Make/Work Episode 14: Dan Nelson and Lexa Walsh

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Episode 14 of Make/Work is the third of a sub-series where host Scott Pinkmountain interviews couples in which both partners are artists, addressing some of the unique issues that may arise in those relationships and talking about the challenges and benefits of building a life with someone who’s also engaged in a creative pursuit.

This week, Scott speaks with creative couple Dan Nelson and Lexa Walsh. Both are interdisciplinary artists with too many different pursuits to list in full. Nelson is perhaps best known for his book, All Known Metal Bands, but he’s also made a lot of visual work and he records music under the name Boron. Much of Walsh’s work is socially-rooted and based around fostering community and, as she says, “working to create a hospitable democracy.” She’s also a musician and plays in the band Toychestra, as well as in The Pleasure Class with Nelson.

When they spoke with Scott, Walsh was just at the beginning of her first fully-funded year as an artist and Nelson was feeling overly immersed in the reality of his day job.

At our wedding, my best man said that he thought the greatest thing about our being together is that we had each found our own perfect audience—the person who would say, “Oh, I’m as entertained by that as you are.” —Nelson

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Listen to Episode 14 (and subscribe to Make/Work!) now in iTunes. Or get the direct download. And you can now get Make/Work through Stitcher.

Every creative laborer has a different story to tell about how they negotiate their relationship between their creative work and their paycheck and how they balance their lives to sustain their creative practice. In Make/Work, Scott will speak with emerging and established artists working in a wide range of creative mediums about how they survive, how they make a living, and how they maintain their work over the long term. New episodes will be released every other Thursday.


Scott Pinkmountain is a writer and musician living in California. He is the creator and host of The History Channeler comedy podcast and has written for This American Life, A Public Space, HTMLGIANT, and other publications. He has also released dozens of albums of both instrumental music and songs including the recent No Country Music. He can be found at http://www.scottpinkmountain.com/. More from this author →