Episode 13

The Jealous Curator with Danielle Krysa

March 31, 2015

In today’s episode of Being Boss, Emily and Kathleen welcome their first guest, Danielle Krysa of TheJealousCurator.com who shares her experiences with self-doubt and that criticizing voice we each have in our heads as well as her journey of using that self-doubt to fuel her success.

Danielle is an art curator, painter, and advocate for artists everywhere through her blog, The Jealous Curator, her series of workshops (Girl Crush), her two (soon to be three) published books, and her various talks at Alt Summit, Creative Mornings, Oprah’s OWN, and for schools, art groups, and companies like Pixar.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"Just make. Make sure you have creativity in your life every day in some little way."
- Danielle Krysa

Discussed in this Episode

  • Realizing that everyone—from amateurs to successful creatives—faces self-doubt and succumbs to the negative self-criticizing voice in their head sometimes
  • How to handle negative criticism
  • Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and ignoring your inner critic so that you can create amazing things
  • Moving from jealousy to admiration (and the opportunities it creates along the way)
  • How to balance creative responsibilities and creative passion projects
  • Allowing yourself to celebrate successes and avoiding making yourself smaller for the sake of others' feelings


More from Danielle Krysa

More from Kathleen

Braid Creative

More from Emily

Almanac Supply Co.


Kathleen Shannon 0:04
Get your business together, get yourself into what you do, and see it through.

Emily Thompson 0:10
Because being boss is hard. Living work and life is messy. Making your dream job of your own isn't easy.

Kathleen Shannon 0:18
But getting paid for it, becoming known for it. And finding purpose in it is so doable.

Emily Thompson 0:25
If you do the work,

being boss, a podcast for creative entrepreneurs from Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon, welcome to Episode 13 with

special guest

Danielle chrissa. From the jealous curator brought to you by fresh books cloud accounting. Okay, you guys,

Kathleen Shannon 0:44
we are so excited to bring you our first interview with my dear friend Danielle chrissa, aka the jealous curator. But first a couple announcements. One, we are on YouTube. So if you want the full uncut bloopers and all version of this podcast, or you simply want to see what color our lipstick is, go to YouTube and check it out. And we also have a Secret Episode recorded. It's all about cultivating confidence. And we will be launching that to our newsletter subscribers only. So if you're not getting our newsletters, go to love being boss comm and sign up so that you can get that secret podcast and more exclusive content from us as we grow. Okay, back to Danielle. Hi. Hi. Um, I've been reading jealous I'm going to Instagram hoshang Oh, nice. Okay,

Unknown Speaker 1:35
smile. Okay, great.

Kathleen Shannon 1:39
Um, okay. So I've been reading Danielle's blog, which is the jealous curator for years, probably since I feels like the beginning. And I have loved watching Danielle go from writing a daily blog to launching her book creative block. She also has a second book called collage. Is that right? Yeah. Yep, second book. And then she's working on something else, which we'll talk about later. But at jealous curator, Danielle posts an artist a day. And she's really gone from that to writing some books and some creative blog and is where Danielle has curated some advice, ideas and projects from 50 successful artists. And we'll be talking a little bit more about that later. But Daniel has also gone on to give talks and keynotes for companies like Pixar. And who else have you? You talk at you speak at alt summit? I know for sure. Well, it's

Danielle Krysa 2:41
are you speaking I'm doing a creative morning's talk next Friday.

Unknown Speaker 2:45
That's right,

Danielle Krysa 2:46
Vancouver, right in Vancouver. Yeah, the Vancouver chapter. And I've spoken at lots of schools and our groups and whoever calls basically, Oprah called, I got to LA and shoot a bunch of segments for our own show. So that was pretty cool. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 3:01
that's awesome. Right now, so

Kathleen Shannon 3:03
pretty much your big deal. But I also I really am, you've gone? You've gone from being the jealous curator on your blog to being a real deal curator and really an advocate for artists. Um, and are we allowed to talk about one of your clients that you do are buying for that you told me about last time you're chatting? Probably not yet.

Unknown Speaker 3:27

Kathleen Shannon 3:28
So let's talk about them. But she helps them really big deals, furnish their homes with art, so I'll just leave it at that. Anyway, I met Danielle whenever I was reading and regularly commenting on her blog years ago, and I had no idea who she was because she was completely anonymous. I didn't know she was a guy or a gal or what her deal was. But on my birthday, she sent me a sweet little note just saying Happy birthday. And that was whenever I think I turned 29. So it was at least

Danielle Krysa 3:59
maybe like 28 I think it was like five years ago. Yep. Four or five years ago.

Kathleen Shannon 4:04
Yeah. And so anyway, that's how we met. And we've been friends ever since. So it is a lesson in if you guys want to cultivate your creative pack, like comment on the people you admire, comment on their blogs, because you can end up becoming great buddies. So anyway, um, Danielle?

Danielle Krysa 4:23
Yes. Kathleen, tell us your story. Sure. So I'll go back a little bit further than that even Um, so I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts from way back and had a really terrible experience right before I graduated, and basically just cut out of my life for Oh, like 15 years or so. And I went on and became a graphic designer. And so that's sort of where my way what

Kathleen Shannon 4:52
was the experience like?

Danielle Krysa 4:54
Was it a mean professor, or it was a very mean Professor five weeks before I graduated. In a very confusing series of critiques, he'd hated me all for my whole four years. And then six weeks before I graduated, I showed my work and a critique for my grad show. And I was ready to be bashed, because that's how it went. And he loved it. And he went on, and on and on. I've never seen anything like this. And I was like, Oh, my God, you know, six weeks before graduation, and I finally figured it out. So the next week, there was a visiting artist from New York, and he asked three people to show their work. And so I volunteered because I just had the best crud of my life. And I put up the exact same five pieces. And it was meant to be a 10 minute crit, it was 30 minutes. And they tore me apart, including my Prof. And I was normally quite used to defending myself, but I was so shocked because it had been so glowing the week before. And I couldn't even defend myself, I could feel myself, you know, you get all blotchy and I could feel like that lump in my throat and like crying would have been even worse. So I just sat there and took it for 30 minutes. And around the 23 minute mark. I was a painting major. And he said, quote, you should never paint again. No, five weeks before I graduated from a Bachelor of Fine Arts as a painting major.

Emily Thompson 6:21
You should a copy of all of your books.

