Your Creative Board of Directors

When we make things we usually have a set perspective on our work. This perspective frequently is shaped by our intended audience. We make with an audience in mind. And sometimes it is an audience of one.

Who do you make things for? Who is the first person you show your work to and seek out feedback? How does that person serve your process?

The jumping off place for this episode is an article from interview magazine wherein Keanu Reeves interviews Robert Longo and they discuss this concept.

“As an artist—I’m sure like most creative people—you have this kind of board of directors that you make your work for. For instance, you’re one of them. It’s a group of people that you have, these friends, and you want to know what they think. In a weird way, you’re making the work for them. I mean, you make the work for yourself first and the next line is the people you trust, and you know that they’re going to tell you what they feel. They let you know if you’re dishing bullshit or if it’s real. The first person in line for all that stuff is usually Barbara [Sukowa, Longo’s wife]. I count on her gut reactions. They’re always insightful. She’s nervous about saying something, but most of the time she’s right. I say 99 percent of the time she’s on the mark. I feel like she is my great secret weapon in that sense.” – Robert Longo

  • Why we still love Keanu Reeves
  • Why you should identify the people you “make for”
  • Intellectual Board of Trustees versus Creative Board of Directors
  • How your board of directors can help you to ship it
  • Are you unconsciously creating for specific people? What would happen if you made it conscious?
  • What happens when you make things for yourself first?
  • How does the draw of celebrity-ism (adversely) affect our art?
  • Mary goes on a rant about shitty marketing tactics which make her crazy

Three Random Members of Mary’s Board of Directors

  • Kyle
  • Elizabeth Gilbert
  • Patti Smith

Three Random Members of Kyle’s Board of Directors

  • Mary
  • Eli
  • Selena


If you could have lunch with anyone (alive, dead or fictional) who would that be and why. Write for five minutes about your lunch.


Mary hangs out on adirondack chairs in the Russian River Valley with Brene Brown
Kyle shares a diet 7-up with his Opa (grandfather).


He sets his pill container on the table next to his fork and slides the diest 7-up over to me. I open it up and pour it into my glass. His robe has gotten larger, or maybe he’s gotten smaller. Slowly he spreads some mint jelly on his piece of luke-warm lamb. Shaking hands bring the food up to his mouth, a few crumbs are caught by the napkin buttoned to his shirt. The 7-up crackles, punctuating the silence. Opa sits back and chews slowly. Smiling just a bit.
“Are you ready?” I ask.
I set the tape recorder next to my plate and hit record.


Lunch with Brene Brown

It will be a Tuesday in Russian River. Brene will bring a bottle of wine. I’ll bring snacks. We will sit on adirondack chairs on a dock at the water.

Brene will tell me stories about her work about her family and about finding her voice and her path.

Brene teaches vulnerability, authenticity. She represents wit, strength, intellect and boldness.

She makes. She puts herself out there. She grows out loud.


  • There’s nothing that doesn’t exist



Music by The Passion HiFi

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