Hi friends, long time no talk! I am super excited to be gearing up the Pivot Podcast again with a special episode on Artist as CEO, featuring my guy, Michel Karsouny. Michel and I met over a year ago walking in opposite directions down a New York City sidewalk — how's that for the magic of serendipity?!
My longtime blog friend Kerri Lowe, who helps produce a narrative podcast called ArtistCEO, came over to our studio apartment to facilitate a free-flowing conversation about all things art and business. Find out how we navigate the highs and lows of creative living, moving beyond burnout, and balancing the business side of art-making with opening up space for the unknown.
Pivot in Paperback — September 19! Pre-Order Bonus Bundle
Before we jump in—Pivot comes out in paperback on September 19! If you don't yet have your copy, now's the time :) I'm bringing back the pre-order bonuses from the hardcover edition launch a year ago for a limited amount of time. Grab your copy, then submit the receipt at PivotMethod.com/preorder to get:
A signed bookplate
My entire 20+ page behind-the-book toolkit
Pivot Playlist on Spotify, and
Access to $500 in courses (including Speak Like a Pro, Book Ninja, and Systems Ninja)
More About Michel Karsouny
Michel Karsouny is a painter at play with the spectrums between dichotomies. Starting in the study of classical painting techniques and expanding into graphic design and illustration through his business in Beirut, he soon turned to his art full-time. Karsouny says, "My art is my process, and my way of processing cultural and personal grief all around and within. I move between canvas and touch-screen functionally and intentionally - trying to stand at their edges."
Raised in Lebanon, a country steeped in tradition, and now living in New York City, the epicenter of freedom of the hustle and self-expression, Michel strives to create a dialogue that engages both the classical and the contemporary art worlds, and advances the conversation beyond their duality. His focus is on creating art in a way that feels like play while simultaneously transcending the boundaries, limitations, and expectations of opposed worlds — the figure is an abstract of the subject or the subject is the abstract of a figure. His most recent work, ONEDOTPSD, is a study of the line between digital and analog painting, through a process that by design emphasizes mindfulness and impermanence.
Topics We Cover
Can you be an artist and CEO at the same time?
Creating space as a requirement, building in time for recharging on the backside of a sprint
Redefining what it means to run a business effectively, challenging the factory model work week
Your body is your business (with room for sprints) - peace of mind is fundamental to creativity
How/why we justify spending several hours reading every morning (when it used to seem like a waste of time)
Bruce lee - be like water — minimize planning to be more strategic, flow
What happens when your body slams the breaks - collarbone
Cultural differences, valuing doing vs being
Seth Price: 4 artist goals (money, culture/scene, craft, freedom)
Inquiry for the next phase: How can I create abundance with ease and joy? What is my soul work?
Money as a vehicle to help you follow your soul path
Delegation: muscle you can build, how it relates to the burnout conversation
Bottlenecking, separating income from the requirement to be present to earn it; creating scale
Business model choices - putting the solo into solopreneurship rather than building a big consulting enterprise
Peak ping - maxed out, the need to free up brain space and ways to do that
Create small systems, habit stacking, automation to free yourself so you're not burdened by minutiae
Ditching vanity metrics; why I am deliberately terrible at social media
Following the threads of serendipity
Podcast: Artist as CEO with Jenny Blake & Michel Karsouny
Kerri and Shannon's ArtistCEO podcast
Buy a framed print at Society6
On Delegation: Jenny's 8-Week Delegation Ninja course
Jenny's HBR article: How to Decide Which Tasks to Delegate
Also mentioned on the show: Photographer Daniel Kelleghan
Check out other episodes of the Pivot Podcast here. Be sure to subscribe via iTunes, Android or SoundCloud, and if you enjoy the show I would be very grateful for a rating and/or review! Sign-up for my weekly #PivotList newsletter to receive curated round-ups of what I'm reading, watching, listening to, and new tools I'm geeking out on.