Retrospective: Tim Manley

Watch a short video clip of this episode above or hear the full interview below.

I’m going to make my art (whatever that might be) with everything that I’ve got and make it matter to me and really really hope that that means something to other people. And the strange thing—at least that I’ve experienced—is that almost every time that I let out more of myself or I make my work more ‘me’ . . . it almost always means that more people connect with it. Almost always.
— Tim Manley on Retrospective: The Podcast
Tim Manley is one of my favorite people with whom to talk, write, and share a storytelling stage. His honesty makes you feel at home just listening to him, and his generosity nudges you to ask him a good question. And then another. 

On November 5th, Tim's new book, Alice in Tumblr-land: And Other Fairytales for a New Generation comes out. Join us for this conversation about: 

  • Changing careers and going all-in with creative work
  • "Millenials" and Tim's own journey through his 20s
  • Not apologizing for one's work (despite the temptation to do just that) 
  • Having an unconventional drawing education
  • Finding work that sits well with your soul, and
  • The benefits of looking at your accomplishments through the 5-Years-Ago Lens.

Click the player below, or listen and subscribe in iTunes. Find previous episodes of Retrospective here.

Tim Manley is the writer and illustrator of Alice in Tumblr-land: And Other Fairy Tales for a New Generation (Penguin Books). It is based on his tumblr, Fairy Tales for Twenty-Somethings.

Tim is a Moth StorySLAM winner, mentor with PEN American Center’s Prison Writing Program, and a former English teacher at School of the Future in New York City. He has officiated eight weddings, one of which was Beatles-themed. 

Retrospective: Michael Nobbs

I think a lot of people get caught up in the *process* of doing more (how to make lists or get things done) without actually doing it. So if you kind of strip away all the complexity and systems, you actually have a lot more time and energy left anyway. . . . But actually trusting to take that step is quite difficult, I think.
— Michael Nobbs, creator of

In this episode, Jen interviews Michael Nobbs, the creator of and the author of Drawing Your Life: Learn to See, Record and Appreciate Life's Small Joys.  Listen in to the conversation as Michael and Jen talk:

  • time, sufficiency and the pervasive pressures of the internet
  • Michael's journey: from diagnosis to drawing to a creative career
  • the artists and works that have inspired and influenced Michael along the way
  • "Murder She Wrote" and becoming an author
  • and how to build trust in the model of working slowly, with time on your side.

Click the left arrow on the player above to play the episode, or subscribe and listen to Retrospective in iTunes.

You realize you can get somewhere over a period of time, and I’m a firm believer that if you stick to something, it almost doesn’t matter what you do, but if you stick to it eventually you will get somewhere. . . . Drawing became the thing I did, and I just kept doing it. But it could have been anything really.
— Michael Nobbs, author of Drawing Your Life
Michael Nobbs is a full-time artist, blogger and tea drinker (not necessarily in that order). He is author of the popular blog, Sustainably Creative and writes, tweets and podcasts about drawing and trying to keep things simple. In the late 1990s he was diagnosed with ME/CFS and over the last decade and a half he has learnt a lot about sustaining a creative career with limited energy. His new book, Drawing Your Life (made one page at a time!) was be published by Penguin/Perigee Books on 5th March.

Retrospective: Liz Kalloch

Photo by Bella Cirovic,

Photo by Bella Cirovic,

Her first language is French. She lived in Belgium as a child and spent her 20s in Europe. Artist and designer Liz Kalloch has had many adventures: grand, far and wide, but is now more rooted and creating her work and her life more than ever before. 

In this episode of Retrospective, listen as Liz shares about:

  • her transition to freelance design from working for large companies and publishers
  • how "working small" changes the quality of creative work
  • the power of place, and
  • the saving graces she's experienced along the way

Liz Kalloch paints, writes and designs in a turquoise house by the San Francisco Bay. You can see more of her work her on her website.

Listen and subscribe in iTunes. Until we have more ratings and reviews, iTunes won't recommend our podcast in search results. Help us out and leave a rating or review today!

