In this episode we talk about:

  • What comes to mind when Michelle hears “Type A”
  • How damaging perfectionism makes you feel when you put things that you have created out into the world
  • Michelle’s personal background and her first introduction to art
  • Her professional background & how she got started doing what she is doing
  • The idea of making “the thing” before you get paid for it — when to do it & when not to
  • What she has learned about watermarking her work
  • Her transition from “Real Life Charts to “Michelle Rial
  • How she spends her time & how she makes a living for herself
  • A long struggle with chronic pain related to computer work and how that caused her to shift her work
  • Where Michelle gets the inspiration for her work
  • Her fear of creating something similar to someone else’s work without knowing
  • The last thing she created that delighted her
  • What Michelle would name her left brain
  • The importance of not resting on your laurels

Mentioned In This Episode:

Creative Sunday Lab
We Are Never Getting Back Together Secret Gif
Adam J Kurtz Video : Storytime: I made a brand pay me fairly for my work???
Maslow’s Hierarchy on Instagram Bragging
Buzzfeed Liz Lemon & Lululemon Collaboration


About Michelle:  

Michelle Rial was born in Santa Cruz, CA to a Spaniard and a Venezuelan who really loved The Beatles song “Michelle.” She’s worked in media as a writer/illustrator, a photographer, a producer, and a graphic designer. Her chart obsession began while freelancing as a production assistant at NYMag in 2008, but it took her until 2011 to get her first chart published on Since then, her work has been featured by USA TODAY,, designboom, Fast Company Co.Design, Vox, Vulture, Mental Floss, A.V. Club, and more. In her recent series of “real life charts,” she uses objects in place of lines, and experiences in place of data. She’s currently working on a new collection of charts, graphs, and life questions for Chronicle Books, out in 2019.


Connect with Michelle:

On Her Website
On Her Instagram


About The Type A Creative Podcast:

The Type A Creative is for those of us who feel like walking juxtapositions. You know who you are. You can balance spreadsheets just as easily as you can design a logo. Sometimes it’s a little disorienting because you’re a left-brain / right-brain blend that doesn’t always fit into the labels of “artist” or “numbers person.”

On the show we bring in fellow bosses, painters, creative directors, film makers, entrepreneurs, and writers — together we’re having conversations about what it is to be both Type A and Creative.

Don’t forget to rate & review The Type A Creative on iTunes!