheart.com if you subscribe with your email address I’m giving away a special commentary edition of all 5 songs from my latest EP Born To The World as a thank-you for trusting me with you email.
Thanks for listening and remember:
You won’t get the art without the work and you won’t do the work without the spark.