The Language of Creativity Podcast
BONUS! Discovering The Artist’s Way – Monica Berning (Listener)

BONUS! Discovering The Artist’s Way – Monica Berning (Listener)

October 23, 2020

A first for us, listener-feedback episode!

When I called Monica, she had just lost her job (that she hated). WOO HOO!!! (That part we hadn't hit record for).

We talk about my ideas for the bigger picture of the podcast as well as a little about her new foray into the amazing book The Artist's Way.

Guest: Monica Berning (
Host: Steven Leavitt (

The online podcast community where we met:
Many many more main episodes to come soon!
If you haven't, go check out Episode 1- Naming the Podcast

and of course, share, subscribe and review!

BONUS! The Playing Room – Caleb (First Grader)

BONUS! The Playing Room – Caleb (First Grader)

September 15, 2020

In this very special Bonus Episode, Steve and his son Caleb talk about a very important topic - PLAYING!

Unfiltered – Steven Leavitt (Host)

Unfiltered – Steven Leavitt (Host)

July 2, 2020

Steve just hits publish! In this (very first) solo episode Steve reflects on the inner-work of the past 6 months.

Keywords: #thefuture #lettinggo #thebeach #clearing #covid #quarantine #movement #struggle #slowingdown #sadness #overwhelm #innerwork #authenticity

The Ocean – Justin Miyamoto (The Oceanographers) Ep.12

The Ocean – Justin Miyamoto (The Oceanographers) Ep.12

March 3, 2020

Justin Miyamoto explores concepts like the ocean, space and time-travel to convey the human experience of love, joy and struggle through songwriting as a form of journaling. The Oceanographers’ musical style mirrors the tides of Hawaii as Justin and Steve muse about the similarities between water and the inner world of emotions.


Originally from Southern California, he moved to Hawaii to find like minded creatives and make music and to be closer to family. When he got there, he was surprised to find his own experiences in his new home woven throughout the narrative of lyrics he’d written while in LA, finalizing the album with a beautiful song inspired by his new home.  “It makes me want to create art that has a purpose that really transcends our everyday existence into something better.”


Justin and Steve discuss how personality types influence creativity, balancing lofty metaphors while staying relatable to your audience, and graphic design. How do two people collaborate while 2500 miles apart? How do you know if you are on the right course with a creative project? In this episode of the podcast, you’ll hear two long term friends grapple with personal and creative growth while experiencing the expressive music of Justin and the Oceanographers.


Featured Music:

Questions - The Oceanographers LP

Submarine - (From The Submarine EP)

Swept Away - The Oceanographers LP

Hawaii - (Live)/The Oceanographers LP

Tribal Song - The Oceanographers LP

Back In Time - (Live)


Guest: Justin Miyamoto


Submarine - The Oceanographers

Instagram: @theoceanographers, @justinmiyamoto @orchestrateddesign


New Song! (Co-produced by Steven Leavitt and I Create Sound): "After Quarantine"

Host: Steven Leavitt

To connect with Steven about the Artist Advisement Session Justin spoke about, fill out the contact form at 


Tags: Creativity, Water, Emotion, Hawaii, Ocean, Space, Time-Travel, Myers-Briggs, Personality Types, ENFP, Design, Music Videos, Independent Musician, Hilo, Santa Clarita, California, Southern California, Morality, Ethics, Journaling, Personal Growth, Lyrics, Songwriting, Religion, Nature, Faith, Spirituality, Musician, Oceanography, Love, Grief, Inspiration, Astrology, Water Sign, Water, Emotional Language, Moon, Tides, Sensitivity

The Times They Are a Changin – Toni Koch (Artist Promotions) Ep.11

The Times They Are a Changin – Toni Koch (Artist Promotions) Ep.11

January 24, 2020

Toni Koch is an Independent Artist Promoter from Phoenix, Arizona. Toni found her tribe in the late 70s and early 80s movement when folk was overtaken by disco. A songwriter first, Toni began working at record stores like Zia Records and Tower Records and soon began to DJ in local clubs. Then local area promoter Danny Zelisko gave her a shot at doing something new: forming a street-team to promote national artists who were touring through Arizona in exchange for free LPs!

