Mud-Wrestling the Muse

In A Beautiful Anarchy, Creativity and Inspiration, The Life Creative by David6 Comments

You are only as good as your camera, and your ability to use it. That’s the prevailing idea of the popular photography world. You see it in the ads, you see it on the discussions online, it’s implied in every camera review. But if that were true, wouldn’t we all be so much better now? Our cameras have never been so good, nor have they ever relied less upon us to do the technical stuff. Surely, it’s clearer than ever that the best photographs rely on something else: your creativity.

The best photographs are made, not with cameras, but by people willing to take risks, to be part of a larger creative process. They are made by people who take risks, ask questions, put themselves into their work, and for whom the results bring great joy (and at times great frustrations) because the photographs and the creative efforts that go into their making, matter a great deal.

It is not only the photographic life that you’re living, but the creative one, and today I’m inviting you to be part of something new that I’m making to help you continue to navigate that creative life.

Today I’m launching the Beautiful Anarchy podcast. Stealing the name shamelessly from my book, A Beautiful Anarchy, this weekly podcast is for people (like me) who don’t listen to podcasts, people who don’t have an hour to sit down and listen but who want to explore their creative side and the challenges and joys of the creative life. Each episode is no longer than 15 minutes. Think of it as a short, weekly, if not one-sided, conversation with someone who cares deeply about you beyond your camera and your photographs, someone who knows that so much of what we do depends on bigger stuff, our habits, our mindset, someone who knows that most of us can feel a little alone at times as we wade through what it means to be a creative person in the every day.

My big hope is to begin speaking to a broader audience, to speak to writers and painters and people who dabble in a lot of different things. When a podcast launches, just like when a book is published, much of the initial success in terms of who hears about it, comes from the reviews and ratings on iTunes.

Would you be willing to do me a favour? Would you consider listening to a couple episodes of A Beautiful Anarchy this week and leaving a review on iTunes?

Listen to A Beautiful Anarchy on iTunes

Listen to A Beautiful Anarchy Elsewhere

Not sure how to leave a review on iTunes?

I am so excited about this new direction, though it’s not that new. These are the things I’ve been talking about for a long time. It’s just that I want to do that in a broader context for people that not only make photographs, but make other things and want to experience the kind of encouragement and challenge I’ve felt is my calling for the last 10 years. Help me spread the word? More than this, I hope this project helps you, encourages you, and nudges you forward into new and exciting places.

By the way, A Beautiful Anarchy will be published 3 out of every 4 weeks. On the fourth week, I’ll send out On The Make (a monthly email not unlike The Contact Sheet you normally get) but focused more specifically on creativity than photography. If you love The Contact Sheet, I think you’ll love On The Make, but I’m not going to make assumptions. If you don’t want to miss this, and want to start receiving my monthly On The Make email, you’ll need to let me know. Just click here and let me know where to send it.


  1. Fun to listen, thanks for the time. Sony still haven’t build in a creativity option, that would be fun to see. But until then we need to do it with our own creativity and that makes our job so awesome.

  2. What a voice! Wow, David, I discovered your podcast totally by chance and I’m hooked. What was the jazz piece you used in the background? I’d like to know just to listen to it while I try to make “time” for myself 🙂 Keep up the good work. I just subscribed.

  3. I just popped by to say I really enjoy this new podcast. It is hitting the right spot right now.

    It was only last year when I crashed and burned (turns out I had undiagnosed moderate/severe Depression, now being treated and am stable.) that I have started to come to terms with the idea that making things and leading a creative life is one of the main things that brings me personal joy and a sense of inner-peace in this life. Since then I have been struggling to come to grips with what all of that means, how to define myself, what the creative struggles look like and how to deal with them.

    My creative muse leads me to do digital art (toy photography mostly), and now started to create 3D physical models of things. Learning how to embrace that creative side has been one of the largest personal growth journeys I have ever been on (I am currently 45 years old.)

    I also have started to realize that my day job, as a software engineer, is a creative endeavour as well, and a lot of the struggles that creatives face – imposter syndrome, fighting motivation to get the job done etc. applies to writing computer code as well. I have realized I have been struggling with these issues for a long time, and only when I started looking at it from the point of view of an artist that I really started to grasp it, and could take steps to grow as a person, both creatively and professionally (and as a nice addition, as a father and husband).

    I look forward to the continued discussion thru this podcast.

  4. Yes please I’d love to read On The Make. You keep me going when I start to flag with my photographic endeavour.

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