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Imposter Syndrome: One habit every artist must adopt to get rid of it |Susan diRende|

Watch & Listen to this podcast Episode.

This week on the Arts to Hearts podcast, we have Susan diRende as our guest. Susan has led a very fascinating life to say the least. Apart from being a painter, she has also been a teacher, has made some films as a writer, and spent a few years in real estate as well as a theatre company. Her books include ‘Knife Witch’, a fantasy adventure, and Unpronounceable, a sci-fi/fantasy farce.

Susan continues to remind us that age indeed is just a number, and you can pursue your dreams as long as your heart is in it. She did various jobs to support her passion for making art, and today, she is still very much consumed by her ventures. Her biggest fear is that she will regret not having done enough, and so now she is making sure that that doesn’t happen!

Susan’s positive energy is evident in the podcast as well as the Instagram reels she posts on her account. She believes in living each day to the fullest and showing up every day. Through her travel experiences and the work she has done so far, Susan has a lot to share. One thing she has learned from her life as an artist is to be consistent. Even if it’s a small thing, you must stick to it and do it every day as it is the one thing that has helped Susan successfully keep in touch with her inner creative.

Susan’s philosophy in life is to seek novel experiences, as they are the ones that keep us young. She still loves to travel and takes things as they come instead of worrying over what she will do after a couple of years. This attitude has opened vistas for her, as she always tries to do things she has never done before, and in turn, this practice keeps her creativity alive!

Catch up on this week’s podcast to listen to a very candid and lively conversation between Susan and Charuka, where Susan details the many adventures she has been a part of in her life!

TimestampSummary
00:00.00Introduction and background
01:04.17Susan diRende talks about her journey as an artist
02:31.41Susan diRende discusses her fear of not living up to her potential
05:10.35Susan diRende shares her experience of seeking novel experiences
07:38.92Susan diRende talks about her decision to travel for a year
08:56.90Susan diRende reflects on the privilege and freedom in her life
13:19.74Susan’s experience with the imposter complex
15:03.38Susan’s videos on Instagram
16:48.13Overcoming limiting thoughts and embracing creativity
18:08.62Susan’s advice on establishing a daily writing practice
20:46.10Charukaarora shares a suggestion about leaving work unfinished to easily resume the next day
22:00.93Susan diRende emphasizes the importance of finding the sweet spot before tapping into creative reserves
28:25.50Susan diRende introduces the concept of radical inflexibility in maintaining creative pursuits
28:40.66Susan diRende talks about the importance of self-care and how it relates to creativity
34:02.63Susan diRende reflects on her past experiences in different places and how they no longer hold any pain for her
36:19.88Susan diRende shares her joyful experience of being alone on New Year’s Eve
38:30.50Discussing creative projects and memoir editing
38:59.44Working on a sequel to “Knife Witch” and selling artwork
39:49.36Challenges of promoting books and connecting with followers
40:13.10Organizing an artist retreat in Tuscany
41:09.10Discussing living a creative life and challenging societal norms
41:28.71Connecting through real and candid content
42:38.49Finding resonance in authenticity and relatability
43:18.80The role of humor in creativity and personal expression
51:07.53Taking smaller bites when feeling overwhelmed.
52:00.18Applying filmmaking knowledge to enhance TikTok videos.
52:19.79Finding grounding and freedom in embracing messiness.
53:31.33Avoiding putting energy into disliked activities.
54:37.33Negative comments on the internet harm oneself.
55:18.18Quoting individuals with problematic views for personal benefit.
56:16.51Enjoying every day as if it were a day in Disneyland.
57:26.48Telling a better story to find happiness and contentment.
57:46.74Susan diRende encourages telling a better story when feeling unhappy.

[TRANSCRIPT]

**** – (): 00:00.00

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): So we’ll make this conversation just as real and ourselves and yourself it can be welcome to the podcast. Finally after a lot of to in fro a lot of attempts you traveling the world. We finally made this possible. You’re back now.

**** – (): 00:05.19

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Okay, thank you.

**** – (): 00:17.80

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): I guess that? Yeah, okay, so let’s just start off by saying I was born in New Jersey I’m from New Jersey we talk over each other I try not to you don’t have to stop.

**** – (): 00:18.83

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Back with.

**** – (): 00:29.11

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 00:35.86

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Because that’s you know, otherwise we you’ll never get a chance. So anyway, sorry and interrupt you I interrupted you in when I travel the world. That’s what I say because a lot of people don’t have this habit I say I’m from New Jersey

**** – (): 00:36.13

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Shot.

**** – (): 00:47.00

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah I’ll try.

**** – (): 00:54.33

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): I Have no social graces.

**** – (): 00:58.77

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, amazing. But okay, first first and first you say ah, let’s let’s get to know you first.

**** – (): 01:04.17

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Okay, you want me to tell you about me? Oh okay, sorry I thought so okay so I I’ve been an artist all my life but it wasn’t until I reached my 50 s.

**** – (): 01:08.45

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): You were telling me about New Jersey and then you lost that part. Okay.

**** – (): 01:23.30

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): That it seemed like the world would agree I had advice up until then um that I should get a real job that I should stop being self-indulgent being the well they all had a bunch of real jobs but I had nothing I stuck with for very long but I and I had semi-real jobs. So someone.

**** – (): 01:30.36

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Did you have a real job. O.

**** – (): 01:42.34

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Jobs for a while I sold real estate for a while I worked in ah for the government for about 3 years that’s as long as I last um and then I did jobs that were halfway between like I was in a theater company that did touring I ran a cabaret in Seattle which was performing and the arts.

**** – (): 01:48.35

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, okay.

**** – (): 02:00.60

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, wow.

**** – (): 02:01.88

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Um I taught I went to grad school to become a a teacher of theater arts and so I taught that for a while. Um and then I I just you know I and then I taught english as a second language for a long time in Santa Monica college how come I have a pension so I did. All these things to cobble together a life that I could support myself with so that I could do the arts. Um, and so when I was 59 I had been I had been yes well yes well I

**** – (): 02:31.41

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): 59 so you all these real jobs had brought you to 59 yeah

**** – (): 02:40.80

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Yet where I could retire I could retire early on an kitchen now. Um I had I had had some some success then as a artist as a filmmaker I made some films as a writer I had won some awards and some grants I had um I had a very modest. But I felt like my work was really always on the maybe shelf. So at 59 I put everything in so I had a 3 or 4 really um, not awful things but a series of just heartbreaking things. My. I I had my job was known I lost this house that I was living in this beautiful little house to Airbnb I had a friendship end that felt like a death my dog died I was at loose ends I didn’t want to look for another house in La I Just said I’m leaving so at 59.

**** – (): 03:31.73

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, are.

**** – (): 03:35.38

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): I So you’re putting everything in storage and ah.

**** – (): 03:37.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): At 59 you know sometimes even in my own wildest dreams and I I think after my mom’s passing I thought about this I think once a day every time I’m I’m sure it it crosses my mind every time even even on a good day even on a bad day and I feel like I wish I just. Sometimes I feel like I just pack up everything and just disappear and leave you know, live this life where I can just you know be somewhere and be in the nature have my dogs and like but it feels so exhilarating and overwhelming even though the outcome feels so like something. That I really want in 59 um is a very very very brief. Um, and I don’t know I don’t even know how to describe that because you know when you’re young, you still feel like okay, you can still make it. Um, versus how we are taught in a society like 159 you have to be safe. You want to make sure that you’re not you know your health you you have people around in all of those things didn’t you have any of those fears at that point about what were your fears.

**** – (): 04:51.12

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): My fear was that I would die feeling like I hadn’t lived up to I describe it as my myis One of my sisters used to criticize me a lot for this that I wasn’t living this. You know I wasn’t taking care of my.

