Foreground/Background podcast episode 13: Sarah Cameron Sunde

The latest episode of my Foreground/Background podcast is out now! Give it a listen below or subscribe on iTunes or Spotify to get every new episode as soon as it comes out.




In this episode I interview Sarah Cameron SundeSarah is an interdisciplinary artist and director working at the intersection of performance, video and public art, including her project 36.5 /A Durational Performance with the Sea, which is an ongoing work spanning seven years and six continents.
In this hour long conversation we discuss: 

  • Finding your artistic direction
  • Running a creative business
  • Applying for grants
  • and more

I couldn’t have made this podcast without my Patreon supporters! If you enjoyed this podcast please leave a comment and let me know what resonates with you and give it a thumbs up or 5 star review wherever you listen to it. And of course if you’re not already a Patreon supporter I hope you’ll check it out at Patreon.com/NoahScalin. For as little as $5 a month you get access to my studio and practice including content available nowhere else.



Foreground/Background podcast episode 12: Alfonso Pérez Acosta

The latest episode of my Foreground/Background podcast is out now! Give it a listen below or subscribe on iTunes or Spotify to get every new episode as soon as it comes out.




In this episode I interview Alfonso Pérez Acosta. Alfonso is a Colombian artist who received a Fine Arts Degree as well as a Masters in Education in Bogotá. Since 2007, he has been actively involved in art education as a teacher for elementary, middle and high school groups at various schools and non-profit organizations. He is now the Art Program Director with Sacred Heart Center in Richmond, VA.

In this hour long conversation we discuss: 

  • Finding comfort in art making
  • Teaching art
  • Changing perspectives
  • and more

I couldn’t have made this podcast without my Patreon supporters! If you enjoyed this podcast please leave a comment and let me know what resonates with you and give it a thumbs up or 5 star review wherever you listen to it. And of course if you’re not already a Patreon supporter I hope you’ll check it out at Patreon.com/NoahScalin. For as little as $5 a month you get access to my studio and practice including content available nowhere else.


Foreground/Background podcast episode 11: Mica Scalin

The latest episode of my Foreground/Background podcast is out now! Give it a listen below or subscribe on iTunes or Spotify to get every new episode as soon as it comes out.



In this episode I interview Mica ScalinMica is an innovator in the use of art and media for community engagement and creative development. She also happens to be my sister! She was among the first producers hired by NBC Universal Digital Studios, she launched social media strategy at Showtime Networks and consulted on CBS Interactive marketing. She has produced documentary films, art exhibitions and cultural events including being one humans behind dOGUMENTA: America’s First Art Show For Dogs. She is also co-author, with me, of the book Creative Sprint: Six 30-day Challenges to Jumpstart Your Creativity and she is the managing partner of our art and innovation consultancy Another Limited Rebellion.

In this hour long conversation we discuss: 
  • Creative activism
  • Pioneering digital media
  • Strategizing a career plan
  • and more!

I couldn’t have made this podcast without my Patreon supporters! If you enjoyed this podcast please leave a comment and let me know what resonates with you and give it a thumbs up or 5 star review wherever you listen to it. And of course if you’re not already a Patreon supporter I hope you’ll check it out at Patreon.com/NoahScalin. For as little as $5 a month you get access to my studio and practice including content available nowhere else.


Coffee Art

Quintin Watkins of Atlanta, GA is exploring the many ways to portray themes of energy, conversation, and late night studies in his year-long, daily challenge to create a wide range of coffee art.



Why did you decide to do this project? It is a project that has been on my mind for years as inspired by Noah Scalin. At first, I wanted to do flowers, but I am not good at drawing flowers, so I was not confident at the time to go through with it. Over time and completing three years of Inktober, I felt more confident to commit to a longer challenge.



The theme of coffee was inspired by my love for it and how it got me through so many late night art sessions in college. Not to mention, coffee is a wonderful beverage with its wide range of flavors and brew techniques.



How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I know that doing the daily Inktober challenge in October is usually super hectic especially with so much going on that month. I find a greater appreciation for time management and finding ways to think quick for a daily prompt executing an idea.



To see more of Quintin's Coffee 366 project, follow him on Instagram @quimawa!

Special Anniversary Offer!



I'm celebrating the start of my third year on Patreon this month! 
In honor of this milestone I'm launching exclusive special offer starting today. The first 75 people who sign up as my one of my patrons before February 29th will get a rare signed & numbered limited edition letterpress print of my Ornament(al) Skull, which was created as part of my original Skull-A-Day project!  

Why sign up to be my supporter on Patreon?
Patreon is a way for creators to make more meaningful direct relationships with fans of their work. As the social media landscape becomes more fractured and difficult to navigate I'm putting my focus on sharing my process and inspiration with my supporters through this more intimate platform. On my Patreon page I have an exclusive feed, where you get behind-the-scenes look at the work I'm making as well as other content available nowhere else!

