Who and What I am into this Week: Seeing Style Patterns


One of my favorite things to do is to walk away from something visually for a bit and then come back to it and surprise myself. I have several hidden boards on my Pinterest account and I recently clicked over to this one and was almost startled at what I saw. This again confirms that what we see visually has a tremendous impact on us as creatives. This can work in your favor when you understand why you are responding to something that appeals to you.

On this board I had pinned imagery and then pinned some new watercolor work onto the board to see if I was telling the story that I wanted to tell. You can see that I am drawn to classic florals with soft fluttery petals. (check the image below) I had even used them in some photography unconsciously. You can see that I consider black and white quite glamorous. I felt the need to paint the classic florals in black and white.

I adore this image of a woman in the pretty floral skirt reading the newspaper. When I saw it on the board, I could see myself telling that images color story on the shoe painting I did, red, a bit of yellow and green, grounded by black.

I could also see my love affair with classic stripes being continued. And then I even had to laugh at the image of Katherine Hepburn in a fur and distressed boy jeans.  When the boyfriend jean recently showed up on the jeans trend scene, I knew it was for me! I had been wearing Toms old jeans for some time, saggy bottoms all! I am wild about how this was paired with a high end coat, the perfect juxtaposition of casual and glamour especially in the day of no “stylists.”


As  we head into another round of Smart Creative Style, students  get to uncover bits and pieces about themselves that might have been laying dormant. They might be choosing the same palette over and over but not realizing what in their own lives influenced them. For me it was old movie sets and the stories that came along with my being a born in Italy.

Everyone one of you has a story to tell and if you are reading this, you are probably finding yourself telling your story visually and via design choices. I believe today more than ever we have to tell our stories visually. This means we have to edit out the nonessential and make wise but heartfelt choices over and over again. As you grow your brand and business, you will have  to show up  consistently for  your clients and audience over and over again. It is imperative that you recognize your own style patterns. I can help you with that! It is glorious confirmation when someone picks up on something that you may not be seeing!

It is time for you to see YOUR OWN STYLE PATTERN!

Smart Creative Style is an opportunity to hone in on what you want to convey as you take your creative self out into the world. It gives you the opportunity to show up in the marketplace as only you can do because when you realize what appeals to you and why, you have hit the prefect note. And that is what we all want, right? There is a sweetness and joy that comes along to unveiling our very best selves.

The course begins this Monday Aug 25, 2104. You can find out all the details over on the Smart Creative Style site.  You only have a few days left to sign up or to access the discount link inside the Discover Your Passion course on atly.com, more info here.

Fun to note: You can even see down in the bottom of this Pinterest board screen shot,  a picture of some bread tied with a big black satin ribbon. That appealed to me so instantly that I knew I had to incorporate black satin ribbons in my own branding. Branding is SO much more than a logo and font choice. It is about every choice from how you monetize to how you communicate. It is well worth the time and effort to make sure you get express yourself  as the beautiful sexy self that you are!

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Merrilee Liddiard from Mer Mag

Audio Podcast:

Everything about Merrilee Liddiard says, playful, imagination and creative! I had so much fun interviewing this artist, author, designer and blogger (and mom!)  You are going to simply love her! She is the popular author of Mer Mag and she makes me want to be a kid again. She throws parties, she is always thinking up kids projects (so you don’t have to.) She has a fun “after school” workshop over on atly.com  and she is about to release a new book, Playful.  Don’t have kids? Don’t let that stop you from learning so much in this interview! She is a smart cookie and has developed a sense of style and business smarts that will keep her on your radar screen for years to come! This is a must see and she is a must follow (Yay! Makes me so happy!)

There is a such a fun innocence to what she produces AND she adds her own aesthetic to all her projects! That is why I invited her into Smart Creative Style to talk more about arriving at her style. (It starts Aug 25, 2014!)

Check out her adorable art in her etsy shop, Tuesday Morning and on her brilliant instagram account!  We mention the hash tags #amidsummermingle and #tinytravelertilda

Merrilee’s book Playful comes out Sept 16,  2014!

playful_mermag  You and your kiddos can take Kids Craft Camp at Atly.com



Where are you on your journey?

Audio Podcast:

I have a question for you today! I want to know where you are in your journey! I came up with a list of popular “mental places” I have found myself in during my creative life.  None of the places are bad places to be at all! It’s is only bad if I am in a particular place for too long! Then I think that counts for being stuck (ugh!) Tune in to this video to see what I mean.

