038: Keep Going: Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad with Writer Who Draws Austin Kleon

with host artist Miriam Schulman

Ever wonder how professional artists stay motivated day after day?

Today, I have the privilege of talking with Austin Kleon, “the Writer Who Draws,” and author of multiple books, including: “Keep Going” and “Steal Like an Artist.” We discuss what it takes to keep going and stay creative in good times and bad times.

We’ll share how to keep meaning in your art and your life, as well as worrying less about getting things done and, instead, focusing more on getting things done that are worth doing. Austin shares some great strategies on creating more focus, while blocking distraction in your day, because, as we all know, distraction disrupts creativity. It’s so easy to push our creative time to the back burner while we take care of the “pressing needs” first.. Our goal is to remove as may distractions as possible, go into “airplane mode,” and create a “to-draw” list instead!

We discuss what changing your mind REALLY looks like and how it can actually be a good thing. Austin talks about extraordinary work and how it doesn’t necessarily need to come from having an extraordinary life. It’s really fascinating, and also freeing.

We also discuss what Austin calls “Art Monsters,” how that impacts each and every one of us, and how to handle and respond to these “art monsters” either within us or around us. The discussion gets real and relevant.

The takeaway for our conversation today, along with everything talked about, is to be less concerned about making great art or being a great artist. Instead, make it a goal to be a great person, who makes art. Not only will your life and impact be far greater, but your art will become more wonderful and great as an extension of you which is great just as you are..


In this podcast, you will discover…

  • Why you should make a “to-draw” list
  • Why “airplane mode” can be a way of life
  • Why you do not need to have an extraordinary life to make extraordinary work.

Links Mentioned


About Austin Kleon

Austin Kleon is the New York Times bestselling author of Steal Like an Artist, Show Your Work!, and The Steal Like an Artist Journal: A Notebook for Creative Kleptomaniacs. His work has been translated into over twenty languages and featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, PBS NewsHour, and in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. New York magazine called his work “brilliant,” the Atlantic called him “positively one of the most interesting people on the Internet,” and the New Yorker said his poems “resurrect the newspaper when everybody else is declaring it dead.” He speaks about creativity in the digital age for organizations such as Pixar, Google, SXSW, TEDx, and the Economist. In previous lives, he worked as a librarian, a web designer, and an advertising copywriter. He grew up in the cornfields of Ohio, spent a dozen summers in Austin, Texas, and now he’s taking a sabbatical on Lake Erie with his wife and sons.

Twitter and Instagram @austinkleon and on Facebook @Mr.Austin.Kleon.

About the host, Miriam Schulman

In case we haven’t met yet, I’m an artist and founder of The Inspiration Place, where I help other artists learn how to profit from their passion. Through online classes, business coaching programs, and a top-ranked podcast, I’ve helped thousands of artists around the world develop their skill sets and create more time and freedom to do what they love. My signature coaching program, The Artist Incubator, helps artists go from so-so sales to sold-out collections.

A graduate of Dartmouth College and M.I.T, I initially pursued finance but after witnessing 9/11, I abandoned a lucrative hedge fund job to work on my art full time. Since then, my art and my story have been featured in major publications including Forbes, The New York Times, Art of Man, Art Journaling magazine as well as featured on NBC’s “Parenthood” and the Amazon series “Hunters” with Al Pacino. My forthcoming book with HarperCollins Leadership on how to make it as an artist is scheduled to be released January 31, 2023. When I’m not in the studio, you can find me hanging out with my husband, adult kids, and a tuxedo cat named Ebony. I’d love to invite you to check out one of my free resources for art lovers (of every passion level) at schulmanart.com/freebies


Subscribe & Review in iTunes

Are you subscribed to my podcast? If you’re not, I want to encourage you to do that today. I don’t want you to miss an episode. I’m adding a bunch of bonus episodes to the mix and if you’re not subscribed there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on those. Click here to subscribe in iTunes!

Now if you’re feeling extra loving, I would be really grateful if you left me a review over on iTunes, too. Those reviews help other people find my podcast and they’re also fun for me to go in an read. Just click here to review, select “Ratings and Reviews” and “Write a Review” and let me know what your favorite part of the podcast is. Thank you!

Listener shout out of the week!

“I felt [Episode 37] was just for me. I know I’ll be I will be listening to your podcast from now on I really enjoyed it and I know that it was meant for e to hear this today so I will start again working with my art. Thank you so much for all the inspiration and I will be looking forward to new podcasts. I will also go back and listen to the rest of your podcast. Episode 34 just came on and I really need this one too. Thank you so much for all this inspiration.”

~Barbara Houglan


In honor of the 300th episode of The Inspiration Place podcast, I'm giving away three $100 Amazon gift cards!

There are 3 ways you can win:

  1. Leave an honest video review of the book Artpreneur on Amazon. Go to SchulmanArt.com/Amazon to leave your video review.
  2. Leave an honest review of the Artpreneur WORKBOOK on Amazon. Go to SchulmanArt.com/Workbook to leave your review.
  3. Leave an honest written review of the Audible version of Artpreneur on Audible.com. Go to SchulmanArt.com/Audible which will take you to the Audible listing. You must listen to at least one chapter and still have it in your library to leave a review.

Screenshot your review once it's live (or before you submit it), and email it to Miriam@TheInspirationPlace.net by April 18th to qualify!

If for any reason you’re unable to leave a review on Amazon but would still like to join us for the live coaching party, record an Instagram reel of your review instead and send it our way! Please note that this won’t qualify you to win one of the gift cards.



Every person who enters any of the three ways will be invited to a private 300th episode coaching party on April 18th


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I’m Miriam Schulman, your curator of inspiration.

I inspire art-lovers to reconnect with their creativity and profit from their art. Whether you paint simply for the joy of it or you’re serious about selling your work, and you’re ready to stop putting yourself on the back burner...You're in the right place. I've done it and I can inspire YOU how to do it too.

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