Very much a part of the counterculture and not very at home in a dress, Toni couldn’t believe that the executives would send cases of Barbara Streisand and only two copies of U2. 1983-84 was some of the very first signs of the Indie music ethos coming to the streets.

Her work allowed her to experience some of the earliest days of phenoms like Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt and Tori Amos, and when a fiery young independent Australian artist name Gilli Moon came to America to find a break, Toni was able to get her an opening spot for Simple Minds at the Celebrity Theater.

Gilli would go on to found Warrior Girl Music and the independent songwriter association SongsAlive! and the two moved to Los Angeles where Toni stayed for 11 years until her recent return home to Phoenix.

Toni says “My whole life has been about adjusting to the need of changes.” In this episode we dive a little into the spiritual perspective, seeing through the underlying symbolism of life and her belief that ultimately “it’s not about the money.” We also talk about the dominance of Clear Channel radio and all the changes that brought, as well as delving into questions about how an artist can take-in professional feedback while still staying true to themselves.

Her best advice to young artists is “Whatever anybody else has told you to be, get over it and be who you are.”

This episode is brought to you by I Create Sound. With just a single call, we can help you sound your very best! Arizona Songwriters members get special pricing on the first 5 sessions by mentioning the offer in this show.

Featured Art:

Dark Side (written by Toni Koch and Joy Neumann, performed by Toni Koch)

Million Dollar Noise (written and performed by Toni Koch)


Guest: Toni Koch




Host: Steven Leavitt




Additional music: Nothing Wrong (by Lobate Scarp)


Resources and references mentioned in today’s podcast:

Danny Zelisko -

Arizona Songwriters Association (Jon Iger) -

John and JoAnn Braheny -

Shannon Hurley -

Lovers And Poets -


Marcia Reynolds -

“Coach The Person, Not The Problem” (book, formerly titled Reflective Inquiry)


Colon Darrel Harrison -

Toni Koch and Carl Percival -


Gilli Moon -
Gill Moon, “Be” -

Songs Alive -

SongNET -

Stephen Bannon (the one you like!) -

Please review this podcast on Google Play, iTunes and Stitcher and help other creatives find their tribe!

Tags: music, indie music, promotion, Don't Call Us Tori, record stores, vinyl, disco, folk, Amy Clarke, Derek Horne, TRL (Total Request Live!), songwriter, performer, artists, mentor, coach, Wayne Dyer, predicting earthquakes, astrology, numerology, reflective inquiry, change, DIY, napster


Renaissance Troubadour – Dustin Stonebrook (composer, engineer, guitarist) Ep. 10

Renaissance Troubadour – Dustin Stonebrook (composer, engineer, guitarist) Ep. 10

November 6, 2019

What is it like playing in a real recording studio? What does it take to set yourself apart as a musician? Steven Leavitt sits down with his friend and colleague Dustin Stonebrook to talk about studio musicians and audio engineering, and how a true professional is someone who has learned how to check their ego at the door.


Dustin is a true renaissance man, originally from Texas, who left the path toward law-school and moved out to California to become a stunt-man. Then the Writer’s Strike struck the film-industry, aborting his big-break that would have been on the show Prison Break. Undaunted, Stonebrook made the shift toward music, leaning on his guitar playing, his composing skills, and his electrical engineering knowhow. Having held down “steady” jobs the audio-electronics business, he had an epiphany about his life path that led him to take the leap from working a 9-5 job to going freelance. We also talk about the tragic life event that inspired Dustin to pick up the guitar at an early age.


The two touch on the craft of songwriting, and why not everyone can make a good CD. He also shares about the projects he is in development that center around his love of the Horror genre. 

We also talk about his latest composition, Shadows Requiem featuring violinist/violist Kaitlin Wolfberg.


Featured Music:

Shadows Requiem by Dustin Stonebrook

Tell The Road The Truth by Dustin Stonebrook

Haunting by Dustin Stonebrook

Sunday by High And Dry (


Guest: Dustin Stonebrook

Twitter @dstonebrook

Instagram @dustinstonebrook


This episode is brought to you by I Create Sound, 

“It’s like having a producer in your pocket. 

