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is book by its cover.



Photography: Nader Abushhab



Photography: Nader Abushhab



Photography: Nader Abushhab


Here at


it should come as no surprise that we’re all about the creativity. So when we got the chance to chat with Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author, and one cool creative-minded soul, we couldn’t contain our excitement. She’s practically our spirit animal. Her new book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear is already creating big, big waves not just amongst creatives, but people searching to let go of the fear and unlock some inspiration. How does one do that exactly? Elizabeth has all the answers – and then some. So sit back, relax, and get into the creative state of the mind – you may even learn a few magic tricks along the way.

we believe creativity matters 10

The TED Talk that changed everything I

have been engaging with creativity in the most generative, pleasurable, self-forgiving way my whole life. I’ve been talking about [creativity] publicly probably ever since 2009 when I gave that TED Talk, which I thought was totally a bomb because I was basically standing there in front of venture capitalists and tech startup guys about how completely irrational I view them, and I thought it would not be welcomed, but it was welcomed‌ Wherever I went, people would come to me with their creative questions, and I realized just how curious I was about the ways that people deal with fear in their lives in order to also be engaged in curiosity. 11

Trust that you’ve got a lot to say 12


searched lots of books about the creative process, and realized I did not want to read one of them. I was much more interested in my deep, personal, sentimental certainty about the way that I spend my life engaged with this work. I had to take a leap of trust and say, ‘Just speak of your experience! The research that you’ve done for this book is the research of 25 years spent engaging with creativity in a really great way. That’s enough!’

Be a follower (of curiosity) The consistent thing is that I’ve been following my curiosity the whole time, and what happens when you create a life spent following your curiosity is that you have a really interesting life, and it will probably look different than you would think, because what I was curious about when I was 23 doesn’t have to be what I’m curious about now. I don’t really have any need to... dance on tables [at Coyote Ugly Saloon] but it was exactly the best place for me to be because I was meeting all sorts of different people who I was fascinated with and then I was writing short stories about the people I was meeting when I was dancing in the bar so it worked.

Don’t let fear win

“I’m just 1% more curious about the world than I am afraid of it. And I’m pretty afraid of it but the good news is that, at the end of the day, I have that 1% more curiosity about exploration and inquisitiveness than I do fear of all the terrible things that could go wrong, and that’s what’s compelled me the whole way.”


The past is a creative present

“You want to be careful not to get too rational and scientific when it comes to creativity, because you might kill a really cool part of it that you need. I think the really cool part of it that I’ve been happy not to kill in myself is the idea of mystery [and] magic – the sense that there is some weird force out there in the universe that wants to interact with me. And the whole thing I do in creativity is a contract with that mystery that says I will do this totally irrational thing: I will devote my most precious treasure – which is my time on Earth as a human being – and I will throw it into making stuff that nobody needs. The world does not need another novel… and yet people can continue to be called to kind of do this stuff, as people have been called to do for 10,000 years. I’m interacting with spirits that are wanting to interact with me, and I’m happy to be part of that collaboration. I can’t think of a better way to live my life.”

It’s what’s on the inside that counts

“You’re going to have to have a garden inside of you that no one can reach. And to do so, you’re going to have to think really creatively, and you’re going to have to look to people who had to the do the same thing – who were not allowed to stretch outward and so they stretched inward.”

“What people are capable of doing is very small, but I can’t live in a world where I believe that anybody in any circumstances is prohibited to have a huge internal life. I have to believe that everyone is invited into a huge internal life, no matter what may be happening outside.”


Don’t be afraid of the ‘c’ word would say... liberate the culture of the word ‘creativity.’ If that’s the word that [people] feel that they’re excluded from because they’ve bought into some sort of idea that creativity is something that belongs to the special, the trained, and the talented, then just forget it... Let’s not even use that word, and insert into its place… the word ‘curious’ or ‘curiosity’... How weird would it sound if you said, ‘I’m not a curious person?’ Too many times I think we overlook curiosity or ignore it because it doesn’t have the glimmer of ‘passion,’ or ‘calling,’ or any of those rockstar words, so we think it’s nothing, but in fact, it’s everything. And I guarantee that if you start living a life guided by your curiosity, you will start to live a very creative life.”





