In this episode of The Creative Myth, we chat with the badass Stacey Owen. Photographer, entrepreneur, CEO, conference planner and podcast host. Based in Canada, Stacey is the founder of Pepper. A creative agency born to help out entrepreneurs and creatives get ahead in their business. Today we chat about Becoming a pro photographer, Starting a creative agency, Conference and Chill, Fostering Community, What you should be outsourcing, and the difference between craft and creativity... (among much else).
Hello you beautiful people and welcome to the creative myth. The podcast that attempts to inspire the uninspired by unfolding breaking down and distilling that mythical force of nature and or nurture, they call creativity. Our goal to bust the myth that creativity is only the birthright of the few. And each biweekly episode, we find a new and engaging self confessed creative and strike up a dialogue. Plus every now and again surgenor. And I will sit down and discuss a topic that has got something to do with creativity and how it relates to us and our role as artists, nomads and parents are go to find out just what creativity means, how it can be channeled into your passions and where you might find it. So who is we? We is surgeon acing, and Benjamin lane wife and husband Indian and Kiwi adventure photographers, international travelers and curious minds you may know as better as tended photography, and if not, you can check us out on Instagram at Tinder photography, or on our website tenant photography.com. Today on the creative myth, a very pregnant surgeon a chance to the one and only Stacy oh and the bed as host of PIPA cast, founder and CEO of PIPA creative agency and the person most to blame for the amazingly educational and hellephant online conference slash cocktail mixer and pajama dance party for creatives conference and chill. Women Stacy, right around the time the world was starting to recognize COVID for the threat that it is, and her sense of humor, cheerful demeanor and incredible ability to actually finish what she starts makes her Ria gym and creative circles. We are lucky to be able to say that we have become close friends. And we think you'll understand why as amongst much Allison's she inserted to discuss becoming a professional, creative, fostering creativity, what you should and should not be outsourcing, making time for creativity and the difference between craft and creativity. Oh, and creating Life Of course. So let's get to it. Welcome Stacey to our podcast, the creative myth. Thank you so much for your time and gracing us with your presence. Thank you so much for having me. I'm you know, I just want to hang out. And there's so many things that I want to talk to you about when it comes to creativity. Because you work with so many creatives, you are creative. And there are so many things we can discuss. But one of the things that I've been thinking about a lot is the stigma, or the issue around people finding the courage to call themselves creatives. So that is something that I'm very fascinated about. And that's the topic that will keep touching. I love you so much. Because I feel like we both have so much to say, we will have so much to say and already like I have I have conflicting things I want to tell you about a house. Yeah. But that's that's the thing about creativity, right? It's not one of the things that I want to talk about is that creativity is so disjointed. And that is why we don't see it within ourselves. So yeah, no, absolutely. Let's talk about conflicting information. But before we start, I know that you have a deep desire to bring creative community together to create resources for those aspiring to reach heights, in their own careers and in their own pursuits. Could you please explain why that is the case with you? Oh, now, you're gonna make me cry right at the very beginning. First, like, hysterical laughter and then crying and my hormones are all over the place. I mean, it's not live yet. But I'm pregnant. So I mean, this will be public once this is out. So I'm going to be all over the place extra all over the place. Oh, that's all good. Like I said, You're pregnant. I am like one day from my due date together. This is going to be really cool. Super emotional episode. Awesome. Everyone. Just prepare yourself. Yeah. Let's really dive into your passion. And how did this come about? I so before I did photography, it was a very, like, similar story to a lot of people. There was cameras around the house I did as a hobby, you know, just picked it up and played with it. Actually, my dad was a documentary film school. So we did have quite a bit of camera gear around the house. And he was always very for this. And yeah, and then I ended up buying my first camera was a film camera. He was an F 65. I think it was like 600 bucks was a lot of money for me as a teenager working in a little bookstore. And I just picked it up because it was Yeah, it was just fun. But, you know, I'm having a hard time telling the strikes. I'm trying to not already get really emotional, but I ended up in a long term abusive relationship with someone that really isolated me from friends and family made me feel quite small used to call me his meek little mouse and it was it is Tonight, it sneaks up on you, you know, you, you would never look at yourself like I'm the type of person that would be in an abusive relationship like, how does that how did that even happen then when you realize, you start to realize you are in one, you resist it because you can't believe is actually true. But it is bad as you're starting to believe that it is theirs. They're saying there's so much to it. But then I started doing photography more seriously. And a friend of mine asked me to shoot her son's wedding. And I said no. I said, because I'm like, I don't know what I was doing. I was just a hobbyist. It was just for fun. But I ended up second shooting that wedding. And I fell completely in love with it. The first shooter, her name is Sherry Nelson, and she's one of my closest friends now. And she was my mentor for a long time. And I started building self confidence, and community because of the industry and the people that I met in it. And there's a lot of positive affirmation like, you know, you're great at this. You're a great photographer, you're so much fun. And that that because of that because of the community because of the industry, because the people in it, the opportunity it gave me, I was able to change my life situation, because I was able to build enough confidence to do it, but also financially be able to sustain myself. So yeah, so the the industry means a lot to me. Oh, man. Okay, we both have to drive to cry. Um, yes. Okay. That's okay. I, like I rambled right on into it. And like a meandering, long winded, hopefully you all follow that. But it was a long journey. It was 13 and a half years. And I'm a much stronger person, because of it. But I appreciate everything that photography has to offer and the people in it. So I now understand when this passion started, and I have known you since just before COVID started, when did this passion became this burning light for you? Because tell us a little bit about conference and chill. But before that, what were you doing, as well. So before conference and chill. I mean, I was a photographer for quite a few years, I went full time fairly quickly. I was what you would have doing the air quotes successful. Depending on what your definition definition