Welcome to milestone episode number 50! Yes, the big 5-0. There have been so many moments along my podcasting journey when I thought this whole podcast would fall apart or I wouldn't be able to deliver the next episode on schedule. Because you all showed up for me, here. We. Are. Thank you, kind listeners, for tuning in time and again. Thank you, amazing guests, for allowing me to take a peek into your world, and share it others.
If you're someone who's ever felt like you're just off your game, straying from your path, or unawares of your worth in the world, make yourself cozy for my conversation with Zuzu Perkal. Zuzu is a pink-haired, powerhouse of positivity. She is an Austin-based new contemporary artist with an insatiable appetite for street art, yoga, and self-exploration. Some of her commercial work has intersected with companies like Neiman Marcus, Bud Light, Nordstrom, Red Bull, South by Southwest, The X Games, the Wanderlust Festival and more.
Zuzu continually seeks ways to positively impact others through nearly everything she does, which comes through loud and clear in this episode and in vibrant color the rest of the time. There is so much to learn through this conversation with Zuzu. We touched on how she keeps her head in the game, leveling up as a paid, working artist, navigating her definition of self-worth, and finding her place on the planet. Like all of Zuzu’s work, I hope this episode leaves you full with insight and inspiration. Because, as we talk about in this episode: “You are f*#&ing awesome.”* We all need to be lifting each other up.
This episode is packed with love and lots to learn. Let’s get to it. Grab those earbuds and start listening!
*Zuzu and I deliver a few intentional, kind-hearted F-bombs (like the one noted above) during this episode. Earbuds are recommended if you’ve got wee ones or non-pottymouths around.
Selected link love + resources from the episode:
Kim Krans Animal Spirit Tarot Deck (Zuzu's deck)
Kim Krans Wild Unknown Tarot Deck (Kara’s deck)
No “yes.” “HELL YEAH!” or “no.”, Derek Sivers (blog post)
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Quotes + selected highlights from the episode
All of this wisdom is from Zuzu herself (with some minor edits for readability).
[00:09:39] [On the early days of exploring street art] I did have my phase of hitting the streets, going out and doing some illegal stuff. I did all that with respect.
[00:09:58]I get that natural high from doing live painting or painting a mural that maybe is a little out of my comfort zone. I found different ways to tap into that same high-intensity energy without having to go and bomb on the streets.
[00:12:51] The truth is that anybody can be creative, and anybody can do art. Whether you're good at it or not, it doesn't really matter. It's more about the experience of actually creating that piece of art.
[00:19:51] I also have a mindful practice. I get to get out of my head for a moment, which for me feels amazing because I'm constantly moving and thinking and doing and creating and all of this stuff all the time
[00:30:29] Hard work always pays off. I try to share that with everyone when we get into these art conversations.
[00:41:25] I don't want to make art that feels like a job.
[00:47:42] [On her definition of success] It's not really concrete because I don't have an end goal in my life. I don't have this one thing or one position or one project that I'm trying to get to. For me, it's really all about the journey and my path of getting there. It’s waking up in the morning and knowing that I'm doing something that I love, and I'm going to do it well.
[00:52:20] What allows me to feel positive and to find happiness in every moment - whether it's awesome or it's a sh!#*y day or my painting didn't come out the way - is to enjoy the process and enjoy moving forward.
[00:54:28] I think that people get caught up in the day to day grind, the expectations that we put on ourselves, what other people put on us, and what society puts on us. We get lost from our path. Then, we wake up one day, and we realize that we've wasted a bunch of time because we aren't really fulfilled by what we're doing. We're not really passionate about what we're doing. It's easy to get stuck in that. It's important for people to know that they have the power and the opportunity to step right out of that and to go do something that makes them feel awesome.
[00:56:31] Life isn't going to hand us a miracle when we're just going with the flow and doing things that don't fulfill us. We have to find that outlet. We have to find those activities, people and passions that make us feel alive and follow those.
[1:09:55] A lot of things come down to just knowing your worth and knowing your place on this planet, which can be really challenging. It's not easy to wake up and say, “I'm f@*#ing awesome today.”
[01:32:02] [On learning to say No] I learned the hard way. I'm still learning this lesson. It's really challenging for me because I'm a Yes person. I want to say, “Yes.” I want to help people. I want to do things, and I do like being busy.
[01:34:52] I forced myself to say No to things. I have to choose wisely what I say Yes to what I say No to. I have to prioritize - to see everything I have going on - and have the strength to say, “I can't do that.”
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