**** – (): 04:56.88

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh God yes.

**** – (): 05:10.35

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): My age I was being self-indulgent I didn’t there’s a lot of things about it until one day because she does a lot of meditation and has studied in India and all the rest one day I said I told her but this is my dharma. You’re asking me to give that up and she went I understand and she hasn’t size me for it again.

**** – (): 05:17.97

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay. Yeah, oh.

**** – (): 05:30.16

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Anyway, my fear was more about what I would regret than what I would do I I in my mid 50 s I just I read an article and the article said and there’s some scientific study.

**** – (): 05:37.54

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And.

**** – (): 05:43.33

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Said that the reason it feels like time speeds up as we get older is that we do fewer and fewer novel things. So when we do the same thing it Folds all the all the birthdays of your past sort of collapse you have another when you celebrate your birthday. You can feel them echoing in the past like in the mirror.

**** – (): 05:51.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, you want to be more selfish.

**** – (): 06:02.79

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): But they basically collapse into 1 experience so novelty, but it’s hard to have novel experience so I went out seeking novel experience I would go places I’d never been I started traveling again I hadn’t been traveling for over 10 years I was oh yeah.

**** – (): 06:11.73

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): But were you ascar riches as this before you decided this.

**** – (): 06:21.25

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Speak several languages I’ve traveled I’m in an energetic create I mean I have a lot of creativity. So that’s the hope all the world but the whole but the world hasn’t been so but I’ve also had to be this teacher person in society to have a roof over my head.

**** – (): 06:24.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): So that’s you been you all this while it’s not just once you decided to be this.

**** – (): 06:34.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 06:40.92

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): So at 55 I started doing this more and more traveling because I wanted to I just you know didn’t worry about and slowly I sort of opened up so that at 60 when a lot of things came falling down I was done la was like hard. It’s hard to live in particularly if you’re not.

**** – (): 06:59.11

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 06:59.87

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Young and so I just left I packed up everything in a 10 by 10 storage unit because that’s this cleared out my apartment. Um, ah houseat for my one of my sisters because she was going out of day and so at the beginning of 2015 the new year’s eve 2015

**** – (): 07:04.67

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 07:15.51

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, okay, okay took off you thought this is one year like okay yeah.

**** – (): 07:19.76

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): I took off for a year and I had got I want 1 year I didn’t think I could afford more than a year and I didn’t know if I’d like and all these things. So I I found a regency in New Zealand which was as far from Los Angeles as you can get and. And I’d never been before I didn’t know what to expect and I just flew out on New year’s

**** – (): 07:38.92

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, nobody you knew you had no expectation. No idea you just wandered there just like that.

**** – (): 07:44.46

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): What? yeah yeah and I almost died the second day I was there but in the fair is one of the safest that’s another story I I I discovered something.

**** – (): 07:53.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, oh my God you know I Also want to ask you this before I’ll keep asking you now since you’ve given me the permission to let the viewers and listeners be okay with that. Um you say you? you know you. Thought you had a lot of us have this fear like you know when we are young like we have to make money or I’ll burn my money. What will I do Next did you have that like what if it didn’t work out what if where would you get a job and working. Um, traveling and then working like all of those ridiculous amount of thoughts that we get.

**** – (): 08:33.90

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): I was saying what am I going to do when I’m old and don’t have energy hi. Do you.

**** – (): 08:38.33

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, ah.

**** – (): 08:40.71

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Um, but call us for my whole life I practiced not having money making it work out all right I I do with aloud a lot people. You know people see me on on the internet and a lot of times they say well you can do these things because you’re privileged and they’re right.

**** – (): 08:45.22

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 08:56.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes.

**** – (): 08:58.70

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): In a way I am privileged I mean I’m the kind of person that people will lend let house sit for three months in a beautiful place and inexpenive neighbor that’s privilege because I look my education. Okay, but I have earned most of my life at or around the poverty level.

**** – (): 09:05.56

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 09:18.32

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Because you either have time or money and the Rat So I haven’t out a lot of things I Enjoy the fact that I drive at trash can on wheels. It’s an old car beat up with an engine that works because I don’t.

**** – (): 09:18.54

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 09:32.23

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): I’d rather have the freedom than what I’d have to do to have the money to pay 3 to $500 a month in a car payment I don’t want to decide to that and I’ve missed a few opportunities to make money in real estate invest because I didn’t want that burden so that I could be free.

**** – (): 09:37.23

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 09:49.48

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): To do what I wanted. Whatever I did now a lot of my youth though I was free and I was thinking and being creative if you can imagine just being creative but not creating a lot I did write I did paint I did work all my whole life. I didn’t have much success I mean everything I wrote in l a all the screenplays just sat on the maybe shelf. They’d be option. They wouldn’t I’d win a screenplay award but nothing would happen. Things wouldn’t work out for me in my films they got into a couple festivals but not distribution. It just was maybe and that was my life I was being created I was producing work. Not ah as much as I could. Not full time because I was and so this is why I took off to find out what it what I wanted to do and be with the rest of my life because I was pick approaching sixty. It’s like I got like 1 or 2 more episodes you know chapters and that’s it but my life.

**** – (): 10:37.80

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 10:42.38

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Of cobbling together and not having a lot of money and making it work has really stood me in good stead these last couple of years. You know there’s things I want don’t do them. Don’t get them I was gonna get a new car this your newer car this year new still got the same old trash catttle on Wheels I Got youre old.

**** – (): 10:54.61

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Judge can do you wish that you you would have done this earlier.

**** – (): 11:06.10

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): I don’t I can’t know that because when I at the time I did it I took all for New Zealand and I said I have to do something or this year because of my experience will just disappear in memory. Well I decided to do ah a chance.

**** – (): 11:16.67

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yes, yeah.

**** – (): 11:22.11

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): A friend gave me some these things I can show it to you gave me said. Can you do anything with this and these are you are credit card blanks I said sure I can make I never did a journal book. Actually my first journal book of my life I did in January because it was one of my resolutions full full art journal.

**** – (): 11:27.28

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I remembered. Yeah yeah.

**** – (): 11:41.94

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): So I said I’ll oh I’ll paint on them and he said with what sharpie because sharpies are so anyway I started doing art on sharpies and you can see is that it Oh it’s upside down you think you see them all by the org and I did a year of the I did dogs at one point so you can see the dogs.

**** – (): 11:54.33

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I’ve seen these? yes.

**** – (): 12:01.89

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Anyway, the point just being that I did this every day in New Zealand and I discovered the secret the of and staying on moving.

**** – (): 12:07.71

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And okay before this um you I’ll ask you a few more news questions while you were doing this. What were you also doing in Newsland did you have like an agenda that oh you’ll have like you’ll paint all days. You’ll write all days or it was just this.

**** – (): 12:22.76

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): A lot of those but the only job I had was to do 1 car today one that’s it I did one of these a day and I took something from my experience and I recorded there were days I did write I mean I have a memoir that goes with the art but it’s very hard to get a book published that is both art.

**** – (): 12:23.72

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): That’s it. Okay.

**** – (): 12:37.80

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And.

**** – (): 12:41.49

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): And text because of the cost of of of color but printing I guess could be an ebook but I haven’t found anybody interested in doing it so I have a memoir of this year so I did write but but I focused on do it but some days you know I just wandered around did experiments.

**** – (): 12:44.87

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um.

**** – (): 13:01.18

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Um, a lot of that stuff has vanished because but I have 365 cards from that year and each one of them reminds me and brings the moment into focus so I didn’t lose it and I learn I my that was the year my imposter complex popped.

**** – (): 13:04.36

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh yeah.