Danielle Krysa 6:23
I know I said, I said dedicate the next one to him.

Unknown Speaker 6:26
Oh my god, you should I

Danielle Krysa 6:28
wouldn't have a book deal without him. If he hadn't broken me, I wouldn't have had anything to climb back from. And so yeah, so after that happened, I mean, I tried for about a year to make work. And every time I painted, I would just hear, you should never paint again. And slowly over time, I realized now you know, with hindsight that his voice became my inner critic, I've never really had an inner critic before that. And now it's just my inner critic. But if I really think back to the root of it, it was him it was that moment and just put that huge self doubt in me. And so anyway, I ignored art for Yeah, like 15 years or so. And I became a graphic designer and I was the top of my field, I was a creative director, I was winning awards. Oh, good. So I could just happily ignore art. And then when I stayed home to have my son, I decided not to go back to creative directing, I decided to be a mama for five years. And when Charlie was about two and a half, I was going mental. love him very much. But you can only handle Dora for so long. And I just really needed a creative outlet. And so I thought, well, that maybe now is the time to get back into art. And I always say that not only had totally been born, but so had the internet. So I started Googling around for artists that I loved. And boy did I find them. And it it set me back in a way because it just felt like oh, everything has been done in every color. And better than I could ever do it. So who am I fooling? And I just got really depressed. And yeah, it was just awful. And so I had this giant bookmarks list and and so my husband, who happens to be a social media strategist said, you know, he's you should start a blog and he said, You know, you're so visual, turned this bookmarks list into something visual, and just put it out there because he said this jealousy is literally eating you alive. And he said, but if you say it out loud, you'll turn it into admiration. And he was right. And so I because I'm a branding expert. I spent ages working on my logo, like I was procrastinating like there was no tomorrow I finally launched the blog. And it was for nobody but for me that I never planned a community I just wrote when Charlie was napping, and if I found someone I loved I posted it and it was just more of a catalog for me. And then all of a sudden followers started showing up from New York and San Francisco and London. And I was like, oh, okay, so then I started writing every day. And then magazine started writing articles and it just completely took off. And yeah, so then it sort of morph from there because I realized that I could be this voice and I started to realize that I am not the only one that felt so alone in all of that inner critic self doubt thing. For years, I thought I was the only one that felt like how narcissistic is that but I truly thought that I was the only one that felt like that and jealous curators made me see I mean, it's been six years now and it's made me see that kind of every creative person feels exactly the same. Even the ones that have you know, quote unquote, made it have those days

Kathleen Shannon 9:47
was so true. And I remember a turning point. And whenever you got really explicit because you have said on your About Me page, like the judges curator is like Oh, I wish I I had thought of that. And that's kind of that more like admiration, jealousy. But I remember there being a turning point in your blog, whenever maybe it was one of your artists friends was feeling really down and you did a post just for her. Yeah. And got what hundreds of comments. I've seen other creatives to share their experiences of being blocked. And

Danielle Krysa 10:22
yeah, tell me more about that. That was Yeah, that was a huge turning point that was so crazy, because it's led to everything else. And it was kind of an accident. I was just trying to support a friend. So there was a mom friend that I had that, you know, we our kids played together, and she was an artist, too. So in the playground would always talk about art. And one day, the kids were playing and she was crying, because she was just like, I just an Etsy shop. And she hadn't had sales in a while. And she said, You know, when I sell stuff, or when I'm making work, and people are liking it, she said, I feel like a rock star, but not just a rock star artist. She said, I feel like a better mom, I feel like a better wife. I feel like a better person. And she's one of my sales are down. I feel like a shitty mom. Oh, am I allowed to swear? Yeah. Okay,

Kathleen Shannon 11:07
we have a little explicit button next to our podcast on iTunes, like, I feel like everyone else has this in their podcast, but they don't have that. But

Danielle Krysa 11:16
it allows us if it slips out every now and then let it fly. So she said, I feel like a shitty mom and it should be wife and just a bad person when my Art's not selling. And I was trying to convince her in the playground that everyone feels like that. And she just wasn't buying what I was selling. So I said, Okay, fine. I'm gonna write a post about this, which is very unlike jealous curator, jealous curator is always just several works by an artist that I love a paragraph about why I love them and a link back to their site. So this was a huge departure. So the post is actually called jellison alone, or maybe not. And so I just wrote the story. I just told you guys and said, you know, okay, everybody chime in, and let her know that she is not alone. Well, the comments were amazing. And they weren't just like, you know, a little hanging there. They were paragraphs. And I inserted like, I recognized a lot of the people that were commenting were like, full time working artists in New York, who I'd written about in the past, were like, Oh, hell, yes, I feel like that every single day. And it kind of shocked me because Laurie and I are both like, sort of, you know, we're artists, but amateur. And these full time like, serious people who are repped by galleries, were feeling the same as ask. And so I was up there responding to all the comments, and it was like two in the morning. And I said to my husband, Greg, I, you know, I was like, I just, you know, when a post gets old a couple days later, like, people stop commenting, and the conversation dies. And I was like, I cannot let this conversation die. And it was like two in the morning. I was like, I'll do workshops. And so that launched the series of workshops I did called girl crash where I travel all around the US to various cities, and I hosted them at the studio of a female artist. And I'd have 12 to 15 women in that city come and we'd basically spend the whole day talking about exactly this. And it was a me, I think I ended up doing seven by the time I was I needed to take a break from them. I went to the one in

Kathleen Shannon 13:11
Austin. Yeah, Alison Fox, and it was so amazing, just to really get together in person and thank you for facilitating that. But even more so. Okay, so this is funny. And Danielle and I have been roommates at all summit together and the second year that we were roommates together the year before she had roommates with our friend Jeanette Yes. And and like a week later, Jeanette was pregnant and so then the next call Danielle is like better watch out. You're gonna get pregnant if you you know, share a bed with me. And I was like, Okay, I didn't but the day after Austin Austin. I think that's when it happened. That's when I got pregnant. So

Emily Thompson 13:54
you're welcome. I'm never coming to see

Kathleen Shannon 13:57
if anyone's looking to get pregnant. Just hang out with ya for a day. Yeah.

Danielle Krysa 14:01
doesn't take long. I'm quick. Yeah. Okay, so

Unknown Speaker 14:06
you have the girl crush?

