Being a creative rebel to me means doing things your way. More specifically, it means "owning your weird", speaking your mind, and just incorporating all the elements that make you who you are into how you conduct your creative business.
I met some amazing creative rebels in 2015 and some of them I only stalked online. I'm so grateful for them because they've inspired me to follow my path.
And they can inspire anyone, so definitely follow them.
Amber does everything her way. From her ridiculously actionable and detailed blog posts to her organizational systems, she's turning The Ultimate Business Book brand into a place where you can find everything you need for your new business.
Thanks to Amber, I am now a part of an amazing mastermind group, and this is what I mean when I say your people are your most important business metric. It's not just the people who buy from you, but also your amazing peers.
Amber's best stuff:
- The Ultimate Guide to Creating & Launching Your Site
- How to Create a One-Year Plan for Your Blog & Biz
- 75 Challenges for a Better Business
2. Austin Kleon
Austin totally owns his weird - he writes and draws at the same time, and his art is uniquely his - from his blackout newspapers to his cutouts, he does what he's good at and inspires others to do the same. It's so hard to look at anything and say it's unique these days, but if you think about unique, it's just your way of combining existing elements.
Austin's best stuff:
- His Books: Steal Like an Artist & Show Your Work
- Austin's Newspaper Blackouts Collection
- Austin's creative twitter feed
3. Beth Grant
I owe this woman a huge debt. Even though I paid her a consultancy fee. :D
Beth is the kind of person who knows how to help you, and even just checking out her Archetype Alignment Grid will show you that your marketing and personality are inseparable, and from that moment on, you see everything differently.
Thanks so much, Beth, for helping me regain my voice.
Beth's best stuff:
4. Elizabeth Gilbert
I know we'll probably never be friends because she's famous and I'm awkward, but this is the year when I realized how WISE that woman was. In reality, you can say people are smart or brave, but you can rarely say they're wise.
She also talks (and writes) about one of my favorite topics: creative fear, which is such a big part of creative life, maybe the biggest and most relatable. She also comes up with creative ways to handle that fear gently.
Liz's best stuff:
- Liz Gilbert's Interview with Marie Forleo
- Liz Gilbert's new book Big Magic
- Liz's podcast Magic Lessons
5. Gary Vaynerchuk
I was a fan of Gary's before this year, but what he's been doing lately has really been outstanding. I sometimes even refer to him as THE creative rebel, you know, the original. Maybe because he was the first person to make me think of that term.
What I've really enjoyed is the way he wields the power of the motivational rant. You don't hear that term often, but it comes so naturally to Gary. And even when he's not "ranting" on youtube, he's producing great thought pieces on Medium.
Gary's best stuff:
6. Halley Gray
Oh Halley, Halley... if you didn't hate the word authentic, which is plastered all over my website and brand, we could be best friends. That woman is entertaining and smart as hell, and her "drunk webinars" have taught me that webinars can be fun!
You probably know I hate webinars, or at least the general idea of them, but I dunno... I got a spanking new camera, I have some awesome products coming out, and Halley has inspired me to give webinars another chance. Maybe.
Halley's best stuff:
7. Jason Zook
Oh Jason!!! Thank you SO much for showing me any crazy project is possible!
Did you hear about Jason's "buy my future" scheme where he sells all of his future products twice a year for $1000, and then lives off the money and creates? I mean, isn't this the DREAM of any true creator, who is not much of a service person?!
It is. His example definitely inspired me to think of my own cooky models, and realize there's no one way to do something. Unless it's your way.
Jason's best stuff:
- What Showing Up Every Day Taught Me About Launching a Big Idea
- Ignite Your Pilot Light of Weirdness
- What It Takes
8. Jeff Goins
I mean, Gary can't be the only male creative rebel out there, right? I'm sure there are tons of male creative rebels out there. (Raise your hand!) Jeff Goins is definitely another specimen, who actually reminded me something vital about creativity:
It's work and if you want to do it for a living, get serious with it.
Apart from his good tips, he really knows how to gather people around his words. It's like what he says resonates so deeply, you want to know him.
Jeff's best stuff:
- The Unfair Truth about How Creative People Really Succeed
- The Art of Making Good Decisions
- The Art of Work (book)
9. Jen Carrington
Jen is maybe the first person I found and followed after my re-brand. (Well, except Marie Forleo, but I mean, she's a no-brainer.) What really impressed me is that Jen does her business in her own unique way and empowers others to do the same.
She's a content coach, but I suspect that even after one conversation with her, you're going to infuse your entire business strategy with her intuitive tips.
Jen's best stuff:
- How I've Built a Profitable Online Business Without Relying on Traffic
- There's No One Size Fits All Way to Be Awesome on the Internet
- The Make It Happen Podcast (can't wait for season 2!)
10. Kiki Schirr
Kiki is my dear friend and doodler extraordinaire. This year she started the "tech doodles" column on Medium, which not only caught people's attention but also resonated so deeply with us entrepreneurial folk, who work remotely.
Whether she continues the doodle column or not, I'm sure she'll continue to amaze and inspire us with her contagious humor.
Kiki's best doodles:
- The Problem with Working from Home (nailed it!)
- Alternative Uses for Your Selfie Stick
- The Vicious Cycle of Pinterest
11. Mariah Coz
You might have noticed her name in most of my tweets, emails, and blog posts. I can't help it! She's a spider monkey of savvy business strategies and making crazy money (now it's like millions), but it's not even about the money! It's about the way she hooks, engages, and holds her tribe in a transparent and honest way.
I know so much about her personal life from her podcasts, webinars, and emails, it's like I know her (and relate to her story), which makes me follow and share her stuff even more. That's what I'm talking about in #fans2friends!
Mariah's best stuff:
- Letter to New Business Owners + First-Time Entrepreneurs
- 10 Ways to Go From Blogger to Business Owner
- 5 Strategies for Finding Your Course Idea
12. Sian Richardson
Can I pleeeeeeeeeease steal Sian's design? Naturally, I'm against stealing or copying anyone's anything, but man! That girl even LOOKS like a creative rebel. You know what I mean? It's like her words and design are a whole - a unique whole - and you just want to learn more about her. (I'm still crushed she doesn't do design work anymore!)
Basically, Sian's design is my spirit animal. Actually, Sian is my spirit animal.
Sian's best stuff:
- What You Think You Want Versus What You Actually Need
- Fucking Up, Quitting, & Other Thoughts about The Work
- Screw the Filters & Curation, Let's Get RAW
13. The Middle Finger Project
Let's just get something straight: Cursing or picking bones with the world is NOT what creative rebels are all about. However, if you want to curse and pick bones, you are more than welcome, because being a creative rebel is about being YOURSELF. It's not about doing what everyone else is doing or parroting your idols. It's about blazing your path and imprinting your own values onto your business & industry.
Would you believe me if I told you I spent a few hours on TMF's blog the other day? Ash writes in such an engaging way, you can't stop reading.
The best of TMF:
- On Not Allowing: A Message for When You're Feeling Whiny
- Please Don't Get Hard (Even When Life Is)
- Plan on Being Nervous, Brilliantly
Come on, fess up! Who's been inspiring you to be you? Who is so wonderfully unique and rebellious that they inspire you to do the same in your own business?