Podcast 12: The power of personal projects, with Xanthe Berkeley

“It pushes me to create in a different way. It pushes me to create just for me.”

Xanthe Berkeley is a photographer and videographer with a penchant for stop-frame photography and cheerful colour. A a self-confessed ‘project fountain’, she’s able to chart her own creative and professional development by the projects and assignments she has embraced along the way. By the end of this episode I defy anyone to not want to find their own new initiative, and follow in Xanthe’s footsteps creating for pleasure and passion without caring about the response.

Xanthe’s Instagram | Vimeo | Twitter | ‘Make Films’ Video course | website | Flickr


Listen in iTunes | Listen on Soundcloud 

Things we talked about:

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
Ira Glass

Also, just FYI: when you hear Xanthe say “play with yourself”, we both broke down into hysterical 12-year-old giggles and had to restart a few minutes later ??. Can’t think why my editor took that out! #TotesProfesh 

Have a great week!

S x


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  • Lynn Hill

    Another great podcast Sara and Xanthe. Feeling inspired to create my own project.

  • Paula Solar

    Your podcasts are pretty much the only thing that can make me sit in silence for 30 min-50 min straight… This was another interesting talk which I will surely listen to many times until I’ve squeezed all your (I mean yours and Xante’s) advice, tips and suggestions.

    That’s what I do with all the podcasts, I listen to them over and over because they’re so enriching. Because the people you talk to are so knowledgeable, so nice and kind, so very much like you in that. That’s why this podcast matters, because you know which are the things people need to learn and you talk about them. That’s why when you take the break that you deserve the podcasts won’t be forgotten. On the contrary, they will be listened to by many, and cherished too. They’re not Instagram stories that die within the day, they stay, they’re available, reachable.

    I think I’m mixing things here but I’ve been thinking about your concerns on the break thing, the splitting the podcast in seasons and all that, and it’s now when I could give you an answer. And now I’m going to play this podcast again xxxxx

  • Really been enjoying your podcasts Sarah and this one with Xanthe inspired me to start a non-themed instagram account just for what I eat in a day. It’s actually been so liberating!

  • readcreatelove

    Such a great podcast. So inspiring! I have felt in a rut with my Instagram account – people only wanting to see pictures on a certain theme and I felt I was missing a more creative outlet, so I recently opened a new Instagram account to try something new. This podcast has made me think a project is just want I need to experiment with on my new account. Thanks again.

  • I’ve listened to and enjoyed all of your podcasts, Sara, but this one is my favorite. Perhaps because it came at just the right time for me. I’m excited to start a project or two of my own now. I will be sharing this episode in my Facebook group as an inspiration/jumping off point for a few creativity discussions. Thank you for the work you do!

  • Jasmina Haskovic

    This is also my favourite ❤❤

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  • This was so inspiring! I’m really loving these podcasts, though I’d beg to differ when it comes to “beware vanilla” 😀

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