Danielle Krysa 14:08
Yeah, already. So they were really amazing. For me, I they were sort of like a one night stand because it would 12 or 15 women would come together that rarely knew each other. Like maybe a couple of friends would come together. But generally speaking, people didn't know each other. So they would just say everything and cried and like, they just put all the shit out there and just oh my god, it was so emotional and cathartic. But what was interesting for me because I actually attended all of them. So San Francisco was my first one, at least a kongens Studio. And I was so overwhelmed by how open everybody was and the topics that came up about self doubt inner critics and all this stuff. Then I went to Seattle. It was exactly the same conversations. Then they went to Portland, and it was exactly the same conversations. Every single place I went and I, and at that time, I just start, I just gotten the book deal for creative block. And it just made me realize, like, wow, all of these people feel the same way. And they all feel like they're alone. And the women that hosted they were all full time working artists, and they were charming, right in on the conversations, too, they all had self doubt, they all have that inner critic telling them that they suck. And I thought, wow, I think, you know, I really wanted to share this with the world as much as I could. And you know, this book deal with Chronicle allowed me to do that, because when Chronicle approached me, they actually approached me at all. And they said, you know, we love the way you write, we love your taste, you can basically do whatever you want, what do you want to do. And I think everybody kind of thought I would do a coffee table book, right? And just showcasing all the art. But I thought, you know, I've got this insane opportunity to be published all over the world, saying whatever I want. And I thought, if I can just help one other person, realize that they're not alone in this, that book will be a huge success. And so that's why the creative block, and it's just been so I mean, the emails I get from people who said, You know, I haven't made anything in 15 years, and now I'm making again, and we got to sit at my computer and cry.

Kathleen Shannon 16:18
That's just the most overwhelming like, I'm so blessed and grateful. And just yeah, I can't believe this is all happening. One thing I love about well, girl crush and meeting Alison Fox, who's an incredibly successful artist with an she's done a line for westholme. And lots of collaborations, and even in creative block is that you assume that once you make it big, like you're just big?

Unknown Speaker 16:43
Yeah. And then that got made? Yeah,

Kathleen Shannon 16:45
but the thing is, is that everyone is still hustling all the time. And everyone has to work really hard, no matter, like, a lot of it is perception, you know, and, um, I don't know. So I thought that that was something really amazing that I learned is that, you know, even Allison, who had had this line at westone, she's still hustling and she's still like, Okay, how am I going to pay the bills? You know, and we're all trying to keep our lights on? And

Danielle Krysa 17:12
well, yeah, and that's what creative block. You know, I didn't have the answers at that stage in my life to fill 300 pages. But I thought, you know, what, these 50 artists that I reached out to are all full time working, have it made, you know, artists, and I thought, but they're human beings. So they must have doubts. And so I sent them all the same interview with about 17 questions, and they were hard questions. Like, do you equate your self worth with your work? People won't be back and they were like, dang, like, I thought this was gonna be like, what's your favorite color? And one of the questions I asked was, do you hear your inner critic? And before I send them the interview, I actually had a hesitation of, should I send that question? Because I felt like such an amateur. Like, I thought they were going to write me back and be like, inner What? No, like, you amateur loser. And all of them wrote me back. And we're like, yes. And I hate that guy. And he never shuts up. And it was just this huge, like, I don't know, revelation to me that I was like, wow, they have that voice to, like, I thought I just had that voice. But these people who have shows all over the world and are selling to collectors whenever have that little voice. And that was a huge moment for like, big aha moment for me. And I hope it's a big aha moment for other people so that they don't beat themselves out for hearing that voice.

Kathleen Shannon 18:37
I have a question about actually writing the book and reaching out to the artists that I mean, even even on this podcast, like reaching out to you, you're a good friend of mine. And even I almost said no. Can I interview?

Emily Thompson 18:54
We talked about sending you that email for probably a month and a half before it was actually sent.

Kathleen Shannon 18:59
Cool. While I know. So anyway, I am terrified of rejection. So can you speak a little bit about like asking these big deal artists like including Wayne Wayne and Lisa Congdon? In some really amazing people? How was it asking them? And how many rejections did you get? Well, I

Danielle Krysa 19:21
put my dream list together. I had my dream list of 50. And then I had a backup five. And again, right before I sent all the emails I sent to my editor, Kate Woodrow, who's amazing, I said, I'm kind of scared to send it to Wayne white and Trey Spiegel, those were the two that I was like, really scared to send it to. And she's like, Who cares? Like, the worst that's gonna happen is either a, they're not gonna write you back. Or B, they're gonna write you back and say no. And you know, how bad is that? So I was like, okay, so I sent it Wayne and Trey were the first two to write me back. Oh my god, and they both said the Absolutely, like, that's so wonderful is so generous of, you know, with their information and just so helpful. They didn't ask to be paid. They just were they just wanted to answer these questions. So that gave me a lot of confidence after I got that I had two people say no. And they were women who had just had babies. And I was like, I hear you. dirt. Yeah, yeah. You don't have time to like brush your hair or go pee, I get it, you don't have time to write an interview. So that was fine. And so I asked the next two people in my backup. And they both said, Yes. So I, I mean, I felt really blessed going into it. I kind of couldn't believe that they all said yes, and that they were so responsive. And, and then I started getting the interviews back at all, and I cried again, because I couldn't believe how honest they all were. Because like, lots of them have big agents, right? who I thought were gonna be like, Don't answer that one. You know, they all did. They all said, You know, I have my dark days or, you know, yeah, my inner critics and asshole or, you know, x y&z and they, they told me the truth. And I think that's what is so valuable, valuable about this book is that, because they were so hard on sleeve, and so open about it, when other people read the book, you actually get so much out of it, because it makes you realize that you're just part of the same club with these guys. You know, if these guys have inner critics and self doubt, and so do you, it's kind of cool. Like, it kind of means that you're in the same club with like Wayne, white and tre Spiegel. And that's a pretty good club to be in.

Kathleen Shannon 21:40
So you spend a lot of time collecting other people's truths. And that is amazing. And then you have a second book, which is more of the coffee table. Yuck. but with a twist.

