Windowsill Chats

Margo Tantau

  • 1 hour 21 minutes
    Mastering Creative Storytelling, Brand Strategy, and Core Values for E-Commerce Creatives with Arianne Foulks

    Margo is joined by Arianne Foulks. Arianne is the founder of Aeolidia, a Shopify development agency that's been working with creative shop owners since 2004. Her team blends strategy and design to create super-effective Shopify sites, email marketing, and branding. She is also a popular educator and small business enthusiast. As a champion for creative brands, she has a 17+ year reputation for thoughtful redesigns that help businesses level up. She loves having a problem to solve, and has focused throughout her career on building online homes for fascinating people. She is also a mom of two teenagers, enjoys walking, and always has a pile of books by her bed.

     

    Margo and Arianne discuss:

    • Arianne’s creative history of crafting beaded jewelry and zines in her childhood to transforming the online presence of creative e-commerce businesses

    • How she cultivated her niche in the e-commerce industry

    • The challenges of selling unique products in a market flooded with mass-produced items

    • The power of storytelling in e-commerce.

    • Core values and how they guide Aeolidia

    • the significance of having a minimum viable product

    • continuous evolution of brand voice

    • How and why her team switched to a four day work week

    • how to avoid scope creep and set good expectations when working with clients

    • Using the Entrepreneurial Operating System to run a business

     

    Connect with Arianne:

    https://aeolidia.com/

    https://www.instagram.com/aeolidia/

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/ariannefoulks/

     

    Connect with Margo:

    www.windowsillchats.com

    www.instagram.com/windowsillchats

    www.patreon.com/inthewindowsill

    17 July 2024, 12:00 pm
  • 1 hour 38 minutes
    Creative Confidence, Trusting Your Gut and Navigating the Thin Line Between Inspiration and Imitation With Michael Schultz

    Margo is joined by friend and former guest, Michael Schultz. Michael is the co-owner and creative eye of Cursive New York, which operates 2 stores in New York City. Cursive is a tightly focused concept with the simple mission of cultivating joy. Michael, along with his husband, Douglas Duncan, have established Cursive as a strong and forward voice in the industry where they offer gift, stationery, home and lifestyle products and is constantly evolving. Cursive operated in New York City’s iconic Grand Central Terminal for 11 years and within ABC Carpet & Home for 15 years, until the Covid-19 pandemic upended those long runs. Making lemonade out of lemons, Schultz and Duncan doubled down on New York and opened 2 shops in New York’s West Village neighborhood, 4 blocks apart. One shop is true to the original Cursive vision, while Cursive Home is the brand's extension into home goods.

     

    Margo and Michael discuss:

    • Going all in on yourself, trusting your gut and having confidence in your creativity

    • The thin line between inspiration and imitation within the digital landscape

    • The risks of looking too closely at others' work and what it can lead to

    • The importance of developing a unique point of view

    • The patience and vulnerability required to pave your own path in the creative industry

    • Maintaining confidence in one's original work even if it isn't immediately recognized 

    • Strategies that artists and designers can use to cultivate their own original ideas

    • Setting yourself apart as a leader and visionary by thinking two steps ahead

     

    Connect with Michael:

    www.instagram.com/cursivenewyork

    www.instagram.com/curisvenyhome

     

    Connect with Margo:

    www.windowsillchats.com

    www.instagram.com/windowsillchats

    www.patreon.com/inthewindowsill

     

    10 July 2024, 12:00 pm
  • 21 minutes 37 seconds
    Creative Current Events: More on AI, Boosting Confidence, and Innovative Product Design

    Join Margo and Abby Campbell for another creative current events catch-up! They discuss boosting self-confidence by ditching "imposter syndrome," explore innovative product design, and highlight the winners of Penguin Books' 2024 Cover Design Contest. They also delve into the latest trends in the art world and share personal anecdotes on overcoming creative blocks. Tune in for insightful discussions and actionable tips to fuel your creative journey.

