Ananya Rao-Middleton is a London-based freelance illustrator and chronic illness activist who uses her work to express herself post-brain injury and as someone living with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Her work is vivid, vibrant and explorative. Eye-catching colours and powerful affirmations are a common feature, too, as Ananya describes herself as a feminist illustrator and someone who wants to support people with invisible illnesses.
Here, we learn more about Ananya's journey and how she came to suffer herself. Why it's important to speak up and share her experience to help others. She highlights the importance of rest and listening to our bodies. She also talks of discrimination, a lack of understanding – and how she's trying to turn that around, making people more aware of the invisible disabilities or illnesses that people might have. It's an important topic.
Ananya also talks of her childhood, about bullying and racism, how that's made her a stronger person, able to cope with the challenges of today. She is so hopeful and positive that the creative community can be the force that brings positive change. This is a positive, thoughtful chat for anyone curious to learn more about these topics or perhaps have the reassurance they are not alone.
Season Three of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Capture One.
D'autres épisodes de "Creative Boom"
Mat Voyce on freelancing, mental health and why you don't need an award to be a success
il y a un jour
1:03:11Mat Voyce describes himself as a "non-award-winning" graphic and motion designer based in the UK – not only because he hasn't yet won any awards and wants to joke about it, but perhaps to prove a point that you don't need a trophy to be a success. And a success Mat has truly been. Specialising in 2D type animation, Mat has become known for his pioneering style that explores illustrative kinetic typography. It's actually what made him famous, as he spent the pandemic creating simple yet positive type art on Instagram. He gained a huge following, which allowed him to raise his profile and network with the global creative community, leading to huge client wins such as Disney, Google, Nike and YouTube. Spending so much time and effort on his Instagram account allowed Mat to flex his creative muscles and build on his skills. We wanted to chat with Mat about this rise to fame, his experience of Instagram overall and how when Covid-19 hit, he just got his head down and got on with his work. We talk of the treadmill of freelancing and how to find a good balance – even whether that's possible. We discuss looking after our mental health and the highs and lows of social media. And we hear more about creative copycats and how to cope with people who are a little too inspired by our own work. There's a lot that Mat has generously shared here. So we hope this "friendly neighbourhood type animator", as he describes himself, brings you some warmth and wisdom this Monday morning. Season Four of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Astropad Studio.
Darnell Brown on how creatives can avoid burnout, work smarter and enjoy freelancing success
1:08:16Darnell Brown is a growth strategist and educator based in North Carolina. Originally a graphic designer, he now helps businesses to harness their superpowers, hack their time and impact lives through creative courses and consulting. It’s a career he carved out for himself after suffering the effects of burnout during his days of crafting logos and building brand identities. It was 2008, at the peak of the global economic crisis when he decided to make the change from full-time employment to freelancing, spotting an opportunity to hire himself when no one else would. Almost fourteen years later, Darnell has helped hundreds of clients to thrive and continues to apply everything he’s learnt so far – from his days as a kid in the '90s, hustling and making money from his comic book drawings, to his time helping tech startups to raise millions in funding. We wanted to hear more about Darnell's path to success. And discover all the things he's learnt along the way. Believe me, his passion for business and creativity will spark a spring in your step today. Season Four of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Astropad Studio.
Sarah Hyndman on type snobbery and why we're all experts in typography
1:02:38For episode 74, our guest is Sarah Hyndman, a graphic designer and researcher and the person behind Type Tasting – a practice that's on a mission to change the way we think and talk about typography by making it fun and exciting for everyone. Sarah specialises in making typography entertaining and relevant with humour, a dash of theatre and lashings of audience participation. And she is also the author of various books on type, including the bestselling book Why Fonts Matter and the title, How to Draw Type and Influence People. Through her practice, she gets us to think about type in ways we never thought possible. Whether she's doing a TED X talk, TV interview, radio show or installation at the V&A – she takes typography way beyond the world of graphic design. Chef Heston Blu-men-thal even calls on Sarah as his "font science" expert. I wanted to pick Sarah's brains on all things type. On how typography has changed since she first discovered it as a child, looking at chocolate and sweet wrappers in her local corner shop. We hear her thoughts on trends and the overall design industry about type snobbery and why we're all experts. And we delve into the subconscious and how we feel about various typefaces. Even whether they have the power to change the world, shape our behaviour and influence pop culture. Season Four of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Astropad Studio.
