Magical Humans

Vania Vananina

How do artists come up with ideas for their next painting? How do CEOs disrupt industries? How do chefs combine unexpected ingredients? Find out what made them think, “I can do it.” Visual artist and creativity expert Vania Vananina talks to all kinds of magical humans to inspire you to take the leap and lead a creative life.

All Episodes

In this episode, the final episode of season one of Magical Humans, I talked to Drea Johnson and Alyssarhaye Graciano. This episode was a special presentation taped live as a part of Portland Textile Month at Portland Center Stage at The Armory. These are two textile artists, two women of color, and two insightful and thoughtful human beings that I was so excited to talk to. Alyssarhaye is the woman behind BlackSheepMade, a fiber art business based in Portland, OR. What started as a way to fund an internship abroad while in college has become a business that puts on public installations, pop-ups, and traveling workshops. Plus she just finished writing a book! Drea is the woman behind Hidden Opulence, a Design House focused in apparel sustainability and upcycling. The business works with brands for small batch production and batch alterations, as well as individuals for tailoring, mending, or reimagining garments.  Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Dec 2019

57 min

Hana Nobel is a writer, storyteller, and adventure seeker about her career. Hana is a freelance writer who writes her own pieces as well as writing copy, blogs, newsletters, and more for other brands. In 2015, her article about eating at the worst-reviewed San Francisco restaurants on Yelp went viral! Hana goes on the most AMAZING adventures and her life is filled with color and silliness. Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Nov 2019

33 min

Hana Nobel is a writer, storyteller, and adventure seeker about her career. Hana is a freelance writer who writes her own pieces as well as writing copy, blogs, newsletters, and more for other brands. In 2015, her article about eating at the worst-reviewed San Francisco restaurants on Yelp went viral! Hana goes on the most AMAZING adventures and her life is filled with color and silliness. Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Nov 2019

34 min

Rachel Burke is an Australian artist, designer, and mom. Rachel has a huge Instagram following, where she posts photos of her amazingly colorful, joyful creations: jackets and dresses made of sparkly rainbow tinsel, floral headdresses, wild jewelry, and pom poms. In addition to her business making clothing and accessories, Rachel also has an art project called Apomogy, which features anonymous apologies - both lighthearted and heartbreaking - attached to brightly colored pom poms.  Reserve your seat for our live recording of the season 1 finale! Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Oct 2019

42 min

Rachel Burke is an Australian artist, designer, and mom. Rachel has a huge Instagram following, where she posts photos of her amazingly colorful, joyful creations: jackets and dresses made of sparkly rainbow tinsel, floral headdresses, wild jewelry, and pom poms. In addition to her business making clothing and accessories, Rachel also has an art project called Apomogy, which features anonymous apologies - both lighthearted and heartbreaking - attached to brightly colored pom poms.  Reserve your seat for our live recording of the season 1 finale! Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Oct 2019

43 min

Corissa Saint Laurent is a powerhouse of business and marketing. As a speaker and trainer, Corissa helps female entrepreneurs transform their lives and their businesses. Her new project called Hear Me Roar is helping women find their voice and use it in a powerful way in whatever realm they choose.  Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Jul 2019

44 min

Corissa Saint Laurent is a powerhouse of business and marketing. As a speaker and trainer, Corissa helps female entrepreneurs transform their lives and their businesses. Her new project called Hear Me Roar is helping women find their voice and use it in a powerful way in whatever realm they choose.  Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Jul 2019

44 min

Patty Delgado is the CEO and designer behind Hija de tu Madre, a brand that celebrates being Latinx. After the 2016 election, Patty wanted to take a statement and create a wearable statement about her identity, so she sewed a sequined Virgen de Guadalupe to the back of her denim jacket. She got such a positive response that she decided to create a business making Latinx fashion statements.  Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Jun 2019

52 min

Karen Pride is a chef and wellness entrepreneur. Karen started her career off by opening a restaurant in Portland, which is no easy task. One restaurant quickly became three and was followed by a yoga studio called Yoga Pearl. Karen still owns Yoga Pearl but sold her restaurants late last year. She’s enjoying her freedom from the food industry - she bought a van and has been driving around the country, traveling for fun and to pursue her love of adventure.

Jun 2019

74 min

Today on the podcast I am talking to Paloma Medina, a coach and owner of 11:11 Supply. Paloma wanted to combine her love of retail with her passion for psychology, neurology, and how those things can make our workplaces and our lives better. At her store 11:11 Supply in Portland, OR, Paloma curates office supplies and other organizational tools to help her customers boost productivity and happiness. The shop also hosts workshops that share knowledge not only about productivity, but also creativity, inclusivity, and more. 