     

    Mentioned: 

    https://www.reddit.com/r/DefendingAIArt/comments/1da6ctq/cara_was_doomed_to_fail_from_the_beginning/ https://www.creativeboom.com/tips/how-to-be-more-confident-as-a-creative/

    https://www.creativeboom.com/news/penguin-reveals-the-winners-of-its-2024-cover-design-award/

    https://www.bandanaofthemonth.club/

    https://hudsonvalleyseed.com/pages/call-for-art

    https://sowtrueseed.com/pages/art-call

    https://www.westcoastseeds.com/pages/artist-packet-contest

     

    Have a topic or article you want to hear about in a creative current events episode? Send us a DM on Instagram! 

     

    Connect with Abby:

    https://www.abbyjcampbell.com/

    https://www.instagram.com/ajcampkc/

    https://www.pinterest.com/ajcampbell/

     

    Connect with Margo:

    www.windowsillchats.com

    www.instagram.com/windowsillchats

    www.patreon.com/inthewindowsill

     

    5 July 2024, 12:00 pm
  • 42 minutes 59 seconds
    Marching to the Beat of Your Own Drum: Dan Checkers on The Art of Personalized Songs and Connecting with Fans in Unique Ways

    Margo is joined by one man band, Dan Checkers otherwise known as Dan & Drum. Releasing his debut album in 2017 with no label, connections, or many friends for that matter, he was surprised to see it get millions of streams in the first year, thanks to creators like Jenna Marbles featuring the music. Since then, he's been consistently releasing music, earning 10s of millions of streams across platforms, while touring across the US. Since COVID, he's been selling personalized songs to fans that are then publicly released later- which he finds to be his most artistically fulfilling venture to date!

     

    Margo and Dan discuss:

    • His path into music and niching into personalized music

    • The power of networking and connections in the music industry

    • How he transformed challenges brought on by the pandemic into an opportunity

    • His process of songwriting

    • His belief in the personal being universal

    • Personal struggles with depression and how a gift from his mom became a crucial outlet

    • How social media algorithms can be leveraged to build an audience

    • Potential benefits and limitations of signing with a music label

     

    Connect with Dan:

    https://www.dananddrum.com/personalizedsongs

    https://open.spotify.com/artist/1ZajCRAa7VEcTytwxzr20a

    https://www.instagram.com/dananddrum/

     

    Connect with Margo:

    www.windowsillchats.com

    www.instagram.com/windowsillchats

    www.patreon.com/inthewindowsill

     

    3 July 2024, 12:00 pm
  • 40 minutes 10 seconds
    Heirloom Artwork to Inspire Creativity: Brittany DeSantis on Grief, Calligraphy, and the Power of Journaling (Part 2)

    In part 2 of 2, Margo is joined by calligrapher and author, Brittany DeSantis. Brittany is most well known for her focus on mindfulness and the sensory experience of writing and creating: the sound of the pen on the paper, the way the ink flows on the page, the concentration it takes to form each stroke and how to find a "flow" by doing something just beyond your comfort zone. Journaling has become Brittany’s main focus. She pairs art and writing to show others a barrier-free way of expressing themselves and feels the outcome is always less important than the act of creating itself.

     

    Margo and Brittany discuss:

    • Her path from rediscovering her love for art in a watercolor calligraphy class to founding Peak Paper Co

    • Transitioning from an advertising job to full-time artistry

    • How creating simple forms helped her in combating creative block

    • Art as a tool for navigating grief

    • Strategies that Brittany has found to be effective in balancing multiple roles and responsibilities like motherhood and entrepreneurship

    • The value of reaching out for mutually beneficial relationships

    • The importance of creating a supportive space for creativity

    • Finding inspiration from neuroaesthetics and the science-backed benefits of art-making