Here's what one of my supporters had to say about her experience:
"I have absolutely loved backing Noah on Patreon. First and foremost, I was able to support him month-to-month to create a work of art that I would never have been able to afford otherwise. I highly recommend that those who crave original art and might not have enough funds to go out and buy the piece of their dreams consider the monthly commission option. For the cost of a meal out (with wine :–) for two once a month, you can own a first-class work of art after a year and a half. Good for the waistline and the soul! Second, I love seeing how creative people think. I enjoy watching Noah at work and listening to him interview other artists. I believe that creative approaches will yield important answers to the world's problems. I am, therefore, most happy to support the blossoming of creative thinking and actions."
– Constance Del Nero

Don't miss out on this limited time offer, find out more HERE.

p.s. When I hit 100 supporters on Patreon I'll also be giving away an original piece of art to one randomly selected Patron! 


A Pastel A Day

Susan Singer of Richmond, VA is creating a pastel painting (at 6" x 9" or 9" x 6") daily for her project    A Pastel A Day...



1. Why did you decide to do this project?  
I had several reasons for deciding to do this project, some of which are very personal, some financial, some impulsive. When I decided to begin the project, I was 4 weeks into a 10-week separation process from my husband. I was exhausted, run down, drained, chronically angry and frustrated and resentful - you know, the reasons people separate from their previously beloved spouses. Anyway, I needed something to help me get my energy back. I have always been an incredibly energetic person, full of enthusiasm and projects and ideas and creativity, but my marriage had sapped that out of me, and I wanted it back. When thinking about what I could do besides the project I was already working on (The Eyes Project which Noah modeled for), I thought about a Pastel a Day. It could be good because it would give me something to focus on, something simple and concrete to do each day to get me into the studio and make me draw. It would be a commitment to myself which I would also make public so I would be forced to do it. And perhaps I could even sell some pieces and make some much needed money. So on January 1st, I began putting the pieces in place for it to happen, and on January 3rd I published the first one.



2. How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life?  
The reality of doing a Pastel a Day has been a bit different than my idealization of it was. First, it's more work: I do the artwork (sometimes I do 3-4 at one sitting, but shhh! don't tell anyone!), then I photograph it, crop it, etc. Then, I post it on eBay where I also write a little story to go with it. Afterwards, I go to Mailchimp where I create a post to send out the next morning to my mailing list (which has grown from 0 to 43 over the course of a month! Very proud! Though I'd really like it to be 100 times that large!). Mailchimp automates sending to Facebook and Instagram as well so that helps a bit, though in the morning I have to post to my personal FB account as Mailchimp only posts to my art account. During the day I sometimes have to answer people's questions about the piece or like their comments - i.e. social media maintenance. I would say I spend between 1-2.5 hours a day on the project between creating the piece (the quickest part) and marketing it. When it sells, I have to package it and take it to the post office as well, which is another 45 minutes. That's a lot of work for $65! But I assume that over time the auctions will get heated and the pieces will sell for more, so I'm in it for the long term.



The project has given me the energy and drive I was looking for when I started it. The night my husband moved out, I wasn't exactly in the mood to draw, but I was really glad to feel the need to do so. It took me out to the studio and got me in front of the easel which was the absolute best place for me to be at the time. 



I've also really appreciated the feedback I've gotten. I've sold over half the pieces and have gotten 3 commissions so far because of the work I've done. That's very helpful! And each time I hear the eBay whoosh on my phone, I get a thrill knowing someone has bid on a piece! It's fun and makes me happy!



I love that I'm getting my work out into the world in a way I haven't done so before. I've shown and sold lots of work, but doing it daily and posting it every day is a different thing than building up to a huge show once a year; one night's huge opening then the attendant crash afterwards as all the hard work is over and done! And people seem to be enjoying it. Friends comment frequently that they enjoy opening the emails and seeing beauty first thing in the morning.



In July I'll be spending a month in Iceland and am hoping to create small landscapes from there each day as a way to memorialize my travels. That's one of the greatest things about this project - I decided at the start that I wouldn't just stick with subjects that were "more likely to sell". Instead I decided to do whatever the heck I wanted to and to not worry about whether they sold or not. As a consequence, I've done some abstracts I might not have tried before and used colors I wouldn't have thought to use if I were commercially motivated. It's fun and exciting and daring and I'm really glad I'm doing it!

See more of Susan's project on Facebook!

Are you part of my team?

Just a reminder, that if you like the work I make (including the interviews I do for this site) you should really check out what I'm doing over on my Patreon page. It's a private community where I share my process and practices, most of which is totally exclusive content! Find out more HERE.


Join us for our February Creative Sprint!