Danielle Krysa 21:52
Yeah. So that is collage, where you how many artists you have participate, there's 30 in that one. And so I was about three months into creative block. And another editor from Chronicle called and said, Hey, you want to do another book, while I was doing create a blog. And they know like, I do collage. And so they knew that that's sort of my favorite medium. And they said, you know, there's a lot of books coming out on collage, it's really hot. And you know, what's not a new medium, but it's sort of trendy right now. And they said, they sent me like four or five books from other publishers and said, this is what's out there. Could you do it? but with a twist? Like, is there something different you could do? And I said, Yes, because I'd had this idea for a show. And instead, I just did it for the book. What I love so much about found image collage, is that a found image you get from a magazine or a book, but you give it to a bunch of different artists, and they're gonna make 30 completely different works with that exact same image. So that's what I did, I reached out to 30 collage artists from all over the world, men and women from everywhere and said, here's this image, do whatever you want with it, you can use a tiny little sliver, you can use the whole thing, whatever you want. And so they just went for it was really cool, because I ended up using a photo of my dad and my uncle from when they were kids, because it didn't cost me any money. Because I would have had to pay really big royalties if I need some, you know, something from, you know, re public. And so my dad was like, yeah, so now I've got this book filled with all these pictures using my dad and my uncle

Kathleen Shannon 23:27
was so sweet to your dad and uncle like, do they feel famous?

Danielle Krysa 23:30
My dad loved it.

Yeah, and so that was happening at the same time. So I had 50 artists going to create a block 30 going for collage, and some of them are in the same, like, there's a couple of overlaps. So I am not an Excel spreadsheet kind of gal. God, I had so many Excel spreadsheets going on, and people were sending me stuff. And I'm like, What was that for? Which, which bio is this? And oh my god, I will never do two books at the same time again. It was crazy. It was really fun. But I was just like, I felt like I was herding cats. It was just crazy. And so yeah, so now I'm just doing the new book. Okay, so the new the new book. Yeah. So creative block came out a year creative block came out a year ago in March 2014. collage came out in September of 2014. So that was a crazy year. And now, I signed a book deal for the new one in November. So I've got about just shy of a year to write it and then it'll be out on shelves fall 2016

Unknown Speaker 24:33
What's it about?

Danielle Krysa 24:34
Well, so creative block has done really well, which is so exciting to tell you. I found it at the moment gift shop.

Unknown Speaker 24:42

Danielle Krysa 24:44
Yeah, it was crazy.

Kathleen Shannon 24:46
Yeah. Like I just get excited when I get recognized at the grocery store. But like if I saw my thing that I made,

Danielle Krysa 24:53
well, what was even more exciting was that I didn't find it at the moment I got there and I wonder if it's here, you know, so I kind of like looked around. And this is my first time in New York and my entire life. And I go to the moment Get up, look around and I didn't I didn't see it. So I was like, clap I'm or you know. So I said to the guy working there, I don't suppose you have a book called creative block. And he looks at he goes, Oh, yeah, and it looks on the computer. He goes, Oh, sorry, it's sold out.

Unknown Speaker 25:20
The moment. So then At what point were you like, Oh, I'm the author?

Danielle Krysa 25:24
Well, I hear you say, well, there's another little bookshop on the second floor at MoMA, but you need to have bought a ticket, you need to have been in the gallery to go into that room. And so he said, Actually, it was I think there might be a couple upstairs. Let me just quickly call up. So he called that. Yep. Oh, there's three copies up there. Okay. So he's like, Can you put one on hold for this woman? Because I was gonna come back to the gallery to do the gallery The next day, is it can you put one on hold for her till tomorrow? And I said, Oh, I don't want to buy it. And he was like, What? No, I just want to take a picture of it. He was like, why? And I said, Well, I wrote it. And he was like, he's like, hang on, I'm coming up. And he ran up there. And he got one of the books. And so I'm waiting for him to come back down. And I'm having this moment in my life. I'm like, oh, man, what if it's not my book, like what? And I was, like, totally gonna fake that it was mine. If it wasn't like, there it is, because it would just be humiliating, otherwise. When he came down, he held his kingdom stairs, and he holds it up. He's like, Is this it? I was like, yeah, and it was my book. And so he took me outside and took a picture of me in front of the MoMA sign, holding my book. And it was crazy. It was just like, like, how do you talk that, you know? Um,

Kathleen Shannon 26:36
so when you go into like, the bookstore and like, put it like, move it?

Danielle Krysa 26:41
I do, I always angle it out so that it's not just the spine.

Kathleen Shannon 26:46
You ever, like sign them and leave secret notes? That's, you have to do that? Yes, like leave a secret note,

Danielle Krysa 26:52
I said, the bookstores aren't allowed to return them if they're signed. So maybe I should just sign them off, they'll never be able to return.

Unknown Speaker 27:00
Who's like buying books and returning them?

Danielle Krysa 27:02
No, like if the when the book when, like Barnes and Noble buys them. If they don't sell, they send them back to the publisher. They're signed, they can't send them back, sign them, sign them off. But there it's in. It's like, I think six thran or something like that. It was gone crazy. So So Chronicle call my editor Kate called. And she said we need to do a follow up like it's doing so well. Let's do a follow up. And so we kind of talked about what that might be. And I sort of pitched this idea for another interview book. But this time reaching out to like writers and musicians and not just visual art, because I realized in this last year and a bit that it's universal, it's not just art, right? And so I pitched that, and I knew it wasn't quite right. Like, I knew it was like, 85% there. But I thought, well, she's an editor, she could figure out how to fix it. And she called me and she said, yeah, it's not quite there. And I was like, I know. And so she said, you know, what I think you need to do? And I said, No. And she said, You need to write this book. No more interviews, you writing 10 chapters, and I just went silent. And I said, Do you really think I can pull that off. And she said, um, there's this book you should read. It's called creative block. I think you're having issues with your inner critic. And so it is, I'm writing it. I'm three chapters and an intro down. And so it's basically 10 truths about what it means to be a creative person. And I'm just writing all the stories that I like, heard from people like when I spoke at Pixar, and when I talked to students, and I'm just sort of gleaning all these stories and putting in my own views. And then there's a lot of advice and tips and tricks that I've been, you know, that people have told me like, I've had insane aha moments in the last year for my own artwork. And I just feel like I want this book to be the same. I feel like I'm the only one having those aha moments, because I'm the one going to all these events. And I want to share those aha moments with all of my readers so that they can also make this giant breakthrough that I've kind of been able to make. And so and so I thought it was still really important to me that it be a really beautiful book, because, um, you know, I like pretty things. And I'm a bit of a flipper through books. And so I pitched Martha rich to illustrate it. Do you know Martha's work?

