• A life of everyday creativity is not without its struggles.

    The creative life isn't simple. Perhaps that's one reason we've depended for so long on the muses and inspiration to get moving and overcome the many obstacles we face in making new things. It doesn't matter if you're a writer, a photographer, a painter, video game creator, or a small business owner. It doesn't even matter if you see yourself as creative (you are). What matters is that we do our work, in our own way, with greater freedom and productivity, and find within it the joy for which we picked up our tools to begin with. You're not alone and if you'll give me a chance, I'd like to help.


    I'm David duChemin, and I've lived a life of daily creativity and beaten my own path for almost 50 years. In that time, I've been a professional comedian and motivational speaker, a humanitarian photographer, writer, blogger, publisher, and podcaster. I cannot imagine a life without chasing new ideas and creating new things, and I want to help you do the same. It's the reason I started my podcast, A Beautiful Anarchy, and it's the reason I get out of bed in the morning.

    "David's superpower is his ability to tap into the stifled, screaming recesses of our minds, those hidden places where we yearn for 'something more'. His words are both sage & true, a gentle but necessary reminder, a soothing salve for the chafing of the world against our creatively-starved souls.”
    ~ amelie__t via Apple Podcasts

    "Wow! Inspirational and dead on. David’s choice of topics is just what I needed to hear. From The Imposter Syndrome to Perfectionism. Suddenly I am not alone in my creative doubts and received sound advice for getting beyond them.”


    ~ MikeyL22 via Apple Podcasts

    "I am so happy to see David’s words made even more accessible for creators of every walk of life. His words will speak to your soul and free you to embrace our humanity and move proudly towards creation"


    ~ Passitalong69 via Apple Podcasts


    "Wise and inspiring words for any creative spirit longing for refreshment. David has wit, wisdom, insight, and humor in just the right blend. Each of these are worthy of a second or third listen with journal and pen for deeper reflection."


    ~simplykmc via Apple Podcasts

  • 3 Great Guides to the Creative Life

    From Best-Selling Author David duChemin

    On July 19th, 2020, Start Ugly and The Problem with Muses were released into the world with the sincere hope that they will stir creative people of all stripes to understand and overcome the obstacles that we all encounter in the effort to make our best work.


    Written with the kind of wisdom that can only be gained over 30 years of chasing down the muses, Start Ugly and The Problem with Muses will make you think deeply, laugh hard, and find freedom and practical insights to take your creativity further and more intentionally.

  • Start Ugly

    The Unexpected Path to Everyday Creativity

    2021, Craft & Vision

    The poet Goethe is credited as saying, “What you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it, and the work will be completed!”
    If only it were that easy.
    In any creative effort, the beginning is the hard part, filled with fears and procrastination, and­­—often most of all—the paralyzing desire to get it right on the first try (which almost never happens). Creativity is evolutionary; it begins with bad ideas and crappy first efforts, and the moment we embrace this idea (not eschewing the ugly beginnings but mining them for possibilities), our everyday creativity flourishes.
    Start Ugly is a celebration of the messy creative process and a call to face the obstacles of that process with mindfulness and humanity. This is a book for anyone who has ever wished they were “more creative.” It’s a plea to stop looking for the muses and inspiration before you do your best work. Equal parts needed encouragement to dream big and practical advice for getting your hands dirty, Start Ugly is a soulful and at times irreverent reminder that creativity is more the stuff of hard work and courage than it is the stuff of magic. And if there is magic at all to be found, it’s in starting.
    "Completely, marvelously mind-blowing."

    "Have you ever had someone else articulate something that you weren’t able to—and the second they did, your eyes opened up wide, you hopped up and down in your chair, and you started yelling, "Oooh! Oh, that’s ME!"? This past week, I finally opened up my copy of David duChemin’s Start Ugly, and WOW did I have a lot of those moments. It was similar to the first time I read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield — completely, marvelously mind-blowing."
    - Sarah Rhea Warner, Write Now!
  • "Creators must not fear the messy, the bad ideas, or the disastrous first attempts. Not only must we not fear those things, we must run wildly towards them."


    Get Start Ugly

    Start Ugly is available as a PDF eBook, a paperback, and as a Kindle edition.


  • The Problem with Muses

    Notes on Everyday Creativity

    2021, Craft & Vision

    The creative life used to be the domain of the muses, those astonishing Greek goddesses responsible for inspiration and creativity. If they showed up, our work in these areas would go well, ideas would flow, and creativity would abound. Lucky us. But what if they didn’t?
    The Problem with Muses is that we could wait forever for them to appear (there were only nine of them!), and most of us have work to do. This is only one of the challenges facing anyone longing for a life of everyday creativity. Pulled together for the first time for those who prefer the written word, The Problem with Muses is a collection of 28 of the essays and stories that make David duChemin’s podcast, A Beautiful Anarchy, so relevant and inspiring.
    Candid, wise, deeply human, and speaking from a lifetime (so far) of wrestling with the muses and a creative life that has taken him from professional comedian to humanitarian photographer to best-selling author and podcaster, duChemin speaks to the prevailing, and all-too-common challenges of the creative life, including doubts and fears, imposter’s syndrome, the pursuit of authenticity, the inevitability of distractions, the urge to compare ourselves with others, feelings of directionlessness, the desire for relevance, and more. If you struggle with the creative life as much as you love it, you are not alone.
  • "We don’t wait for freedom to create; we create to find that freedom. We don’t wait to be fearless before we make our art; we make our art to discover our courage."

