Outbuildings for People Like You! by Claudia Savage

In Episode 4 of the Thick in the Throat, Honey Podcast, John and Claudia talk with writer Margaret Malone about time, taxes, and tours, and how she and her filmmaker husband Brian Padian balance art, work, and family life in a two parent-artist household. We also talk about Margaret's community-building-quick-art-making SHARE and discuss the mythical outbuilding for artists!

Margaret Malone

Margaret Malone

Her award-winning collection of short stories, People Like You, is available through Atelier26 Books and Amazon.

Margaret with her husband Brian and their two children take some time to relax.

Margaret with her husband Brian and their two children take some time to relax.

The question is always: How do you do it? What’s the secret? The answer you want is it’s not that hard. But the real answer is it’s incredibly hard and really messy. It is always a win-lose. But if you are a creative person you can’t not do your work; you would be a diminishing version of yourself. There is no answer. You do it anyway. 

A quick tour of Margaret's writing space.

Who we talked about in this episode:

Margaret Malone

Brian Padian

Elizabeth Gilbert

Robert Altman   

Brenda Hillman

Cheryl Strayed

Kathleen Lane (SHARE)

Jim Brunberg (Mississippi Studios)

Want to study with Margaret? You can. Here and here.                                                                

Radiohead + Little Moments = Hot Partnership and a Rockin' Family by Claudia Savage

Juniana Lanning playing drum set (photo by Chad Lanning)

Juniana Lanning playing drum set (photo by Chad Lanning)

In Episode 3 of the Thick in the Throat, Honey podcast, John and Claudia talk with the sound designer-electronic artist-improviser-composer-and badass mama Juniana Lanning about her artistic growth since having children. How Radiohead was the only thing she and her rock musician husband, Chad, had in common. Their label Fluff and Gravy Records. And why her first child had to learn to fall asleep to extreme noise.

The Lanning family relaxes…for a second.

The Lanning family relaxes…for a second.

As with all our podcasts, we feature how artist parents actually make work in their homes or studios. Check out the video below for a special tour.

Juniana Lanning takes us around her home studio and makes some music.

You have to find those little moments in your chaotic family life to keep the fire burning. To keep it going. Those little moments are so important.

— Juniana Lanning

Music can be made with anything, according to Juniana Lanning, electronic musician and sound designer. Here's a favorite method of her children.
Juniana singing with drum set.

Juniana singing with drum set.

Who we talked about in this episode:

Juniana Lanning’s sound design work

Seven Engines (with Kyle Bouchard)

Chad Lanning’s photography

Linda Austin

Doug Theriault

Kendall Core

The Flaming Lips

Radiohead

Iannis Xenakis

And, don’t forget to listen to the full Lanning family rendition of The Flaming Lips song, Do You Realize?, here.

The Ultimate Schedule (How Never Finding a Groove Can Actually Help You) by Claudia Savage

Every few weeks I remember brainstorming with John for the ultimate schedule!  This was going to do it. This would be the thing. I would write in the evenings after putting her to bed before the first feeding of the night. I would write in the mornings. I would go to the park to write. I would go to the library. I would stop stressing out so much and only write 4 days a week. Or 3. Or 2?

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Whatever you do, don’t say “parent” by Claudia Savage

Once we were hip. Really, really hip. We wore ironic sweaters and tight jeans and got our hair cut for fashion rather than function.

OK, we were never that hip. But, once, we tried.

(John was a radical musician who lived in an illegal loft in Brooklyn. His living space was often used as a film set. Claudia recited poems on sunbaked rocks in Colorado, in art galleries, at house concerts. She edited books. Once she was also a professional cook--so she loves feeding people.)

We met at an artist residency and promptly left our partners for each other. Our love story, while not original, was definitely hot. We made love. We made music. We wrote poetry. We drank bad wine and ate chocolate at 3am to fuel yet another “collaboration” session.

Then things changed.

We had a beautiful, challenging, wonderful daughter. She took away our sleep, our carousing, our ability to eat dinner without indigestion.

Yet, somehow, in the time since we’ve had her, we’ve been more productive and creative than ever. John’s made so many albums and played with so many people, we’ve lost track. Claudia has written two books, become an essayist and interviewer, and found another passion in teaching. Our duo, Thick in the Throat, Honey, instead of just being a side project that provided relief from incessant discussions about our kid, has become a space of deep play and the fuel that ignites our separate creative practices. As a bonus, when we perform, it reminds us of why we first fell for each other. 

Making art is not just a vocation for us. Just like raising our daughter, it is our lives.

Through weekly posts you’ll get a glimpse of how we, and other artists we know and admire, make art and keep inspired while raising children. We’ll reveal our challenges and attempted solutions. We’ll talk about our art-making practice. We’ll commiserate and inspire each other. Because making art is not just about sitting alone in a room pouring over a piece of paper, it is about what happens when you hang out with other people attempting to sit in a room and pour over a piece of paper. 

And even if you don’t have children and are struggling to make art in between your other obligations, we hope some of our ideas will allow you to live the kind of fulfilling life you deserve. Because we all deserve the chance to be creative and thrive.