What is TCI?

The Creative Independent (TCI) is a growing resource of emotional and practical guidance for creative people, published ad-free by Kickstarter, a public-benefit corporation. We produce interviews, wisdom, and guides that illuminate the trials and tribulations of living a creative life, as told by working artists—including writers, musicians, designers, visual artists, and others. Our goal is to feed and grow the community of people who create.

Spiral & Snail

The Creative Independent’s logo is a spiral. We like spirals because they’re about circling back to a core idea over time, something all creative people must do. As Julia Cameron puts it in The Artist’s Way, “You will circle through some of the issues over and over, each time at a different level. There is no such thing as being done with an artistic life. Frustrations and rewards exist at all levels on the path. Our aim here is to find the trail, establish our footing, and begin the climb.”

While the TCI logo is a spiral, our mascot is a snail. We like snails because of their spiral-shaped shells, and because they excrete slime. The slime helps a snail glide over abrasive terrain, and also creates a map of the snail’s path through time. Tracing a snail’s trail makes us wonder, Where is the snail now? And where was it going in the first place? While visiting our site, you may happen upon a snail (or two, or three), moving slowly and curiously. If you see one, say hi.

You can read more about our spiral and snail in this note.

Schedule & Format

Each week we publish interviews, tips, essays, or how-to guides featuring a different type of working artist’s wisdom. Conversations tend to focus on themes like dealing with creative anxiety, starting something new, creating your own opportunities, and making time for creative work. Our Tips and Guides share practical advice for how to make new things and live a fulfilling, productive, and healthy life. We also occasionally publish essays, reports, and zines—all of which are intended to help illuminate what it takes to survive and thrive as a creative person today.

You can see what’s new each week by visiting our Homepage, or you can see who we’ve talked to so far on our People page or Archive. We also have a Library, which you are welcome to browse for reading recommendations, PDF downloads, and staff picks.


Brandon Stosuy
Cofounder and Editor in Chief

Elle Nash


Mariah Irwin

Amanda Rios

Mikki Janower


Yancey Strickler

Laurel Schwulst
Creative Director

T. Cole Rachel
Senior Editor

Elliott Cost
Designer / Web Developer

Willa Köerner
Creative Content Director

Hannah Elliott
Associate Editor

Charlotte Zoller
Social Media Director



The Creative Independent
228 Park Ave S PMB 59430
New York, New York 10003-1502 US



We have two different email newsletters.

We also have a Google Chrome extension: