Heather Davulcu takes calculated chances!

So happy to have the sweet Heather Davulcu with me today! Heather, known online as April Heather Art, is an up and comer who is making her debut  this year at Surtex  in NYC. Heather is full of spunk and style! I love how she has put herself and her art “out there” pushing past any voice that might have told her to hide away in her studio. In this interview she talks about the rewards of being bold and consistent with her efforts. We all know it can be tough to show people what you do creatively, hopefully this interview will speak to you. It really does pay off to be brave and Heather is a terrific example of that. Mixed with sass and talent, I completely enjoy following her journey!

She took the  last run of Smart Creative Style class and had terrific energy and ideas. I loved what she added to her one of her “interiors that appeal to you” mood board. Tune in the see what I mean.

You can see her and her work in the Pink Light Design Booth at Surtex Booths 417 and 516 in NYC. Stop by and say hello to her agent, Mary Beth Freet and  to Heather, they both always have smiles on!

Branded Artists- A3 Collection Preview

AHD-NYC pink pattern

Branded Artists- A3 Collection Preview

When Heather thought of the interiors that appealed to her the most, she thought of her favorite movies! You know, they ones that you watch over and over again, simply because you loved the set design? Here is a  peek at her interiors board: Classic, Cottage and Romantic:


Her Art and Eras board was very interesting! All this tender nostalgia:


Heather’s art  has a romance  to it, it is feminine and innocent with  just a touch of  fun mischief. Keep an eye on her!

You can follow Heather on Instagram here and on Pinterest here.

You can sign up to hear  upcoming news about  the Smart Creative Style  Course here.


White Space, index cards and rotaries

Today in this short video, I  am talking about having SPACE in your life to edit, rest and make decisions! All important topics for you and your creativity! Watch this video if you need to fine tune your decision making! If you want to use the exercises that I mention about you can download these helpful tools!

Download a full resolution copy of your own rotary here!



If you don’t have any index cards handy and you think you could use my index card lesson, I made some fun ones up for you. You can download a full resolution version here. 

 index cards


Who and What I am into this Week: Stylish Spring finds

Are you ready for warm weather, already? This between season is tough for us in the Northeast. It’s tough to claim it as Spring when you are wet and chilly, but sick of wool. So I am dreaming of some stylish Spring finds today.


Erin Hiemstra Style: Love everything she wears. Very cool, not crazy expensive. Love this bag and the way this shot is styled because-eh hem- this is how is it happens on my floor. Follow to link to find the very affordable bag. I may skip the bright colors and carry a black bag this Spring!


Stylizimo Blog and Black and White. Admittedly I am obsessing over  black and white and I am not sure I am ever turning back. (Check out my new Pinterest Board dedicated to my obsession) Look at this rose gold hanging light! Nice, right? I bought a clear acrylic chair for my studio and now I am in love with “ghost chairs.” Maybe I just like that term ghost.


Rent the Runway actually sent me a catalog in the mail this week! I heard they were  testing some new marketing. Not sure how they found me-I am sure I am on AT LOT of catalog listseh-hem. I was smitten with this dress! How about that pattern! It’s Halston Heritage. It got me thinking about weddings, graduations and parties this summer. It might be a nice alternative to look fabulous without having a dress in your closet that you may not ever wear again. Of course, if this was in my closet, I would be wearing it to breakfast!


 Betty one of my favorite prints from my Esty shop, Monica Lee. Inspired by old snapshots of my mom when we lived in Italy. She was so chic. Seems I can’t get enough of an updo or stripes!


My Dear John scarf. I designed this print and liked it enough to have it made into a silk scarf. It’s a tongue and cheek look at dating and it always makes me smile.

It reads: “Sweetheart, I hate to cancel but something has come up!” “Darling, Meet me at 8!” “Dear John, I have decided to stay in the city after all!” Chic and not to heavy for a cool spring day! 


Dreams. Color and Creative Women


I don’t even know where to begin! I got to opportunity to head to Granville, Ohio, the home of Amy Butler, to her Dreaming in Color Workshop last weekend. I put it on my calendar a couple months ago and tucked it in the back of my mind. As the date got nearer, I knew I had a couple of business/life decisions to make and want to use the weekend as an opportunity to step away from home and get some clarity.