**** – (): 13:18.70

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): The bubble popped and it hasn’t come back doing one. That’s the that’s that’s part one of what I try to teach people is this of getting rid of the imposter complex. You have to have a task that’s small enough that you can do it every day. No matter what and I was.

**** – (): 13:19.74

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, okay, why so.

**** – (): 13:24.45

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 13:32.15

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Any day.

**** – (): 13:37.52

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Really sick in Mexico I mean throwing up in the bathroom. So what did I do that day I did a card of a toilet because I couldn’t leave the bathroom but but I didn’t no matter what I did at it and it was that discipline that is the the the first half.

**** – (): 13:43.87

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Here. Okay.

**** – (): 13:57.32

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Of my secret to now that I that makes me live the artist’s life fully that pick something that you can do every year I change it some year as I change it doesn’t work so I pick the lunar New year and I change it right.

**** – (): 14:12.43

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, you go back to what you? yeah.

**** – (): 14:17.15

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Ah, 1 year I wrote thousand words a day another year I I did the dear or the dog because I did these um I did a dog a day um another year I said I’m going to do last year I said I’m going to do a real every day I didn’t know how to do them.

**** – (): 14:29.79

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 14:34.81

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): So I started I was putting on a lot of makeup I was working on the lights I was doing. You know what happened I was hating it after a month. So I said okay do I change things or do I change how I do it So I didn’t I stop putting on makeup I mean I have a little bit of lipstick on it because we’re doing it.

**** – (): 14:43.27

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 14:53.68

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, you look lovely. Yes, no.

**** – (): 14:54.47

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Podcast but mostly I get an idea I turn on the camera I pick up my camera turn it on and record the thing that I’m thinking about artistically creatively that day That’s it me as I am.

**** – (): 15:03.38

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Amazing I saw one of your videos on Instagram where if you had like a total blackout and you were saying like you know this is me. It’s completely black. There is no light and you recorded it.

**** – (): 15:10.89

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): These good. Why cause like you start like yeah you know that one’s gotten ah on Instagram or’s my phone I don’t know what I did with it. It’s gotten a huge out on tick I was post excuse me.

**** – (): 15:22.49

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes, it’s on Instagram I remember watching that 1

**** – (): 15:33.54

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): So I got saved tick so I could cross post on both platforms just save it off of one and do it on the other one. But yeah blackout one. It was dictating my phone in the dark I mean on Instagram it’s gotten oh I can’t see.

**** – (): 15:37.54

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 15:51.55

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): It’s gotten anyway. Ah, it’s got ah, it’s got a couple you know on the 3 platforms. It’s had a few thousand views for something that was just me thinking and that’s what I do if I think of something that occurs to me like the fact that I had done my daily writing that’s one of my.

**** – (): 15:53.50

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And so kit.

**** – (): 16:10.73

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): I now have two but I’ve made them smaller tasks a day I tried doing 2 before a thousand words plus something else. It was too much. There’s a there’s a so I reduced the number of words and so I did it just before I went to bed and I couldn’t get to sleep so I took it out and say okay, here’s the problem about writing just before bed.

**** – (): 16:15.71

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Plus something.

**** – (): 16:29.41

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): You get a bunch of ideas anyway. So that’s it was just true. It’s what I have learned about creativity and daily practice that day and I just talk about what’s in the other day I have like one ah 90000 views on something when I burned the soup because I got involved in a painting.

**** – (): 16:37.98

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 16:48.13

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah I saw that one too. What I What’s interesting is you know I think that um, you’ve also figured a way off like you said removing your impostor because putting her thoughts in in real time.

**** – (): 17:03.94

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Not having specifically living in this very superficial facade base world where you know like you said sometimes you feel like oh you need to have the perfect lighting a good camera or you have to say the right things or make or even to be an artist I think painting more than just a card. Oh That’s not art enough. That’s not being an artist enough like there’s so many limiting thoughts What brings you apart from that What brings you pulls you.

**** – (): 17:24.61

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Um, yes, yes. Yes, and the thing is that what you’re doing with them if you’re failing to do enough if you’re failing to do enough that you feel you’re so the artist alive in you then? um, you need to first establish a relationship with that.

**** – (): 17:47.96

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 17:48.66

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Creative self I have a friend. Ah she’s from Carolla in India anyway, she’s here now has this memoir. She wants to write and for 3 years three years ago we went to ah a writing conference. She was all fired up about it. People were interested in her topic but she said it’s been three years and I haven’t written anything.

**** – (): 17:52.68

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 18:08.62

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): And I sat down and I said okay hit. Where’s your computer get your word processing program out right now write me 250 words go it’s 2 paragraphs go and she said what it right now I said yes, she I don’t know I said we’ll start it I showed her how to save it on her desktop go and I just sat there and played Clandy Crush while she did it. She didn’t. Fairly short time I said okay, that’s your task for the day 250 words she said well I had 250 words a day. You’ll have the book by the in in in twelve months and now you know and if you do it every it’s more important that you do it every day than that you finish any time sooner because you don’t have any words for 3 years you to get so she’s.

**** – (): 18:39.38

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): No.

**** – (): 18:45.16

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Been doing it now like I nagged her a little bit for a while she said and so and so she she? Um, she’s only doing two hundred or fifty words and but I told her the other half of the secret of overcoming the imposter complex with the cards I wasn’t tempted to go on artists would say oh you could do 2 or 3 and make you sell them for whatever and make you know and but I only did one and I was tempted to go further I’m not identified with being an artist the way I am with a writer but writers particularly but artists who when they get on a roll they keep going when I did Thousand words.

**** – (): 19:08.19

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 19:15.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 19:22.70

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Add a thousand words maybe 1050 max I stopped I wasn’t allowed to go to 1200 even if I was in the middle of a scene. It did 2 things. It made me kind of bring the scene to a close by a thousand so I had these nice beats in my story and it moves quickly. So even when it didn’t.

**** – (): 19:33.29

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 19:40.92

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): The next day I was it was like saying no, you can’t have any ice cream I want ice cream. So as you can have it tomorrow. It’s like can I go to bed now you know it became a treat Daniel and right and I did it every morning because I was excited because I stopped so that.

**** – (): 19:49.25

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, yeah.

**** – (): 19:59.21

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Counterintuitive thing if you see that reel of mine is that the secret to daily practice isn’t starting. It’s stopping and stopping at the place. That’s the sweet spot before you’re done when you Mark.

**** – (): 20:04.58

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah. Yeah, you have that you still feel unfinished and you feel excited to come Back. You know I I Saw this suggestion from someone and this has worked for me I am a very messy person extremely messy and I never like to clean up my student in the sense that. Even though I like to have a clean studio but I’ve always had this happen where specifically when I used to have like a home studio I Figured that um I would leave things and it was so much easier for me to just step in and resume because I would leave it at a point I knew where to start off.

**** – (): 20:46.10

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Right? right? right.

**** – (): 20:46.11

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): With But ever since that I have you know, moved into a new studio in a different space. Um, having a clean studio I Think the negative I Feel of this is that let’s say I have a busy day I’m having a lot of calls and something and I’m just waiting for for me to start is a fresh new page. Ah, to you know, spill everything and you know to have things ready. It’s not like I can jump right into it. It’s still.. It’s like I have to again set the leo make something and so I read this somewhere. But if you really want to um, like specifically for visual artist. Um do not finish there. Work. Whatever they’re doing completely the day they wind up to leave a little bit. They know that they can easily and resume next day.

**** – (): 21:30.40

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): I Think what they’re trying to do is keep you interested but my suggestion is you just say what you’re going to do and find your sweet spot and then stop in other words instead of saying leave it unfinished saying you know it might be you have a timer. It might be that you have a.

**** – (): 21:38.55

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And for start.