Setup a call and find out how to get Sound Advice for your Music Life™”



@beatnikwolfgirl (Kaitlin Wolfberg)

Musician's Institute (



Working musician, renaissance man, music, lyrics, composing, songwriting, recording, session musicians, audio engineering, performing, working without ego, going freelance, disappearing into your role, Leland Sklar, Sid Jacobs, epiphany, The Red Violin, Kaitlin Wolfberg, The Ludivico, Ludovico Einaudi, horror, The Crypt Keeper, ghosts, haunted mansions, cover bands, philosophical, cymatics, electronics, vacuum tubes, vibrations, electrons, bozons, quarks

The Colors of Life – Wendy Vanguard (Conceptual Artist) Ep. 9

The Colors of Life – Wendy Vanguard (Conceptual Artist) Ep. 9

September 25, 2019

In this very special episode, Steven Leavitt is joined by his first boss, Wendy Vanguard.  This becomes a touchstone for a very intriguing conversation that goes into mentorship, design, physics, energy, illustration, the emotional effect of color, the world of art in Los Angeles in the 70’s (the LA Women’s Building, AIDS, Roe v. Wade), parenting, and the dawn of computer-generated animation.

Wendy is a Los Angeles-based artist whose professional career has spanned work as an illustrator, an art director, broadcast designer and award winning corporate image designer.  Although she was awarded a Masters Grant from Art Center to pursue her painting, the hard-hitting reality of life in LA without a job lead her to abandon the grant and find employment.  Wendy quickly found she had constant work: from illustrating storyboards for advertising commercials and small films to exhibit design projects, and then began designing titles for television shows such as The Rockford Files, The Six Million Dollar Man, and Planet of the Apes.  She was a part of the creative design and production team for the Charles and Ray Eames Office and the creation of the film Powers of Ten.  Later, she worked as an Art Director for Universal Television supervising special effects projects (BattleStar Galactica) gave her a taste of working an industry job and this led to becoming a design director for renowned ground-breaking broadcast designer Harry Marks.  Wanting to work independently again, Wendy formed California Film, a broadcast design firm, choosing her own team of artists and designers to collaborate with and designing one of the earliest open plan office spaces. As it’s founder and Creative Director she led them in creating award winning image campaigns and corporate design packages for CBS Entertainment, CBS News, HBO, The Walt Disney Company, the Disney-owned Flagship station California 9 (KCAL), ABC Prime Time Live, National Geographic, TBN, The Movie Channel, and more. Wendy and colleagues created (fake) computer imagery for LucasFilm’s, “Return of the Jedi.”   At the same time she met and married photographer Mitch Dobrowner, who soon became part of her company, leading it in new technologies and production methods. 

After experiencing a devastating social experience, Wendy struggled through what she coined “the dark decade,” and discusses how she managed to work through this time in her life and find new joy by shifting her focus to her family, personal creative projects, and giving back to her community through mentorship. Throughout a lifetime of unexpected turns, struggles, and successes, Wendy rediscovered an inner resilience as a woman and artist that carries her along her path.

Guest: Wendy Vanguard Dobrowner 

Host: Steven Leavitt



See for featured works.


Blue Sphere Horizon


Master’s Thesis


Her Master’s Thesis would foreshadow her future work in design for what would become the future of 3D Animation, along-side filmmakers, computer scientists, and animators.


Watercolor Woman


Girl In Room (Watercolor)



“Podcast Long Chords” by Jason Dobrowner (guitar)

“The Crash” by Joshua Dobrowner (guitar)

“Mom Podcast” by Jason Dobrowner (guitar)

Additional scoring by Steven Leavitt

“Nothing Wrong” by Lobate Scarp 

Spirals and Portals EP out now!