When something new comes on my plate as a general rule, I like to take something off. Remember the ROTARY LESSON? I want to make sure that I don’t overload myself as I make time for more creativity, art and designing.  I also needed to solve a design problem that has been going on in my head.

Here is a small peek at some of the collages-of course mine included the shot of a retro chic girl..

Seems like a tall order for one weekend! But it all came together. Amy had teamed up with a fabulous life coach Hildie Dunn, whom I simply cannot say enough about. Hilde is down to earth, honest and intuitive and just what I needed. I  also met the most marvelous women-soft personalities, exuberant personalities and there was so much warmth and good will going on, how could I NOT get the clarity I was seeking?

We talked about how to frame  our dreams (we chose just one very specific one to focus on) and how to take specific action steps to get there. We even dissected the voices in our head telling us why we should NOT have this particular dream. Yikes! It was  quite pivotal to actually write those out (excuses Hilde called them.) Some of mine sounded pretty silly when push came to shove.

We all sat on Amy Butler poofs and quilts and listened to Hildie


Amy led us in a crazy inspirational look at how she creates. If you ever wanted to be stopped in your tracks creatively-you need to connect with Amy Butler and listen to her  design process. It will make you stop and absorb your surroundings, sights and smell in a whole new way. All I could think was “Oh, this is why her work is so lush!”

Amy let us dive into a batch of her ribbons!


We then got to jump in an create some collage mood boards with materials we had brought from home. Remember the design problem I was trying to solve? I saw it in an entirely new way! I was so pumped I even started working on some art on the way home-ON THE TRAIN FROM NYC. Hello, did you catch that I was leaving OH and ended up in NYC to get to Boston? (Long journey, long story) Being a former flight attendant and “flying for free” is NOT a glamorous as it sounds! It really means getting bumped off flights because you are going stand by!

The lovely Carrie Schmitt and I got to sit across from each other as we worked on our colorful boards and her kind words and sweet demeanor encouraged me so much. So nice that Smart Creative Women has helped her while she is creating (love her work) and then she got to help me!


What a dynamic time we all had! It really was “Dreaming in Color” but with all sorts of action steps along with it,  and you know I love the DREAM/ACTION combo, right?!!

I know it can be a tricky journey to design a life for yourself. I do believe if you declare  your dreams (on paper or out loud) hush the voices inside your head and take action steps in alignment with your dream, you will get there. So naturally, this workshop was right up my alley!

 Are you taking action steps toward your dreams today? Tell me about it.

P.S. If you need help  staying the course along the way, then by all means-get some help. After all, only you can decide how important your dreams really are!


If you haven’t listened to my interviews with Amy, I have interviewed her twice! She is a wonderful, deep, soothing soul and always a pleasure to hear from. Tune in while you work today.


Melody Miller dreams big with Cotton and Steel

You have to hear this story!! I love  a courageous woman willing to strike out and do something BIG and this guest has done just that! Melody Miller has designed a life and a creative business exactly the way she thought it needed to be. This is a GREAT story about a creative woman who was unhappy with her earnings, knew she had more to offer and knew that she could (and should) be compensated in the right way did something about it. I love everything about the story of how the new fabric company, Cotton and Steel fabrics came to be.  Melody had a unique vision for what the fabric industry needed at this point in time,  so she prepared a BIG PITCH to the CEO of RJR fabrics to get him  to unite in her vision. The rest is….well, the rest is in the interview,  SO TUNE IN!!! It is such a motivating story of a creative dream,  good art plus  bold  manufacturing.  I think it will all equal great success!

You can see sneak peeks of the crazy talented artists from Cotton and Steel and their new fabric lines on the Cotton and Steel instagram. Check out the link to the documentary while you are there!


You can follow MissLetterM (Melody herself) on instagram here! She certainly is one to watch!




Let’s talk about ideas, inspiration and copying

Well the title to this post and video is loaded, right? I could write a lot of text, but I would rather have you tune in to today’s video and you can give me your thoughts. After all-I have been having this conversation with myself all week, so it is about time I had it with someone else!