**** – (): 21:50.13

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Whatever you’re gonna do but it doesn’t have to be your main thing. You can say okay every day I’m gonna I’m gonna like I have I’m gonna do something in my journal art Journal and you do that Then if you do don’t do on your other art. You’re still, you’ve still developed and and and.

**** – (): 21:50.37

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, word limit. Yeah.

**** – (): 22:00.93

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 22:09.96

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): And enrich the relationship with the part of you that creates um the ah that that you can’t trick your creativity. It’s trickier than you are you can’t trick it you have to honor it so hold on a second I have to use the tissue hold on and.

**** – (): 22:20.45

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 22:26.11

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yes, yes.

**** – (): 22:28.00

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Go out of frame. So um, this is what I found out Anyway, about this finding the spot before you’ve tapped into your reserves. You’re using your energy of the day.

**** – (): 22:42.20

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): But how do you? How do you tap into your oh sorry, sorry go on go on.

**** – (): 22:44.20

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): And you don’t tap in your reserves and you stop you can do something else like I did a car.

**** – (): 22:51.85

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): You just decide something and then check you can’t know that you have to everybody’s different. So I started this year saying I was going to write a thousand words a day and I was dreading starting it I thought okay that’s because I’ve also got I’m going to do an art journal a month I did January and I’m kind of getting along and.

**** – (): 23:06.53

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yes.

**** – (): 23:11.90

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): And so and I’ve been but I’ve also been painting I mean I’ve been very prolific this this winter I have this whole series of paintings that I’m on Satchi art right now? Um, but ah.

**** – (): 23:17.67

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Amazing.

**** – (): 23:26.80

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): But there’s always more on the list than I and what I do even for me but I don’t feel an impostor about not getting it done. It just goes to the next day because now I know anything I add to my pile for the day. What am I going to throw away so when I say oh I this thing I said okay, what am I going to not do.

**** – (): 23:38.93

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah, do.

**** – (): 23:43.69

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): That I’m already doing and so now it’s good. But anyway um, what I was saying was um at about two weeks I wasn’t really into the writing and I thought I love this world and then I’m writing a second book. So I reduced the word count and it was better and then I reduced it again. So I have to write 500 words a day and I’m supposed to stop before I hit a thousand That’s my my sweet spot and so now at 500 words I can so I stop and I’m like really excited to get back to it so you have to experiment. You know it’s not that’s not like slide something with the.

**** – (): 24:15.78

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, one formula that fits all. Yeah.

**** – (): 24:21.95

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): And whip the back at your creative part to do it you you decide something with your front of the brain is it working is it. My friend who’s doing the 250 words she may up it to 3 4 500 words if she finds that she’s feeling she’s feeling the urge to write. But it’s not enough for her. That’s fine. Up it to 500 if she doesn’t do it every day reduce it back to two fifty you have to find it a year is a pretty long time you can play with it for a couple of months and still keep the thing to do is you? yep.

**** – (): 24:48.12

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, but here’s my question how you seem to be a lot playful with you know with you to approach with um with your ideas the way you’re living your life at least not having holding yourself back. I Think the biggest barrier a lot of times comes in um, in life is where we forget to be playful when artists where art becomes a job where our jobs or you know, ah the idea to keep the lights on to keeping the bills to keep the business running. You know all of those things that that sometimes I feel like hold you back from taking and doing the things that you want How do you really early. You know unlock that How do you?? How do you free that in a child or like you know that creativity in you.

**** – (): 25:41.24

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): I Can only tell you what I do or and have done when I was oh I’m sorry I’m over here when when I was really ah I’ve been phases where I’ve had a job and I’ve been creative and I’ve been really burnout.

**** – (): 25:44.30

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes.

**** – (): 25:59.52

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): So. The first thing I did is okay, what am I doing in my job that I don’t have to do what am I putting into the job that it doesn’t require.. It’s not my family they pay me to do work I have to deliver good quality work. But I don’t have to put my heart and soul in it. Um. The paradox is like when I was teaching I was like really intensely into teaching E English to these international students and I I just pushed myself and one day I said no I’m not taking any work home if I can’t grade it in School. It’s not getting graded. And I found ways to to read all the papers and then teach a class about what they mistakes they made and have them I became a better teacher because I stopped doing a lot of the things that I thought I had to do to be a good teacher because I thought well I have to I have to satisfy it.

**** – (): 26:41.50

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 26:51.54

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): They’re better off having me as a teacher than having no teacher or teacher doesn’t understand the subject but I’m only going to do what I can do and I’m not taking a bit of work home. It’s not happening and I just didn’t they didn’t pay me to take work home. It was hourly I just took it I didn’t do it.

**** – (): 27:00.11

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 27:10.13

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): And so that freed up time and then the other thing is that so that’s 1 thing is to look at all of your obligations that you have to do and if you’ve got to work double jobs because you have a lot of things to pay for there. You go. That’s one of the things I mean you don’t have to go without. But then you have to say oh my life I love my life because I don’t have to go without not I’m an artist who’s failing her life now. It is true that if you’re creative and don’t have a creative outlet you become depressed and neurosis comes from a lot of that. So but the thing I’m saying is that a small thing.

**** – (): 27:39.98

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Sin. Yeah.

**** – (): 27:48.82

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): A card painted do a you know, start now and make a Christmas card every day if you’re if you like if you celebrate Christmas or ah, you know, whatever and just make one every day for the next year and by the end of the year but rest of this year you’ll have a stack that you can send to people or. Or or get an eye. You know do something every day do and it can be something small so small that if you’re exhausted, you’re lying in your bed and you say oh I forgot to do that you can turn on the light and do it because you have to have what’s what it’s called is um.

**** – (): 28:25.50

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): There’s a phrase for this some business guy did it. It’s called um, radical inflexibility. You need to pick one thing from your creative life that you have radically inflexible on and for me the first I learned radical influence because of the remember I told the story of the dishes in one of my things.

**** – (): 28:40.66

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah, be death. Yeah.

**** – (): 28:44.87

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): My first bit of radicalability is I’m not going bed dut bet to bed till the dishes are done and put away because I hate looking up to a dirty sink now. Why has that got to do with creativity. Well emotion is part of so this self care about that. Taught me the value of it because I began I now just it’s easy for me to not to do the dishes I mean there. There’s no dirty dishes at the end of the day period. Nothing in the sick. That’s what I applied to making the cards again, radical inflexibility sick as a dog in Mexico.

**** – (): 29:17.43

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, no.

**** – (): 29:21.86

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Did it anyway and the part of me that creates just bloomed and I don’t have any imposter complex anymore. There’s times when I’m not doing very much but I’m doing my 1 thing a day I’m down on the dumps. But I’m saying ah but you’re doing this? Yeah yeah.

**** – (): 29:37.27

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah, can you talk a little bit about also now since I also want you because we were already on about you packing up your bags and then you’ve been traveling having this. Um.

**** – (): 29:39.79

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Yeah, and so I’d be happy about what.

**** – (): 29:52.45

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Was it.

**** – (): 29:55.12

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): This very colorful experience of living a vagabond life. Can you take us through what this life has taught you all these years and also contrast as a creative. How has this this experience of pushing yourself and like really now going after how has that impacted you.

**** – (): 30:01.88

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Um, moved.

**** – (): 30:13.37

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Well the thing one of the things was I had a huge shift in my relationship with myself because I was alone a lot of the time and I kept losing things and there was nobody to like share my frustrations with.