  • "Not sure how he’s done it again, but he’s done it again. I’ve been following David for about 10 years and am constantly floored by the insight and perspective he continually brings to the table. I’ve been missing the YouTube talks, so these podcasts were a wonderful surprise. Refreshing as always and can’t wait to see how this series evolves."
    ~ nlckn@m3 via Apple Podcasts

    "David's insights never cease to amaze. He is thoughtful, honest, well spoken, funny and to the point. Read his books, listen to this fabulous podcast, take his courses. You don't have to be a photographer to hear his message. Anyone who feels the need to create or change their life can benefit from his words."
    ~LenijPhoto via Apple Podcasts

    "I just read a review that described your podcast as “mental acupuncture” and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting David before, and in those brief moments, I felt seen, encouraged and emboldened—to take leaps and make art. But also, to hear David speak so candidly about doubt, vulnerability and the imposter syndrome, is so very encouraging. I am not alone."
    ~ Artfully like the breeze via Apple Podcasts


    "I am really happy to have these little encounters with David every week. What I really find priceless is the way David approaches these issues with a very humbling, down-to-earth, realistic fashion; not speaking from an ivory tower, but from the experience of a wise man who has been, and still, dealing with this struggle on a daily basis. I find this both reassuring and encouraging."
    ~ Usama Sh. via Apple Podcasts

  • Get The Problem With Muses

    The Problem with Muses is available as a PDF eBook, a paperback, and as a Kindle edition.

  • A Beautiful Anarchy

    When the Life Creative Becomes the Life Created

    2016, Rocky Nook

    A Beautiful Anarchy is a vulnerable, honest, and insightful book about the human longing to create, whether you’re creating a family, a business, a book, or a photograph. Your greatest creation can be an intentional life lived on your own terms. What is our life but a chance to make the greatest art of all?


    If you already identify as a creative person, this book is an invitation to more intentionally explore your creative process. If you've ever said, “But I’m not really creative,” it’s a call to exhume a part of yourself that desperately needs to get out and breathe.


    This is an honest discussion about creativity and the obstacles that stand in your way on that journey. It’s an invitation to consider the creative in all of us, and to recognize that your best work will always be done when you colour outside the lines and listen first to your own voice. Truly exceptional, authentic lives have never belonged to the talented or the fearless, but to those who find the courage to do their work, and to be themselves.
  • "I was at a point in my life where I was slipping into a rut, both photographically and day-to-day. I like The author's photography books, so got the book expecting to have my creativity jump-started. It did that, but oh my, so much more! David's honesty and openness was so refreshing, and although only 100 or so pages long, covered so many topics affecting most of us in life. It literally changed how I view myself, my art and how I want to live my life."
    ~ JP via Amazon Review

    "David is the Jedi master of creativity. This book, A Beautiful Anarchy is such an incredible piece about the creative spirit, it should be required reading in every school, not just art school. David has a gift for writing and creative a narrative that is natural and down to earth and hits you in the core. As a photographer myself, David's words of wisdom have helped me keep the embers fanned and the fire lit. Do yourself a favor and read this book. It will change the way you see things."
    ~Brian Malloy via Amazon Review

    "duChemin's personal observations about creativity are really interesting—sometimes almost a little hard to swallow, even, but right on target. I bought the book because I am mesmerized by his photography and his approach to the art, and I haven't been disappointed. He definitely is more than a "craftsman" of his art, digging deeply into emotion and feelings—which is why his images are more than simple pictuers. I am enjoying the book immensely."
    ~PrairyK via Amazon Review


    "I wish I had this book 40+ years ago when I was in college. But, I have it now, and it is a godsend. It answers many of the questions I have had when there have been doubts. Doubts about what I'm doing. Doubts about what I should do. Doubts about why keep on doing what I'm doing. Lots of doubts. David duChemin offers insights to the creative mind and a way to understand the creative process. Even if you don't think you are an artist, you should read this book. And if you are an artist you have this book in your library.

    ~Roaster Man via Amazon Review

  • Get A Beautiful Anarchy

    A Beautiful Anarchy, When the Life Creative is the Life Created is available as a PDF eBook, a paperback, and as a Kindle edition.

  • Want More? Tell Me Where to Send it.

    Once a month I send my readers and podcast listeners an issue of On The Make. Think of it as a written episode of the podcast or another chapter in one of my books. Helpful, heartfelt articles and stories about the joys and obstacles of everyday creativity. Ask me to start sending On The Make and I'll also send you a copy of my eBook Escape Your Creative Rut, 5 Ways to Get Your Groove Back, and once a month I'll draw the name of one subscriber to send a signed copy of one of my books. The moment I outlive my usefulness to you, just unsubscribe.

  • Meet David duChemin

    I'm David duChemin and I'm working, one person at time, to build a world in which everyone sees themselves as creative and lives that life of everyday creativity with freedom and meaning. I've chased my muses (problematic as they are) in a lot of ways over the last 49 years: as a comedian and motivational speaker, humanitarian photographer, best-selling author of 32 books, entrepreneur, and podcaster. It has not always come easily and I've always found the creative life a bit of a fight, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. It has taken me to some of the remotest parts of the planet, allowed me to teach on all seven continents and—step by beautiful & challenging step—it has given me not only a living, but a life. I want to help you create whatever version of that you dream about. Let's talk about it.