about - Jessica Abel
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Answer these 10 quick questions to uncover the real reasons why you’re not able to take control of your creative work.

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Live the dream: Build your life around your creative work

You’re a serious, ambitious creative. Whatever form your work takes—writing, film, comics, audio, design, performance, teaching, consulting, speaking—it’s the well of energy that you draw on to make your life meaningful.

You’ve got big, ambitious plans. You dream of sharing your work and building an adoring audience, of finding clients and customers who can’t live without you (and pay accordingly), and of living a life where your creativity is the nexus of your days.

…But carving out time and focus for your work in the midst of the insane demands of modern life feels well-nigh impossible.

Flip the script

It’s easy to beat yourself up for procrastination, perfectionism, avoidance…But take a moment and look at where you are.

You’re still here, and you’re still passionate about your work.

Stopping? That’s what’s truly impossible.

You know that your work forms the inflection point between the life you’re living and the life you imagine for yourself.

Finishing the work. Launching it. Building a life based on it…

Non-negotiable. And completely within your power.

I’m Jessica Abel

J. Abel by Richard Cahan, ©2016

I’m sick and tired of creative people being told (by their own inner critics as well as actual people!) that they don’t know what they’re doing, that they’re not cut out for this, that it’s stupid to try, and that they should just go get a real job.

Screw that garbage.

I’ve been a professional creative for over 20 years. I’m the author of many books, I have two kids, I’m married, a homeowner, a professor, and I run a business.

I know how hard it is to make a crazy chaotic creative life work.

And I know it’s worth it.

My passion is helping creative people take full control of their lives, and make their own decisions about what’s best for them and where to devote their energy.

Via individual coaching and my flagship group coaching program, The Creative Focus Workshop, I put the power in your hands.

More about me

My books include Growing Gills: How to Find Creative Focus When You’re Drowning in Your Daily Life (you can see how this one might be of interest…), and Out on the Wire: the Storytelling secrets of the New Masters of Radio, about how Ira Glass and 35 more of the best audio producers in the world use story to keep us listening. (And for more about building narrative, check out my podcast, also called Out on the Wire…)

I’ve co-written two textbooks on comics, Drawing Words & Writing Pictures, and Mastering Comics. Scott McCloud said they are, “A goldmine of essential information for every aspiring comics artist. Highly recommended.”

My graphic novel La Perdida was featured in hundreds of publications including the New York Times Book Review, Entertainment Weekly, Spin, and All Things Considered. It won two Harvey Awards (kind of the Golden Globes of Comics) and was Time’s Best Comic of the Year in 2006.

I served as co-series editor (with Matt Madden) of the Best American Comics series for six years, from 2007-2013, working with guest editors Neil Gaiman, Lynda Barry, Jeff Smith, and others.

In coaching and in the Creative Focus Workshop, I bring the fruits of over 20 years of classroom and online teaching. I’ve taught at the School of Visual Arts, in the masters program at l’École européenne supérieure de l’image, in the MFA in Comics program at the California College of Arts, and at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, among others, and I’m currently chair of Illustration at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

The secret of putting your creative work at the heart of what you do…

Isn’t striving. It isn’t hustle. It isn’t grit and willpower and sleepless nights grinding out more words or images or pitches or…

It’s the ease and self-possession that come from aligning all the moving parts of your life into one coordinated whole that works together to get you where you want, and need, to go.

Let’s get this art party started

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Answer these 10 quick questions
to uncover the real reasons why you’re not able
to take control of your creative work.

Start Here