Unknown Speaker 29:28
She's like, on your blog?

Danielle Krysa 29:30
Yeah, I think I've written fronter. Like, yeah, she's in creative block. And her work is really edgy and hilarious. And so she is illustrating the whole book. So she's doing full bleed paintings for the intro to each chapter. And then she's doing like little spot illustrations throughout and it is going to be hilarious and beautiful and like, it's so exciting.

Kathleen Shannon 29:54
I love it. Okay, can you give us one or two of the truths or do we need to wait for the book

Danielle Krysa 30:00
I don't know if I'm allowed? Well, I'll give you the general idea. A couple. So like one chapter is all about how important it is to share your work with other people. And not to create in a vacuum, because nothing good happens in a vacuum. So it's talking, like, you know, personal stories about that. And then also like, how to share and when not to share, like with social media, like a lot of people feel like, Oh, well, I guess I'm supposed to put this on Pinterest and Instagram and tweet it out. It's like, you know what, sometimes you shouldn't show your art, if it's not at a place where you don't want feedback from internet trolls. Yeah, cuz that might completely stopped you in your tracks. So like, don't go there. That doesn't. That's not what I mean by sharing. So I kind of go in and talk about things like that. And there's a chapter all about criticism and how to deal with it. And the fact that, you know, positive criticism, or like, I prefer to call it feedback is actually the most valuable thing you can have as a creative person. But then how do you handle the negative criticism? And how do you know what to filter and keep and get rid of and all this stuff, so it's just sort of things like that, how to handle all of that. And it was so funny, though, when I, I was so pumped to do this. And Kate had so much faith in me and I thought, I didn't feel much pressure because like, I'm not a writer.

Kathleen Shannon 31:18
Right? You know, if I

Danielle Krysa 31:19
was supposed to create a full solo show of artwork, I would be shitting my pants but I was like, oh, book. You know, I'm not a writer. How hard can this be? I'll just, you know,

Unknown Speaker 31:31
how's that going for you?

Unknown Speaker 31:32
Not really good.

Kathleen Shannon 31:34
Because you're like, I'll just hammered out like a blog post. Yeah,

Danielle Krysa 31:37
like, a 30,000 word blog post, which I normally write like a maybe a 250 word blog post.

Kathleen Shannon 31:44
Okay, so what is your creative process? How are you tackling it?

Danielle Krysa 31:46
Okay, so I live in a really pretty little town on a lake. And a friend of mine from high school owns his really beautiful restaurant right on the lake. So I thought every Thursday I'm going to go and like they give me this little corner booth and they just take care of me and I face the water and I go there from 11 till six every every Thursday. Had my little I have a I got I bought this. My hot pink moleskin. That's important. Yep. There's nothing in it. But it's super pretty. This is my author book. And so I went down to my little place and I cracked open Microsoft Word and had a full blown panic attack. Heart racing, cheeks sweating, staring at the rectangle of Microsoft Word. And I was like, Oh my god, like, I can't do this. And I signed the contract, but I hadn't like been paid anything yet. And so I was sitting there going, right? I'll just call Kate. Tell them to stop payment. Like, and rip up the contract cuz I can't do this. I cried a tiny bit. No,

Kathleen Shannon 32:55
wait, did you cry at the restaurant? Yeah. Okay. Oh, public tears.

Danielle Krysa 32:59
Yeah. Well, it was okay. I was kind of in a section by myself. So no, and I just, and I thought, right. I'm just gonna write this. And so I just started writing. I'm like, I am having a full blown panic attack, because I thought this would be easy. And this is not easy. And this big white rectangle of Microsoft Word, and this little cursor that's like, Fuck you. You can't do it, you know? And I just wrote that. And I wrote my intro in like, an hour. Because it just, I was just honest. Yeah. And so I was like, well, that felt kind of good. And so I sent that to Kate. And she was like, I love it. Just keep doing that. And so I've just been very, like, I think I was trying to be like, I am an author. Now. You know, I need to write a book. And I had no frame of reference. So I was trying to be so fancy. And she said, people just want the voice they know, on the blog. Like, actually, when I sent the first chunk of creative blockin, I had a book deal. So I got all like, society's view on the blahdy blahdy. Blah. And that was a chunk that I had to send the first chunk in, and normally Kate just emails me. She phoned me. And she said, yeah, we hired the gels curator. I'm not sure who wrote this. So I didn't even edit it. I just threw it away. I just throw it away. And she's just pretend it's a giant blog post. Like, yeah, and I was when I the way I blog, I just write it say with you, Kathleen, like I just write the way I talk. And she said, it's just a book full of that, like, don't get all in your head about it. And, and so now I've handed in the intro and the first two chapters, and I'm working on the third chapter right now, and she loved it. And she's so happy with that. And I sent it to Martha so that she could, you know, it would you know, give her ideas for the illustrations. And she called me and said, Oh my god, I feel like you're in my head. Which was such a huge validation, you know, to know that like this working artists was like, oh god, I feel I feel like all of those things that you're saying. So now I feel a lot more comfortable. And I'm just gonna go for it. I am having like slight panic attack about the fact. I mean, luckily, it's not till fall 2016. But when it comes out, I just feel like much more vulnerable than with creative block, like creative block was a series of interviews. Not really me writing really I wrote the questions that the artists answered the questions and beautiful art, like I kind of felt like, who can slam that? Like it's not, you know, but now my question, did anyone slam Korea? No,

Kathleen Shannon 35:45
did it get any bad reviews?

Danielle Krysa 35:47
No, not one, because it's amazing. It's only gotten positive feedback. So that's what I'm used to.

Kathleen Shannon 35:54
Now I set the bar high, I

Danielle Krysa 35:56
kind of screwed myself. And so now, I'm really scared because I'm not a writer, and I'm writing 10 chapters, and I'm just, suddenly it's very meta. Like, I'm writing this book about being vulnerable and, and sharing and putting your work out there. And I am freaking out about being vulnerable and sharing, and putting it out there. So as I'm writing, it's just like, you know, my inner critic is like, you suck, you think you can write a book, you're an idiot. And like, do they do keep writing? Oh, it's a really weird process. But I think I'm growing a lot. And hopefully, some people will say nice things. And I will just have to read the criticism chapter. And okay, about if there's any negative criticism, okay,

Kathleen Shannon 36:42
so one way that I handle negative criticism is I will go to, like Beyonce, his YouTube channel. And I will look at her comments. And if even Beyonce is getting negative trolls, like she's perfection,

Unknown Speaker 36:57
my god.