'The Inspiration is Everywhere' February Creative Sprint Challenge kicks off today!⁠⠀


Join Michelle, your February Creative Sprint host, as she takes over our Instagram stories and brings us along as she works through the first prompt of the month!⁠ Follow her creativity @michelle.genders

Follow us on Instagram @creativesprint and don't forget to sign up for this month's 30 day Creative Sprint Here!

What Inspires Me?

Michelle Genders of Port Macquarie, Australia is creating work daily based on what inspires her.


Why did you decide to do this project? My theme for the October 2019 Creative Sprint was "What inspires me?" I thought I only had a small amount of time and energy to devote to it. I was surprised to find that even when there was very little time, there were still some decent outcomes. Even if the outcome wasn't that great on a particular day, the creative act helped move me to a new place for the next day and sometimes lead to something great on a future day.

Then there were days when there actually was quite a bit of time and space to unleash the muse! I so enjoyed stepping back into the creative flow and making it a priority. It is so compelling once I have the urge to make something, I just can't stop till it's done. My current daily practice is often experimental drawing, but it is also really fun to mix it up by opening up to any material or medium according to the idea I get in response to the prompt.


I'm continuing on to complete a 365 project on the “What inspires me?” theme. I found there has been so much wisdom in contemplating this question. I felt like each time I answered it, I uncovered another layer. I want to know what's underneath all the layers! I've experienced the momentum that gets built up with Creative Sprint for one month and I've long wanted to see how that evolves when sustained for a 365 project.

Noah recently posted that he did 365 skulls because "it just came to me!" I’ve had the same experience, and following what comes to me has lead to some fantastic places. I’ve completed monthly themes of 'public art', 'blues', 'change is the only constant', 'spirals' and 'inside outside'. Although these were good while they lasted, I was ready to let them go at the end. I've been waiting for a theme that I can commit to for a whole year – and it has finally come! 


How has doing a yearlong/daily project affected your life? I've had a daily creative practice since 2016 when I first became involved in the Creative Sprint community. I've completed eight Creative Sprints as well as Skull-A-Day. I also completed more than 365 sticky note drawings and put them out into the world.

It has really entrenched my daily art making. Previous to that, I was making art regularly, but it was quite separate from daily life. I would generally do paid work on some days and do art making on the other days. I would carefully select materials then spend months and months on one work and kept it in my studio until it was exhibited.


Creative Sprint led to the collapse of the boundaries between art and life – now I can make art anywhere at any time using anything I can get my hands on! You are forced to consider the world around you and the resources that you have available to quickly implement solutions and effectively communicate them visually within 24 hours. That leaves little room for perfectionism and a lot of room to follow curiosity. Taken alone, what I make each day might be either a meh or yeah! Taken together, it keep me creatively fit. I make surprising discoveries every day when I approach the world in the way that a Creative Sprint prompt helps cultivate. If I hold the prompt lightly and look out for the "sparks" and follow them,  the world becomes a place of play and possibility. It is exciting to see what might happen on any given day!

Sometimes when I read the prompt, I know immediately what I want to do. Mostly, it takes a couple of hours for an idea to coalesce. Occasionally I’ll draw a complete blank and it doesn't get resolved until the 11th hour. In any case, I have learned to trust that something will fall into place that is right for me on that day, given the resources that I have access to.


I’ve completed daily projects while on vacation. It’s inspired me to do more than just look at and take photos of things. Creatively responding to the new places I’m visiting makes the experience of travelling even more fun! When there is downtime, for example while waiting for a train connection, it is great to have something to do. When the day is full of activities, it forces spontaneous and unexpected decisions.

I completed the Skull-A-Day project because I disliked skulls. I challenged myself to work with something I felt was ugly and scary. At the end of the project, I had less fear of them than when I had started and a greater acceptance of my mortality. I saw their value in being a symbol that could be easily constructed and communicated using pretty much any material.

From watching the creations made by the Creative Sprint community, I have come to strongly believe that every single human being is inherently creative. Not just some people. Every single one of us. We all get the same prompt and we end making different things. Every single day! It’s truly beautiful. One of the best ways to build community is by practicing creativity together.


I’ve learnt to enjoy the journey and bring creative energy to any situation I find myself in. Art can get pretty serious, but art can be enjoyable to make and enjoyable to view. No one owns creativity. Practice it because you can and no one can take that away from you. Try out a new process, see a weird idea crystallize, express a feeling that has been bottled up inside, re-figure a mundane material that you normally wouldn’t give a second thought. Because LIFE can get pretty serious, but LIFE can also be fun!

See more of Michelle's project on Instagram @michelle.genders!

Foreground/Background podcast episode 9: Taraka Larson

The latest episode of my Foreground/Background podcast is out now! Give it a listen below or subscribe on iTunes or Spotify to get every new episode as soon as it comes out.



