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Caleb Brown on Art and the Essential Dichotomies in Life (#1)

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Our Guest Today: Caleb Brown

Caleb Brown is a user experience designer, a comic book artist and an incredible human being.  We met at an ad agency in Boston and I had the privilege to work with Caleb on a number of projects. Caleb lights up every room he walks in and inspires everyone around him.

In this in-depth conversation with Caleb, we talked about much beyond user experience, art, comics. Caleb leaned into an authentic exchange on the most essential dichotomy in life, how he integrates his belief in his personal and work life. As a result, his coworkers (such as myself) find it irresistible to rethink and reinvent our own lives for the better.

Caleb speaks about “Our obligation to tap into our world and understand what is going on. We are the only people who can be HERE, right NOW. We have to be self-aware, be present and pay attention. Put the armor away.” Caleb argued, “It doesn’t matter how you perform when you are on top, but how you react and respond when things go sideways.”

We can choose to be present, choose to lean back, choose to step in and be committed in this moment, choose to be here.

“As an artist, I encourage people to draw with me.”  Caleb discusses drawing as a “risky business”. “People are afraid how things are going to come out. Does it start here and end there?” Some of it (drawing) is performance – in a business context – people with the marker has the control of the room. But what’s more compelling to Caleb is when he invites others to join in by asking, often the most silent person in the room, “the stove is now ready for you to cook”. I have never seen anyone refusing to accept the whiteboard marker from Caleb.

Whether or not artist is in your title or belief, I hope you find your way to express yourself and engage others around you.

Do you enjoy this podcast? If so, please leave your comment below and share it with your family and friends. Your support will keep me on track and bring many other unsung heroes to this podcast.

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Show Notes (Times Are Approximate):

Caleb’s response to “the artist you are” 

  • [7:00] Caleb talks about his love for comics and art
  • [12:20] The creation process of tributaries “For David”. How can one respond to the deepest sorrow
  • [14:00] The most essential dichotomy in life & the magical Caleb-effect
  • [20:40] The world of Caleb – solving problems with drawings
  • [26:35] Start Drawing 101 & drawing as a risky business, secret mission to make any meeting FUN
  • [28:50] Efforts over attributes [35:15] What is User Experience (UX)
  • [37:45] How did Caleb initially engaged in UX as a web developer
  • [40:00]What is the point of a thing/system? How to encapsulate and correct as a UX designer?
  • [43:45]Final rapid fire questions


  1. It might have taken me 3 months to listen to this but I have to say, it was so worth the wait! I feel so connected to both you, Fei, and Caleb since I’ve worked with both of you separately. This podcast really inspired me to start thinking about the artist in me and how I can start expressing myself. I’m looking forward to hearing more from both of you soon.

    1. Thank you Jade! This is the best New Year’s gift and message to me! Thank you for believing in my passion ~ yes, we shall continue a conversation on your unique creative contribution to the world. You’ve gone through such an amazing transformation in 2014 while raising two young kids. I have so much respect for that and let’s be part of each other’s journey in 2015!

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