Podcast: Jeff Rudell talks about finding your creative mission

21 Oct 2011


All images by Jeffery Rudell, used with permission.

In this podcast, I talk with Jeffery Rudell, a paper artist who creates beautiful and unexpected things from this ephemeral material. You may have seen some of Jeff's work - he's done paper constructions for large brands, and he's built paper props for national magazines. He's done paper-sculpted window displays for Tiffany & Company, and he has a wonderful archive of paper tutorials over on CraftStylish. He also has a book of Halloween silhouettes that just came out.

Jeff approaches his work from a true sense of mission, and that's what our interview is about. How does an artist arrive at what his or her creative mission is? Once you know what your mission is, how does that change the way you work - and what you make? And how is a creative mission different from a business plan?

Jeff is also an extraordinarily articulate person with great ideas on the nature of creativity. I think you'll enjoy hearing him speak as much as I did.


After you listen, share your thoughts!

What is YOUR creative mission? How does having a mission affect your work and life? Or if you aren't sure what your mission is, what are some skills you have that you enjoy using? Tell us in the comments below!

Find Jeff around the web:

• You can explore Jeff's tutorial archive over on CraftStylish.com.

• Want to chat with Jeff on Twitter? Here he is.

• This Google Image archive will show you more of his work.

• Want some Halloween silhouettes? Jeff shared a few from his book over on CRAFT.

Thinking about your creative mission? Watch these!

• This was the video that first got me thinking about missions: Jamie Oliver discusses his mission at TED.

• Bill Cunningham, a fashion photographer for the New York Times, is to me a near-perfect example of working from a sense of mission. This documentary about him is phenomenally inspiring and emotional.

• Design geeks will enjoy this film about legendary graphic designer Milton Glaser. It'll get you thinking about why you make what you make.


I really enjoyed this & will be listening to it again. I liked this part so much, I wrote it down:

"If I've solved this problem once, how can I sell that solution to someone?
I know a lot of business people in the craft world who wait for a client to come with to them, present a problem, and then work like mad to try to figure out how to solve it.
But problems are often not that unique. Art directors want somehing new, interesting, afforable, seasonally appropriate, looks expensive. I can think about all those things before an art director ever comes to me."

Love, love, love.

Excited about podcast 2.0 and I hope you sell the crap outta your excellent podcast. Thanks for being a mentor to so many, for always thinking deeply about things and for sharing your thoughts and findings with us!

Wow, thank you so much, Heather!! I sure hope the show proves sustainable.

Thank you, Joy! I feel the same way about Jeff - his talent is undeniable, and it comes from a premeditated place. He's able to quantify and support the mode of working that produces the best ideas for him, and I love how articulately he can explain this.

Wow! Craftypod podcast 2.0 ROCKS!

I have listened to this particular episode, like 5 million times :)... Seriously, life changing. The part that I find most interesting is Jeff's take on social media... You might not see me on the tweets anymore...

Thanks so much for sharing, Jeff and Diane!

Excited to take part in this little experiment of yours - I've subscribed :) Keep 'em coming and I hope this works out to be sustainable for you. I love it!

Doesn't Iamplify accept Paypal for payment?

Hi, Debbie - I'm waiting on an answer from iAmplify on that. I'll update you (and others) as soon as I know. As I mentioned in another reply, if iAmplify can't accommodate PayPal, and there are enough people who want that option, I can certainly come up with an alternative for you. More info as soon as I have it!

I bought the new show and subscribed! Everything went smoothly! :)