WOMEN THAT WOW ALEXA MEADE Los Angeles When you give a TED Talk titled “Your Body is My Canvas,” you know you see the world through artful eyes (and that’s just the way we like it). Los Angeles-based artist Alexa Meade is more than just a people person. Her unique, selftaught approach to art involves painting a portrait directly onto people and other objects to create living two-dimensional works of art that’ll take your breath away. An Artist-in-Residence at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Meade’s mind-bending art is answering the big questions of dimension, time, and how we grasp the big old world around us.


Photography: Courtesy of Alexa Meade


WOMEN THAT WOW JANE CHEN Bengaluru & San Francisco It’s the little things that count in life. And Jane Chen, co-founder and CEO of Embrace Innovations, knows this firsthand. Her company is dedicated to bringing affordable medical innovations to developing countries around the world. Every year, over one million babies die of preventable complications related to low birth weight. Chen co-created the awardwinning Embrace Warmer for this very reason, and it’s saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of premature babies, simply by keeping them warm. This Harvard and Stanford graduate is creating big magic in the medical world by thinking of the small things.





Photography: Sandy Nicholson





WOMEN THAT WOW JEANNIE GAFFIGAN New York The saying goes that behind every great man there’s a great woman. In the case of The Gaffigans’ life in the limelight, it’s true. Because when people are laughing at a great Jim Gaffigan joke, they’re also laughing at the comedic genius of his equally hilarious wife Jeannie. Together, this laugh-out-loud powerhouse couple (with five kids) collaborate from their Manhattan apartment and crack jokes all the live long day. She’s not only co-creator, writer, and executive producer of the binge-worthy The Jim Gaffigan Show, she’s also had a hand in much of his standup material and bestselling books throughout the years. With her background in theater, the creative partnership was destined for the spotlight… and lots of laughs.


Photography: Photography: John Lamparski/WireImage/Getty Images





WOMEN THAT WOW TINA SHARKEY San Francisco You may not know her face, but she’s the mother of social media as we know it. Tina Sharkey cofounded iVillage in 1995 and it quickly became the largest online destination for women. She then went on to lead the development of the most innovative online community of its time: AOL’s People Channel. (Town Square, anyone?) Become a parent in 2006 or beyond? You probably visited BabyCenter as a resource for your new parental needs. Sharkey was CEO there for seven years when the company was reaching nearly 80 percent of new and expecting moms online. S h e ’s n ow CEO of SherpaFoundry, a strategic advisory firm helping corporations “unlock the entrepreneur inside” by building bridges with startup founders and other disruptors. One thing is for sure, she’s been unlocking the joy of innovative connections for over 20 years.




Space Design


WOMEN THAT WOW SHAGUFTA ANURAG Singapore Space Matrix. Livspace. Remember the names. These trailblazing companies have the innovative design mind of Shagufta Anurag at the helm. Co-founding the Singapore-based architecture and design firm Space Matrix nearly 15 years ago was just the beginning for Anurag. Under her watchful eye as Managing Director, the company has grown exponentially (it’s projecting $100 million in revenue this year alone). As Chief Design Officer of Livspace – the Bengaluru-based end-to-end home design and decor company she co-founded and launched last December that’s set “to become one of India’s most admired internet companies” according to Entrepreneur – Anurag’s permeating design philosophy is helping the company become everyone’s personal home designer. Like the best of Pinterest come to life in every room, Livspace let’s you browse through thousands of curated designs, choose (and customize) the one you love, and then sit back while a professional team delivers and installs it for you. Yes, please. Did we mention this acclaimed design guru is also a mother of two? She’s definitely got a full plate. And we’d love to pull up a chair at her table. We’re sure it’s lovely.