Here is my basic break down

1) Learning

2) Executing

3) Highly productive creativity

4) Unrest

5) Seeking

Did I miss one? Let me know what you think and where you are in your journey right now!


Also some exciting news! Merrilee Liddiard from MerMag is my guest on Wednesday (this is her art above!) She is a new addition to the Smart Creative Style course! She will be in to the course and will share how she formed her art style AND the look for her brand. I cannot wait for you to meet her, she’s fabulous!

Smart Creative Style starts in just one week, Aug 25th! Make sure you don’t miss it!




Ani Alonso from Magia Pura

Audio Podcast:

I have a fun guest for you today! Ani Alonso from Magia Pura! You may have seen her in the recent issue of Where Women Create or you may have seen her collecting fans on Facebook (over 81k and counting!) What you may not know is that this talented artist has quite an illustrious past (including a stint and a fashion model.) She has found her style and is comes across in everything she does in her dressing, her work and her relaxed and warm spirit. I found this interview so interesting as she told me how she is trying to overcome obstacles and government embargoes in her own country to continue to grow her brand. I love how determined she is. I am seriously impressed at how much she has done and  problem solved to keep her art business growing over the years. Keep and eye on her as she is plotting to expand!


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Want to make sure you have a recognizable brand like Ani’s? Smart Creative Style can help you get in touch with your personal creative aesthetic and direction like no other e-course on the market! It is the only course that let’s you explore you style in a manner where you can fully express who you are and your visual style and voice in the market place! You can enroll for the Aug 2014 class here 

Check out these testimonials:

“Taking Monica’s Smart Creative Style class has helped me define what my style is and how that translates into building my brand identity , creating content for my blog and sharing on social media platforms. Her class is specifically designed to help each individual define for THEMSELVES what their stylistic voice is, and how to then take that and engage your audience. I would recommend Monica’s online course to anyone looking to better define their unique style and how to convey that as a brand for their business! And the exercises are fun!” -Melody Cassen

“Smart Creative Style is an unbelievable course! Through interviews, personal testimonials and written posts, Monica has created a curriculum that will allow you to define your unique style and create a plan that will bring that style to life. This is the perfect course for the creative entrepreneur who wants to create a business that stands out from the crowd. In a short amount of time you will learn how to apply your style to product development, branding, marketing and social networking. This course will be a game-changer for your business and I highly recommend it.” -Amber Savage


What lies beneath your creativity?



Even in the midst of leading a creative life we often get waylaid with details that are inconsequential. 

We are often thrilled that we get to explore and lead a creative business and life, that we miss what matters and why. 

What is the point of exploring and producing creativity? Is it just for income? Is it just for your sole expression? Is it to draw out emotions in others?

After meeting so many creatives, I believe we share a common and often hidden purpose. I think deep within every person that has chosen to embrace their creativity is an inward journey. 

We have an inner drive to get to know ourselves better. While this sentence might appear to be a selfish act, it is a noble and divine pursuit. We push ourselves and challenge our abilities and notions about who we are and why were created they way we are. 

When we get away from that inner drive is when we get wrapped up in details that weigh us down. We then start to feel that the journey has become too challenging. We begin to question our path and our right to be on it.

Right when we are on the cusp of breakthroughs and purpose is when we get consumed with doubt and think that the “grass is greener” somewhere else. 

This is when we sink into the comparison game. We think it would be safer to show up in life mimicking someone else’s plan of instead of bravely showing up as our original selves, with our own voices, our own points of view and our own ways of seeing. 

You were made for more and the only way to get to the “more” part of life with purpose, creativity with meaning is to stay in a state of discovery. 

1)  You need to trust that you were created uniquely so that you can accomplish your purpose. 

2) You need to trust your innate talents.

3) You need to trust that your life experiences have led you to create in a way that only YOU can create.

While I do believe you can acquire particular techniques, apply business skills that can move your journey along more rapidly, I also believe that there is simply no substitute for getting to understand yourself better.  There is no fast track for peeling back the layers and exploring your essence. 

 I believe you need to stay in a constant state of growth to fully contribute what you are meant to contribute. You were meant to shine and sometimes that means you have to get out the polish cloth out to buff away any areas that might try to tarnish. 

I know that being in a constant state of growth can make you feel exposed and vulnerable but I also know that  the feeling of exhilaration when unlocking something within you is priceless. That is when you are able to apply it, share it, touch people and yes, even earn a living from it.

The exhilaration of growth is worth the discomfort of growing.  Have you ever been excited and uncomfortable at the same time?