**** – (): 30:29.61

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 30:32.74

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Just me and I slowly sort of lost first thing that fell away was the noise of what other people who love me or know me have known me a long time think about me because they weren’t around. Was half a world away or I was not half a world away but then I was in Mexico I was in I was all over the place but that that in New Zealand I was there for four months and that’s the first thing that fell away I was at this residency artist residency place in the middle of the countryside. So I walked every day in nature. Um I paint a card and then I just I just was there with other artists and they didn’t know me and they kept changing because I was there for a long time but they would sometime them came for a week and so my my interactionion with the world was very passive. Um, other the reflection and so I got a sense of who I was in myself, not all of it’s dred frankly but all of it’s with me I can’t leave it. You know I’m not I’m not I’m here this is who I am you know this is me oops. That’s why I came up with the fray I mean anyway.

**** – (): 31:35.60

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

**** – (): 31:49.74

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): So I had a lot of revelations there about the nature of myself and I realized that like my life in California I was meditating one day writing about one of my pictures artworks about the California thistle which is Grossen is really a problem because it’s so prickly and it. Fills the fields and I thought I was living in California in a field of California thistles and didn’t even realize that I was bleeding all over in small cuts trying to be an artist and so this allowed me to heal my relationship to myself and my artist doing these cards and then I started traveling and I decided. Ah. When it became winter in New Zealand I headed back to United States where it was summer and I decided on having a second summer and I traveled okay I do all these things to get like I had write wrote for this online magazine. That’s now pretty much defunct. It’s not defunct but it’s not as prominent as it used to be. So I would get free things travel in hotel rooms. So I got free travel from ah from Amtrak to travel around the United States and sleepers so I use so I used that to go visit all the places I’ve ever lived and I would go to the oh yeah and I used.

**** – (): 32:53.51

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh wow.

**** – (): 33:00.40

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh wow.

**** – (): 33:07.60

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): And I went to these places and every place I went I thought there is no trace of me here. No trace of me huh and in a few places. It was a surprise but in every place 2 things happened I liked the place more the actual city for South Madison was Cons Seattle

**** – (): 33:21.66

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 33:26.48

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): I wasn’t identified with living there and what came to me and what didn’t come so the places were lovely and then I continued it as I went east to the East Coast and then to um and then to Europe but in in the East Coast on my birthday I went down to ah. I went to college li and Mary and there was nobody on campus. It was some sort of holiday or was a weekend day. It was empty and I walked into the theater building which was always open and there on the stage was the ghost light. You leave the light on the theater so people don’t fall off the edge of the stage and I just.

**** – (): 34:02.63

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 34:05.20

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Remembered how miserable I was there because I was not acknowledged as the creative soul that I thought myself to be when I went there other people were they’re now famous. So maybe they were right? Maybe they weren’t maybe if they’d acknowledge me I’d be. We don’t know any of those things but all the pain of that.

**** – (): 34:13.32

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 34:18.42

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, that’s true.

**** – (): 34:23.10

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): I’m was unreal now and I thought ha I went to Madison Wisconsin where I also had a terrible bad breakup where I was teaching no whitewater Wisconsin where I was teaching and I was gonna drive there from Madison where I’d gone to graduate school so I was in.

**** – (): 34:25.70

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 34:35.51

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um.

**** – (): 34:41.65

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): And um and I couldn’t find the place I kept getting lost I went to the wrong city. Finally I said oh my unconscious is making me avoid this source of my horror and then when I got there I couldn’t find the pain.

**** – (): 34:44.81

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, okay.

**** – (): 35:00.70

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): I when I remembered what happened to me I could feel the pain but when I went there was no trace of any of that and that was another freeing thing and then I went to Europe where I’ve lived and I was very happy but also my happy times were gone. It was gone I went to see parkculanium and pompey and i.

**** – (): 35:00.39

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh yeah.

**** – (): 35:11.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 35:19.69

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Just suddenly realized that all of us die and we die alone and I was happy as could be about that because I could be joyful in the moment. It’s the it’s the it’s so that a kind of holding on that makes the you know I so I spent New Year’s eve 2020

**** – (): 35:27.63

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Now.

**** – (): 35:38.71

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): 21 2015 2015 to 2016 where I going into 2015 I was on a plane to New Zealand standing on the pont Alexandra in France people were celebrating all around me I was felt say I felt I felt here right here. Oh I’m going to cry I’m tearing up. I was there in the world people around me who who were happy and I’d spent a year on the road. It was a beautiful moment and I I was alone and I was completely embedded in the world I was in the world in a way that I’d never been in some ways. Because I was alone I’ve had so I had some ecstatic experiences that year because there was no one to share it with it was just me and the hills me and the people it was the best New Year’s eve of my life and I was alone.

**** – (): 36:19.88

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, um.

**** – (): 36:22.47

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Nobody.

**** – (): 36:29.67

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Wow.

**** – (): 36:35.83

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Aware of being alone I can’t I mean maybe that doesn’t make any sense to anybody but people are afraid mis traveling. Yeah yeah, no alone is okay, people is okay too. But but.

**** – (): 36:38.72

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): No, it does.

**** – (): 36:46.32

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): What is your pattern of traveling. How do you travel? How do you pick your destinations how you decide What is your travel. How do you pick your destinations. How do you feel like okay this is where next you’re going.

**** – (): 36:55.37

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Both.

**** – (): 37:01.84

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): I Have no idea I have no idea Oh sometimes you know like we’ll we’ll say oh we’re going to be doing this would you house it for us or fine like here.

**** – (): 37:08.69

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, and.

**** – (): 37:14.33

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): I once they I was going to come back here to the states in November I didn’t know if I would stay here I would go to visit a friend in Mexico and then I got the offer from someone saying oh we were told you do house sitting would you like to house it so that stuck me here in for three months in chemy chase um, but I basically I only.

**** – (): 37:27.14

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Wow.

**** – (): 37:33.26

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): I mean I mean I had a ticket I have road a round trip ticket. So I’m going back to Europe but I’m going to change the data but I paid for the ticket you can change the date because who knows what’s going to happen in six months and so I um people would ask me sometimes.

**** – (): 37:42.10

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 37:50.49

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): You’re going to change the date. Yeah.

**** – (): 37:52.92

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): You don’t know where you’re going to be in a month or like I I I wrote residency in Mexico and so July they had a date so I was going to go to Mexico in a part of Mexico that’s high altitude so it isn’t that hot. It’s temperate all year long in July I said okay, what am going to do between now and July oh I maybe i. My friend. He there. Maybe I mean it was just I figured it out as I went um when I what else to do I went to airbnb because airbnbs are expensive. But if you rent for more than twenty eight days you get a substantial discount and I found a couple places where.

**** – (): 38:12.50

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 38:26.72

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): The first rental at an Airbnb has a 30% discount and then the month long thing has a major discount so I got really great. You know a couple them were kind of I didn’t really like the place I stayed in emy home. So I stayed there a month and I left. Yeah, okay.

**** – (): 38:30.50

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh wow.

**** – (): 38:45.83

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Had a lot of good bread I made some I was editing my this memoir that I wrote about my year of travel which I I don’t know if it’s ever published. But I had to edit it to.

**** – (): 38:51.70

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, what are the creative projects that you’re working on now.

**** – (): 38:59.44

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): So right now I’m working on a sequel to the book knife witch that just came out last year now it the covers makes it look scary but it’s actually a comic fantasy. It’s ah it’s it’s like Terry Pratt writing it’s it’s been to compare.

**** – (): 39:03.62

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, knife fish. Yes.

**** – (): 39:08.71

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 39:15.87

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Been compared to books by Terry Pratchett said if Terry Pratchum couple of them said if Terry Pratchett was a female. This is what he would write would have written I’m a female. Okay, but anyway I have a a kind of kind of antic sense of humor I was a clown in the circus for a while but that’s another story. Um, and so. I love this world and I just even though the sales have been very low. They could pick up the thing about the internet is if it catches on suddenly else a lot of them will sell I tried doing all the things that you’re supposed to do about book talk and prompt didn’t work. None of it worked for me but you know even half.