Mitch Dobrowner

Landscape Photographer


Andy Hann


Jason Dobrowner

Composer, physicist, software engineer


Asia Forbes

Artist branding and events


Josephine Bakery


Art Center College of Design


Lorser Feitelson


Helen Lundeberg


Charles + Ray Eames office


Powers of Ten Film


Jo Perry


Tom Perry


Otis College of Art and Design


Art Center, Otis, motion graphics, hard edge painting, broadcast design, PDI, Rhythm and Hues, Blue Sphere Horizon, Charles Eames, Powers of Ten, physics, subatomic, Helen Lundeberg, Lorser Feitelson, California Film, image design, branding, Eames Office, mac, desktop publishing, easel, stylus, deadlines, emotion color, colour, energy, the future of work, creative problem solving, mentorship, empath, narcissist, The Sociopath Next Door, being used, cults, religion, working mother, Tao Te Ching, feminism, abortion, watercolor, oil painting, rediscovering your personal art, Damien Rice, PTSD, purpose



Authentic Movement – Shari Washington Rhone (ensemble cast of The Lion King) Ep. 8

Authentic Movement – Shari Washington Rhone (ensemble cast of The Lion King) Ep. 8

August 19, 2019

Season 2 opens with Shari Washington Rhone, who as a member of the original Los Angeles theatrical company of The Lion King where she worked as a “swing” and an understudy for the role of Sarabi. As energetic as she is talented, Shari is a dancer, choreographer, singer, and voice-over artist. In this engaging interview, she shares how she found her love for performing at a very early age.

Coming to LA from what was the Indianapolis Dance Company (now the Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre) Shari jumped right into classes with the revered Lula Washington before being invited to join her company. Shari now enjoys a story-telling style of dance with the JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble, where she has been for the last 10 years. She also enjoys getting to share her gifts with children through teaching with Dance & Dialogue as well as Jaxx Theatricals, showing them how important it is to use dance to express themselves and share their story.

On top of dance and teaching, this amazing woman also performs with two bands, works as a voice-over artist, and just earned her second degree black belt in Hapkido. Steve talks with Shari about how, with the support of her husband, she is able to manage doing all of what she loves while also being a mother to two beautiful, creative children.


Featured Music: “Elevation” by Brian Swartz and the Gnu Sextet (

Narrated Performance: Shari Washington Rhone 

Visual: (

SPONSORED LINK (Please support our show!)

Nothing Wrong by Lobate Scarp (

Guest: Shari Washington Rhone

Insta: @FestiveShari

FB: Shari Washington Rhone


Voiceover Reel:

Mentioned in the show...

Jazz Antiqua:


Dance and Dialogue:

Lula Washington Dance Theatre:

Bella Donna - A Tribute to Stevie Nicks:

Jaxx Theatricals:

Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre:

Songs Hapkido:

Special thanks to Garden of Sound for hosting this conversation at their Melrose studio. (



The Lion King, Gregory Hancock Dance Theatre, JazzAntiqua Dance & Music Ensemble, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Julie Taymor, Lion King, Jaxx Theatricals, Dance & Dialogue, DisneyLand, Rufus Bonds, Sarabi, dance, dancing, singing, theater, performing, voiceover, costumes, puppets, Julie Taylor, Michael Curry, Disneyland, Disney, Parnell Damone Marcano, Stephanie Andersen, Gerald White, stage

Perfect Pitch – Chris Elchico (Concert Saxaphonist/Clarinetist) Ep.7

Perfect Pitch – Chris Elchico (Concert Saxaphonist/Clarinetist) Ep.7

February 12, 2019

Aventura-cover The Barkada Quartet

Concert clarinetist and soprano saxophone player, Chris Elchico joins Steven Leavitt to talk about his experience being a classical musician, music teacher, and local coffee shop barista. Chris discusses the role of the classical musician, and what it’s like playing with a quartet with members that live across the US.

After getting his bachelors from UCLA and his masters from Indiana University in saxophone and clarinet, and studying under renowned LA Philharmonic player Burt Hara, Chris began the process of auditioning for orchestras across the US. He talks about the harrowing process of auditioning behind a screen where the judges base their critique on his sound alone.

