Krista Vernoff on Committing to Thrive as an Artist: a video

I just found this amazing video by way of Marisa at Creative Thursday. As you know, I am always thinking about being an artist, and this video really gets to the core of a lot of the negativity and insecurity there is about making a living as an artist.

The video is of Krista Vernoff an executive producer and head writer of the show Grey’s Anatomy. She has also been a part of the Omega Institute, and she made this video in correlation with that work. It is amazing! Oh, my heart! She talks about how when you start telling people you want to be an artist, everybody tells you how hard it’s going to be, but what if we changed our definition of hard? What if it wasn’t hard?

Listen up, she is wonderful!

{I did have some difficulty watching it the first time (it was a bit choppy), but it seems to be playing just fine now—hang in there if that happens to you—it’s worth it!}

Here it is! Thanks Marisa for leading me to this!

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5 Responses to “Krista Vernoff on Committing to Thrive as an Artist: a video”


  1. 1 Dawn September 12, 2010 at 7:06 am

    Wow. I really needed to hear this today. Thank you. :)

  2. 2 Kerri September 12, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Nicole I did so need to hear this today. I loved these words, “We go into our artistic life from a place of defeat, where we don’t expect success and therefore we don’t create it.” So true. I loved hearing a new definition for the word hard too. She’s so right!

  3. 3 Amy November 3, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    Yep, this is pretty awesome. I thought of two things while watching it:

    1) If you haven’t already seen Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk on creative genius, you must. Gilbert is the author of _Eat, Pray, Love_, a book I don’t necessarily love, but the lecture she gave at a TED conference is pretty much mind blowing. It’s about 20 minutes long, and totally worth every second: http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

    2) Regarding the “hardness” of being an artist: I think the thing Vernoff *doesn’t* say is that if you’re an artist, it’s a hell of a lot harder to try NOT to be an artist, to resist your true nature and attempt to be a doctor or a lawyer or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Being an artist is not only hard because everyone tells us it is and we believe them, but because what they’re *also* telling us is that it’s not what real grown-ups do, that it’s not the responsible way to live our lives, that we can’t make any money at it (and that if we aren’t making plenty o’ money, that’s somehow shameful). And we believe them. And believing that there’s something wrong with you for trying to do what you love and (perhaps) not making very much money at it, and trying desperately to do things that make other people think you’re responsible and successful? Yeah, that’s hard.

    • 4 Nicole Docimo November 5, 2010 at 12:10 pm

      Thanks so much for this comment! I really love Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk too—it is mind blowing. And, you are so right about being an artist—it is hardest not to be an artist—I think hardest in general to deny the thing you really love, no matter what it is. Also, we value ourselves so much based on money, which is the major rub with being an artist. It may take more time to find the cash flow with art, and so we have a hard time knowing our value without that cash flow.

  4. 5 Geoff M. Pope November 17, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    This video gave me the chills and got me pacing in my small (((then expanding))) creative den. The authority with which Krista Vernoff speaks is infectious, and her convictions are liberating! I really needed to see and hear her today, this week, when the intimidating “cash flow” term has been spoken more in my household this month than during the past ten months.

    I was also moved and stirred up by Amy’s comment here and look forward to viewing the Elizabeth Gilbert video. I know that I will watch the Vernoff one again and again and again and…

    Thanks again, Nicole, for the inspiration and the challenge. Here’s to being more confident in our artistic identity — and in its value (as in valid, as in valiant, as in valentine).


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Hello there! My name is Nicole K. Docimo, and I am an artist and writer from the U.S.A. but currently residing in Zurich, Switzerand. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Some Thoughts

"Be thirsty for the ultimate water,
and then be ready for what will
come pouring from the spring."
~Rumi

{from "Joy at Sudden Disappointment"
translated by C. Barks.}

~This Work ~

Unless otherwise noted, all images and writings on this blog were created by me, Nicole K. Docimo aka Blue Bicicletta. If you would like to share anything you see here for inspirational purposes online, I just ask that you kindly let folks know where you found it. If you are wanting to share/reproduce any of my work in any other way, or have any questions about how you will be sharing the work in relation to copyright, please contact me directly at nkdocimo {at} gmail {dot} com. Thanks!

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