of success was, I mean, my friends didn't know what I look like, in person anymore. They only knew what I looked like on social media. But I was I was starting to drown in the work so much. I mean, when you first get started, a lot of the adrenaline keeps you going and you're you love it so much, you're so excited. And you just keep working, you're just you're so immersed in it. But sometimes not not for everyone. But for me, I did start to burn out, I didn't have very good balance in my life. Um, I was really focused on growing the business. And so I started looking at outsourcing. And I couldn't find a company that outsourced what I really needed. And the ones that were similar to maybe what I needed were very corporate, and they felt like they wouldn't understand who I am and the work that I do. And I'm a creative, I'm an artist, I'm like, they're not gonna, we're not going to speak the same language like what's important to me, it's not going to be as you know, what's important to them. So I created pepper is a creative agency for creative entrepreneurs, mostly photographers, helping them with their marketing and the strategy and the content creation. And and then we created conference until near the very beginning of 2020. That's a response to COVID. We met via pepper, and I have to tell the world that the first meeting we had, I was so fired up. It was the first time I had met you and through you, your amazing staff that give us the courage to dream big. And to think we can do anything. So but then sadly COVID happened and we couldn't. Everyone pivoted but I cannot wait to start working with pepper. Because you're right, what you created is an agency that understands the language of creatives and understands the sort of pitfalls that we we we have in our lives and the sort of struggles we have in our lives. And it's so beautifully curated for creatives. It's fascinating. So if anyone out there is listening to this podcast and wants extra help with their business, whatever it may be, get in touch with pepper My gosh, you're going to have so many dreams while you just chat with them and space for those dreams because they're going to take care of so much. So no thank you for creating pepper, and then conference and chill happened. Well, you conferencing tool was inspired In a conversation with you guys. Yeah, it was like we were we were talking about, you know how a lot of photographers are doing online education or webinars, online events. And it sparked in a conversation with you and Ben. And I just couldn't stop thinking about it. And I started talking to sharing Mike about it. And then like, he shouldn't fight these guys too. And like, we should hang out, we should hang out, see if these guys want to hang out with us. And like, what happens? What happens if we did this? And what I really loved about workshops, were the people that you got to meet. And that's what we were really missing those in person connections, I would learn and experience just as much incredible, incredible things from my fellow attendees as I would from the speakers. And that was the goal of confidential to be like relaxed, easygoing, really approachable. Yes, you learn a lot from the presenters, but interaction and not just sitting passively watching. No, absolutely. So what makes you feel you're doing pepper you, you still do your photography, and you're managing pepper, and you're managing conference and chill? What makes you feel inspired or feel like you are operating at your best self? So that's such a good question. Because again, like, conflicting, conflicting things, I think professionally when it comes to my work, when I am feeling like my best self, or when I'm feeling inspired, or when other people are succeeding. Interesting, yeah, when I feel like when I see other people doing really cool things and are putting themselves out there, and it's very, it's exciting, and it's new as innovative, or they're just doing it in their way that's so full of energy that I can't help myself but be carried along with it, then I become super inspired by that. And I love that. And I feel like my best self when I'm able to contribute to that. I feel very inspired by your answer. I've never seen it like that. That's, that's fascinating. But you but you're right. You know, when you go to a concert, or are are in presence of people who are doing amazing things, you do feel that vibration and that energy from them, but I've never put it in words or in thought like that, that that is actually really, it feels it feels good. It does feel good. So what is one thing about conference in Shell coming back to conference in Shell, and then I would love to talk about pepper as well. Because with pepper, you work very closely with creatives, you know very intimately with their businesses. But let's first talk about conference and chill. What is one thing that conference in Shell did for the community that you didn't expect? You know, it's not that I didn't expect it, but it was, and I and I knew but it wasn't really the focus of how people would create friendships that would continue on past conference and chill. And that you would see people interacting and hanging out and be like, hey, like you're my CNC fam. Like what have you I haven't talked to you guys and CNC and you see two people like actually collaborating on something because of conference and chill. And I, I knew Avi like, that's part of the whole reason, but seeing it actually happen. such a joy and still such a surprise is actually happening. Yeah, the people that attended our chats for branding and marketing, I'm in touch with almost all of them. And they've been so forthcoming with their love, and with their questions and with, you know, joining our journey. It's been fantastic. But that's all goes the credit goes to the way you've created conference and chill. And the way you've created that community and carried it on on Facebook as well that that creation, and must have been did it come spontaneously? Or was that something you planned? Like? This is how we'll go about you know, it comes from surgery that comes from you. It comes from everyone, it comes from everyone that's been involved. I like I don't I you know, I was just talking to someone about this earlier. Like, I don't feel like conference until is mine. I don't think it's mine. I think I organize it but I don't believe it belongs to me. I think it is what it is because of everyone that's been involved and everyone that's given of their time and their energy. And they've like put themselves out there like it's it wouldn't exist without without you Without sharing my with that, like all the other incredible people that have been involved. And that's that's what makes it what it is. It Oh, okay, do pregnant people today. But I love your answer. And but I love your answer for another reason because it's giving me a jumping point to a topic that I want to discuss that what really is creating something these days because it feels like what creativity Is, is having this piece of clay, you know that we're all taking our time and our turn smashing to make it into something else. You know, it's just one idea that we're all pounding on, we're just stretching it, we're putting it in the kiln by taking it out with smashing and breaking it again and creating things out of a singular idea rather than plurality of ideas. I, I can picture that I can I can feel that for sure. I feel like it's interesting. My brain has been