    • How she overcame imposter syndrome by focusing on teaching beginners

    • Her groundbreaking grief journal proposal and what it’s led to

    • What it’s been like to partner with a renowned brand like Montblanc

    • The therapeutic benefits of art and journaling

    • An upcoming retreat in Portugal that promises to be a haven for creative minds

    • And so much more

    Connect with Brittany:

    www.peakpaperco.com

    www.peakpaperco.com/my-book

    https://www.amazon.com/Forget-You-Not-Keepsake-Navigating/dp/1958803375

    www.instagram.com/peakpaperco

     

    Connect with Margo:

    www.windowsillchats.com

    www.instagram.com/windowsillchats

    www.patreon.com/inthewindowsill

     

    26 June 2024, 12:00 pm
  • 57 minutes 8 seconds
    Heirloom Artwork to Inspire Creativity: Brittany DeSantis on Grief, Calligraphy, and the Power of Journaling (Part 1)

    Margo is joined by artist, calligrapher, and avid journaler, Brittany DeSantis. After making a big cross-country move to Alberta, Canada nearly a decade ago, Brittany fell in love with the mountains and back in love with art. This move inspired the "peak" in her business name, Peak Paper Co. Through global brand partnerships and from Brittany’s tiny home studio, she's taught the art of calligraphy, watercolor and journaling to over 50 thousand people worldwide. One of Brittany's very cool teaching roles is that of global luxury brand, Montblanc's, Inspire Writing instructor. She focuses on the "beginner" stage as she believes we're all inherently creative and our own handwriting is a gift. Brittany is the proud mother of two young daughters and now, a published author who still deeply misses her dad. Art and writing inadvertently helped her cope with his loss 20 years ago, and still does to this day. It's why she created a guided grief journal to help others find the power of putting pen to paper when we're going through hard times.

     

    Margo and Brittany discuss:

    • Her path from rediscovering her love for art in a watercolor calligraphy class to founding Peak Paper Co

    • Transitioning from an advertising job to full-time artistry

    • How creating simple forms helped her in combating creative block

    • Art as a tool for navigating grief

    • Strategies that Brittany has found to be effective in balancing multiple roles and responsibilities like motherhood and entrepreneurship

    • The value of reaching out for mutually beneficial relationships

    • The importance of creating a supportive space for creativity

    • Finding inspiration from neuroaesthetics and the science-backed benefits of art-making

    • How she overcame imposter syndrome by focusing on teaching beginners

    • Her groundbreaking grief journal proposal and what it’s led to

    • What it’s been like to partner with a renowned brand like Montblanc

    • The therapeutic benefits of art and journaling

    • An upcoming retreat in Portugal that promises to be a haven for creative minds

    • And so much more

    Connect with Brittany:

    www.peakpaperco.com

    www.peakpaperco.com/my-book

    https://www.amazon.com/Forget-You-Not-Keepsake-Navigating/dp/1958803375

    www.instagram.com/peakpaperco

     

    Connect with Margo:

    www.windowsillchats.com

    www.instagram.com/windowsillchats

    www.patreon.com/inthewindowsill

     

    19 June 2024, 12:00 pm
  • 18 minutes 10 seconds
    Creative Current Events: The Wild West of Artificial Intelligence

    Back with a creative current events update, Margo is joined by Abby Campbell. They dive into the latest social media app, Cara, and its mission to filter out generative AI images so that people who want to find authentic creatives and artwork can do so easily, Meta’s somewhat scary new AI policies and the difficulty in opting out, and Adobe versus the Ansel Adams Estate - what went wrong and what kinds of processes should be in place to ensure it doesn’t happen in the future. 

     

    Have a topic or article you want to hear about in a creative current events episode? Send us a DM on Instagram! 