**** – (): 39:49.36

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): What did.

**** – (): 39:53.58

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Followers I mean I have like total of like between 40 about 45000 followers across platforms. But it doesn’t translate in sales because I don’t know how it they’rering interested in my writing about creativity. So I’m working on the sequel to that I’m doing I’m finishing up putting things onto satchi art that the latest series that I painted.

**** – (): 39:58.67

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Sales. Yeah.

**** – (): 40:13.10

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): And I’m organizing a retreat I was in italy this summer looking at at this airbnb in Tuscany and I thought this it’s an airbb with only 5 rooms has its own little kitchen. You could they serve breakfast but you can cook meals I said let’s make a 5 person artist retreat and I started.

**** – (): 40:22.39

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay.

**** – (): 40:31.40

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Seeing if people who were following me on Instagram and Tiktok wanted to come and so I they were interested. There were these all this response and so I talked to the owners and we worked at a price for per week 6 days seven days six nights to stay there because they need a night to change all the linens.

**** – (): 40:49.28

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, okay.

**** – (): 40:51.24

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): And it’s like I don’t know it’s like seven hundred and eighty dollars a week which for a residency in Tuscany is pretty good and then so that’s great. So I’m doing creative work I’m trying to also do something to support and connect with my Instagram Twitter.

**** – (): 40:58.10

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, okay, ah yeah.

**** – (): 41:06.91

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 41:09.10

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): People because what I talk about there is it’s about how to be how to live this creative life. How to recognize that the way that the social order presents to you is through the lens of the categorical mind and through a world that is very business oriented.

**** – (): 41:15.13

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 41:28.71

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): And not spirit and create oriented and so I challenge those I think I mean that’s how you found me right? What did you think of what do you think is the topic of my reels.

**** – (): 41:28.72

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, and right.

**** – (): 41:35.40

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah I think what brought me to you is not the topic what brought me to you was your analogy how you speak how candid and how real it is. Um, I think that was my first and I think you speak about so many different things and when I found you that’s been. We’ve been coordinating for months now. But since you were traveling and I found you pretty much earlier to that and I feel like for me it is i. I like to hear from different perspectives different topics. But for me, what really attracts me is how real or the way someone’s speaking or how how I can resonate with it as a person and I feel like I always really enjoyed how close up you spoke and how real lit it felt. Leave even like in the dark I love that carefree and no inhibitions and urge of you so anything that you said had that kind of resonation with me or like something I felt like okay I could connect to.

**** – (): 42:38.49

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): So that’s great. That’s what I’m hoping for. But I you know I don’t know like the one that I just did about burning the food just people are like I didn’t expect it I mean.

**** – (): 42:49.12

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah. Ah, that’s your comic from comic and Realtor real now coming together.

**** – (): 42:55.92

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Another one that I was surprised at is a habit. Yeah, Well I Love I find Humor is my way of opening up my creativity when I’m deadly serious My writing is deadly dull.

**** – (): 43:02.21

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Amazing.

**** – (): 43:18.80

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): When I’m deadly serious. My painting is sort of it looks like somebody from high school. Did you know it’s got ah it’s got a. It’s got a um, an awkwardness that is for a lack of it isn’t so much lack of perspective but it’s lack of. Depth and and and reach it doesn’t have a long. It doesn’t have liveliness so I use humor and 1 of the reasons I got a dog I travel with a service dog but 1 of the reasons I got the dogs. Ah 1 thing.

**** – (): 43:47.64

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh wow.

**** – (): 43:54.00

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): That was missing in my solo life was laughter I can’t make myself laugh. You can’t tickle yourself but the dog wish the dog makes me laugh.

**** – (): 43:55.53

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, yeah, yes, very yeah I can resonate with that I have my dogs and I think I truly completely feel that that. I Love the person I am when I’m with them I mean the way I talk to them the way I Smile I don’t think I smile as much as I’m with them and I talk as much as I’m with them where is she.

**** – (): 44:16.34

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Well now hold on I.

**** – (): 44:26.53

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Yeah, oh old oh old cheer she is here she is. She’s my rural good girl you call me? Oh so she’s not ah.

**** – (): 44:32.90

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Oh.

**** – (): 44:37.44

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah.

**** – (): 44:44.29

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): She doesn’t know if she’s in trouble. She’s a service dog trained to alert me to take my medicine and so when I having a little crisis before I have it because you have to take an early. You can’t take if you don’t take it. It doesn’t work anyway.

**** – (): 44:47.80

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah.

**** – (): 44:51.63

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, okay here. Yeah I Yeah yeah I.

**** – (): 45:03.83

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): This is my dog. Yeah and I got excited I had to have a dog. It’s 1 thing that after 5 years on the road I said oh something this is this is the big thing that’s missing it isn’t somebody else. It’s something that it’s it’s the but it’s the fact of some other.

**** – (): 45:13.78

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Land.

**** – (): 45:21.47

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Being that can bring out the laughter and animals really do make you laugh I mean um yeah I’ve something I love.

**** – (): 45:25.29

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): They do So. My I think they Also they also I think sometimes they bring um I don’t know how to say this. They bring the real out of out ah out from you in you through you? whatever. Because I feel like when we meet people There’s so many barriers in the sense of okay how people are going to see me judge me or should I be saying this am I too much am I too less but with animals you are just like they love you accept you? You can just just be yourself. I. So I spend my mornings with my dogs after having yoga I think that’s the best time of my life like this time of my day I when I’m traveling I’m away I Miss that the most one that and I sleep with my dog and.

**** – (): 46:05.26

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): How.

**** – (): 46:16.00

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): If she’s not around if she’s not sleeping with me I just feel like I’m missing on missing out something that I really like it’s like it’s so precious to me.

**** – (): 46:25.79

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Someone in my family never understood dogs and didn’t like them and just got a dog and went and and this is a person who I don’t think of as someone who apologizes a great deal and has been apologizing to everybody who has dogs like when I would visit I couldn’t bring my I had to stay in a hotel because.

**** – (): 46:45.44

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um.

**** – (): 46:45.59

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): When I’ve always had dogs. This one is just one I didn’t have one while I traveled my dog had died one of the triggers to take off I figured I could go because I didn’t have a dog and so um I said I was so wrong and apologize to everyone who had dogs saying I just didn’t understand I really didn’t understand.

**** – (): 46:50.42

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 47:04.72

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): And so now she’s a devotee a dog devotee as well. But you know people who have near-death experiences and come back with a message. Not everybody is told that life has a purpose but the ones who bring back a message of what art we’re supposed to do in life. All say the same thing we’re supposed to love. 1 another That’s it not you know, anything else and dolls live that purpose they understand cruel or kind. They love you. Um.

**** – (): 47:24.86

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 47:32.57

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yes, that’s true. Yeah.

**** – (): 47:42.87

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): It doesn’t matter what you do those who are belong to them. They love them now. It’s not. It’s ah it’s an interesting they teach us in a way but they model for us. They don’t teach us. But it’s not. It’s not active but they model for us unconditional. Love.

**** – (): 47:59.38

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, that’s true.

**** – (): 48:01.79

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): And that loving of even even you know people who are not their immediate family of of they meet a dog and some you know they they either love them or hate them but they they do go out and they connect dogs are about connection and and and just giving that feeling.

**** – (): 48:18.16

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 48:21.10

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Carrying that feeling of loving and yeah so I’m a um’m a dog person and so that’s what that’s the 1 thing that was missing it travels well, where are we so where we did the thing about all my yeah.

**** – (): 48:25.58

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I love that okay I am so happy to you that? Yeah, we have 50 minutes into the episode. That’s it feels like we know time has gone too fast.

