How do you show up in your work? Do you create work that is true to who you are and what matters to you? These are two questions I’ve been reflecting on since talking with Ashwin Chacko, a seriously playful illustrator and storyteller based in Dublin, Ireland. Our conversation begins with Ashwin’s curiosity about the social interactions that drive culture and the role artists play in our world. He then shares stories of his early years as a child of missionaries, learning critical adaptability skills and gaining new friends wherever he goes. We talk a lot about making sense of chaos, overcoming fear by telling it no, finding his purpose and calling, and why it’s essential to separate yourself from your work. He also teaches us the 4Ds of unlocking any creative blocks you might be facing.

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