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Episode 202: Betsy Greer

Betsy Greer is a writer and maker who lives in Durham, North Carolina. For the past fourteen years, she’s written about craftivism, the place where craft and activism intersect, and she loves discovering the ways in which people use (and have used) the two together. Currently, her main craft project is You Are So Very Beautiful, in which people make affirmation signs then leave them out all over the world for others to find. Show Notes and Links My hat out of handspun yarn.Action + Craft...


Episode 201: Cheryl Arkison

In this first episode of Compulsory in two years, we return to our roots with an honest conversation with quilter Cheryl Arkison about the power of habit in creative life, and about embracing the mess of, well, pretty much everything. Show Notes and Links Cheryl’s article about Morning MakesSophie’s Universe blanket patternCutting up jeansSwatch loomAuthor Rachael Herron on Compulsory Learn more about Cheryl Arkison and her work at and connect with her on Instagram and...


A Resurrection

After two years on hiatus, Compulsory Podcast is coming back! Listen for a brief update about what's changed (and what's staying the same), and how you can help keep the show going long into the future. Be sure to subscribe to the show so you get the next episode as soon as it's out (here are the iTunes, Stitcher and Soundcloud links). To get unedited clips, episodes and commentary before each new show comes out, support the continuing production of Compulsory over on Patreon.


Compulsory Podcast Special Burrito Bulletin: Lauren Venell

Lauren Venell is an artist and designer specializing in editorial props and product development. Her work has been published in titles by Chronicle Books, Klutz/Scholastic, Uppercase, Monsa Books and Quarry Books, among others, and featured in several media outlets including The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Everyday with Rachel Ray and on Canal+ Television. She has launched several of her own successful toy lines including her current line, the Deep Creeps, which can be...


Compulsory Podcast Episode 7: Rachael Herron

Rachael Herron is the bestselling author of the novel Splinters of Light, the five-book Cypress Hollow romance series, and the memoir, A Life in Stitches. As we discuss in the podcast, I've read Rachael's blog for about a decade. So much is my admiration for her dedication to her writing, craft, job and family that I interviewed her for my book Make It Mighty Ugly. She walks her talk, man. She walks her talk. Special for all you listeners out there, Rachael is offering her Udemy course,...


Compulsory Podcast Bonus Episode: Joel Watson

Joel Watson is a cartoonist who writes and draws a webcomic called HijiNKS Ensue, which he describes as "a semi-autobiographical comic about a lifelong geek and aspiring artist who turns his back on an unfulfilling but financially stable career in order to pursue art full time and set a better example for his daughter." My conversation with Joel from Episode 6 went about fifteen minutes longer than what's included; this bonus episode is the remainder of our chat. We talked primarily about...


Compulsory Podcast, Episode 6: Joel Watson

Joel Watson is a cartoonist who writes and draws a webcomic called HijiNKS Ensue, which he describes as "a semi-autobiographical comic about a lifelong geek and aspiring artist who turns his back on an unfulfilling but financially stable career in order to pursue art full time and set a better example for his daughter." I’ve read Joel’s comic for years, and I interviewed him for my book, Make It Mighty Ugly. It’s something he said during that interview that inspired me to reach out to him...


Compulsory Podcast Episode 5: Isaac Watson

Isaac Watson is a project manager, grand-scale organizer, and maker of things like jewelry and homes. In 2014, he launched Maker’s Nation, a nonprofit educational program and community platform for independent creative entrepreneurs. He's also the production manager for the World Domination Summit, co-producer of Pioneer Nation, and a hired gun that excels at design project management. From time to time, Isaac writes about various things on his two blogs: Voiced features musings on...


Compulsory Podcast Episode 4: Miriam Felton

Miriam Felton is a knitwear designer and all-around maker living in Salt Lake City. She has been self-publishing since 2004 and now teaches and designs full time. In 2013, she committed to what she called a Year of Making – every day that year, she documented something she made by sharing a photo of it online, with the hashtag #yearofmaking. To get herself going, she further committed to make all of her new clothing that year. Miriam continued into a second year of making in 2014,...


Compulsory Podcast Episode 3: Meighan O'Toole

Meighan O’Toole is a digital media strategist who is passionate about connecting people to objects, art, and ideas that better their personal or professional lives, and she derives great meaning in her own life from fostering those connections. In today's episode, we talk about Meighan's compulsion to share, and about the connections, conversations and relationships that result from sharing. Relevant links: websiteWhat's Your Story podcastInstagramTwitterFacebookMy Love for YouStanford...


Compulsory Podcast Episode 2: Abby Glassenberg

Soft-toy designer Abby Glassenberg runs a successful online pattern shop and blogs regularly about the business of craft. In today's show, we discuss the siren song of immediacy and impulsiveness, the focus of identifying a very narrow niche interest, and the value of practice. Plus: the tensions between imperfection and perfection, and serving yourself and serving others. Also: cooking! Relevant links: website and blogWhile She Naps podcastFacebookTwitterInstagram Thanks so much for...


Episode 1: Rachael Ashe

Artist Rachael Ashe makes cut-paper works of intricate, repeating designs. In today's show, we discuss focus, repetition, tediousness, and more. Relevant links: websiteportfolioInstagramTwitterFacebookEastside Culture CrawlHot Talks at Hot Art Wet CityThis American LifeSerial99% InvisibleThe tutorial I used to make my pop filter