CREATIV.com/shaguftaanurag Photography: Livspace



Being Epic


WOMEN THAT WOW ALEXI PANOS Los Angeles There’s definitely more than meets the eye with this former model and TV host. Alexi Panos is a self-proclaimed truth junkie who’s on a mission to empower one billion people to harness their unique gifts to change the world. How? By turning big ideas into “fun, bite-sized nuggets of goodness that spread throughout the world and create a ripple effect of positivity and love.” She’s making personal development mainstream through her energetic YouTube videos (nearing almost one million views!), her forthcoming book 50 Ways to Yay! published by Simon & Schuster, and her non-profit E.P.I.C. (Everyday People Initiating Change) which has helped provide clean water to over 50,000 people in Tanzania since 2005.


Photography: Satori Photography



Honest Words


WOMEN THAT WOW TRISTAN PRETTYMAN MARIS San Diego This California girl makes waves wherever she goes with her humble, free-spirited personality that should be bottled up and spread around the world. Tristan Prettyman Maris is not only a singer/songwriter with four successful albums under her belt, she’s also queen of The House of Maris and singing sweet lullabies with her soothing voice to their new baby boy, Kylo. With soulful musings shared openly on social media, we watched her fall in love with her now-husband through Instagram and ultimately rock a red wedding dress when she married him in South Africa last year. Also a stellar surfer and overall chill creative, Prettyman is pretty much the coolest chick ever. Life goals: meet Bacon, her French Bulldog, and score an invite to her not-gross vegan Taco Tuesday.


Photography: Lauren Ross


WOMEN THAT WOW NISHA MOODLEY San Francisco When the Dalai Lama said, “The world will be saved by the Western woman,” Nisha Moodley heard him loud and clear. Making freedomfocused sisterhood her mission, she’s paving the way for changemaking ladies around the world. As CEO of Nisha Moodley International, she’s led dozens of retreats, published a poetry book, traveled the world, and created a global movement of empowered women. She even launched the inaugural Global Sisterhood Day last year, an event celebrated in more than 75 countries by thousands of women coming together through small groups of intentional connection. Mark your calendars: it’s happening again March 19, 2016. “I believe that when a woman feels truly free in her life, it expands her capacity to make a massive difference in the world,” says Moodley. Let freedom ring.





Photography: In Her Image Photography


WOMEN THAT WOW AMANDA PALMER Boston The artist sometimes known as Amanda Fucking Palmer was born to rock. Be it the stage (solo or as lead singer of The Dresden Dolls), within the pages of her bestselling book The Art of Asking, or on the steps of The New York Public Library posing as a human statue (in the style of Damien Hirst’s Verity) while pregnant to encourage book donations supporting children’s literacy, she is a force to be reckoned with. But through her unabashed personality shines a sense of powerful vulnerability that she’s embracing, showing the world that even the strong can ask for help. Rock on, mama.


Photography: Kyle Cassidy





WOMEN THAT WOW DANIELLE MORRILL Silicon Valley She didn’t always see such a bright and beautiful future for Silicon Valley. “I was depressed, disillusioned with consumer tech, and definitely had blood in my mouth,” says Danielle Morrill of the dark period following her decision to shut-down Referly, her Y Combinator-funded startup. Committing to write a new post on her blog every day for 30 days and wanting to make calls a la Michael Arrington, Morrill realized she needed a way to measure and compare companies through data. So she made spreadsheets. Lots and lots of spreadsheets before realizing the spreadsheets “needed to be code,” and the idea for Mattermark was born. Fueled by loads of powerful data, Mattermark’s software is now helping thousands of dealmakers make better decisions. Decisions that fuel funding for companies driving innovation and creating a positive impact in the world. We see a bright future because Morrill is helping us live in it today.