**** – (): 48:37.66

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): And my dog. But 1 oh did you have something in particular you want no pardon me.

**** – (): 48:44.75

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yes, tell me something What are you I have lots. Um, but this is I think we let’s let’s try to find this episode and let’s do another episode where we’ll talk about more How about that.

**** – (): 49:02.82

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Okay, all right. It’s good. Yeah, so I would say um to anybody here’s my big takeaway is um, give yourself a very small present every day.

**** – (): 49:11.85

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 49:19.18

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): It doesn’t have to be creative if you’re an artist but do it with radical inflexibility. Do not let yourself. It has to be small enough because that will teach you how good it feels. So.

**** – (): 49:27.54

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 49:37.46

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): If You’re feeling lost in any way in your life pick one small thing I mean you could decide that every day you’re going to you know I don’t know rearrange or fix your paint make sure all you’re at the end of your art. You’re gonna do whatever you do,? You’re gonna be your brushes and make them all perfectly and exactly or. Because you say you you don’t really like the chaos and sometimes I heard you say it sometimes I feel like what you were gets in the way of you starting again, you mean I like chaos. But there’s a level of chaos that I.

**** – (): 49:58.55

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah I like yours. Yeah I like yours in fact, for me, it is. Starting from a fresh page is so much more for me when I do something I spill everything over and my mom used to say how do I How do I even work and I would spill everything and then I’ll play and then throw in this and that unless it’s it just it just my my I I’m not a control like.

**** – (): 50:20.14

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Um, but.

**** – (): 50:31.58

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): I’m not a clean freak or something I want to get as as messy as I can and that makes me feel so grounded and so in the moment that I’m not holding myself back because I want to clean up brush or I want to clean or something.

**** – (): 50:45.82

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): All right pick but what would what would make everything easy I mean I mean whatever it is pick something small and do that every day. Maybe it isn’t about creativity. Maybe it’s something in the other part of your life. You know, um it could be I don’t know.

**** – (): 50:52.64

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 51:00.23

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 51:05.59

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): But it has to be something that you would do no matter what? ah you know and then but make sure it’s small enough. The other thing is that people was how powerful small regular action is and that also teaches you that that’s my I mean.

**** – (): 51:07.53

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): No I Do I do get that point. Yeah.

**** – (): 51:25.24

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): When I’m stuck I look at what’s I’m trying um that I say oh it’s too big. The pieces are too big. Why don’t I want to work on this. The pieces are too big I have to do a smaller piece and that’s it I Just take smaller bytes.

**** – (): 51:43.30

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Um, and you know when you asked earlier do I wish I’d done it sooner. No because for instance I do just pick up my phone and talk to it Well I was holding this for a while he wo.

**** – (): 51:50.16

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 51:55.45

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 52:00.18

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Do light from this side and head shadow The picture’s more interesting. Oh this, you know Eyes open I mean I know some things about framing about light and shadow about facing the light it on the side that comes from the filmmaking time for my writing.

**** – (): 52:09.72

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, now yeah.

**** – (): 52:17.37

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 52:19.79

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): You know and I can edit the videos so that when I go in I understand the value of taking out that pause or leaving in that pause So that I you know even just caught it up tighten. It make it I don’t make it faster I make it tighter but not always so.

**** – (): 52:28.36

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 52:34.17

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 52:37.89

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): I spent working on filmmaking payoff in my Tiktok videos. They don’t I don’t make them art doing all the exterior stuff but I use them to enhance what I’m doing does that make sense.

**** – (): 52:39.44

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 52:51.85

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah, no I think I and I truly believe that nothing ever that we do goes waste it only um, helps us think better a bigger perspective or at some point it just you will know. Why exactly were you there and why did you do it and I think like there’s nothing that goes to waste.

**** – (): 53:18.55

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Don’t I would say I would give a caveat to people of of of don’t do things you don’t you dislike? Actively don’t put a lot of energy in those just because you think you can use it someday that just clutters. That’s that clutters your life. You know keep your he.

**** – (): 53:31.33

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 53:36.22

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Sense of joy and adventure do novel do new things because the biggest Killer I mean I think that everybody who leaves a note on my on my feed that is saying you know, somebody said something recently. Okay Boomer like bla. Well, that’s called Dementia or something well like.

**** – (): 53:52.59

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Ah, oh God I can’t even imagine how people do that.

**** – (): 53:54.15

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): You have when I read that well I can andre what they’re doing is they’re stabbing their own creative spirit is openness is creativity is open and every time you engage cynical interaction on the web.

**** – (): 54:03.66

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 54:11.41

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): It makes you more cynical because your own creative Spirit has taken a hit and you don’t even know why but you’ve been the one hitting it. You’re like punching yourself people and so the net all the negative comments on the web I feel like all those people are just destroying their own. Lives their own psychological equilibrium their own fountain of vaunt of Joy. Don’t put negative comments on the internet because you’re hurting yourself. It doesn’t really hurt that person. Yes I mean if a whole bunch of people troll them.

**** – (): 54:42.31

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah.

**** – (): 54:48.30

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Somebody could really have a bad experience but each one of those people has you know has cut themselves in their heart in their spirit. It’s bad. Bad bad bad.

**** – (): 54:55.91

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah, yeah.

**** – (): 55:02.11

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): You know you feel like you’re so smart at the moment typing something where I’ve gotten it wrong I mean I post quotes by people who are very problematic I posted something you know I’ve I’ve resisted because I just don’t want the onslaught but I have a lot of respect for some of the things Jordan Peterson says about creativity and I have a lot of.

**** – (): 55:18.18

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 55:22.80

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Eye walls at a lot of the things he says about women’s spirituality and and I just I mean they’re just cuckoo nuts doesn’t mean that the good stuff is bad I did something by Oprah half like.

**** – (): 55:23.50

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 55:29.95

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Is wrong. Yeah, it’s not as black and white as that.

**** – (): 55:37.33

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): A lot of the comments were how can you quote Oprah Winfrey she’s a terrible human being the quote is useful to me and spending time part that doesn’t work reinforces the parting yourself that cannot grab.

**** – (): 55:43.77

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 55:56.79

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): The juice from life and take nutrients from it and I just think that’s a shame So I try to focus on the other thing I try you know if I sense the person anyway. So that’s that’s really you know keep your.

**** – (): 55:58.49

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Um, yeah, yeah, no I agree.

**** – (): 56:13.36

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): 1 final word before we wind this up. Yes.

**** – (): 56:16.51

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): 1 final word.

**** – (): 56:25.72

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): You’ve got one day in Disneyland this world. It might be a rainy day. You might not have any money for all the food and the treats you might, but you only get day no matter what? So enjoy your day in Disneyland.

**** – (): 56:34.87

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Are.

**** – (): 56:41.45

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And.

**** – (): 56:43.14

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): As best you can because there’s lot whole stuff there and crazy stuff and stupid stuff take his experience and as you can ormit get on the rides you can get on see the people make the experience. Whatever it is because it’s your only day you won’t get another one.

**** – (): 56:48.34

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 57:00.24

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And that.

**** – (): 57:02.89

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Enjoy it. You find things you enjoy every day I mean people talk about gratitude. But yeah, gratitude’s good I mean I’m grateful for a lot of things. But.

**** – (): 57:05.80

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 57:18.53

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): I wouldn’t use the word gratitude I would use the word. What.

**** – (): 57:26.48

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Me. Thank you so much Susan this was wonderful and yes, you’ve you’ve had you’ve shared a lot of wisdom. Not just one. You’re a storyteller.

**** – (): 57:28.73

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Um, yeah here I am yeah I wish ended with wisdom for you a work.

