Creative people: Andrea Jordan

One of the other things I want to do is to find out about people who have made a success out of their creativity.  I came across a link on Twitter (via Morwhenna) to The Idea Medic’s podcast about Andrea Jordan, who changed career from a corporate lawyer to a nomadic creative strategist, photographer and writer.  She now offers Skype coaching and runs online blogging courses, enabling her to work from anywhere in the world.

She talked about how travel is a creative project in itself and how she finds inspiration by walking and taking photographs that capture daily life, differences in cultures or odd, quirky or beautiful things, but also discussed how people can also experience this in their local area.

A common difficulty among creative people seems to be having too many ideas and Andrea suggested identifying the purpose of each idea, keeping track of ideas and narrowing down a focus for each week.

She then went on to talk about resources that she uses, including Adobe Photoshop Lightroom to organise photos and the Pomodoro technique to help her to focus on one thing for a short period of time.  I’m going to try the Pomodoro technique this weekend to ensure that I take regular breaks in between using my laptop to write blog posts or find inspiration.

Some of her cited inspirations include Elizabeth Gilbert‘s book, Big Magic, and the photographer Sue Bryce.  It was interesting that she picked up on Elizabeth Gilbert’s recommendation of maintaining a ‘day job’ (at least initially) to remove the pressure on needing creativity to earn a living, therefore maintaining the fun and freedom.  I found this reassuring too, as I’m not in a position at the moment to be able to quit my day job.  The 30 Day Idea Challenge that I’m taking part in with John Williams and Psychologies Magazine is also designed around trying out different ways of making money without quitting your job.

I also listened to Just Stay Curious‘ podcast about Andrea, where she went into more detail about the low point of how the stress and long hours of her job as a corporate lawyer exhausted her and caused her to fall ill, something which I can relate to from my own experience.  She identified carving out time for self-care, for example a lunch break, as one strategy that could have helped her to manage better.  It was interesting to hear her discuss how she began to identify other uses for her talents and skills (with the help of a career coach) and how her current career developed over time.

She also talked in this podcast about staying in places for longer while travelling to allow time when she can let go of the pressure to go and do touristy things every day and spend more time relaxing.  This linked with something else I came across on Twitter recently about ‘slow travel‘.  Andrea recommended following the advice of “Keep it simple, stupid” and avoiding over-complicating things unnecessarily.  This is definitely something that I need to remember, particularly at work, where I often find myself somehow feeling that something isn’t worthwhile enough if it’s too simple or easy.

And, finally, she shared her current favourite quote:

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One comment

  1. Hi Melanie, Thank you for giving my blog/podcast a mention. Looks like we are both exploring creativity and where it can take us, I’ve done John’s 30 Day Challenges in the past and am in his current Group too. Hope your project goes well and feel free to get in touch so we can exchange ideas if you want.


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