so focused because of COVID on innovation and business. That I think purely creative creativity, can't even say creativity. Lee creative. Crazy. It's my Canadian accent. That's what's happening here. You creatively? You creatively, the word creative. Something else. Yeah. Oh my god. I haven't, I haven't put like a lot of focus thought on and how it's created, or why we create or the process of creation. I mostly go about my life, thinking and saying out loud and doing because why not? I want to I want to do this thing. Because Why not? Because I there was so much that I did not do before and I lived such a sheltered life. And I lived my life for somebody else. There's I didn't express myself, I didn't I wasn't creative for myself. Now it now just if I want to do it, I want to do if it's a crazy idea. Like the team thought I was nuts. conference, they're like, yeah, we've never done this before. I'm like, we're gonna do a three day worldwide event. so fantastic. Working on that, at that time, when the world was going crazy around us was it was so amazing. And it felt like things weren't achievable. Suddenly, when everything was spinning out of control. So no, that was so fantastic. But that, but that is correct, right? These days. We read about how to become creative. And one of the things required to become creative is having the time for yourself to let yourself be let your mind be what we are these days, we are our productive creatives. So we have to be productive 24 seven, and also at times inject our creativity in it without catching a brain. So it's I feel like it's almost like an art, you know, letting our brain do its thing while we stay active. That's completely fascinating to me. Because as a creative professional, because you are a professional, you're a professional, creative, you have to balance, being creative, and allowing yourself that time and that mind wandering and just seeing and letting things happen to also be like, well, I'm running my business, and I also have to do this and I have to market this and I have to do content creation for my own business and being still creative. That's and then the the guilt comes in, right? The guilt comes in when we don't create, like, I haven't done much in the last few weeks. What will happen now, rather than thinking that's part of the process, and yeah, this is gonna totally you can reel me back in this probably taking us like, way off off track here. But I had a conversation with it was actually with Britta bug, Uh huh. And, and she was chatting about at about how to not sell out. And she's very passionate about her art and her own creativity, and what that means to her. But then, now that she's like, at the time, this is a conversation probably like, almost two years ago now. So I'm sure like her whole life has changed. Like we all have our lives of change. Yeah. But the time was interesting, and trying to balance not selling out, and I'm doing the air quotes again. But also with being able to pay your bills and like allowing people to pay you for your work. Yeah, you can continue to be able to do it. Because if you can't pay your bills, and you can't feed yourself, you're not going to be able to just continue to do art. Yep, absolutely. There is a there's a huge dilemma between being creative and a productive creative. It's fascinating to me, the more I explored this topic for this podcast, one of the biggest things we asked ourselves, or people ask us is how are you guys so creative? And what we asked back was why don't you think you're creative? And the more we explored what their answer could be, the more we came to this conclusion that I think It's a disconnect between what creativity is, and what we have to do these days, to be creative, and to stay creative and to assert our right to be creative in our communities to become productive creatives. And yeah, it's been a fascinating journey. But what have? Do you feel that a lot of people think they're not creative? Actually, let me take this back. Do you think you're creative? I do think I'm creative. Awesome. When did you start thinking you're creative? It was there a moment? Did you create something? Or was that all your life, you've always felt that you're a creative person? You know, there was there was one moment when I was a photography moment when I had my film camera. And I took a photo manually with this film camera. And it was the firt the first roll I did, I took a photo of a rose. And my dad said it was beautiful. Oh, yeah. And I felt like, yeah, I made that. That's cool. That's cool. I do want to put a pin in this because I want to talk between the difference that there is between skill and creativity, and how that works. But that is cool, because I want to tell you my first photo that I took on, I don't don't even ask me what film or what manual camera that was, it was a manual camera. It was of Taj Mahal. I thought it was of Taj Mahal, but actually, it ended up being beside the shutter. And it's still there in some family album message in his first photo. I don't know how old I was. Right now. It's written in the back of the photo, but yeah, I was. Yeah, I was very proud of that, dude. Yes. Cuz I was like, yeah, cuz I was like, Yeah, everybody takes photos of bad smell. You know, nobody highlights the pillars on the side. So that's so cool. That was probably the excuse I gave for that photo. But yeah, no, I think of a beautiful rose. I mean, this does not surprise me at all. Cool. So, so you've always thought your creative since that incident happened? Or is that what you can think of right now? Was there a time in your life when you thought no, I'm not a creative person. Hmm. I'm trying. I'm trying to be like really honest with myself. I remember I remember finger painting as a kid like shimmering paint everywhere and thinking it was like the best feeling ever. And terrible, terrible drawing and painting. I mean, chose photography for a reason. But I can't like I don't think there was ever a time You know what, there was a time when I would say I'm a photographer, where I'd feel like a fraud as a business owner. I didn't like I never felt like I wouldn't call myself a creative or I'm a creative person. But when I started calling myself a photographer, I was preparing myself for eye rolls and like, Oh, yeah, like, what do you do? Like shoot your dog, which I did, you know, just your friends, which I also did. But I think it was more that like, saying I was a professional versus saying I was right, is that I found that when someone says that they aren't creative, they're actually mistaking creativity for craft. So, you know, people would tell me, I can't draw Well, when I show them my painting. So how do you draw this? Well, I can't draw, you're so creative, or you know, like dancing as you can dance or while you're so creative, but that is just the craft that I have learned. Creativity is completely different thing. And I never realized that I actually thought that because I can draw I am creative, because I can dance. I'm creative, till we started this business tinted photography. Now here I was, I was not a photographer. I had taken that one photo of that helps colors. And since then, always was in front of the camera and never behind the camera. I met Ben who was so passionate about photography, used to teach photography. And I was going to just run the social media side of it. Well, there was no social media back then, or the admin side of it and bringing in