Constance Fleuriot on women in the games industry and the importance of gender-neutral characters in video games
1:15:36We're kicking off season four of The Creative Boom Podcast with Constance Fleuriot – a writer, games developer and producer based in Bristol who runs her own game design company, Pretty Digital. Constance also runs Grrrl Games to support women and girls of all ages to make games. A big part of her practice is helping people to develop ideas and research plans – and she encourages people of all ages to be creative producers, rather than consumers. Her work history includes creative technologies research for HP, Intel, NESTAfuturelab, pmstudio/Watershed and various community-based and educational organisations. She’s also part of the University of West of England team delivering the MSc in Data Science. In this episode, we talk about women and girls in gaming, why there still aren't enough of us and how we can inspire more to join the industry. We talk of diversity in gaming overall and whether any progress has been made in recent years. We consider gender roles and identity and why it's important to create female as well as gender-neutral video game characters. And there's a delve into the creative process of game design, and why you don't need to know how to use a computer to get started. For anyone interested in making video games, Constance is hosting a course at Clayhill Arts in Somerset from 13 to 15 May 2022. Titled Creating Stories: Game Design For Complete Beginners, it will show participants how to experiment with this rapidly-growing medium using simple, analogue tools. Season Four of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Astropad Studio.
Venessa Scott on discovering her superpower & why she's finally proud to call herself an artist
1:11:58Venessa Scott is a Manchester-based prolific artist and a specialist in creative education whose reputation and artistic practice have grown significantly in recent years, leading to two commissions for Blue Peter, one of which involved her designing a Blue Peter badge. Venessa is also behind one of the UK's tallest murals, celebrating the pioneering work of Sylvia Pankhurst. She's won awards, become a Great Mancunian – which is a local project by Manchester College to celebrate people who have had a significant cultural and creative impact on the City of Manchester and its surrounding areas – and has been appointed as an official ambassador for The Pankhurst Centre. But despite all this success, Venessa has gone through unimaginable suffering and loss of late. Even for this podcast, she told us of further sadness. But as always, she is positive, and full of and warmth and determination. This strength perhaps comes from having a solid family and local community. It's perhaps why Venessa dedicates so much time to helping others, as she and her sister also run Seven Three One, a non-profit organisation that uses creativity to further the education and skills of serving prisoners, ex-offenders and disengaged young people. Here, Venessa chats about finding her voice despite the sexism or racism she has sometimes endured. About not having a seat at that mythical table and why it's important to build our own, welcoming everyone else to join us. We hear why it took Venessa a while to declare herself an artist. And we talk of her work, colour, pattern, doing what we love, having confidence, speaking up, speaking out – and why great things can happen if we let down our armour, be ourselves and embrace all the joyful wonderful things that make us unique and special. Season Three of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Capture One.
Dave Smyth on surveillance capitalism, privacy and finding balance as a freelancer in a digital world
1:05:26Dave Smyth is a designer and developer based in the UK. Over the last few years, Dave has become increasingly interested in privacy and surveillance capitalism. He sometimes shares his thoughts on these topics via his blog – from looking at our permanent digital records and how to de-Google ourselves, to read receipts, Twitter lists and cookies. With so much happening in the tech world right now – including Facebook rebranding as Meta, the increasingly noisy conversation about privacy, and recent leaks that have shocked the world – we felt it was a timely conversation to consider how we use the Internet and social media, and why we might want to review the browsers, search engines, tools, platforms and apps that we use. We talk about digital minimalism, social media holidays, managing Twitter and removing all followers (and why that is beneficial but sometimes problematic). We talk data, tracking and advertising. We also ponder over the value we get back from sharing our lives with the world. Of course, these are themes that have possibly entered the realm of death, funerals, and pensions – we don't like to talk about them. It's often easier to ignore, hoping that the issues will go away. But the elephant in the room is that millions of us are suffering from "online fatigue" and we're increasingly worried about our mental health, weekly screentime and privacy. As such, many of us are looking for an escape from this digital world. Never mind the metaverse, if you've been thinking about how you use apps, how you email or browse the web, then Dave will definitely leave you something to think about. Season Three of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Capture One.
Ananya Rao-Middleton on being a chronic illness activist and freelance illustrator fighting for positive change
53:39Ananya Rao-Middleton is a London-based freelance illustrator and chronic illness activist who uses her work to express herself post-brain injury and as someone living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Her work is vivid, vibrant and explorative. Eye-catching colours and powerful affirmations are a common feature, too, as Ananya describes herself as a feminist illustrator and someone who wants to support people with invisible illnesses. Here, we learn more about Ananya's journey and how she came to suffer herself. Why it's important to speak up and share her experience to help others. She highlights the importance of rest and listening to our bodies. She also talks of discrimination, a lack of understanding – and how she's trying to turn that around, making people more aware of the invisible disabilities or illnesses that people might have. It's an important topic. Ananya also talks of her childhood, about bullying and racism, how that's made her a stronger person, able to cope with the challenges of today. She is so hopeful and positive that the creative community can be the force that brings positive change. This is a positive, thoughtful chat for anyone curious to learn more about these topics or perhaps have the reassurance they are not alone. Season Three of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Capture One.
