#60 | Taking Back the Pink & Fighting the Instagram Comparison Monster with Creative Strategist and Illustrator Anna Lena van Iersel
About This Episode
We all know the cliche–the starving artist, suffering for their creativity. Well, this week’s guest is pushing back against the stereotype. Anna Lena van Iersel, of Anna Lena Illustrations, is an illustrator, author, and creative strategist who works to help creatives have a better work ethic and bring home a paycheck with their art.
“The things that always made me a little bit insecure just go away when I am focused on what I love to do and creating work that people find inspiring.”
Anna started out studying interaction design at a male-dominated technical university, where she abandoned her heels and pink skirts in order to be taken seriously. She started doing illustration as a side-hustle, but now she has built a business, and a captivating Instagram feed, with her playful and feminine style. But self-doubt has never been far away. Anna will share with us her journey through doubt, imposter syndrome, and dealing with her own “monsters” on Instagram and in her head.
“Laughing at yourself is such a powerful way of reflecting on your flaws and strengths, and being able to deal with that with humor adds an extra delicious layer. ”
At just 24 years old, this Netherlands-based artist is taking the world by storm. She creates brand illustrations for publications and companies, provides creative strategy sessions, sells merchandise with her playful illustrations on them, and she has written down all of her strategic wisdom in her new book, Creative Work Drive Hacks.
In this episode, Anna Lena van Iersel gives us some strategies from her book, such as tricks for dealing with stressors and events that make us feel uninspired and uncreative. Join us for a real conversation about creativity, money, junk food, and motorcycle obsessions.
“Femininity is the power to cultivate. I see builders and creators cultivating what they want to see in the world – the women who make things grow. ”
Tools & Resources Mentioned
- Asana – Asana gives you everything you need to manage team projects and tasks, so you spend less time figuring out what to work on and more time making ideas happen.
- Wunderlist – Plan for anything. Organize and share your to-do, work, grocery, movies and household lists. No matter what you’re planning, how big or small the task may be, Wunderlist makes it super easy to get stuff done.
- Skillshare – Skillshare is an online learning community for creators. Online classes at Skillshare can be created by anyone who wants to teach. The courses, which are not accredited, are available through subscription.
People/Blogs to Follow
- Gala Darling – Gala Darling is a speaker and the bestselling author of Radical Self-Love: A Guide To Loving Yourself And Living Your Dreams. She has been teaching radical self love — a selection of powerful techniques and tools which help women transform their lives — for close to a decade. Her site, galadarling.com, helps a million women a month find their voice, live without fear, and fall in love with life.
- A Beautiful Mess – Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman are sisters, and together they own A Beautiful Mess. They share home decor projects, recipes, and crafts, natural beauty, and lots of random bits of their life in the Midwest. They are total homebodies who grew up making craft projects together—and nothing has really changed. Their company is dedicated to being a positive force in the world and on the internet.
- Alli K Design – Alli was the girl in school that doodled all over everything and practiced her handwriting so that it looked like “computer font.” She has been putting that practice into good use these days with Alli K Design. Now she is a visual artist thriving on good conversations, laughter, cacti & chick-fil-a.
- Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk by Danielle Krysa – Packed with helpful anecdotes, thoughts from successful creatives, and practical exercises gleaned from Danielle Krysa’s years of working with professional and aspiring artists—plus riotously apt illustrations from art world darling Martha Rich—this ebook arms readers with the most essential tool for their toolbox: the confidence they need to get down to business and make good work.
- Don’t Read This Book by Donald Roos – The main message of this book is Focus. It connects the decisions you make at a personal, professional and creative level. It’s a reminder of how management of time is essential to complete your project and how being dispersed around too many ideas can make you lose time.
- Work for Money, Design for Love by David Airey – Unlike other dry business books, this refreshing, straightforward guide from Logo Design Love author and international designer David Airey answers the questions all designers have when first starting out on their own. In fact, the book was inspired by the many questions David receives every day from the more than 600,000 designers who visit his three blogs each month.