Blog

New in the Shop: Mixed Media Mosiac Prints

Hi there! Here are some prints from a long-term work in progress. You can read more about the project here. Prints are available here.


A Few All Time Favorites: Movies, Books, Music

Without a doubt, my all time favorite movie has to be Santa Sangre, a surrealist horror. This description from Rotten Tomatoes sums it up perfectly "Those unfamiliar with Alejandro Jodorowsky's style may find it overwhelming, but Santa Sangre is a provocative psychedelic journey featuring the director's signature touches of violence, vulgarity, and an oddly personal moral center."

I love this movie, but I don't know very much about the director so I looked up Alejandro Jodorowsky and was surprised/saddened to see that he only made 2 other movies and a failed attempt to make a movie of Dune - which would have been amazing. He also writes sci-fi comic books. Perhaps most interestingly, "he has also written books and regularly lectures on his own spiritual system, which he calls "psychomagic" and "psychoshamanism" and which borrows from his interests in alchemy, the tarot, Zen Buddhism and shamanism." Cool.

Oh, this book! I remember the first time I read Cloud Atlas, I was completely blown away. I was like "What...you can do that?" It's a fascinating series of nested and interralated stories that spans generations, beginning in 1850 and the central story is set in post-apocalyptic Hawaii. I'm reading it for the second time right now and loving it all over again. I'm getting near the end and I find myself slowing down, so it won't too soon.

acid-mothers-temple.jpg

This band, fell off my radar until recently when I wrote blog post about a long lost project that I'm resurrection. I saw Acid Mothers Temple play a couple of times back in San Francisco. They're amazing live! I guess I'd describe their music as psychedelic Japanese noise rock? Anyways, it's great and when I looked them up for my blog post, I made the happy discovery that they'll be playing in Bellingham May 9th at The Shakedown. I'm there!


Resources for Artists #1

card catalog

Hey there friends, I wanted to share a recap of some of the awesome resources that I've discovered recently. Enjoy!

Writing

Don't miss this interview with writing coach Kate K. McCarthy. We talk about callings, creative process and what to do when you hit a wall. Kate also shares some great advice for non-writers who want to find their voice. A couple of weeks ago I stated Janelle Hardy's memoir class: Personal Mythmaking. The writing prompts are fantastic and the words are flowing effortlessly. Janelle offers all kinds of workshops about creative process and getting unstuck.

Systems

I've been thinking a lot about systems for work and life lately. The book Work Clean is about using the The French culinary concept "mise en place" which means "putting in place" and applying it to work outside of the kitchen. I finally started using Asana, a free online project management program. This post by Leo Babauta of zen habits does a great job of outlining how systems can bring simplicity and ease into the everyday. 

Business

Sarah Von Bargen from the lifestyle blog Yes and Yes offers free mini website reviews. I sent her my url and she responded right away with 3 super easy, actionable things I could do right away to improve my online presence. Another awesome freebie is Caitlin L. Horton's Free 30 Day Focused Brand Challenge.

What resources have you discovered that have made your life easier? Please share in the comments!


Art Nouveau Revisited

The inspiration for this collection of prints comes from the sinuous forms of the Art Nouveau movement and the subtle, sophisticated patterns in traditional Japanese textiles. A connecting thread between these two seemingly very different design movements is the use of highly stylized paisleys, which I've happily incorporated into this collection. The dream home in which I imagine this decor being used is a modest, Mid-Century Modern home with a beautiful Japanese style pocket garden. The color scheme includes muted shades of pink, lavender, yellow, orange and green.

The items available include: bedding, pillows, wall art, tote bags, mugs and more. To see the whole collection, please visit my Society6 shop:)

art-nouveau-decor

Meet Kate K. McCarthy

kate-mccarthy.jpg

Today I'd like introduce you to my friend Kate K. McCarthy! Kate is a writing coach, visionary and total sweetheart. Personally, I can't wait for her summer writing retreat. Anyone else need a little creative R&R? Read on!

Tell me about your business and how you help creatives.

I am a copy makeover artist and mentor for soulful entrepreneurs. I’ve been called a voice doula and a fairy godmother for your words, but, really, I consider it my mission to hear your heart and help you hear it better, too. I do that through my copy polishing packages, one-on-one mentorships, online workshops, and in-person retreats.