Tim Easley on being a self-taught creative, his love of sneakers and why he wants to live forever
1:02:26Tim Easley is an award-winning illustrator, designer and photographer from London who's probably best known for his bright palette and bold lines, as well as playful characters and hand-drawn lettering. Influenced by urban kitsch, nature and neon signage, he works across many mediums, including hand-drawn skateboards, canvases, plasticine sculptures, painted basketballs and digital pieces. Tim came up to Manchester earlier this year and popped round my house. As expected, he turned up very well dressed and donning an excellent pair of sneakers. Trainers are, in fact, something of a passion project for Tim, who has Nike, Adidas, and Foot Locker amongst his many happy clients. Interestingly, he's entirely self-taught as he didn't have a formal education. We talk about this and much more, including his days living in Japan and returning to the UK to open an independent record shop in London. It's where he discovered a passion for graphic design and illustration and began moving in that direction. Tim also shares his love of technology. We get nostalgic and talk of Walkmans, CDs and computer games. Tim reveals why he wants to live forever, so he can see how the world changes – particularly how technology advances. We also talk about why he immediately had to go freelance and why social media was a saving grace and is something he still enjoys today. And we hear why next year, Tim hopes to spend more time playing and doing things he loves. A fun, joyful and light-hearted conversation with an optimistic, humble human being. Season Three of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Capture One.
Anoosha Syed on making a difference as an illustrator and why change is good
51:23Anoosha Syed is an illustrator and character designer for animation whose clients include Google, Netflix, and Warner Brothers. Born in Pakistan, Anoosha has spent much of her life moving around the world, growing up in Switzerland, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, and settling in Toronto. She studied Illustration in Switzerland and began her career in animation, starting on the preschool series 'Dot' for Sprout and Disney Jr before beginning to work extensively in children's books. Her debut picture book, Bilal Cooks Daal, won an award and led to further commissions, including the most recent Rise Up and Write It by Nandini Ahuja. And this year, she was excited to have a dream come true, publishing her debut children's book, which she wrote and illustrated. In her spare time, Anoosha co-hosts a podcast called The Art Corner, which aims to educate younger artists on the ins and outs of the art industry. She also has her own YouTube channel. As a woman of colour, Anoosha's priority in her work is always diversity; she never saw herself in the media she consumed as a child and wants to correct that with more diverse stories and characters. Here, we talk of diversity in animation, how she's thankful for being a freelance illustrator in the 2020s when she's free to create a wealth of different characters and stories, and why audiences have more power to shape the books and the films we all enjoy. She is optimistic about the future and talks of her passion for creating children's books and inspiring the next generation. We also learn of her career shift from animation to publishing and why listening to your heart and knowing when to make a change is so important. We also hear how she moved away from her identity when she was a child, as a teacher mispronounced her name – sadly, a common issue. We dip into the issue of pricing and why no one is talking about money in the world of freelance illustration. And if you're an illustrator yourself, keen to find out how to get published, Anoosha gives us an insight into that often secretive industry. Season Three of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Capture One.
Ben Tallon on the wonderful highs and lows of creativity and why there is power in perseverance
52:34Ben Tallon is an illustrator who has two decades of experience in the field with a hand-drawn style that's lively, loud and expressive. One that has done him proud across many disciplines from print, digital and animation to set design and large-scale media. So far, his clients include The Guardian, EasyJet, World Wrestling Entertainment, Penguin and UNICEF. His debut book, Champagne and Wax Crayons, was published in 2015 to much acclaim – it offers an honest account of what it means to be creative. Since then, he's won an award, written a few more books, and started his own show, The Creative Condition Podcast, which features insightful interviews with people across the creative community. Ben grew up in Keighley, West Yorkshire, where he loved Leeds United, wrestling and video games – things that clearly inspire his art today. He has a BTEC in Graphic Design from Keighley College and a BA in Illustration from the University of Central Lancashire. Here, Ben shares his experience of being a freelance illustrator and what he's learned over the past 20 years. It's an inspiring conversation with someone who is full of passion and determination, and who has this innate ability to capture the many ups and downs of modern life – from imposter syndrome and losing ourselves in creative trends to suffering isolation working from home and overcoming those difficult days when we get stuck and can't seem to get going. This is especially insightful for any aspiring illustrator who is hoping to carve a career out of freelancing in what can often feel like a challenging industry. Season Three of The Creative Boom Podcast is kindly sponsored by Capture One.