Create Out Loud
with Jennifer Louden
5 | Morgan Harper Nichols On Knowing, Embracing, & Honoring Your Audience
In this episode:
- A glimpse into the creative career of artist, poet, musician, celebrated print illustrator, and Garden24 online shop owner Morgan Harper Nichols
- How being present to ourselves and in sync with those around us leads to creative joy and freedom
- The financial realities of living a creative life and how it can shape your career choices
- The shift that happens when you realize the art you create is not about you but the impact it makes and how the audience you attract is not necessarily the one you choose but the one you’re meant to reach
- Learning how to see the restrictions we encounter as creatives as a good thing that can provide parameters that challenge and inspire our work
- The pressure that comes from having your art become your business and how to avoid letting the demands of staying relevant consume you
Morgan Harper Nichols is many things - artist, poet, musician, and illustrator, and she has walked a beautiful and twisty road to arrive at her current success.
We had a candid conversation about the financial realities of living a creative life and how the call to pay the bills can shape your career choices in unexpected but ultimately constructive ways.
“It’s funny because I used to try to tell this story in a more poetic way, but it’s just not that. It was just financially hard to sustain…”
She chose to walk away from the music industry after touring and getting a record deal, and found herself in a really low place, feeling like she’d let down the people who had supported and believed in her.
“I did the brave thing; I did the courageous thing, going on tour, being a musician… and I have nothing to show for it.”
She chose to trade the spotlight for paying the rent.
But despite choosing what she thought would be a more practical path, she soon found herself in burnout mode, piecing together freelancing jobs to pay the bills.
Her burnout inspired a poem that went viral and created a whole new direction for her. She began creating for the people who engaged with her work instead of overlooking them, as she was tempted to do.
Morgan's work resonates deeply with adolescent girls - so why was her immediate, knee jerk reaction to push away from that audience? We talk about it in the episode, and you won’t want to miss what she has to say.
By creating for one person at a time, she grew a following of over 2 million people and was able to build a very successful creative business based on what those people asked of her.
Her guiding truth?
“Do for the one person what you wish you could do for everybody.”
We chatted about her husband’s unexpected role in growing the business, the team support and family support she has, the pressure that comes from having your art become your business and how to avoid letting the demands of staying relevant consume you, and so much more.
Join me as we discover how Morgan Harper Nichols creates out loud.
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