In this episode I interview Taraka Larson. Taraka is most well known for the band Prince Rama, a collaborative, decade-long project made up of herself and sister, Nimai. Her visual art practice, an extension of her music, has garnered her opportunities to show internationally, including exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of Art, Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, and Brooklyn Museum. Since Nimai’s departure from the band, Taraka has recently released Rage In Peace a solo Prince Rama album as a farewell EP.
  • In this hour long conversation we discuss:
  • Growing up in creative families
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Creating music
  • Following your passions
  • The Spirituality of Creativity
  • and more!
I couldn’t have made this podcast without the support and encouragement of my Patreon supporters! If you enjoyed this podcast please leave a comment and let me know what resonates with you and give it a thumbs up or 5 star review wherever you listen to it. And of course if you’re not already a Patreon supporter I hope you’ll check it out at Patreon.com/NoahScalin. For as little as $2 a month you get access to my studio and practice including content available nowhere else.

Foreground/Background podcast episode 8: Rob Tarbell

The latest episode of my Foreground/Background podcast is out now! Give it a listen below or subscribe on iTunes or Spotify to get every new episode as soon as it comes out.




In this episode I interview Rob Tarbell. Rob has been recognized for developing unique and unorthodox processes involving the indirect manipulation and exploitation of the inherent material properties of smoke and porcelain. Tarbell’s work has been shown in numerous solo exhibitions and group exhibitions throughout the United States, Korea, China, and England. He is currently teaching at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts.

In this hour long conversation we discuss:
  • Art Education
  • Careers
  • Burnout
  • Networking
  • and more!
I couldn’t have made this podcast without the support and encouragement of my Patreon supporters! If you enjoyed this podcast please leave a comment and let me know what resonates with you and give it a thumbs up or 5 star review wherever you listen to it. And if you're not already a supporter, you can join in for as little as $2 a month and get exclusive content and early access to my projects! Find out more HERE


Foreground/Background podcast episode 7: Jenny Kendler

The latest episode of my Foreground/Background podcast is out now! Give it a listen below or subscribe on iTunes or Spotify to get every new episode as soon as it comes out.




In this episode I interview Jenny Kendler. She is an interdisciplinary artist, environmental activist, naturalist and wild forager who lives in Chicago and various forests. Jenny holds an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as a BFA from The Maryland Institute College of Art. She currently helps run the artist residency ACRE and the art/research/activism initiative Deep Time Chicago. Jenny is also the first Artist-in-Residence with the Natural Resources Defense Council!

In this hour long conversation we discuss:
  • Protected knowledge
  • Imposter Syndrome
  • Finding your community
  • Online Platforms
  • and more!

I couldn’t have made this podcast without the support and encouragement of my Patreon supporters! If you enjoyed this podcast please leave a comment and let me know what resonates with you and give it a thumbs up or 5 star review wherever you listen to it. And if you're not already a supporter, you can join in for as little as $2 a month and get exclusive content and early access to my projects! Find out more HERE

Foreground/Background podcast episode 6: Joe Seipel

The latest episode of my Foreground/Background podcast, about the day to day aspects of making a living as an artist, is out now! Take a listen below and subscribe on iTunes or Spotify to get every episode when it comes out.

Joe Seipel is a sculptor and conceptual artist who served as a Virginia Commonwealth University faculty member for over 40 years, including 17 years as chair of the sculpture department, 8 ½ years as the Senior Associate Dean of the School of the Arts. And in 2018 even returned from retirement to spend a year as the interim director of VCU’s Institute for Contemporary Art (not to mention a two year stint as vice president at Savannah College of Art and Design). Now a professor emeritus, Joe has returned to a studio art practice. His work is monumental in scale and ranges from conceptually-based objects to multimedia pieces and robotics. His work has been shown internationally including exhibitions in New York City, Peru, Milan, Baltimore, and of course Richmond, Virginia.

If you enjoy this podcast please leave a comment and let me know what resonates with you and give it a thumbs up or 5 star review wherever you listen to it. And of course if you’re not already a Patreon supporter I hope you’ll check it out at Patreon.com/NoahScalin.

Foreground/Background podcast episode 5: Pallavi Sen

The latest episode of my Foreground/Background podcast, about the day to day aspects of making a living as an artist, is out now! Take a listen below and subscribe on iTunes or Spotify to get every episode when it comes out.



Pallavi Sen is a multi-talented artist from Bombay, India who works with installation, printmaking, textiles, and intuitive movement. Pallavi has obtained an array of creative jobs in addition to receiving a handful of artist residencies and currently teaches as an Assistant Professor of Art at Williams College. Her recent art-making has focused on nature in the form of landscaping. Pallavi on Instagram.

If you enjoyed this podcast please leave a comment and let me know what resonates with you and give it a thumbs up or 5 star review wherever you listen to it. And of course if you’re not already a Patreon supporter I hope you’ll check it out at Patreon.com/NoahScalin.