CSW 165: Julia Linsteadt Has Creativity In the BoxJulia Linsteadt started cutting paper as a young mom, which morphed into doing silhouettes, and the “traditional craft route” with craft booths and an Etsy shop — the whole shebang.

Then she started doing classes, teaching craft techniques that parents could do with their kids.

Now she’s come to terms with the fact that papercutting is hers, and creative development and youth development of creativity is her business.

Papercut by Julia Linsteadt

It was after she met her business partner, Megan Lingo, that the idea for her current business, KidArtLit — art kit meets storytime subscription box — emerged.

But KidArtLit didn’t spring fully-formed, like Athena from the head of Zeus!

Julia and Megan tried out several ideas before landing on the subscription box model. They write on their website:

Our deliveries about about your time, your connection with your kids, and your parenting magic. They are expertly designed, only contain books and art materials that will stand up to use and reuse, and are made to be interpreted instead of had.

Some of the other things we talked about include:

On Doing the Papercuts for Pay

Papercut by Julia LinsteadtJulia’s papercut jobs were all custom orders. She’s very clear to say that it’s okay to make your living that way, but it is also okay to say no to that kind of work.

“There was one month when I had so many orders to fill that I felt like all I was doing was giving and giving and giving… I remember feeling like there was no joy in this anymore.”

It’s important to “work from the overflow,” as one of her mentors put it. “You are the product, in a lot of ways.”


Julia now says she has to get Creative Sandbox time several times a month in order to be successful. After all, “Creativity isn’t on a timeline. It shows up when it shows up.”

Collaboration feels like the essential second piece for Julia. So many artists fear collaboration, but since working with her business partner, she’s discovered how important it is to have someone to bounce ideas around with.

Creativity & Money

“By not making creativity a main part of my life, I was not happy.”

Julia had been told all her life that artists and creatives can’t make money. But as she started looking around (thank you, internet!), she realized this isn’t true!

She also realized that she gets to like creating, and she gets to like business!

Introversion as a Strength

An introvert at heart, in the last several years, the more that Julia has embraced, “this is who I am,” her introversion has started leading the way.

“I’ve always been very surprised at how many doors start to open when I say ‘this is who I am, and I’m okay with however you feel about it.'”

Choosing Emotions

“We choose our emotions, let’s choose something else. We choose how we are going to respond to something — we have that power!”

And more! Listen to the podcast for the whole shebang.

About Julia

A long time artist and early childhood educator in the SF Bay Area. She co-own’s KidArtLit, a subscription box company that delivers story time and art kits to young families worldwide.

Julia loves assisting families discover their own creativity, and make it easier to raise creative and curious children. She and her husband have two children and a dog, named Ernie, who is still wishing he had a brother named Bert.

Something Cool

From Julia:

You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth (aff link, or click here for a non-aff link), by Jen Sincero

From Melissa:

Neuland markers

Why do I love Neuland markers so much? They’re refillable. They have replaceable nibs. The outliners are water-based, so they don’t make me dizzy with awful, stinky fumes.

Yeah, they’re awesome. Worth the crazy expensive shipping from Germany (just wait until you have a big order to place!)


Listeners Wanted!

Has the Creative Sandbox Way™ podcast made a difference in your life? Would you like to be featured on the podcast?

I love sharing listener stories, so if you have a story of how listening to the podcast has changed your life for the better in some way — big or small — I want to feature you in a Listener Spotlight.

Here’s how it works:

1. Just log into iTunes and leave a rating and review. (If you don’t know how to do that, you’ll find step-by-step instructions at livecreativenow.com/itunes-review).

2. Then copy and paste what you wrote in your review into an email, and send it to me, along with why you want to be featured in a Listener Spotlight, and how the podcast has made a difference in your life. You can email me at creativesandboxway.com/contact.

That’s it!

If I pick you for a Listener Spotlight, we’ll have a relaxed, fun conversation, and the recording of our conversation will be part of a future episode! How cool is that?

Want a creative kick start?
Check out my book!

The Creative Sandbox Way: Your Path to a Full-Color Life, by Melissa Dinwiddie

What would change for you if you could totally revel in the joy of creating? You CAN, with The Creative Sandbox Way!

You’ll learn:

  • Melissa’s 10 fool-proof guideposts that have helped thousands get joyfully creating.
  • 5 reasons why creative play is good for you, AND for the world (it’s neuroscience, baby!)
  • Why “I’m not creative” is always a lie, and how to bust it.
  • How to turn creative blocks into friends.

AND you’ll get creating right in the book itself. 

ChrisGuillebeau“It’s one part field guide, one part creative practice—and I loved it. The Creative Sandbox Way is an adventure packaged as a book.”

~Chris Guillebeau
NYT best-selling author of The Happiness of Pursuit and The $100 Startup

Buy The Creative Sandbox Way by Melissa Dinwiddie - checkout with Amazon


Hear ye, hear ye! This is to serve as official notice that all links to anything for sale, be it books or courses, are likely to be affiliate links. What this means is that if you click through said links and make a purchase, although it won’t affect the price that you pay, a few coins will jangle into my coffers, enabling me to buy a packet of hard gluten-free biscuits to feed myself and my husband for another day, or perhaps a pen with which to create some artwork. Or perhaps they will contribute toward paying a fraction of my web hosting bill, so that this blog and podcast can continue to exist. Thank you kindly for your attention.

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining me this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

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Now go get creating!

xo, Melissa <3

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