couples rather than actually photographing them. But when I started going on shoots with him, I started giving my input on how this photo could come out, or looking at, you know, things as a blank canvas and then trying to imagine how this photo would come out. And that's when both Ben and I realized that there was a huge difference between knowing the craft and being creative. And that has been our biggest strength that wherever it's my craft that is shining. You He gets to be creative. Because then I can focus on the craft and he can actually make it go bonkers bananas beautiful. And then I can do the same for him when he's taking his photos. I could be like, should we do it like this? Or let's create a double exposure like this. So I think it's marrying the two that become that you can come up with something very innovative. But I was Yeah, I was very we both were very taken by the difference between craft and creativity. Did you see that? I mean, no, I mean, yes. Now that you've said, I'm like, that makes sense. But I haven't. I've never heard it verbalized. Oh, yeah, it's because I lived through it. Because I for the longest time, it used to be better as a photographer, I am what I couldn't, I couldn't come up with a word like, what was I? What was I doing in the business? It took me two years to learn from Ben, how the camera operates, how to take photos, what is all those jargon terms, etc, to learn the craft? It took me two years to do that. But for those two years, it was just like, what am I doing intended, outside of replying to emails? So that's when Yeah, it dawned on us the difference between craft and creativity. But I'm glad it resonates with you, too. It's not something it's in our head. Oh, it really is not. And it's, I mean, I've heard people say, and I've said it to people, where someone you know, someone will say to me, I'm not a creative person. I'm a lawyer. And I'll say, well, well, just, you know, just because you're a lawyer, doesn't mean you're not creative. Just because you're not painting murals, doesn't mean you're not a creative person. Like, I'm sure you have to be very creative. As a lawyer, you have to be solution driven. And you're I'm sure your mind has to be very agile. And I think that's a sign of a creative person. Absolutely. Because then if if we actually differentiate between creativity and craft, then what creativity is, is how we use our, which makes everyone creative. Oh, I love that. So since I just, I just did a mecha. No, but like, yeah, that's then that way. Anyone you know, gardener knows the craft knows how to grow plants, but then how they use their craft would be what creativity is, is that what I mean? Yeah, yeah, I mean, I'm just expanding and making it more beautiful. Oh, okay. I'll take that. Um, so have you worked with people who you you just look at them, you know, even photographers that were supposed to be creative in a creative field. When you've worked with people who you see, they're so creative, but they, they can't see it. You know, what I see, I wonder, and this isn't that I'm just musing. And this is not a full thought. So I apologize. But I wonder if now Now that you have me thinking if some people that I've spoken to know the craft, they say that they can take photos, they are a photographer, but they're not creative. So they struggle, because they're constantly looking to see what other people are doing. Because it's not coming from within, it's mimicking from outside. And they know they know how to take photos, and they know how to make it look good. But they don't truly feel connected to it. And they don't believe they're good, because it's not their own creativity that's creating the images. So in that case, I'm thinking about two things. It could be that they were, I believe, and this podcast creative myth believes that we're all creatives. So I'm thinking that they are probably creative, but haven't mastered the art of being productive creatives. So they've you know, they haven't figured out how to let their mind be. And hence, because the pressure is to create all the time, they need inspiration from outside. But then also the second point that we talked about the clay thing, right? It's not about innovative ideas, it's about AI borrow your idea. And then I make it into this beautiful scrap sculpture of a bird. And then someone takes my bird smashes it and makes it into a leopard. I don't know. But it's the same clay that we are playing with. And maybe we are expecting that we will create our own clay. But in reality, the process is how we take somebody else's clay and then create it into something else. And probably that's what creativity is. I don't know I'm music is no, it's interesting. I feel like it's like a thought is just forming. If you make a very good point I if you were to ask me straight up, do I think all people are creative? I say yes, to some degree. I think there's degrees of creativity. I think trusting in your creativity is something and maybe if you don't trust in your creativity, then you rely on others. Yeah. Oh, yeah, sorry, yes. Flash thing. It could also be that when people say that they're not creative, it could also be that you know how authenticity is such an overused word, that it starts losing its meaning. It's probably that we hear creative people creativity, having your creative powers, etc. So many times, maybe it just starts losing its meaning and it becomes this very untouchable, ethereal thing that that exists somewhere outside of you. And it doesn't make even sense. You know, when you start repeating a word, you know what I mean? Yeah. Sometimes I'm in a supermarket. Yeah. And I'm like, Ben, we need toothpaste, to toothpaste. What is it? That's what I'm spelling random, like, very basic, whereas I'm like, is actually right? Again, yeah, basic, basic word. Okay, so I'm really happy that we are doing these musings up in our podcasts because that's what probably is going to spark an idea in somebody's head who is listening to it. And whoever is listening to this podcast, thank you very much, by the way, just Yes. Thanks for hanging out with us. While we Muse and figure out where this is going. Okay, so let's jump back to your personal life again. You've had an immense wealth of personal experiences that shaped not only who you are, but now it's shaping our creative community, not just photographers, videographers, it's so many artists that creative not creative conference and chill is working with if you could turn back time and talk to your 18 year old self. What would you tell her? don't date back guy. Say No. No, but but no conference and chill might not have started you probably had to go through that fiery storm to Yeah, to come out this amazing, amazing person that you are now serving all of us so wonderfully. You know, seriously. This is it's from bottom of our hearts for everyone who has been connected with conference in Shell could vouch for that. It's been it's been so fantastic. But But yeah, tell me tell me more stuff. You would have told your 18 year olds have. Search and I made me cry again. Maybe I would tell her you got this, huh? And that's probably something we all need to tell ourselves right now. don't even need to go. No. don't even need to go into that past self. You got your God says, Dear one one day to go. You got this? Yeah, yeah, I got this. Creating life tomorrow. I mean, being creating life for nine months. But yeah, literally birthing life tomorrow. Okay. Okay, I