Ho, hum… starting over… again?!

My world has been sort of rocked by the Smart Creative Style e-course with Monica Lee. Despite the fact that I’ve fallen behind more than once (juggling work, motherhood and everything else) – I’ve still come to realization that I’m all over the place and need a serious style redirection!

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Slowly but surely, I’m peeling away the layers and learning so much about myself. Looking back on what I’ve done and trying to be more strategic about what I will do in the future.

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What do I really truly like? How should I be directing and “styling” my efforts? It’s not just regarding my artwork style, but my lifestyle as well – everything about me really. Am I honoring myself in all that I do? Does xyz effort align with my core values? What are my core values?!

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Yup, lots of questions to be answered. But thinking about all these topics has helped to push me forward into a season of change. You might have noticed that I’m already starting to shut down my other blogs and consolidate here.

It seems that every so often, I go through one of these transformation periods of my life. Rather than gradual change, I need to just shake it up and start afresh. This time around it’s taking longer to put into action, but it’ll happen. I’m excited to move forward and feeling good about it. When something feels good, then I know that it’s best to trust myself and go for it.

I’ll be revamping my web presence, revising all my products and relaunching soon. All this before I leave for Christmas vacation… is it possible?

Well, it’s a challenge alright. Issued and taken. Wish me luck!

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Lilla Rogers Studio School – I’m Ready!

Even with so much going on in my life now, I previously blogged about enrolling in Lilla Rogers Studio School – a course called Make Art That Sells - as an investment in my own dreams and ambitions. I had been anxiously waiting for the registration to open and can’t be more excited for it to start up.

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I noticed that some bloggers created an illustration in celebration, so I decided to follow along. A quick little digital illustration to express my excitement. That’s me totally pumped and ready to go to school – yeah!

With a newborn in the house it’s difficult to find time for myself… but I decided well before that I had to make time. That I would not “lose myself” so to speak. It’s been a challenging first month, but I’m optimistic that I can still be productive, even if it’s in bits and pieces.

I also went ahead and bought Lilla Rogers book – I Just Like to Make Things (Amazon link) – to work through in the meantime. Yup, you can see that I’m totally gung ho! I suppose, a huge part of success is taking yourself seriously and really putting ALL your effort into it. I’ve spent too much time sliding by, I think. Now that time is so much more scarce and precious, I seem to be rising to the occasion and becoming more efficient.

It makes me think of working out, when you are super tired but the instructor says just one more rep or push a little harder or just 8 more seconds. You push yourself and end up surprising yourself!

Amazing how much we can do, if we simply put ourselves to the test.

Given the Permission…

Do you ever stop and wonder why it is you need permission to go ahead and embark on a particular ambition of goal? What permission, why permission and from who?

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It’s amazing how oftentimes we are the ones holding ourselves back. Maybe it’s fear – resistance of some kind. You wait and wait for permission that will never come – unless you give it to yourself!

I have realized that we need to change our perspective. We already have the permission to do what we want. Give yourself permission to follow your ambitions. Try it.

It’s liberating.

Good reads:

A New Beginning and Investing in Yourself

So I’ve been MIA doing the very important work of giving birth to our son on February 27th and diving into the duties of being a mom. Now I know what it’s like first-hand and it’s not possible to describe all the feelings I have inside. Suffice to say that it’s beautiful and amazing and whatever sacrifices – they are totally worth it. I amaze myself in that I have no urge to look back or analyze as I might have in the past. Everything is about possibility, happiness and looking forward to opportunity and the beautiful things to come.

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Our new arrival is definitely taking up a lot of my time, although I’m already seeing the signs of a routine forming naturally. I could spend all day just staring at the little guy, but I realize there needs to be a balance. There is life as a mom, right?! I decided immediately to enroll in Lilla Rogers Studio School – Make Art The Sells – something I had already been considering.

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I realize now how important it is to invest in yourself. It’s about believing in yourself as well. Moms need to have their own time and I still have ambitions and goals to work towards outside of family life. Recently, I’ve also realized how many of us try to DIY too much. It’s not always the best path. Why not reach out for help? Connect, learn, grow. The monetary investment for the course is already like putting a  stake into the ground of commitment and I can’t wait to start showing the art that I have inside of me. Before the school starts up officially, I have a period of time to prepare, so things are going to be a bit here and there in tortagialla land.

Just wanted to thank everyone who follows my blog, subscribes to my newsletter and supports me through my shops. I really do appreciate it and looking forward to sharing more and more with you. Ciao ciao from Italy!

Work-Life Integration

The talk of work-like balance comes up a lot in the corporate world and I was constantly trying to figure out what exactly that meant when I was working for the Mouse in cubicle land. When does work trump life or life trump work? Maybe I had to tally up the tradeoffs and make sure there was some kind of even playing field between these two arch enemies, work and life. But why does it have to be a battle?

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After striking out as a creative entrepreneur, I realized that work-life balance is total bull. Yeah, you heard me. I really think it’s just the wrong way to approach the whole issue. Work and life are invariably intertwined – I mean, there is only one you. I think when you work for your yourself, you truly realize that. You can’t let yourself down on either side because you are the ultimate boss in work and life.

That’s why I believe in work-life integration, an idea I picked up from Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. It’s not about one winning over the other. It’s about integrating work and life so they dance beautifully! We must be working towards our life goals as we do our work and finding overall satisfaction depends on work and life fitting snugly together.

You must change the way you think… it’s work and life… not work or life. Dedicate some time in thinking about your life preferences and how they shape your work decisions. There is no “right” way of working and living only your way, because we are all unique. Ready to end the battle between work and life and integrate instead?

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Interested in more creative business wisdom? Preview The Creative Entrepreneur Toolkit by yours truly – packed with practical business information, printable artwork, worksheets/exercises and cute planner printables. Are you ready to commit fully to your creative business and take it to the next level?

Turn Cold to Cozy, Busy Working Away

I’ve been busy finalizing The Creative Entrepreneur Toolkit and very much appreciating feedback from my email subscribers and fellow clubhousers – thank you!

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In the midst of it all though, I had to doodle up a little drawing for fun, because it’s sooooo cold here in Italy. The temperature dropped dramatically this week and I’ve been hesitant to even go out because of all the icey slippery spots outside. That’s what you get for living in a small town where roads aren’t necessarily cleaned up nicely and so many spots seem hazardous! It’s definitely been a challenge, especially with my 7 month baby bump :P

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However, there’s no sense in complaining about the situation. When you have no control over the weather, what’s the point in being grumpy, right? So I immediately thought of turning cold to cozy... so much better, right? Cold weather means hot chocolate, chestnuts roasting, snuggling in bed with my furbaby Westie and hubby. I suppose cold isn’t so bad after all.

Peek into The Creative Entrepreneur Toolkit

Yep, I’ve been working on my extra special and cute project – The Creative Entrepreneur Toolkit – and having a blast! It’s exciting and makes me feeling all bubbly inside, to finally share all my creative business experiences in a toolkit, packed with motivational printable art, worksheets and beautiful designed planner pages – to make 2013 a happy thriving year for your creative business.

Here’s another peek of what’s to come… are you ready?! Be sure to sign-up for my newsletter for 12/12/12 early access – gotta celebrate that special date, right?