On a practical level, I help my clients to craft messaging – copy, content, and connection – that feels and sounds like them, communicates the depth of their experience and value, and sings – straight to the heart of their dreamiest clients. On a deeper level, I help them hone in on the heartbeat of their business and the mission and magic that pulses through everything they do. That means brushing away the self-doubt and “should’s” that so often creep into our businesses and confidently stepping into how they want to show up in the world.

I know that a while back you had a totally different business. How did you know you needed to change? Was it hard to switch gears?

Truthfully, letting go of my previous business was one of the most aligned and natural decisions I’ve ever made. I remember the moment like it was yesterday. I had launched the beta registration for a mini-course for my health coaching business. I had created the materials and edited up the sales copy. When I went to push the button to launch, all I could think was… I hope that no one signs up. That’s not want you want to feel in your business.

It took a couple of months, but I closed up shop and haven’t looked back.

Have you found your calling?

I think that I’ve definitely found a piece of it. My business continues to shift and evolve as I learn more about myself and what really lights me up. I’m finally at a place where things are flowing and fulfilling, even on the days that really challenge me. I love that I’ve built a business that satisfies on different levels. The writer in me loves that I get to hone my craft, both in my own business and through my copy polishing packages. I get to stay connected and harness my natural gifts – as well as my experience – through my mentorships, and I get to create really beautiful and transformative online and in-person experiences through my workshops and retreats.

I have no doubt that it will continue to shift and expand, but I’m deeply in love with where I am now.

What is the vision you have for your business 5 years from now?

Oh my goodness, that’s a tough one! My vision for my business is to be one that ebbs and flows with my creative spirit. I want to solidify my reputation as a wholehearted leader in my field and continue to seek out experiences that allow me to grow and expand.

I love everything that I’m doing now, and I would love for those to just deepen and clarify over time.

What is your creative process like? What steps do you always take?

My creative process ebbs and flows. It’s nourished by fresh air and time spent outside, and I’ve found that – while there are some months that I create and write non-stop, there are also months where nothing new shows up. I used to feel a lot of shame around those slow-periods. Now, I’m recognizing that they’re a part of the process.

Practically speaking, I have spaces that inspire creativity for me. My breakfast nook. A favorite coffee shop. This little cabin that’s perched over Skagit Bay. I like to sit, feet on the floor, and light a candle. My creativity shows up most often in my writing, and I like to start with a story in mind. One that’s true, real, and current. From there, I feel into where the story is taking me.

I’m currently practicing how to sit in the muck that sometimes shows up. I have found that I have a habit of shining things up, always trying to find the silver lining, and sometimes, it’s just powerful to not have an answer and allow myself to just feel my feelings.

Do you have any creative prompts, tricks or rituals to use when you're in a slump?

My favorite ritual is a long walk. Something about combination of the rhythm of my feet on the pavement with the fresh air feels meditative and invigorating for my spirit. I also have found that coffee with a good friend or a conversation with a business soul sister will stir up some creative fire in me. 

Other than that, I’ve found that even writing, “I don’t know what to write…” allows me to free myself from that block and move forward.

 

What advice do you have for visual creatives who struggle to find their voice in writing?

Well, first of all, know that many of us literary creatives would give our left arm to be able to do what you do. Your work speaks when words can’t, and that’s so powerful.

If you struggle with finding your voice through writing, I would encourage you to simply practice. Find writing prompts that inspire you and write regularly. You’ll find that your writing practice will deepen, your words will become truer, and your voice will reveal itself. Writing doesn’t have to look one way. Poetry. Prose. Love letters. Stories. Just like with visual creatives, writing looks different for each of us.

If you’re writing for a business, I’ve found that it can be helpful to actually work backwards. Start with video or a voice memo, speaking to your ideal client using your actual voice. Then, transcribe it, word for word. You’ll begin to hone in on the words that you instinctively use and reveal how you most naturally communicate.

Awesome, thank you so much Kate! To learn more about Kate K McCarthy, please visit her website or you can connect with her on Facebook.