May 2019

69 min

I'm taking a little break. Maybe you should too! Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Apr 2019

4 min

Claire and Alanna Saunders are two Pacific Northwest natives who are now actors based in New York City. Claire and Alanna are identical twins who, along with their three brothers, started their musical lives at a very young age. After attending Carnegie Mellon (Claire) and University of Miami (Alanna), the sisters moved to New York City to pursue acting and had immediate success upon their arrival. Claire was cast in the Robert De Niro film The Intern, and Alanna was cast in Peter Pan Live as Tiger Lily. Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Apr 2019

59 min

Samantha Bakall is a food, diversity, and travel writer currently based in Portland, OR. Sam is from Chicago, IL, where she was raised by her Chinese grandparents. Food became an important part of her life in her youth, and she has been obsessed with it since she was a teenager. She then made that obsession into a career when she went to journalism school and started writing for The Oregonian.  Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Apr 2019

55 min

This year I created an exhibit for Design Week Portland called All The Feels. What is all the feels? Listen and find out what kind of art it is, and why I love making work like this. Design Week Portland runs April 6-13, 2019, and All The Feels is open every day during the festival from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Apr 2019

14 min

Emily Fassler is a production manager and sound designer based in the Bay Area. Emily has had a love of the theater since she was young, playing James in James and the Giant Peach when she was just five years old! Later in life, with the help of a few key mentors, she discovered aspects of theater other than being on stage that she loved. She now is on the production management team in the theater department at UC Berkeley and spends her summers as a production manager at The Ground Floor, Berkeley Repertory Theatre's incubator program. Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Apr 2019

61 min

Tsilli Pines is the Co-Founder and President of Design Week Portland, as well as the VP of Creative at Instrument, a creative agency in Portland, OR. Tsilli was also the host of Creative Mornings in Portland for seven years.  Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Mar 2019

68 min

Nilofer Merchant is the author of The Power of Onlyness: Make Your Wild Ideas Mighty Enough to Dent the World. Her theory of onlyness - the idea that each of us stands in a spot in the world only you stand in, it’s a function of your history and experiences and visions and hopes - is lighting up the world and making a way for a new way of thinking. Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Mar 2019

59 min

Vania Vananina is a painter, ceramicist, creativity expert and consultant, podcast host, and all around magical human. Born and raised in Ensenada, Baja-California, MX, Vania made Portland, OR her home and immediately delved into the art scene, making connections with other makers and exploring the boundaries of creativity. Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Mar 2019

68 min

This week, we’re taking a small break, but I wanted to share with you a thought I had recently about reflecting and celebrating. Are you taking the time to congratulate yourself for your own achievements? To reflect on the things that have happened in your life, whether they are big, small, happy, or sad? This week, I am giving myself the gift of time and recognition. I deserve it, and so do you. Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Mar 2019

4 min

Lily Ash Sakula is an illustrator, animator, and educator based in London. Lily started making comics seven years ago and eventually quit their job to pursue art full time. Their work often contains a social commentary on the human experience. These days Lily works with queer youth and elderly populations in London, animating and illustrating explorations of identity, dysphoria, euphoria, past, and future.  Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Feb 2019

55 min

Part 2: Today’s guest is badass brewer Natalie Baldwin. After bouncing around with some odd jobs and ending up in Portland, OR, Natalie started bartending at a brewery and quickly moved her way up, with her creativity and chemistry background coming in very handy. She took a couple of chances, won a couple of brewing competitions, and now runs the brewery at one of three Breakside Brewing locations. Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Feb 2019

49 min

Part 1: Today’s guest is badass brewer Natalie Baldwin. After bouncing around with some odd jobs and ending up in Portland, OR, Natalie started bartending at a brewery and quickly moved her way up, with her creativity and chemistry background coming in very handy. She took a couple of chances, won a couple of brewing competitions, and now runs the brewery at one of three Breakside Brewing locations. Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Feb 2019

46 min

In April 2016, the artist behind Wokeface was struck with a bolt of inspiration to put up a piece of large scale, anonymous street art. The rush she got was exhilarating, and her journey began. Wokeface’s art is positive and thoughtful, and her perspective of being a female street artist putting enlightened, positive art out into the world is unique and powerful. Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Feb 2019

67 min

Lydia Lauer is an unapologetically candid woman, a badass mother, and a global basketball advertising director. At the global athletic apparel and footwear company where she works, Lydia helps develop commercials that tell stories of some of the best athletes in the world. At home, Lydia’s life is a little bit different. When she got pregnant four years ago, she started a blog and Instagram account called Making La Madre to document her thoughts as she unexpectedly entered motherhood. Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Jan 2019

58 min

While attending art school in California, Ana discovered her passion and skill for sculpting with paper. Using bright colors and highly detailed techniques, she often depicts life in Latino neighborhoods through her sculptures. By referencing her own cultural background (she grew up in L.A. and her parents are from a rural farming town in Mexico), she hopes to show other Latino children that there are living artists making work. Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Jan 2019

58 min

Years ago after seeing a busker on the corner of 13th and Burnside in downtown Portland, Megan Diana had an idea. She borrowed an upright piano from nearby Portland Piano Co. and rolled it to the same corner, where she and some friends put on a concert. The project grew from there: she started painting the pianos herself and parking them around the city, and Piano. Push. Play. was born. The event is now in its seventh year, and is a recognizable part of summertime in Portland. Connect with Vania Vananina at vaniavananina.com and on Instagram @vaniavananina! Produced by Puddle Creative Music by Megan Diana Art by Vania Vananina and Maia Buzbee

Jan 2019

45 min

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