Today on Artist Strong we welcome back For the Creators maker Michaela Cristallo. I am a proud affiliate of her new e-course called the Atlas Creators’ Academy.

Carrie: Welcome back Michaela! So happy to have you back on Artist Strong. What’s new on For the Creators since we last spoke?

Thanks Carrie, it’s great to be here! For the Creators has been growing in leaps and bounds since we last spoke, with new creators joining us from every corner of the globe. In January I ran a really popular 7 Day Creativity Challenge which got creators moving with their creative work for the new year and this week I’m launching the brand new Atlas Creators’ Academy so there’s definitely been lots going on!

Carrie: What is Atlas Creators’ Academy?

Atlas Creators’ Academy is the place for creators of all kinds to get inspired, get moving and take their creative work further than ever before. It’s an eight week online program designed to be taken by creative people of all kinds including artists, designers, writers and crafters. It’s focused on getting you and your work to the next level and includes help with:

  • moving past creative blocks,
  • uncovering your purpose,
  • cultivating a daily creative practice,
  • crafting your unique creative offering,
  • learning all the essential business marketing knowledge you need to take things further and,
  • implementing a big plan to bring it all together.

socialmediagraphicCarrie: Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind Atlas Creators’ Academy? Also, how did you come up with the name?

I was inspired to create Atlas Creators’ Academy to help all of the many creators I was meeting online who desperately needed help and guidance with taking their creative work further but were unsure where to turn. I’ve been in the position of feeling stuck, unsure and not knowing my next step as a designer. Having overcome these things I knew I had to bring together a way to teach what I’d learnt and guide creators of all kinds through the process of moving past where they are right now to get to where they want to be with their creative work. The name Atlas comes from the idea of a map – something that guides you forward on your journey. It’s very fitting because this is is exactly what I’ve designed Atlas Creators’ Academy to do!

Carrie: Why should someone sign up for the Atlas Creators’ Academy?

Atlas Creators’ Academy is a guided program where we’ll be working through every aspect of the creative journey and crafting a big plan to put you and your work out there. If you’ve been feeling stuck, unsure, or just needing a little guidance to get clear on your next steps then Atlas is for you. I like to think of Atlas as a way to bring the pieces of the creative puzzle together. There are so many parts to get right as a creator, and it can be really overwhelming. Atlas provides you with all the guidance, knowledge and support you need to bring the pieces of your creative puzzle together and start making big creative strides!

Sneak peek preview to Atlas Creators Academy

Sneak peek preview to Atlas Creators Academy

Carrie: You have arranged for guest teachers throughout the course. Can you tell us who one of your expert guests will be? What will they contribute to your program?

I’ve brought in expert guest teachers for Atlas to share additional insight and wisdom on some of the most essential topics throughout the program. One of our expert guests for Atlas Creators’ Academy is Tom Morkes, someone who I heard speak at a conference in Sydney, Australia earlier this year. He spoke about the creative process in such a revolutionary and passionate way that I just knew I had to have him be part of Atlas. Tom will be sharing his unique ‘start, finish, ship’ methodology to help creators set their big creative plan in motion and I just know he is going to make an impact on our creators taking the program.

Carrie: Can you speak a bit about the structure of the program, for example, how much is guided and how much is independent reflection?

Atlas Creators’ Academy is designed to be a fully supported and guided journey that ensures creators know exactly what they’re doing and how they’re moving forward every step of the way. Every week there will be video lessons to watch where all the core lessons will be covered and a workbook to complete where creators will apply the lessons to their own creative work. They will also personally reflect on how what they are learning can move them forward.

In weeks 2, 3, 5 and 6 we’ll be having our expert guests come onboard to provide additional insight through a video workshop and in weeks 1, 4 and 7 we’ll be doing a live group mentorship call where we’ll all be getting on the line live together for an audio call; everyone is encouraged to share their successes, challenges and ask me any questions they might have from that week. In addition there will be a private Facebook group where everyone can meet and dive deeper into what’s being covered. Also, creative accountability link ups are made where creators will be matched up to keep each other accountable throughout the program; maybe they will even strike up a creative collaboration together?! All in all the program includes a great mix of guided lessons, personal reflection, community support and implementation.

It’s time. Reach for your creative goals and dreams. Sign up for Atlas Creators Academy.

Carrie: How has the internet helped change the way creatives live and work?

The internet has revolutionised the way creatives live and work. It has broken down barriers, connected us all globally and made putting your creative work out there in a big way more reachable than ever before. Thousands more people around the world are coming online every day so the internet as platform is just growing and growing every single day. I see enormous potential for artists and creators of all kinds to connect, promote and grow through working online.

Carrie: How does having a support system help creatives achieve?

Having a creative support system is so so important – I cannot stress that enough! No matter how together you have things, and how on track you are, there will be tough days when you doubt yourself and things just aren’t going to plan. But when you have a support system in place you’ve got that safety net, a group of people who are ready to pick you back up and work through the solutions together. I meet with a group of girls online and we really support each other in our creative endeavours. Having them there means an instant boost, essential feedback and cheerleaders who have my back whatever I do! I’ve designed Atlas with this in mind – the Group Mentorship Calls, private Facebook group and creative accountability link ups all aim to foster support amongst creators because I know how essential this is to success.

How do your beliefs about creativity influence your art?

Carrie: How do our creative belief systems set us up for creative success (or failure)?

Having your creative belief system in check is so essential to creative success. What’s going on internally has a big impact on how you approach your creative work everyday. If you have a negative belief around not being good enough or being unlikely to succeed in your field that is going to play into how you approach your work each day. Over time this has a big impact, essentially these beliefs can make you or break you; it’s incredibly important to understand them and start challenging the most negative creative beliefs you have (something we’ll be covering right from the very start in Atlas Creators’ Academy!).

Carrie: What is the biggest hope you hold for people who join the Atlas Creators’ Academy?

My biggest hope for creators who join Atlas is that they are finally able to piece together the pieces of the creative puzzle in a meaningful way to live the creative lives they’ve always dreamed of. I see so much potential in people, and often I find there’s just a few missing links. My hope is that Atlas gives people the tools, confidence and know-how to become the creators they’ve always known they were deep down inside. I want to see people really shine. 🙂



Carrie: I’ve asked this of you before, but I would love to ask again, how do you define Creativity? Has your definition changed since we last spoke?

I personally define creativity as the imaginative process whereby something new springs to life. It’s essentially something that comes about by nothing more than the work of your own hands and the thoughts in your own mind. It can be anything in any form, and I don’t believe it needs to be limited to professional artists. It’s something I believe anyone can take part in and experience regardless of their background, experience or skill level.

While my definition of creativity hasn’t changed per se since we last spoke, my broader understanding and appreciation of creativity is growing by the day as I delve deep into the creative process myself, write about my experiences on For the Creators and meet wonderful creators doing amazing things from all round the world. Atlas Creators’ Academy has this conception of creativity at its core – that creativity is an imaginative process of birthing something new that anyone can take part in. Throughout Atlas we’ll journey through the troughs and peaks of creativity to come out the other side shining. If that sounds good, I’d love you to join us!

Thank you Carrie for having me as your guest on Artist Strong once again 🙂

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: If you feel like your creative work is missing something, sign up for Atlas Creators’ Academy. This is your chance to shine!