     

    Connect with Abby:

    https://www.abbyjcampbell.com/

    https://www.instagram.com/ajcampkc/

    https://www.pinterest.com/ajcampbell/

     

    Connect with Margo:

    www.windowsillchats.com

    www.instagram.com/windowsillchats

    www.patreon.com/inthewindowsill

     

    13 June 2024, 12:00 pm
  • 1 hour 36 minutes
    Creativity in Crisis: Paul Pape on Nurturing Creativity through PLAY, Embracing Failure and the Future of Art

    Margo is joined by seasoned artist, designer, and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the creative industry Paul Pape. Paul’s journey began with a passion for education stemming from a need to escape an abusive childhood. Eventually, he found his way to design and fabrication, which led to the creation of thousands of personalized products for clients worldwide as well as industry giants such as Disney, Universal, Nickelodeon and more.. In recent years, he’s pivoted to empowering Creatives, Companies and Corporations, sharing his expertise and insights to help them embrace innovation, reverse the Creativity Crisis and make life and work FUN again. As a speaker, educator, and mentor, he inspires others to unleash their creative potential and find fulfillment in their personal and professional lives.

     

    Margo and Paul discuss:

    • Pauls personal creative journey and how an abusive childhood played a role from inspiration to career

    • How the industrial revolution shifted jobs towards more creative pursuits and how technology now frees us for even greater imaginative endeavors

    • How customized creations can touch lives in unexpected ways

    • The incredible impact creativity can have on our lives

    • Dealing with copyright and trademark challenges

    • Empowering the next generation of creatives

    • The importance of failing with purpose

    • Nurturing creativity in education

    • The evolving role of technology and AI in artistic expression

    • His unique framework to foster creativity called PLAY (Ponder, Learn, Apply, Yield)

    • Joy and importance of teaching without gatekeeping

     

    Connect with Paul:

    https://paulpape.it/

    https://www.youtube.com/paulpapedesigns

    https://www.instagram.com/paulpapedesigns/

    https://www.facebook.com/paulpapedesigns

    Freebie! https://talk.ac/paulpape?code=WINDOWSILL

     

    Connect with Margo:

    www.windowsillchats.com

    www.instagram.com/windowsillchats

    www.patreon.com/inthewindowsill

     

    12 June 2024, 12:00 pm
  • 1 hour 47 seconds
    Singing Success to Jewelry Brilliance: Dani Paquin on Creative Fulfillment, Community Building, and Two Decades of Agapantha Jewelry

    Margo is joined by Jewelry Designer Dani Paquin. Dani founded Agapantha Jewelry in April of 2004 after 6+ years of living as a touring singer-songwriter. While it was an incredible, dream fulfilling time, people don't love paying for music and the hustle was unsustainable. Between tours, Dani started working for a couple of designers, assembling jewelry and found that it was fun, creative, she was good at it, and people were willing to pay for it. She did music and jewelry for a while, semi-retired from music, opened an adorable vintage shop in Brooklyn, and eventually found her way into the full time flow of entrepreneurship. In 2010 she moved back to her home state of California and Agapantha has been headquartered in Torrance (Los Angeles County) for the past 14 years. In that time, the style of jewelry has changed dramatically and landed where it is currently - delicate, modern, layering jewelry - handmade in her production studio using primarily sterling silver and 14k gold filled materials.

     

    Margo and Dani discuss:

    • Her  journey from music to crafting exquisite, delicate, and modern jewelry

    • How she built a successful business through innovative strategies, combining wholesale, retail, and unique events

    • Diversifying offerings so all the eggs aren't in one basket

    • The future of her brand as she ventures into fine jewelry

    • The intricacies of running a creative business

    • The importance of customer interaction and the challenges of navigating tough economic times

    • Hiring a team and the importance of finding people that are better than you

    • The incredible community she's built through initiatives like "Flash Sale Friday" and the Agapantha VIP club

    • And more

     

    Agapantha is carried in boutiques all over the world, including the Agapantha showroom. Dani’s business model is fluid, allowing for change and flexibility, but combines wholesale, retail, online, and events including activities such as piercing, laser engraving, and forever jewelry.