Oh! I won’t miss an opportunity to say that as I watched the participants  wrap up the Smart Creative Style Course, I was once again amazed at how their mood boards, ideas and values all shine so uniquelyHere are some of the most recent testimonials. It honestly humbles my heart and thrills me at the same time. (Ok, now this post has a lot of text…)

“Monica Lee’s information-packed Smart Creative Style course was pivotal in providing the clarity I needed as I attempted to figure out the direction of my art business. I discovered that my current style was different than the art I was making, which was leading a bit of a creative block. Her course allowed me to better understand myself and my style, so that I could focus on the direction I wanted to take my business. In addition, her supportive attitude, marketing advice, and interviews with other business owners was invaluable.”  -Pam Wingard Barefoot Studios Art

“I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the Smart Creative Style Course!  My mind is spinning with information that I need to sort through, and I’m inspired to refresh and reinvigorate my style and my business.  I must say the most valuable part of it for me is the confidence gained and the clarity that a career as an artist is where I belong.  As a result of the class, I feel like I now have the tools to get my work seen and my voice heard in new and different ways. Thank you, Monica, for your encouragement, a wealth of information, and your well-planned course.  Thanks to Tom as well!” -Krista Hamrick

“Who would ever have thought great learning could be such fun? Monica’s Smart Creative Style course was a complete joy!  Whilst being a very fun and nurturing experience, SCS  enabled me to find much greater clarity in a number of important areas of my business. The aesthetic clarity I gained was further complemented by valuable insights into branding provided by Khali. Tom’s marketing advice was clear and concise and his quiet, calm delivery style a breath of fresh air amongst a lot of “ra ra ra” online marketing advice. The course also felt completely do-able within a busy schedule. A supportive FB group and inspiring interviews were the icing on the cake. I highly recommend this course to anyone who would like  to clarify their aesthetic and receive a lot of valuable support with their decisions on the branding and marketing of their creative business.” -Lyndy Hants

“Monica Lee is an open book – which is an excellent quality for a teacher!  Because I have been a long time follower of Smart Creative Women, I had high expectations for the Smart Creative Style Course and it’s safe to say that my expectations were far exceeded!  I adore how Monica mixed her charm and a bit of humor in with important topics.  She makes learning fun!  Her course motivates and teaches invaluable information in a delightful way and I highly recommend it to any smart, creative woman who wants to further her career! ” -Tori Higa

“I found Monica Lee’s Smart Creative Style course a week before it started while looking at other artist’s websites to get ideas for the layout of my own. I feel so fortunate that I did! The course gave me the ability to see the ‘Forest for the Trees’. It brought into clarity myself as a brand. I know what I like but had not been able to see it as a whole before the course. The visuals of The Pinterest boards were so fun to do and I loved seeing the ‘results’, how I came together as a brand visually, Truly a wonderful, fun experience! More clarification came from the interviews and informational videos on social networking, marketing, business values, and business owners speaking of their businesses, all of this about getting real and seeing the whole picture. As a package it showed me how, as a ‘Soloprenure’ I can make my business work for me. I wholeheartedly recommend the course!”- Tamara Somerfield


Since I mentioned art in the video, here are some great examples if you will excuse Monica’s- rough-memory-of-college-art-history!


  Conversion of Saint Paul is one of my very favorite paintings! Crazy foreshortening going on there.

 How are you going to bring what and how you see the world to your work today?



Who and What I am into this Week: Vertical Stripes


Stripes are everywhere! Remember when I did my “Things That Aren’t Going Away Anytime Soon” trend report? Ahhh, that was fun! Well, of course stripes are involved and on the Pinterest Board I made to go with it. This week I am into vertical stripes instead of horizontal ones. Do you know how many people get vertical and horizontal mixed up? I realized that in an image search.

Anyhoo, what’s not to love about a vertical stripe? It makes us look longer and leaner, it instantly makes a store front classic and can make decor look elegant or graphic and cool. How about that bean bag? I was about to hit purchase (not containing my zeal to furnish well-AT ALL) to add one to my studio, but (fortunately) I read the fine print, it is BIG, 51″ wide. Yikes! It would gobble me up! Instead of color blocking on the skirt from Zara, they did stripe blocking, love it! Tempting! Love the stripe skirt and polka dot blouse, sign me up! stripe_monicalee

1. & 2. Zara 3. Mug 4,Etsy 5. Bean Bag


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