have to ask you a question. Yeah, this is because we talked earlier and you said who you are now might you might be different. You will be like a different person. After my he comes. Like what like what how do you think you'll be different? Like I'm, I'm because i'm also going through so I'm gonna all the words of wisdom. But you think we I think we both would agree that as a creative, especially as a very creative person we know very aware that experiences help us evolve very quickly. You have a conversation with someone and you've already grown and evolved past who you were 24 hours ago. Yeah. So you were literally giving birth to a human being tomorrow, you're bringing a whole new being that you created that you grew up in, find your body tomorrow, ridiculous, like insane. So who you are now and who you will be tomorrow. At first, I wanted to like what what are you feeling right now? I have no expectations. That's what I'm feeling. And that's such a beautiful feeling. I'm somebody who gets cold feet very easily. And the fact that I am just in this moment, just suspended in this moment, really being present, is like I've been on a meditation trip for days. It's just I've been so present on what is happening right now with me. This morning. However, I was talking to my mum about how things used to happen back in the days when hospitals and medical intervention wasn't available. And she was talking about how many how many women How many kids used to lose their lives during childbirth? And she said something. And she said, it used to be sad. And I don't know if it's just in our culture, if it is, across the board, that women have two lives, one that they have before they give birth, and then it's her second birth, she comes as a second person, when she becomes a mother. And I had a two fold meaning one that if she survives, this is a second birth, in that pregnancy, and then if she and also because it changes you completely, like you said that we have a chat with someone that completely changes our in our entire life. Sometimes I tried trajectory. And this is an experience that is so non fungible, that it is there is no it's not no repeating it, there is no going back on it. Regardless of what happens, it is going to be an experience that it's one of a kind. So there is no way I won't be changed as a person, it would be ridiculous, it'd be impossible be resisting change. If I come back, exactly the same, and be like, Oh, this is me, nothing changed. I'm still doing the same things. That would be me resisting change. When I understood that it was it was such a calming feeling that I don't have to be anyone, I just have to discover what I'm going to be. So no expectations, no plans, nothing in my head, I am on this. You know, when you go to a new country, and your plane is about to land, what are you thinking nothing. You just like, I just can't wait to see what this country holds. And so I it's like going to a new country. I'm like, What does motherhood hold? This is exciting. Like, where is it going to land? How is it going to be a bumpy ride, not a bumpy ride, like whatever it's going to be, it's going to be my journey. And that's the coolest part. Like, it's mine. It's mine, you know, I can hold it, I can shape it, I can mold it, or be molded by it. So that it that is very empowering, rather than worrying about it. So yeah, no, that's what I'm feeling we should Okay. Well, first of all, that answer was incredible. And it felt like a spiritual experience. Just listening to that. I want to know how you think having being a mom being a parent is going to change how you mean like, how it how it's going to change your creativity, like maybe how you work or how you see how you see the world, how you see things, how you shoot? Just what if there's something you think how it's going to change what you believe? I want to know what that is, and then months from now, I want to ask you the same question. And I want to know what how it actually changed you. If I answered this question that would be having an expectation. But But, but logically thinking, and this last nine months, if I have learned something, I can tell you what has already changed. And that is that I used to be a very insecurity averse person. So like I needed even though we are adventurous photographers living a nomadic life, which inherently means there is no safety, there's no safety net, it's just how it goes. Wherever you go, there's no roof over your head, you don't know where you're going. But last nine months, if they've taught me anything has been, I don't have to be insecure, I really don't have to be insecure, because insecurity comes from this gap between what you expect and where you are currently in your life. That gap, the bigger that gap gets, the more insecure you get. And living nine months last nine months and recognizing that actually zero expectation is the happiest way of living life and actually experiencing it to the fullest. I am unscared of insecurity or the feelings of insecurity, they don't bother me anymore. So I feel like that will make me bolder as an artist. And just put forward anything rather than worrying about likes or how people will react to it. How that will go with my understanding is as a business owner, that for any art to succeed, you have to take your audiences with you, you can't alienate your audiences. So it's well and good creating something and saying I don't give two shits about what other people think but alienating your audiences is not a good idea. So how that's going to balance balance that is going to be interesting, but I'll let you know how that Yeah, but that that's been the biggest thing. I'm not insecure anymore, which is fantastic. It's such a liberating way of living when you're not insecure about where the next from even financial security, you know, understanding that I am going to be able to provide for this little one, it's going to happen. There's there's no looking back. So it is going to happen this way or that way. And so not having that insecurity It's so liberating. It's just a weight has been lifted. And your brain has been given that space that we were talking about in the beginning to actually do its own thing. So I've been super creative. And last nine months, I've been put out a lot of work that I should have, with all the busy things that we're doing. But I've been making so many paintings, I have learned so many dance moves that I probably didn't even try to venture in, or try before. You know, I've become a better cook, really good cook. I've tried recipes that I wouldn't have tried before and worked with ingredients I wouldn't have worked with before. Because you think you're insecure about certain things in life. But actually, if you're an insecure person, you're insecure about everything. It doesn't just touch one part of your life. So that's one thing that has already happened, but zero expectations of what's going to happen. I'm gonna keep that on. That was fantastic. I'm, I am so excited for you. And we for you. I am like I can I cannot wait for this to turn into this international playdate situation. I'm so ready. Okay, I was about to get like tall I forgot. We were recording for a second I was about to break down. Totally different conversation. So yes, we will we should chat about that. Yeah. I'm actually again, really inspired by one of the things that really inspired by after chatting with you on this podcast is your initial answer of what makes