Photography: DanielleMorrill.com





WOMEN THAT WOW ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER New Jersey This former Director of Policy Planning for the U.S. State Department (the first female to hold this position) wants all of us to “finally finish the business of equality for women and men, work and family.” In her new book Unfinished Business, Slaughter offers hearty challenges to Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In by reuniting the women’s movement so we can all thrive (men included). Slaughter’s words in “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” published in The Atlantic nearly crashed the internet (and is among the five most-read pieces in the magazine’s history), but she states there’s more to the discussion. She elaborated during her recent appearance on Freakonomics Radio by saying, “If we’re going to get to real equality between men and women, we have to focus less on women and more on elevating the value of care and expanding the choices and roles for men.”


Photography: Paul Morigi/Stringer/Getty Images



The Rebound


WOMEN THAT WOW SHAINA ALLEN Virginia Her directorial debut on the captivating documentary The Rebound is already getting a lot of buzz and it hasn’t even hit the court yet. What started out as a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a documentary about Miami’s only wheelchair basketball program, the Miami Heat Wheels, has turned into something greater than just basketball. It’s a story two years in the making, of overcoming challenges, rising to the top, and never doubting yourself. It’s all about how you rebound, and nobody can capture that truth quite like this rising director.


Photography: Courtesy of Shaina Koren Cinematography


WOMEN THAT WOW DREAM, GIRL North America Every woman has her own story. Erin Bagwell and Komal Minhas, Founders of Dream, Girl LLC, are on a mission to share those inspiring stories, and shine light on the rising female entrepreneurs of the world. What started as a Kickstarter campaign that raised $100K for their documentary film Dream, Girl, turned into something with an even bigger impact. A movement. With its release slated for next May, this female-fueled documentary is gaining support from TED and Clinique’s Smart Ideas. Now that’s girl power.





Photography: Courtesy of Dream, Girl


WOMEN THAT WOW DANIELLE LAPORTE Vancouver Desire more? “Ya you do,” says best-selling author and entrepreneur Danielle LaPorte. Her a-ha revelation? “You’re not chasing the goal, you’re chasing the feeling that you hope attaining that goal will give you.” Entrepreneur magazine calls her “equal parts poet and entrepreneurial badass…edgy, contrarian…loving and inspired.” And we couldn’t agree more. Giving the middle finger to achievement autopilot, her book The Desire Map is a catalyst for creating goals with soul to find what we really want to do and who we really want to be. Making it easy to soak in the goodness of desire, she shares thoughtful pearls on life and love through her website and app. Fact: we pass her #Truthbomb cards around the CREATIV office on the daily. We’re ready for some Fire Starter Sessions magic.





Photography: Catherine Just


WOMEN THAT WOW AGNES MULJADI Los Angeles Some of us dance like nobody’s watching. And some, like ballerina Agnes Muljadi, dance like everybody’s watching. Because, well, we are. This pirouetting powerhouse exemplifies the intersection between art and body. Her love of “the constant process of transforming your own physical and mental capacities” has (quite literally) kept her on her toes since she was young, helping her become a dazzling creative force within the world of ballet. It seems the only thing to rival Agnes’s dedication to dance is the dedication of her social media fan base. We’d follow this dancing queen anywhere.





Photography: Oliver Endahl of Ballet Zaida



EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Paige Zeigler creativ.com/paige

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Ana Bustamante creativ.com/ana

COMMUNITY MANAGER Emily Rudolph creativ.com/emily

WORDSMITH Britt Feder creativ.com/britt

CREATIV CO-FOUNDERS Blake Brinker & Brad Thomas TEAM CREATIV Alex Cyrell, Jessica Cyrell WRITERS Britt Feder & Paige Zeigler COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Timothy Greenfield-Sanders COVER DESIGN magfirst

LEGAL STUFF Content published in CREATIV Magazine may have been licensed by independent contributors in which case the respective copyrights are the property of the respective owners. No content of this magazine may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without the express permission of the respective copyright holders and/or the publisher. Opinions expressed in CREATIV Magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the magazine, its editors, its management, or its advertisers.



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