Kathleen Shannon 36:58
Beyond say, it's like, anyone will slam anything or you know, on him. I mean, Beyonce for real, I really do do that I love but then also, you know, even like Amy Poehler, for example, her book, yes, please be ready yet. I've

Danielle Krysa 37:13
read a little chunks of it. Yeah, it's on my birthday list.

Kathleen Shannon 37:16
I love it. I love it so much. And even she gets negative reviews. So really great people. And, you know, who was it that said, If you I shouldn't quote, I shouldn't pull quotes on my head because I never know them. But like, if you do nothing, you know, you won't get criticize, criticize, right? You know, so you can just hide under a rock and not stick your neck out. But where's that going to get? You know, I even though sometimes I totally feel like hiding under a

Danielle Krysa 37:45
rock. Yeah, I think I'm gonna feel like hiding under a rock and like September 2016, you know, until the first couple of reviews come in there. I mean, the important thing is for my readers, right? Like, I really don't like, you know, critics are gonna say what they're gonna say. But if I if I get a few of those letters from my readers who say, Oh, my God, I felt like you were inside my head. Good. Good enough, you know, I don't need to please everybody, you know, and that's what we tell everybody else you. You can't make art that everyone in the world is going to like, otherwise, imagine how lame that art would be. Right? It would have to be so middle of the road, you know, oatmeal for everyone to like, it just is impossible. So why on earth? Am I putting that pressure on myself? It makes no sense. But yeah, that is how the creative brain works. Unfortunately,

Kathleen Shannon 38:35
I know. It's like, we all know that we have to give people permission to not like us in order to do our best work, but it still sucks or someone doesn't like you to get made fun of it still sucks to get a bad review. Yeah, Emily and I just got our first two star review on the podcast the other day, and we noticed whoever it was that listened. Yeah, probably not

Emily Thompson 38:54
like whoever left that and didn't even bother writing your review. You just gave us two stars. Like we've got your number. But we don't care either. We're

Kathleen Shannon 39:03
calling them out.

Unknown Speaker 39:05
Okay, so I'm gonna patch you in. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 39:09
One day, what was that? Why don't you give us a link to your podcast, right? I know, right? What

Emily Thompson 39:15
are you doing with your life?

Kathleen Shannon 39:18
Like how like, we really handle our criticism is we have a chat with our girlfriends like this,

Danielle Krysa 39:23
like, yeah, we use the dollar get out. And then we're done. Well, in creative block, there's an artist, a Canadian artist named Jessica Bell, and she's a good friend of mine. And she said, I asked how do you deal with criticism? And she said, You know, like, I I look for a nugget of truth if there's anything that I can use, and you know, maybe there's validation and she said, for the nasty stuff. She said, I usually just eat a bag of chips and sleep it off. That is awesome. You know, that is amazing, right? And it's true. Like there's nothing you can do. I do love chips and they do help. Little bit, you know, so write a lot to do especially with, like a little bit of debt goes a long way. So my favorite

Kathleen Shannon 40:07
combo is Cheetos, the puffy kind, yeah, nose and a glass of red wine. Wow,

Unknown Speaker 40:15
hashtag classy.

Kathleen Shannon 40:17
It's classy and delicious. Okay, it's time to chat about our sponsor freshbooks. I have so many friends right now who are scrambling to do their taxes. They're going through a year's worth of crumpled receipts and logging them and it is a total mess. So what I really love about freshbooks is keeping track of my expenses as I go throughout the whole year. freshbooks has it set up so that you can automatically import your business expenses from your bank, you can snap a photo of your receipt and logs that log your expenses from your phone. And you can assign expenses to your specific clients for reimbursement. And you can organize your expenses into the appropriate tax category as you go. So it's all about keeping track as you go throughout the year. freshbooks makes it so easy, so that you are not scrambling in March of next year. So stay on top of your business all year long with freshbooks and try fresh books for free today. Go to freshbooks comm slash being boss and enter being boss in the How did you hear about us section? Thanks for supporting our sponsor, you guys. They make it really possible for us to keep putting out as many episodes as we do. All right. Back to you, Danielle. Okay, Daniel, I have a question. Yeah, jealous curator. But I feel like you've made it big. And oh, so you also started finally sharing that you're an artist as well.

Unknown Speaker 41:49
As So actually, I

Kathleen Shannon 41:50
have two questions. Okay. One is how do you find the time or even the motivation? Like whenever you're so creative for a living with book deals, and graphic design, and all the things that you're doing and curating shows? I mean, you're spending a lot of plates now. What feels like work and what feels like feeding your soul creative outlet? Or is it? Is there a good blend happening?

Danielle Krysa 42:17
I think there's a really good blend. But sometimes I feel very crazy. Like I feel a bit anxiety ish, because my to do list is so long. And it's very, like, I feel like I have to shift gears a lot. And I also have an eight year old son. And you know, so I want to be the best mom and the best graphic designer and the best curator and the best author and the best artist. And you know, I put a lot of pressure on myself. And so what I've started doing, probably in the last just shy of a year, I had a huge meltdown at my last birthday last May. And I was like I can't do it. I can't do it all didn't I have a huge freakout when we stayed at all remember, I was going to quit jealous curator. And so I have like a big freakout. And then I realized what I need to do is I now break my day into chunks. And so like today is not booked day. So I am not going to freak out about the fact that I still have seven chapters to write because today is not booked day. Tomorrow is booked day and I will work on the book, then. You know, I do all the I curate art for land of nod I do their children's art collection. And so, so cool. Yeah, it's really fun. And so yesterday was my land of no day. So I just was like, I'm not going to worry about the fact that there's a collage I'd like to be working on and that I should be doing this and I should have done they shouldn't they should in my garden needs to be weeded. And I just, it's bland. Today, I just have to break it into chunks. And even even just not the whole day, like even like the morning is x and the afternoon is why and the evening is Movie Night with my family or whatever. And then it's just like, I have to just put it out of my head all the other stuff. I mean, it's still static, it's still in there, you know, I know it's there. But it really helps. So with art, my own art, I was just talking to somebody about this on the weekend that I can't just, oh, I've got a free two hours. No, with my art I need like a good 12 hour runway. And I need to know that like my husband's calling for takeout. And I can just work right through if I want to. Because when I get on a roll with my art, I I just that's I become like OCD about it. And I just need to do that. So I find it really hard to carve out 12 hours. Yeah, you know, like that just doesn't happen in my the way that my life is set up right now. So if I can I do but it's it's pretty hit and miss and I just went for a run this morning and I was thinking about my work and it really is at the bottom of my priority list which is crazy because when I do it, I enjoy it so so much. But then I'm so scared to share it because Okay, here's my superpower. Thing ready? Oh, yeah, on YouTube everywhere. I feel like as a joke curator, my taste in art, I believe is exquisite. I really I, you know, feel very confident about the artists that I pick. And you know, but I feel like that's here. And I feel like my art is here. And I don't want people. Do you know what I mean? Like, I feel like I should have better art.