you feel inspired. Because I never saw it that way. And yet, it is something I've experienced, and again, never put into words that when people are succeeding around you people having this energy of creating and being their best self, that it actually does make you feel freakin amazing. do more. Yes. Yeah. And that's and that's probably what we're doing trying to do with this podcast, but didn't realize that that was actually the, you know, the path to it. That talking with other creatives, actually sharing your own ideas coming up with this Ooh, moments, is going to possibly charge up someone else and give them that desire to be created as a perfect for this, perfect for this. Let's come back to one of the things we were discussing before. And that was about difference between creativity and craft. Now let's talk about pepper with pepper, you work very closely with photographers, what is one of the things that people like to outsource the most. You know, and we talked about this, but just before your second presentation with conference in Shell, and most people come to us, I'm not saying most people, a lot of people. There's like, there's like two things that are really rising to the surface right now. But I would say social media, and I know you have this, like you have the solution for this. So well explained in your presentation. But a lot of creatives feel like they give so much of themselves in their work, and to their clients that it's hard to continue to give themselves of themselves even more in their marketing, and especially on social media, right? Because people want to see who they are. They want to know like more about them. And the wise people love following people. People don't generally follow businesses for the business unless it aligns with like their purpose or their goals or something. But generally people like following people. Yeah. And so creatives can have a really hard time with that because they're just tapped for energy. And the second one is strategy and prioritizing and having a workflow and having a system. And instead of just feeling like they need to be producing all of these things and doing all this marketing. They don't know which one to do first, and they're just like randomly throwing out these these marketing tactics without a strategy just all out into the world. And hopefully something happens. Right? Right. The people come usually for the strategy. Interesting. I yeah, I thought people would come mostly for menial, if that's how you pronounce the word admin tasks, so that they have more time to do the stuff they love. But that that's really interesting. So strategies, something new. I love that you said that because that's what I thought when we first started pepper. Oh, we first started I thought photographers want to just hand off the TAs so that they have more time to do what they want to do. Yeah, and that's true. That is so true. Like they don't want to, they don't want to blog. They don't want to post on social or schedule. They don't want to do the newsletter. They don't want to do their workflow like they like they want to be a photographer. totally makes sense. But the thing you can be handing off all those things to a VA and I don't even call ourselves VA is anymore because of this, but you can hand off those tasks to VA but without a strategy and a plan behind it and a goal and a reason like what's moving you forward. You're just doing busy work. You could be you could be producing so much content, and it's not moving you forward. It's putting it out there. But what are you putting out there? Yeah, absolutely. No, I look back. And now that you said that, actually, I'm thinking about our talk that we had. Just before COVID, we were in Mexico, he were back in your office, discussing what we could do for tinted. And it started with, hey, let's do admin work, and it quickly turned into, but we have so many ideas, we want direction, and we want somebody to help us focus all those ideas so that we can actually have a path to follow. And you can see yourself succeeding like you if you create a goal. And it doesn't have to be like this massive goal. It could just be like, I want to book this type of session. Right? I like because a lot of people I will take anyone like I will book anyone because money, Stacy, because money, right? Yeah, but maybe maybe you're very specific. And I know you guys are like very specific on the type of clients you want to experience you want to give them what you're offering is is very unique. And it's very like special to you guys. And you're looking for people that align with that. Yeah, but so your approach and how you put out your content and how you market your business and where you're taking it, even when with your podcast I get there, there are things that you need to do to move that forward. And there's things that you're probably doing that you don't need to do. That's true. And we and we take we take the week, not just the plan and the strategy, we also take the data and the analytics. So for example, we would do an SEO audit on your website. Are you coming out for the search terms that your ideal clients are searching for? If you're not, absolutely that sounds like an easy win right there that you could really put out ahead? So we did we did SEO work for one of our commercial photographers, and within three months, she was booked by Absolut Vodka. Ah, wow, purely that's amazing purely for it because of the SEO work we did. And then and then we had we worked with this Goldsmith, where she was putting a ton of energy into Instagram, because she just assumed that's where her clients were, she just assumed that's where her traffic is coming from. She really had no idea. When we pulled the data and we did the analytics. She was getting 300% more traffic from Pinterest. And she had no idea. No idea. And she was doing minimal effort on Pinterest. Wow. Oh my god, that that's just given me so many talking points. And I'll quickly say them, I don't know how many will touch because they're slipping on my head. One is how much time effort and our own creativity we lose because we focus on our weaknesses rather than our strengths. And the other part was that probably it's the same idea of that clay thing that we were talking about, you know, using the same, that collaboration is actually something that we're all creatives are looking for. Because that is what mashing up ideas like me telling you what tinted wants to do. You then telling me this is how the direction could be channelized, you know, you can channelize your energy, this way to get this result is what results in this amazing, innovative idea. And then exactly like it's very collaborative. Like it's not like we don't tell you, this is what you should do. I mean, like, this is what you could do. And this is why this is how it could work for you. And if you love that idea, because you are the owner of your business, you're like, Yeah, I love this and this and this, but after a conversation like maybe I might tweak this a little bit. So once we approve on the direction and the plan and how we're going to get there, we actually break it out into actionable items and steps and we execute the plan. So you're physically you're like physically doing the things that are moving you forward. You're not just like blog for me post on social for me do this newsletter and like just willy nilly. That's a good old nanowire that I adopted from her willy nilly. And it's like it