**** – (): 57:42.21

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Was saying that yeah tell a better soul. You’re unhappy tell a better story because that’s all it is. It’s just a story right.

**** – (): 57:46.74

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): You’re so wonderful. Yeah.

**** – (): 57:51.63

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yeah.

**** – (): 57:58.62

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): That’s very encouraging and exciting. Yes, thank you so much and we’ll bring you back and have you soon again where can people find you one last thing tell us your Instagram so that people can follow you.

**** – (): 57:59.88

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): And love as much.

**** – (): 58:13.54

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Well on Instagram my name here Susan Dorey it’s 1 word on Instagram they can find me there. They can find my name dot com and that has a choice to go to my artist or my writer website. Ah.

**** – (): 58:16.78

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Yes.

**** – (): 58:24.10

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Okay, perfect I will make sure that we add everything in the show notes article and our website and redirect people to your Lock-ins Social lock-ins as well. Thank you so much for coming and for your time.

**** – (): 58:42.64

**** – (): Susan diRende

**** – (): Um, you just talking fun. It’s been um, it’s been fun. See you next time.

**** – (): 58:42.85

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): And I will see you soon again.

**** – (): 58:47.85

**** – (): charukaarora

**** – (): Add stop.


About the Guest(s):

Susan diRende is an artist, filmmaker, and writer. With a lifelong involvement in the arts, Susan has explored various creative fields, including theater, film, and teaching. She has received awards and grants for her work and is passionate about embracing creativity and living an artist’s life.

Episode Summary:

In this episode, Susan diRende shares her journey as an artist and the decision she made to fully commit to her creative pursuits later in life. She discusses the challenges she faced, the different jobs she took on to support her artistic endeavors, and the importance of seeking new experiences to keep creativity alive. Susan also talks about her daily creative practice, the concept of radical inflexibility, and the impact of travel on her artistic process.

Key Takeaways:

  • Embrace your creative side and fearlessly pursue your artistic passions, even if others don’t understand or support it.
  • Incorporate creativity into your daily life, whether through writing, painting, or any other form of artistic expression.
  • Experiment with different creative practices and find what works best for you. Establish a routine and commit to a small creative task every day.
  • Overcome the imposter complex and focus on the joy and fulfillment that comes from creating art, rather than seeking external validation or success.
  • Traveling can be a transformative experience for artists, providing new perspectives, inspiration, and opportunities for self-discovery.

Notable Quotes:

  • “Give yourself a small present every day, something that brings you joy and allows you to tap into your creativity.”
  • “The secret to daily practice isn’t starting, it’s stopping and stopping at the place that’s the sweet spot before you’re done.”
  • “Creativity is about connection and giving that feeling of loving and being loved.”
  • “Dogs live the purpose of love, understanding cruel or kind. They love you unconditionally.”
  • “Don’t put negative comments on the internet because you’re hurting yourself. It doesn’t really hurt that person.”

Charuka Arora is the founder of the Arts to Hearts Project and Host of the Arts to Hearts Podcast. She is also an acclaimed Indian artist known for her contemporary embellished paintings. Her unique blend of gouache, collage, embroidery, painting, and drawing explores the intersection of art, culture, heritage, and womanhood. Through her work, she tells stories of female strength and encapsulates them in pieces that can be treasured for generations.

 Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

Charuka’s work draws inspiration from Hindu mythology, recognizing women as vessels of Shakti, the cosmic energy. She beautifully portrays powerful goddesses like Durga Maa riding a tiger or lion, symbolizing their unlimited power to protect virtue and combat evil.

Through her art, Charuka invites us into the world of women, showcasing their beauty, strength, and resilience. Her creations not only exhibit exceptional talent but also serve as an inspiration and a symbol of hope for those challenging societal norms.

About Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

Arts to Hearts Podcast is a show delving into the lives and passions of renowned artists. From running creative businesses and studio art practices to cultivating a successful mindset, Charuka Arora engages in heartfelt conversations with her guests. Experience your personal happy hour with your favorite artists, right in your studio.

Through candid discussions, Charuka and her guests reveal the joys and challenges of a vibrant creative life, both within and beyond our studios. Get ready to be inspired and uplifted as you tune in.

Susan diRende

susan dirende

Susan diRende communicates big ideas with a unique concoction of irreverence and insight. Her published works, from serious academic to sci-fi space farce, share a common thread of humor. Born in New Jersey of Italian parents, she has always looked to create at the intersection of worlds. An accomplished painter as well as writer, a strong visual imagination keeps her grounded in the “thingness” of the plastic arts alongside the ephemeral “wordness” of the literary.

Susan has been an artist all her life, but it wasn’t until her 50s that she thought the world would agree. Throughout her life, Susan never really had one job. She taught English as a second language, worked in government for a while, and also gained some experience in real estate. She did all these things to support herself so she could do the arts, her true passion. Meanwhile, she continued to face societal pressure to conform and pursue a traditional career path, as she was often told to ‘get a real job’. However, these opinions did not dampen her spirit and she kept marching to the beat of her drum.

At 59, Susan went through several heartbreaking life experiences. From losing her house to ending a friendship to then losing her dog, one day she just decided to leave. So she packed up everything, and in 2015, she decided to fly to New Zealand where she planned to stay for a year.

Susan on getting rid of imposter syndrome

Susan has been very clear about her approach to life and creativity, which is to stay consistent. For her, it’s all about taking one day at a time and designating a small task for herself. This phenomenon can be observed in our everyday life, where sometimes we get so overwhelmed by our to-do-list, that we decide to give it up entirely. This leads us to not do anything at all, which then traps us in a cycle of unproductivity, worsening our imposter syndrome.

Susan’s solution to this artist’s dilemma is simple; only do what you can manage. Whether it is writing 250 words every day, or washing the dishes before bed, setting rules for yourself and doing even the smallest amount of effort is how you can regain control of your life. Susan says that each year, she would pick something and then she would do it consistently. She calls this strategy ‘radical inflexibility’, which is all about making small daily commitments to creative pursuits. Susan shares her experience of painting a card every day during her time in New Zealand, and a simple act such as that allowed her to tap into her creativity and stay connected to her artistic self.

You have to have a task that’s small enough that you can do it every day, no matter what.

Susan diRende – Arts to Hearts podcast s04e14

Susan’s insight is not just applicable to artists, as anyone who is struggling at the moment can relate to it and benefit from it. Creating discipline in your life will not only help you develop a consistent creative practice, but it will also bring a sense of joy and fulfillment to your life. Stop at a point where you would be excited to return tomorrow, and that’s how you do it!

Seeking novel experiences

Talking about age and experiences, Susan thinks that it is all about seeking novel experiences. As we age, we tend to lose that novelty and to change that, Susan decided to do something different. She would travel to places she has never been in, and do things she has never tried, even if it meant making reels for her Instagram every day. She underlines the importance of doing these things to stay in touch with your creativity, as that’s the best way to keep your soul young and alive!

Keep your sense of joy and adventure, do new things.

Susan diRende – Arts to Hearts podcast s04e14

Susan’s perspective on life is a breath of fresh air. In a world that focuses too much on capitalism and ties productivity with generating wealth, Susan is rejecting that concept altogether. She thinks that it’s when we let go of these pressures that we can be free to do what we like. Getting rid of that mental load is the first step towards living that creative life and Susan’s life is an inspiration to all because of that!

You either have time or money.

Susan diRende – Arts to Hearts podcast s04e14

Susan is on Instagram where she regularly shares her candid thoughts with her followers. You can also check out her book and art on her writer website and artist website respectively. She is also offering ‘The San Ginese Residency 2024’ which includes workshops in screenwriting, fiction and playwriting.

To read up more about Arts to Hearts Podcast and its episodes, click here.


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