Unknown Speaker 45:29
Right? So it's like the hairdresser that has bad hair.

Danielle Krysa 45:32
Yeah, totally. And you're like, Why don't want to go to her.

Kathleen Shannon 45:36
So I love your art. I mean, I know that that doesn't, you know, mean a whole lot, because I'm not an art critic, or someone very important. Who can put your art in my gallery, but I can put your art in my house.

Danielle Krysa 45:47
Yeah. And when it's slow, like I'm slowly starting to feel a little bit more confident. And it's really funny because in creative block each of the artists after their interview, I asked them to give an unblocking project like a little like jumpstart what, you know, what do you do when you're feeling blocked? So they each gave one and they're fantastic. Have I done them? No. Am I running around the country telling other people to do them? Yes. So that what a freakin hypocrite. So I decided in January, I was going to do one, there's 50 of them. So I was gonna do one a week. And then I was like, Who am I kidding? So I'm doing one a month. And I was just gonna do it myself. And I thought, Well, you know what, I'll put it out to my readers, too. So on the first Saturday of every month, I pick one of the 50 run blocking projects, and I put it up and I'm like, okay, here's the assignment. And then I actually Instagram, what I'm doing, and everybody hashtags that creative unblock. And so I can see what other people are doing. They can see what I'm doing. And it is forcing me to a do it because everyone else is doing it. So I better show up and do it and be put it into the world. And it's been really good. It's been really cathartic. So we're just at the end of our third project, I'll be posting the next one next Saturday. And it's fun because it creates this little community and we're all kind of doing it together. And they're all like really quick little fun projects. Like they're not meant to be final pieces that you would hang in a gallery. They're just a little jump starter. So there's not a lot of pressure. But they have the couple we've done already have, like, totally detoured my work. And I'm actually doing pieces that I never would have done before. And I love them, which is crazy. Yeah. So it's like I said, like, this is all been so cathartic for me and like major aha moments for me. So I'm putting all of this into this new book, as these aha moments occur. I'm like, oh, that'd be great for chapter four. Because if I can share this with other people, you know, hopefully they'll have those moments to.

Unknown Speaker 47:44
Um, okay, another question.

Danielle Krysa 47:46
Yeah. See, I told you I go, I go off on tangents. No,

Kathleen Shannon 47:49
I love it. I love it. And my last one of my last questions, I have two more questions. Okay. Okay, so the next one is, is there anyone that you're jealous of right now, I know that you're jealous every day because you post some beautiful artwork every day, but like in life, you know, and maybe even maybe even in your boss life, because this podcast is called being boss, like, Who are you jealous of that? You're like, Oh, I just want to be there.

Danielle Krysa 48:20
Oh, I have that all the time. And one little step back, though, is I'm not really jealous anymore of the artists that I write about. Yeah, somehow transformed probably a year in into truly admiration and inspiration. I don't really get jealous of people anymore, which is really great. And I have a lot of people say, you know, oh, you know, you're promoting this, this toxic emotion, jealousy and like, like, Well, clearly, you've never read the blog, because it's nothing but like admiration and praise. And I always say, and hey, it's catchy. And the business cards are made. So I'm not about to change the name, right? I'm really not jealous anymore. I really can find inspiration and excitement about it.

Kathleen Shannon 48:58
So we'll have to I was going to say, and we're going to do a whole episode on like rocket fuel for people. And so you've also you have become rocket fuel for other artists like you post about them. And you've helped jumpstart their career if they're emergency service or so I bet that that's a huge boost like that you're actually helping other artists be seen again,

Danielle Krysa 49:23
crying at my desk, like I had this one artist from Spain who emailed and said, You know, I am having a hard time even getting to talk to a gallery. Can you give me any advice? And I went looked at our work and I was like, well, first things first, I'll write about you. And anyway, it's led to crazy things. Sachi picked her up a gallery in Vermont wants to wrap her. She was contacted to do a cover of magazine and LA, amazing and so and she's got quite broken English. And so she sent me a video she recorded this video and it was just her studio and a little chair and she walks in and sits down and she said hello and in sort of broken in She just said all this amazing stuff about, you know, everything I've done for her, and I'm sitting at my computer sobbing, and my husband came up and hugged me from behind. And he said, and that's why you do it every day. You know, and it truly is. And she has now quit her day job. She's She's doing so well, that's a danger. So that, for me is really why I do it every day. And the fact that like, the internet has provided me this power, like the fact that I can write about somebody and like, potentially their life could change, like, you know, they get suddenly get wrapped by a gallery in New York where you know, maybe they're from like a small town in Ohio, and now they're being wrapped by some amazing gallery in New York or Paris or whatever. So that is huge like, that. Just, I always think I'm more excited than them half the time.

Unknown Speaker 50:50
Anyway, what were we doing? Oh, who

Kathleen Shannon 50:51
are you jealous of?

Danielle Krysa 50:53
Oh, now I find that I am jealous of bloggers.

Unknown Speaker 50:57
Okay, so who are some bloggers that you are jealous?

Danielle Krysa 51:00
Okay, well, here's, here's like, Oh, man.

Kathleen Shannon 51:04
Let's put it out there. Okay,

Unknown Speaker 51:05
let's put it out there.

Kathleen Shannon 51:06
I admire slash jealous we've made it Yeah. But this is admiration.

