How to Deal with Criticism

How to Deal with Criticism

Katie Parla, honest + controversial and respected food journalist/writer/blogger in Rome, shares how she has dealt with criticism in her work and some of the struggles and triumphs getting to where she’s at. Soon to be author and with two apps AND a video series (that I happily work with her on), she’s definitely on to something good.

It’s always a vulnerable thing to stand up for something especially if it’s something we care about deeply – our art, our craft, our belief, passion. It takes BALLS aka courage and true persistence to rise above obstacles like criticism. The magic transformation happens when you can transform that into something that sharpens you, pushes you forward, as Katie mentions.

In your own experience, what was the worst criticism/obstacle you’ve ever had and how did you confront it? I’d love to hear your stories and perspectives on the comments below.

Until next time,

Kat xo

Video Blog / Vlog basics

Video Blog / Vlog basics


Video is one of the most useful and powerful online tools to get you and your story seen + heard. It’s a HUGE topic and I will cover only a few things – AND mostly just the things that concern folks like you who care about kickassery and meaningful connection. You can either watch the video above or read the text version below.

Let’s begin!

so.. WHY Vlog?

1. It is a way to find your TRIBE

If you care about community and connection, this is a way to grow that.

This is how I personally grew to enjoy making videos because it sparked genuine interactions and conversations with people who shared similar interests/passions. Some of the people I vlogged with 5 years ago are still friends and sources of inspiration for me today.

Vlogging doesn’t guarantee you an immediate following or ‘connection’ but it is a good starting point and a powerful supplement to other ways you’re already connected via social media or blogging.

2. It is the Fastest and most Personal way to Connect

1 minute of video is equivalent to 1.8 million words! Video has infinite ways to be expressed visually and through sound. However, that isn’t as important as it being a tool to connect in a personal way.

Your work can ‘speak for itself’ but there’s no substitute to you speaking with your unique voice/personality in front of the camera. The internet is a busy online space and this is one way to humanize the crazy amount of noise/information online.

3. It challenges you to be your BEST

Being on video, on public, is daunting for most people and especially if you care about creating EPIC sh*t. Creating a community or making a connection means standing up for something – whether it’s for better art or a better way to live or a different way of thinking, it takes BIG courage to speak up and express what you love. **eeep**

BUT it can also be the best thing you can do to get you UP and alive and blazing. Because standing up for something also means BEING that thing you stand up for. Who can forget Ghandi’s “Be the change.”? And we all want more of that goodness in our lives don’t we? 😉

so… HOW do we go about Vlogging?

Basic Guidelines:

1. Talk about what you know and care about

Pick a topic/subject you already know something about and highlight those bits you care about the most.

Why? Because a good video of you is when you’re in the ZONE and flowing with your communication like you do, perhaps, when around your friends or colleagues. A simple formula is to simply discuss what you care about, something that activates you and those glorious feelings – and then have something to say about it. Good things to talk about are things that inspire, educate, or entertain – and all of that varies depending on who you’re talking to, which brings us to the next point.

2. Identify Your Audience (and talk to them)

Don’t you love it when you listen to a speaker and feel like he/she is speaking directly to you?

Who are you talking to? It is easy to feel like we’re talking to ourselves when we speak in front of the camera. Thinking about who might be listening on the other side of the screen can radically change your communication.

You want to connect with real people (yes the internet is frequented by living humans alongside bots and trolls, alive too). When you decide who it is you want to speak with – and be very specific – you start to talk in a way that is personal and natural, just the same way you talk differently with different people (your parents, friends, boss, etc.).

3. Be Clear

“The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.”

— Sydney J. Harris

It goes without saying that the point of saying something is to (hopefully) be understood. One of the best ways to to do that is to follow items #1 and #2 above and then to finally prepare what you have to say before shooting your video.

Having a few points in mind or, better yet, a clear objective will not only help you speak with more clarity but also make good use of time.

Do what is most effective for you – make a list, write down a short outline. This will save you from spending too much time shooting and editing and also lessen the time it takes for you to communicate the essence of your story/message.

And when that’s all covered, go ahead and RUN WILD!

So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did making it!

All that aside, I’d love to know – what are you struggling with creatively? How do you get in the zone?

Wishing you wild adventures,

Kat xo

3 Tips to Making it Abroad

3 Tips to Making it Abroad


Ever dreamed of living abroad and making a living there doing something you love? Isn’t that what movies/books are made of? This is what an EPIC life means and just the thought of it moves you. It’s exciting but also intimidating.

Whether you’re an artist, designer, writer, musician – these 3 tips from painter Kelly Medford will cover the essentials of what it takes to ‘make it’ abroad doing your art.

With 10 years of experience to glean from and also a living testament (she is a full-time plein air painter based in Rome, Italy), no doubt this will save you time and help propel you to making that dream a reality.

This also marks the first of a series of videos we are creating for you! 🙂 We thoroughly enjoyed making this and look forward to creating more soon. We hope you’ll share your thoughts, ideas and/or questions by leaving a comment below.

Onwards forwards! xo

Authenticity + premature vlog comeback

Authenticity + premature vlog comeback

One of the more pressing topics I’ve come across lately among creatives and bloggers alike is authenticity. This came up from an increasing need to stand out in the busy internet. While The good news is that there are indeed very many creative-type folks around. There are whole communities dedicated to most any kind of creative

By default, we are already unique and unlike anyone else in the world. Mostly. I won’t go into how the society, media, or upbringing discourages us from being authentic or creative. But I will talk about intention and how authenticity can be strengthened through it.


Has it been four years? Indeed even more than that since I last actively vlogged. That’s not why I’m putting this ‘premature’ vlog post up and announcing this new video series for creatives (it’s about time!).

If you’ve been following my work for a while, thank you for being a witness. Truly. If there’s anything I can support you with, an idea you want to explore – I would love to hear from you.