In 2012, Chris and his quartet won a trip around the world, performing at Notre Dame and ending up in Italy. “It was like living the dream, for 12 days.” He and Steve discuss what it’s like to come back to “real life” and the daily grind, but it’s apparent that Chris’ kindness and positive attitude about life is one of the reasons he makes his successes look so unimposing.

Chris is a soft spoken, compassionate person who uses his innate skills of empathy and listening to excel in his jobs as a barista, music teacher, and classical musician.

Featured Music: “Quartets Per a Saxos, Volum 1: Lúltim Sospir” written by David Salleras Quintana, performed by The Barkada Quartet

Guest: Chris Elchico

Host: Steven Leavitt (

Other music:
“Recitation Piece” written by David Maslanka, performed by The Barkada Quartet
“The Flower Duet” from Lakme composed by Leo Delibes, performed by Steven Banks, Chris Elchico and Michael Sikich

Additional music: Nothing Wrong (by Lobate Scarp)

Please review this podcast on Google Play, iTunes and Stitcher and help other creatives find their tribe!

Tags: music, clarinet, soprano saxophone, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Burt Hara, UCLA, Indiana University, compassion, Phillipino, concert, auditions, travel, Italy, Notre Dame, barista, coffee shop, day jobs, music teaching, mentorship, hire your mentors

Art as a Reflection of the Soul -  Mathias Manser (Visual Artist) Ep.6

Art as a Reflection of the Soul - Mathias Manser (Visual Artist) Ep.6

November 30, 2018

Featured Art: “Ring of Fire”


Featured Music: Improvisation on Acoustic Guitar performed by Mathias Manser

In this thought-provoking interview, digital media artist Mathias Manser opens up about his creative process and journey as an artist. This discussion explores how life experiences are reflected in our art and leads the conversation to some interesting places.

Growing up in Switzerland, Mathias’ parents and educators tried to dissuade his artistic ambitions in favor of something more practical, so he went into drafting.  However, after a trip to NY with his father (an aspiring musician) inspired Mathias, he came to the US in 1998 to attend the Musician’s Institute in Hollywood. Although a gifted singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Manser did not find the success or satisfaction he was seeking from a music career.

A spiritual awakening in 2012 led Manser back to his earliest-loved form of self-expression, visual art. He picked up a Wacom tablet and began drawing. Image after image, Manser created a stunning collection of work. The depth of emotion behind each piece comes through with such power and clarity. It wasn’t until the collection was complete that realization came to Manser; all of these images were connected on a bigger scale and what he had been creating all this time was The Primordial Sound Oracle Deck.

Steve and Mathias touch on Carl Jung, archetypes, and the collective unconscious, examining how art serves as a reflection of the soul. The conversation explores his new passion of drumming as meditation, tattoos, and blissful heavy metal music. A recurring theme in the podcast: the pair discuss the challenges that surround choosing to live a life of creativity and the drive that fuels that choice.

Mathias opens up, sharing a few very personal moments from his life with listeners and explains how he used his artwork as a form of therapy to cope with everything from heartbreak to addiction to the sudden loss of his parents.

The spiritual journey has shaped him as an artist but more importantly as a human being. Choosing compassion and empathy, renouncing judgment, and allowing himself to feel and process the negative with the positive, has given Mathias an admirable resilience and infectious harmonious spirit.

Guest: Mathias Manser 
Get the Deck:
 The Primordial Sound Oracle Deck 
Buy Art:
Mathias at Red Bubble

Host: Steven Leavitt 

Additional music: Nothing Wrong (by Lobate Scarp)

Resources and references mentioned in today’s podcast:
Help support the podcast by using our Amazon links below.

Awake and Aware Conference

Wacom Cintiq 22HD 21-Inch Pen Display Tablet (affiliate link)

The Red Book - Carl Jung (affiliate link)

Musician’s Institute

The Contortionist - Language


Keb Mo

Lelani Wolfgram

Please review this podcast on Google Play, iTunes and Stitcher and help other creatives find their tribe!

Tags: graphic artist, tarot cards, artist, Carl Jung, the collective unconscious, spirituality, gestalt therapy, music, drumming, art, archetypes, tattoos, relationships, sensitive male, creativity, transpersonal psychology

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