is it is business, but it's also very exciting. And it's also it's focusing your energy. So it's not just going everywhere. So it's the perfect marriage of craft and creativity, like we discussed, like it's your craft of actually helping us channelize how this will be executed. And also your craft of really bringing out the ideas that I've been rolling in our head but not finding voice in place. And then us actually coming up with how we will do it creatively. You telling us these are the steps because that's what happened when Ben wrote his long exposure guide, we were discussing and I said I don't want us to write guide that everyone else is writing. I want to do something different, but also in realm of photography, because Ben is going to write it I will be not good at sitting down for long hours that Ben put him to write that guide. And you know, we brainstormed ideas and out came long exposure guide and we found that there was nothing in the market for that. And then the way you structured Ben's days, that was amazing. I just oh it was Good as a partner had to do nothing. It bought more love between us. Like it was amazing like all like I had to do was really motivate him give him kisses and cuddles whenever he reached a goal that you had set for him. And there was no fights. There was nothing and you know, well, ah, we had a guide that sold so well. It was fantastic. Can't wait to do another one with him. And you do the self portrait one? Oh, yeah. Can he write that man? Yes. Do you think that? I think then the craft though part probably comes from you with those. Yeah, yeah, definitely does. I need somebody to write it? Can I just dictate just such, I was super idea person. But when it comes to actually sitting down and doing stuff, yeah. So lean into your strengths, like you said, Yeah, I will come up with ideas and topics. And I have the brilliant idea of what the self portrait guide should look like. But yeah, the execution of it. But we'll talk about that later. But this is Oh, my God, this is so fascinating. And everything is coming back to that topic of the difference between craft and creativity. And also the fact that it's not about coming up with innovative ideas all the time. It's about taking your creativity, or which is the way you see things differently, taking the clay from someone else, and then molded that different mold. And you have something interesting is so interesting. Yeah, I think we both are going to mull on this more. And over the coming weeks, they're going to be social media posts, where we really unravel what we have just discussed, maybe make it something concrete. And next time, when you come back to the podcast, which I've shamelessly already assumed you, I'm here to hang whenever you want. Awesome, we can dive deep again and see what we had thought about this or the next month and how it has formulated in something more structured rather than this new. But I think I feel like anyone that's listening, if you're listening right now, and you're a photographer, and you're feel like and you feel like you're struggling with your creativity, knowing the difference between craft and creativity, I think will help you I think it'll be less daunting. Because you can ask yourself, What am I really struggling with? Am I struggling with the craft, maybe because I can picture in my head what I want, but I can't make it happen. So that's not about not being creative. That's about maybe you need to learn more about your craft. So I feel like this almost gives tools where you can deconstruct like, just this overwhelming feeling that you're not getting where you want to get or you're not creating what you want to create. Fantastic. I couldn't have put it in better words. Thank you for doing that. I would have rambled on and on. I don't know thank you for doing that. You're the one. Yeah, that's my ramble. Just go somewhere else. But um, no, this is Yeah, definitely. And this is how, with this podcast having you Stacy, we've provided value to our listeners. It started with a completely different topic, but we came here this is what creativity is. Yeah. Completely disjoint Yes, it really, and a queen of her own. We can't really command it like we are going to do this and she's like, we will sit there is a thread, there's a thread that goes all the way through just follow the thread. Absolutely. It's been a fascinating journey with this COVID thing and how we've all know one way or the other adapted to how work is being done from home. I mean, we for the last three and a half years we've been doing it with tinted anyways from our airbnbs but man, this was a whole different beast, you know, because it was just us doing that work and maybe having talks with our just our couples and then suddenly it was the entire world in your living room. That's right into your dressing habits into your way of thinking to see like this is where I do my makeup behind me. Like oh, like I got my books and yeah, yeah see like, Mike my little part of my life here the exposed right. Does it started with I remember it started with we have to clear the background. You know, we're having this zoom call with someone is let's just clear everything up to now like this is who we are and everyone accepting the fact that yeah, this is who everyone is like this is how exactly I try and sit here as my shoulders like block the you just get to see the photos. That's it. Oh man, if we had to take notes Cliff's notes from this podcast, I think it's going to be mostly laughter and no words. mazing promo Yeah, just just laughing Yeah. laughing in between saying Don't make me. I'm crying right now. So true. Yeah. What we're going to do now is the last section of a podcast, which I haven't told you about, but it's it's a surprise. It's a rapid fire round. Oh shit. So I'm gonna ask. I'm gonna ask quick questions. And people who've been listening to this podcast for a while know that I say it says rapid fire. But generally it ends up being long winded answers. So let's see how we do it. Okay, Okay, I'm ready. Okay. Okay, so first is very easy and simple morning person or night person. I mean, I want to be a morning person met I'm a night person. So what is with this? The see what I'm doing? rapid fire now have a question. I can't help but what is with this desire that so many of us have to become morning? club, I want to be part of like, with the cool kids where they're super productive because I get up at five o'clock in the morning. But I'm, I'm the most productive at night. I get the most work done. I am the most focused because everybody else is sleeping. Yeah, exactly. Same with me. So we'll make our own coklat Kids Club. Amen. Yeah, let's get working on our strength. Yes, you remember? Yeah. Looking on our strengths. So night person and proud of it? Yes. Okay, so the second question would be if someone were to make a movie about your life, what genre would that be? I mean, maybe a bit of a dark comedy? I think so. Right? Oh, that's a good answer. I was thinking so many things you would would say but I didn't think dark comedy, but now I want somebody to make that movie. I'm pretty sure. It's funny. Okay, what are the three words with which you would describe yourself? Oh, I struggle so hard with this. I resist. I resist the three word thanks so much. Because I might answer something now. And tomorrow. I'll say three other words that I'm feeling more aligned with. But the thing is, it's not might you will. We're just