There’s no age limit on finding your artistic talent, even if it is at a later stage in life - and that’s exactly what Claire Waite Brown explores in her podcast, Creativity Found.
Launched in 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 lockdown, Waite Brown saw the podcast as an opportunity to connect with people who shared a similar experience of rediscovering their passion for art later on in their lives, even if they didn’t pursue it as a career.
Waite Brown founded drama and singing group Open Stage Arts herself in 2016 as a way to cope with her anxiety. In doing so, she discovered a community of adults who have similarly been craving creativity in their lives after putting it aside for years.
Through the podcast, Waite Brown has connected with a number of artists - from painters and writers to musicians and actors - who started their creative passion later in life, continuing to build that same community through an audio medium.
We interviewed Waite Brown on what she has learned about herself and the way she socialises with others since creating the podcast, as well as her advice to up and coming podcasters.
How would you describe your podcast?
I chat with people who have found - or re-found - their creativity as adults. We look at their childhood experiences, the creative pursuit that they have come back to or found new, and all the barriers in between that were stopping them from doing it, such as being grown up, going into work and having a family, or maybe societal pressures. Then it always ends in a nice, happy ending, because they've come back to it and it benefits their lives in very many ways.
Why did you start your podcast?
I started it by accident. I went to what I thought was a video editing workshop, and ended up being in an audio editing workshop and I thought oh, I can actually do this. I've had experience of this type of thing and talking to people about how they used to love art, but then they became a policeman and haven't had time to do it and wanted to come back to it. I already had a couple of people in mind that I could speak to.
I guess it was born from the content, born from the idea and then it grew and grew. Originally, I was going to use it to keep the momentum up for something else I was doing called Open Stage Arts, which is drama and singing classes for adults, and it was going to be a little marketing arm for that -but actually, it turned into its own wonderful beast.
What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started?
I think really, not to listen to advice! You can get told so much; oh, you shouldn't be doing this and you shouldn't be doing that… and I've ended up going, this is my product and I can do it however I want. I was releasing once a week, which wasn't too bad in 2021, when I didn't have any other work to do… and then a bit later, I realised that I didn't have to do it every week, I can do it every fortnight, which is what I do now, and still do all the other things. I will go out and listen to other podcasts about podcasting and I do listen to other viewpoints then take it in my own way, take what I want from it and not be too bogged down by what other people are saying you should be doing.
How many people does it take to create an episode of your show?
Well, two, because it's me and the guest.
Do you monetise your podcast?
I am working on a slightly different way around this. I do a little bit of Buzzsprout ads and they go along and make cents towards actually paying for Buzzsprout. I want to be able to, because I want to keep doing it, so I've actually started a website and a membership to help people who have maybe been inspired by my guests to find creative activities to do for themselves. So, while I'm not directly monetising through the podcast, I am building a way to get some money based on the whole principle that is Creativity Found.
How do you promote your podcast?
I do like to write to people and say, listen to my podcast. So I approach the press every now and then because I try to take advantage of when things come up. For the next fortnight, I'm on an Amazon Music US featured list of inspiring indies so because of that, I then wrote to Francesca at PodBible and said, hey do you want to write a bit about this? And she did, which is lovely.
There’s also Instagram, Facebook, and I have my email list now. I'm a member of a couple of networking groups, collectives, and sites and I just try and keep my eyes and ears open for opportunity. Another group I was a member of was saying that there's this American radio station, so I've got two of my episodes being featured on that radio station. This is kind of taking up as many ways as I can to get people to see me shouting Creativity Found wherever I go.
What have you learned about yourself since starting the podcast?
I'm quite surprised how much I like people and being with people. I'm a freelance editor of books so since the late 90s, I've worked by myself at home. I always considered that I was not a very sociable person but turns out I actually am and I really love meeting people and talking to people and being around people, so that is definitely something I've learned about myself.
Who listens to your podcast?
Not my mum! I don't really know, to be honest. I mean, the audience is there. It's lovely when people that I don't know say that they've listened to it - which I know they do, because I can see this in the download numbers - but it doesn't necessarily then equate to actually believing that there are real people listening. I've had a number of people approach me and say, can I be a guest? And so, they're out there.
What was the last podcast you listened to?
It was PodPod! I had a lovely time, I was walking the dog and I listened to the Deborah Meaden one and then yesterday I was walking the dog and I listened to the Alastair Campbell one. I like listening to ones about cults and another one called This is Actually Happening, which is just individual people speaking their story.