     

    Connect with Dani Paquin:

    www.agapantha.com

    www.instagram.com/agapanthajewelry

    www.tiktok.com/@agapanthajewelry

     

    Connect with Margo: 

    www.windowsillchats.com

    www.instagram.com/windowsillchats

    www.patreon.com/inthewindowsill

     

    5 June 2024, 12:00 pm
  • 1 hour 3 minutes
    The Art of Well-Being: Jennifer Brinley on Nature-Inspired Design and the Impact on Brain Function and Health

    Margo is joined by artist and designer for the gift & home decor industry, Jennifer Brinley. Jennifer has been in the industry for over 20 years with a degree in Studio Art from UC Santa Barbara and she believes well designed products can bring moments of joy. Her creative path took her to graduate school for architecture before promptly dropping out after learning advanced math was involved to pass "structures." She then bounced around with a variety of jobs to save money to go to Europe for 3 months with a childhood friend. After Europe, came the quandary of what to do next and decided she would go back to school to become an art teacher. A want ad looking for a T-shirt designer led to quickly creating a fake portfolio and she began designing T-shirts for Crazy Shirts as well as getting a business license to sell her own T-shirts. She met her licensing agent by chance making color copies at Kinkos and today her designs have been on everything from tableware, gift mugs, kitchen textiles, rugs, fabrics, placemats, trays, coasters, gift bags, flags, art poles and planters.

     

    Margo and Jennifer discuss:

    • Finding inspiration in nature and how one of her best selling products is a nature inspired design

    • Balancing creativity and business in the art world

    • The importance of staying informed and interested within one's industry

    • Fueling passion through seeing others' work and new trends

    • The impact of art and design on behavior and well-being

    • The benefits of engaging in art daily for brain stimulation

    • Biophilic design and nature's calming effect on the brain

    • Studies on neuroaesthetics (the measurable changes that occur in the brain while looking at art, design, architecture, interior design, etc) 

     

    Connect with Jennifer:

    https://www.instagram.com/jenniferbrinley/

     

    Connect with Margo:

    www.windowsillchats.com

    www.instagram.com/windowsillchats

    www.patreon.com/inthewindowsill

     

    29 May 2024, 12:00 pm
  • 1 hour 18 minutes
    Finding Beauty in Everyday Life: The Power of Creative Practice and the Art of Noticing with Mary Jo Hoffman

    Margo is joined by artist, photographer and author Mary Jo Hoffman. In her previous life, Mary was an aerospace engineer until one day she decided to take up a daily practice of photographing something in nature. This daily practice turned into STILL Blog, profound revelations about the connectedness of all things, the importance of place, and her own life. Her new book, STILL: The Art of Noticing, features 275 of the most stunning photographs Mary Jo has accumulated over thousands of consecutive days of daily shooting accompanied by perceptive, deeply felt, and oftentimes humorous essays illuminating the insights gained through this daily creative practice. Mary Jo has enlisted the help of her husband, Steve, and their two children on this creative endeavor. What started out as a way to practice for retirement, has turned into a second career! Mary Jo's photos will have you looking at your own backyard in a different way and noticing much more than you ever did before.

     

    Margo and Mary Jo discuss:

    • Her creative path and how she went from aerospace engineer to photographer and author

    • The importance of continuing the creative process despite life events

    • Creating a memory grid

    • The concept of 72 microseasons and how it impacts her creativity and photography

    • Benefits and challenges of committing to long-term creative projects

    • Licensing Deals, her experiences in working with Target and West Elm

    • Maintaining a creative life while raising a family and the impactful legacy that can leave for children

    • The intricacies of finding beauty in everyday life,

    • Her new book, Still: The Art of Noticing

     

    Connect with Mary Jo Hoffman:

    https://www.instagram.com/maryjohoffman/

    STILL: The Art of Noticing

    http://eepurl.com/bTvh4n (Newsletter)

     

    Connect with Margo:

    www.windowsillchats.com

    www.instagram.com/windowsillchats

    www.patreon.com/inthewindowsill

     

    22 May 2024, 12:00 pm
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