Danielle Krysa 51:10
A lot of them are my friends, right? Like, and I'm super happy for them. But you know, you see them, they tweet something, and you're like, damn it. Why didn't I get that, like Lisa Congdon? She publishes through Chronicle as well. And she just put up on Facebook today that her book got picked up by target. They bought a huge, huge, huge number of her books. And they're already like, sold out. Which I'm so so happy for her. But then I was like, target buy my book, which is so dumb, but it's a human thing to like, you know, yeah, see these things and be like, Wow, that's so great. Well,

Kathleen Shannon 51:50
I saw a john like john stewart of all people did, I think it was like a graduation talk. And he was saying, and this really changed my perspective on it. And it was my brother who told me about this you my brother's a sideshow performer, so he has his own like, artsy creative block world going on, where he can easily get jealous because there's some really amazing performers out there. And, um, anyway, he said that he he pointed me to this john stewart talk where jon stewart says something about how someone else's success does not at all diminish your own ABS journey or your own success that there's that there's enough room for all of us. And I think that we all know that, but somehow hearing jon stewart say it made me believe

Danielle Krysa 52:34
it. Yeah. Yeah, he's very trustworthy. No, and it's funny because like, I'm not jealous in that, like, bad way. It's just, it's more envious, I guess. Like, you know, you hear these little things and you're like, Oh, man. It's crazy. I mean, I'm so blessed, amazing, crazy things have happened to me. And even if it all stopped right now, everything that's happened good enough, like, it's crazy, I pinched myself all the time. And so I'm not like, I can keep it all in check now. And I think because I'm writing about this all the time and thinking about it because of the book. I you know, in gleaning information and advice from like watching those, you know, YouTube talks or a TED talk about it, or whatever, I it's kind of like self therapy, right? Like, I've started to realize that it doesn't eat me alive, like it used to, you know, I have that moment of Oh, man, and then I'm just having right for her, or whoever it happens to be that particular day. That is another thing that we just get back to your own work.

Unknown Speaker 53:33
I do an amazing,

Danielle Krysa 53:34
fabulous work I do. And you know, and I am very conscious when I tweet out things that are going on with me that I don't want to make other people feel like shit, you know, like, oh, Oprah called like, I'm very, like, conscious of not. Not doing the look at me look at me, because I don't want to make other people feel like Oh, wow. No,

Unknown Speaker 53:57
I'm gonna call bullshit on that.

Unknown Speaker 53:59

Kathleen Shannon 53:59
Yeah, yeah, I don't. There's a Marianne Williamson quote. And it's don't make yourself smaller just because you, you don't want someone else to feel bad because no, shout it out. overcall, bitches. make someone feel bad, but like, you should celebrate your own success. And I think that, obviously, your intention isn't to make people feel bad, but I don't think that you should diminish your own success are the things that we're celebrating.

Danielle Krysa 54:32
Social media is so tricky with that, though, you know, like, I just, it can be such a Hey, look at me look at me venue. And so I'm very conscious of sharing that information and how much I share it and I just don't want anybody to, I don't know feel bad because of me. So I am. Yeah, but

Kathleen Shannon 54:50
I get what you mean. It's, I guess it's like sharing both sides. And so it's, you know, one day Oprah called The next day, but I still feel like shit. Some time Yeah. And followed by Let me help this other artists, you know, I think it is about the bigger picture. And if you pulled any of those tweets or Instagram posts or blog posts out from the context of the whole picture, like, yeah, you might look snarky, or you might look self deprecating, or you might look like you're bragging, whenever really, the whole picture is that you're not Yeah. Does that make sense? Yeah,

Danielle Krysa 55:27
I don't know. I know. It's a fun social media is a funny thing. That's a whole other. That's a whole other podcast,

Kathleen Shannon 55:32
the whole other podcast. But in general, I think that I've adopted the idea that social media, in some ways should be the highlight reel. And if you just acknowledge it and embrace it, yeah, then it's something like let's all just celebrate each other and not to be pollyannish about it. Like I still get like, oh, sometimes And anyway, blah, blah, blah, and five hours later.

And my last question is, like, if you could really like boil it down to one piece of advice or thought on how our listeners can live a creative boss life. Like what what would you say?

Unknown Speaker 56:19

Danielle Krysa 56:22
really big thing for me has been to just make like, just be like these unblocking things have been huge for me. And just the idea of experimenting and playing around and just making sure that you have creativity in your life everyday in some little way. And that's what these little unblocking projects have been so great for, you know, they'll be like a little collage thing, and then you're done. You don't need a 12 hour runway for it. And but then it's really being on a diet. You know, if you've had a really great day and you ate really well the next day, don't reach for the cheese puffs and wine because you took a while yesterday. So then you eat really well that day. And then well the next and then you just start to not crave the junk. And it's the same with making if you every day, just do a little bit of something that like is a positive thing for your creative being. The next day you kind of crave to do it again and again and again and again. And then before you know what you're just sort of living this creative life.

Kathleen Shannon 57:19
I love it. And Danielle real quick, where can people find more of you?

Danielle Krysa 57:24
Oh, well, my site is the jealous curator.com I don't know everywhere.

Kathleen Shannon 57:31
Do you have links to everything else from jealousy?

Danielle Krysa 57:34
Yeah, pretty much the sidebar has everything's all my social stuff is at the top. There's a link to both books. There's a link to the videos on Oprah there's like links to all the Recaps of all the girl crush stuff. Stop bragging about yourself. You know, I just kidding. What else can I tell you all the awesome things about me. I'll just read them out later and you can follow along.

Kathleen Shannon 57:55
Well, we will include ways that our listeners can find you in our show notes at love being boss, calm. Thank you so much for joining us, Danielle.

Danielle Krysa 58:03
Thanks, you guys. I hope I didn't ramble too much. No, that

Unknown Speaker 58:07
was perfect. Okay.

Unknown Speaker 58:10
All right,

Kathleen Shannon 58:10
Emily, you want to do this outro

Emily Thompson 58:12
I will. Thank you for listening to being boss from Emily Thompson and Kathleen chin find Show Notes for this episode at love being boss calm. Listen to past episodes and subscribe to new episodes on iTunes SoundCloud and Stitcher. If you like our podcast show us some love by reviewing being boss on iTunes and sharing it with a friend. Do the work. Be boss and we'll see you next week.

Danielle Krysa 58:48
Okay, can I ask quickly you guys have awesome lipstick on Can you even tell that I'm wearing lipstick?

Kathleen Shannon 58:53
You look great. Let's just all duck lip it through the whole thing.