Retrospective: Liz Lamoreux

Photo by Vivienne McMaster

Photo by Vivienne McMaster

It felt like I would be able to say, ‘That title is not gonna work for me’ . . . I felt very seen throughout the process.
— Liz Lamoreux

In this episode of Retrospective, Jen and Liz take you behind the scenes of a creative collaboration. Click on the audio player to hear about:

  • the difference between being a guru and being a companion
  • offering supports to share instead of trying to "fix" people
  • invitations versus sales pitches
  • the journey from idea to tangible object, and
  • what it's like to be seen all along the way.

Liz Lamoreux is a retreat host, an artist, the author of Inner Excavation: Explore Your Self Through Photography, Poetry, and Mixed Media, and the creator of The Gift of This Moment Home Retreat Kit. She believes that beauty and truth are found when we share our stories through creativity and community, and she facilitates opportunities for women to shine a light on the stories just waiting inside them.

A trained yoga instructor, her experiences of community with other artists has encouraged her to see creativity as a form of yoga and she now honors creating and writing as part of her personal yoga practice. She lives in the Puget Sound Area with her husband, young daughter, and golden retriever. Most days you can find her in her studio surrounded by fabric, vintage lockets, and poetry as her daughter practices twirling beside her, or maybe she is practicing what she teaches and they are both taking a nap.

You can also subscribe to Retrospective in iTunes. If you're enjoying this series, it makes a big difference if you rate or review it there.

Retrospective: Kelly Barton

When I allow myself just to truly be who I am, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. . . . I can let that go.
— Artist and designer Kelly Barton

Artist and designer Kelly Barton is one my favorite people in the whole world. One friend recently noted, "The best thing about Kelly is, wherever you find her or whoever she's with, Kelly is always Kelly." There's something so true blue and steady about the way she inhabits the world--you know you can always count on her to be kind, to be fair, to call it like she sees it and to walk her path, wherever it takes her.

We recorded this conversation on a porch at Squam Lake in New Hampshire, and if you listen closely you can hear the breeze blowing through the trees.

In this episode, Kelly shares about:

  • being a creative in a small town in the Midwest
  • learning to listen to negative feedback in a non-negative way
  • how she balances solitude and time in the studio with friendships and creative partnerships
  • and her latest creative collaboration with Liz Lamoreux, Chickadee Road.
  • Here's more about Kelly, in her own words: 

    i am a girl who believes in the everyday simple. i love sharing
    empowering stories through each girl i paint. stories that we
    each tuck away in the layers of our days, sometimes just needing
    a little reminder that it is okay to come out and play.

    i am kelly barton. mixed media artist, designer. i own a laugh
    that sounds like betty rubble and  a love for the word d.a.n.g.
    a girl filled to the brim with color.

    the girl next door.

    Click the link at the top of this post to listen, or listen and subscribe in iTunes.

    Retrospective: Micaela Blei

    Micaela b&w bio.jpg

    "I was a classroom teacher for so many years, and feeling like I wasn't allowed to be an artist because I was a classroom teacher. And people would ask me, 'Are you an artist?' And I would say, 'I'm a classroom teacher.' So I'm growing into being able to say, 'I'm a scholar and I'm an artist and I make things and do these other things as well.' . . . I'm allowed to have these other pieces of myself." --Micaela Blei

    In this episode of Retrospective, scholar, artist and educator Micaela Blei shares:

    • what working with children has taught her about being herself
    • what storytelling on stage and having a conversation have in common
    • what she tells vs. the image Georgia O'Keefe gave her for what stays "in the vault"
    • how her work and studies now weave all her interests together, even as she creates what's next

    MICAELA BLEI is a storyteller, teacher, writer and scholar. She's appeared onstage at the Moth, the Story Collider, Told, BTK Band and in elementary classrooms across New York City. Micaela is working on her PhD in Educational Theater, and she's also currently creating a story/performance for young audiences about New York City and a big, strange museum heist.


    Click the player above to listen, or listen in iTunes.