talking about right here. Right. Okay. Absolutely. Otherwise, it's a stupid game. Otherwise, it's interesting to describe you. What are the three words that describe you right now? joyful? grateful. A bit ridiculous. I wasn't on a poster on my wall. That is so cool. I'm going to copy that. It's going to be a poster. I'm sorry. I'm taking it. shamelessly. That's a cool answer. I don't know why you say dude. What are yours? I love that. You let me do it for right now. This is very freeing. So for you right now, what are your three words? First of all humbled like I don't know, if you remember the first time we had a chat. I was so scared. Even the second time, even the third time we had a chat. And I had to be like, I'm so nervous. I couldn't speak proper English sentences. I was excited. And then you did this very, very sweet thing. It was been in my wedding anniversary. And you didn't know that. And you call that day COVID had just started. We wanted to work with you. But we had lost so much of her income. And you call the new we're just discussing how things will go when we told you. We really don't have money, all the money that was going to come through isn't going to come through and you offered us five sessions. free of cost. And that was the first call we received on our wedding anniversary and it was the best anniversary present not just because you know we got to work on tinted at a time when we all we want to do is drink gin day and night. Like so sad. But also I got a friend through that. And that was you. It was it's been amazing. You've been there throughout the pregnancy journey. And whenever I needed something, I could call you and chat with you and then disappear and then come back like nothing had changed between us. So very humbled for that connection that we made. And for that I have to thank Sherry and Mike who made that connection. And so so humbled for knowing Sheree and Mike knowing you and for this to happen and me sitting here talking to you from New Zealand to Canada. so freakin humbled. Unbelievable. grateful. so humbled, grateful. And on fire. Yeah. Like god, I'm like 40 weeks is going to be due. And I love the fact that when I say let's record, he will not like do it. plan to record a podcast the day before. Yeah, this is going to be nice, then I can do one with you after we had the baby, and then see how things have changed in progress. But I really wanted to get in right now. It's like, a definition of being a badass. Yeah, I should have said bad as on fire is two words, right? I mean, it was perfect. I mean, I said, was it ridiculous? So that's like three words. So Oh, that's awesome. See how the rapid fire becomes into a long sermon on some wood? And the last question is, is there a myth about creativity that you would really really badly want to bust? Oh, man, good one. I'm paying for him to let you down. Like, I don't even know what to say. Cuz I feel like a really common one. But like, we talked earlier that you believe everyone's creative. Everyone has creativity. I think that that's probably the very common you want a bass it's not common. Yeah, it's not it's not common. A lot of people will still believe more people believe that they're not creative. So that is a good myth to either. I'm trying to think like, what is another one that I hear? You don't have to be cool? To Be creative? Ah, yeah. So true. Yeah. So freakin true. I have this amazing friend. She's, I think 15 years older to me. One of the things that she told her now very creative kids throughout their school life was you don't want to be the cool kids. You don't want to be the cool kids. And it paid off like her kids have frickin creative geniuses. It's amazing. So great point, Stacy. That's awesome. I keep that person's Sorry, I got to I interrupted you, because that person's a genius that they told their kids that that's absolute genius. Yeah, I think we'll take that advice. I've definitely told that when I'm like, these are the words we're going to tell my No, don't be the cool kid. Don't be the cool kid. Yeah, no. Okay. That's great. Thank you for busting that myth. And I want to bust a myth of yours that you just said that you're going to let me down. by just taking time to answer the question. Remember, we were discussing that we need to let our brain do its own thing to come up with ideas. So thank you. So not all creatives have answers on the tip of their tongue all of the time. Definitely not Definitely not. Oh, man, I love chatting with you. absolutely adore chatting today. I could I just gives me so much joy the entire time. I'm smiling. I've called you sometimes from my car when something really bad has happened. And I start with my crying face. And by five minutes into it. We're just laughing and talking about something else. So no, thank you so much for jumping in on this podcast in such small notice, like less than 24 hours. And just gracing us with all the wisdom and inspiring me with how you get inspired to be your best self. So I'm going to take that to heart and discuss that with Ben. And it was a really good takeaway from me. So thank you so much, Stacy. Okay, well, you've officially like I actually you've officially like having on the verge of tears four times. Oh, and um, I can't even Oh, no ended now. And it's a perfect match to the soundbite we were talking about this is a perfect way of ending this podcast. Then we'll after we sign off, Ben will come in and tell you where to find Stacy. Where to find pepper where to find conference and chill and you guys get involved because your life is going to get better for it. Thank you so much, Stacy. And I'll see you next time with my in my lab. Thank you so much for having me. Thank you for being the incredible human you are little hugs. So there you have it peeps. We hope you learned a thing or two today. It turns out that our photographer friends Sheree and Mike were mentioned more than once in this episode. So just to get you all caught up. They are the amazing hosts of conference and chill and incredible photographers based out of Canada. Are you a creative business owner with no time to do anything but work and go to meet tipper.ca and they can help you with loads of stuff like content and marketing strategies, blogging, newsletters, public relations, Pinterest and social media, SEO, branding and so much more. Also, make sure you Google conference and show for all the dates on the next event. You'll love being a part of the super inclusive online community. Trust us. It's full of incredible people, amazing cocktails, great dance parties, and you get to learn a thing or two. After you're done bingeing every episode of the creative myth, you can hear more of Stacy and us over on her very own podcast podcast. Already if you'd like to discuss or add to any of the ideas, mused here today and you're feeling in a supportive and friendly mood, we would love to hear from you. Or if you know someone you think we should have here on the creative myth and maybe we can get our foot in the door. You can DMS on Instagram or Facebook you'll find us at pet photography or at tenant photography.com. Make sure you mash whatever button it is you need to mash to subscribe to the creative myth because next time surgeon is back and talking to Raja angling and amazing travel content creator and international wonder are based right here in New Zealand. I can't wait for this one. But until then, you know the drill. Stay read. Stay tuned, MP creative