Don’t forget Smart Creative Style starts Aug 25th. Enrollment is open now!  Join us on the journey!




Be creative and compassionate: Help Khali halt MS

Please tune in to today’s video’s!! You may have heard me mention that I was going to be making this run of the Smart Creative Style Course a fund raiser. You mave have watched some of Khali Whatley’s videos.  She is a branding expert who instructs inside the Smart Creative Style Course.  She is simply one of the most lovely women I know. In the relatively short time I have known her, she has been in and out of the hospital for symptoms that have come with a Multiple Sclerosis  diagnosis which has forced to quit her job and has hampered her ability to be the parent she wants to be (I have never heard her complain!) Tune in to this video to hear her story and find out why I am committing 50% of the course enrollments to Khali’s Go Fund Me campaign. Then scroll down and tune into the next video as we explain the curriculum she teaches within the course.

If you are taking the course or someone who has been enjoying the insights and  interviews at Smart Creative Women, I would ask that you contribute to her campaign with any donation that you can.Thank you very very much!

Donate here: Go Fund Me: Help Khali Halt MS (Update: The Go Fund Me Campaign is now working!!)

I would also ask that you would share her campaign via your favorite social media avenues!

Tweet this: “I believe as women we can and should really around each other with compassionate hearts.” @SmartCreativeW

Tweet this: Be creative and compassionate, Help Khali halt MS @SmartCreativeW


Watch this video as Khali talks about branding your creative business

In this video get a glimpse of Khali’s knowledge on the subject of branding and what she covers in the course! She is SO AWESOME and jumps right in to answer question the private Facebook group that is associated with the course! You can find out more about the course and enroll at Smart Creative Style.  khalistylesmall


Don’t miss the forest for the trees! Smart Creative Style is open!

Audio Podcast:

Being a creative business owner, make that ANY TYPE of business owner requires vision and a lot of it.

You have to have a lot of pieces in play to run a successful small business and it can be daunting. You know I am your constant cheerleader but I am also a practical cheerleader and I  want solutions! How do you gain that vision and get yourself to a place where your passion assists the tenacity you need to grow your creative business?

I want to you to succeed, I want to you to ask yourself the hard questions and be able to do math and to tackle marketing and to make sure your product is unique to the market place.

How do you make it unique to the market place? By tapping into what makes YOU unique!

What I see happening again and again is that our inner critic can trip us up. We get so consumed with being “good enough” that we fail to launch or when we do launch we are still waiting to “be discovered” instead of taking a common sense approach to marketing what we do. I have come across SO MANY people that don’t have time to do any social media or blogging to drive traffic to the sites for sales. Hey, I have  come across people who make it practically impossible to buy from them!? What???

I land on peoples websites and ask, “Who are they? What do they do? What are they selling?” I  often see SO MUCH work (way too much to wade through) that tells a very confusing story about the creator. I also see businesses that seem to lack commitment to themselves. They cautiously model themselves after who they think is doing “it right” and end up with a business devoid of any real personality.

THIS IS NOT YOU!  I want you to be successful! There is no shame in missing the forest for the tress, Lord knows I have been in quite a few forests myself! Let’s get you out of the forest and on a clear path.

This was the really motivation behind Smart Creative Style, it is really a Creative Business 101 course. First and foremost, we want you to tap into your own personal aesthetic! It is the foundation of the course.  Early in the first few weeks we do a thoughtful and look at who are you really selling to and I am not simply talking about your ideal customer, I am also talking about basic business structure! Tom comes in and addresses marketing in a way that is EASY to understand and approachable. Khali and I really get detailed on how bigger brands operate and what you can learn from them.

I have interview a lot of women (and bring quite a few into the course!) and here are some consistent things that I see from ALL of them:

1) They know who they are, they understand their aesthetic. They have a unique style that suits THEM and they do NOT wrestle with it. They are not carbon copies of anyone else. They use their unique style to show up to be  their very best.

2) They are able to use this unique personal style in all aspects of their business even if they change their products offerings.

3) They don’t WAIT to be picked. They daily choose themselves.

4) They don’t shy away from  the hard stuff that comes along with being a creative business owner.

I want this to be you! If you feel like you are missing some components of this list then this is course for you.  If  you have 2 out of the 4 on this list, maybe you need an injection of  life into your business because it is feeling stale, then this course is for you as well!

Let’s tackle this together in Smart Creative Style! Watch both the videos for more info! I’ll be back this week with more information and the fund raising project that happening along with this class run.

Update! The August 2014 class has begun! Get on the list for future class dates!
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