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Creative Thursday

The Mistake that Almost Cost Me My Business

The Mistake that Almost Cost Me My Business
Promise me you won't make this same mistake. Today I'm sharing a hard-learned, painful lesson that caused my business to stall. Also, I wish someone would've told me this secret to success that is shared by so many of the top entrepreneurs and business owners.

Join us! For the Sell A Piece of Art this Week Challenge kicking off on Monday September 21. Click here to register.

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Licensing isn't the Answer

Licensing isn't the Answer

I've noticed a trend in encouraging Artists towards collaborations, surface design and licensing.

And when you pull back the curtain of licensing, I'm uncertain why this is being encouraged by Artists to Artists, especially during a year of a Pandemic.

Well actually let me rephrase that, I do have some ideas why this is a trend, and I also have reasons why I don't recommend Licensing as the solution to all your passive income dreams, financial security, or validation as an Artist.

Join me for this week's podcast episode; Why licensing, and surface design aren't the answer to becoming a successful, thriving Artist, especially now~ and what is!


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Be Nice

Be Nice

Ever want a behind the scenes peek of what it takes to be a creative working in the world of television and film?


Today's your day!


Be Nice ~ 

Welcome to episode 6 of season 2, and 198 on the podcast~

words of wisdom from my special guest this week.


Short and sweet, I write to you today ELATED! and thrilled to share that the final episode of the Creative Thursday; Conversations with Creatives series, is LIVE.


Not without more hiccups including additional video files missing, I finally wrapped this series. Just before the clock struck midnight on Thursday, episode 6 and a new podcast were published.


1 idea + 5 years + 2 kickstarter campaigns (thank you backers!!) + 12 inspiring stories (thank you to my guests!!)  + countless hours editing + lost sleep + extreme (self-imposed) stress, especially due to technical difficulties  + biggest lessons learned in my creative career (& video editing) so far (podcast forthcoming)   =  12 mini documentaries that I hope have brought you inspiration + the reminder of the dreams that are possible for all of us, and that the fulfillment that comes + positive impact you have when you follow your dreams is everything


As my guest today, Karin McGaughey said when asked about her choice to pursue a freelance career as a Set Decorator in Hollywood “ I would do it all over again” ~ and so would I.

Watch Karin's episode on YouTube or listen to it on the podcast below.



 Meet Karin McGaughey, Set Decorator aka Finder of Things.


So you want a career in Hollywood, or a career at all, just be nice. 


In the shuffle of every day life; and the extraordinary stress that we are experiencing today, spending even more time engaging from behind our computer screens~ the simple gesture of “Being Nice” seems to be getting lost, and it's a value that should never be forgotten.


One of the toughest industries to break into, today's episode is the story of Karin McGaughey, a girl from Virginia with a passion for Art and Architecture, who found her way to a career in Film in Television pursuing the work she loves most. 


Through dedication to her craft, continually learning, luck, hard work and being nice (Karin is truly one of the most generous humans with the biggest heart, constantly giving to and looking after our community. We are thankful every day that she and her son Roy are our neighbors) Karin built her dream career alongside her dream of having a family.

You can find all things Karin McGaughey at

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Pursue What Brings You Joy

Pursue What Brings You Joy


Happy Creative Thursday! 


So wait, how do you go from a Career in Investment Banking, becoming a Mom of 3, to Building your Dream Business as a Maker?


Pursue What Brings You JOY ~ (and makes your body hum! )

Welcome to episode 5 of season 2, and 197 on the podcast~

words of wisdom from my special guest, Maker + Designer + Author Anne Weil


Are you doing what gives you JOY? Are you having FUN?

Are you like me, do you sometimes save the joy for last? put it on the back burner and get to it when you finish this other "important", very serious thing.


Just this week I was sharing one of my newer missions with Creative Thursday, and it's to bring more fun to the work I do and share, to remind my fellow Artists that business is creative and fun. Is it challenging sometimes, yup, but does that mean it can't be fun?


When you sit down to do your work (or face your day), do you brace for the worst or expect the best?


And yes, I know, now may feel like an especially challenging time to expect the best~ but imagine if you can cultivate more of that attitude now, how amazing it's going to feel once we find ourselves on the other side of this time!


And my Creative Friend!! Guess WHAT?!! we have the BEST tool for this, hello? 


Creativity, Making~ getting lost in a project, making something beautiful with your hands, picking up a paint brush, writing your first novel, and yes making a YouTube series (even in spite of one more hiccup i.e. potentially lost files for episode 6...stay tuned.)



This is the powerful reminder Anne's episode brings us: finding moments of peace + happiness through Making. 


In honor of this episode & celebrating coming into the home stretch of this series which means I'll have the opportunity to start making Art again! I'm taking Anne's wisdom to heart, and am headed to the Art Store today to pick up some more supplies for my oil painting! 


Clearly as is evidenced by the photo above, I am doing what gives me joy ~ especially having these conversations.


Truly one of my favorite things; a great conversation (no small talk please + thank you) especially with a fellow Creative and Entrepreneur.


Also my favorite thing; sharing conversations + creative inspiration with you!




Meet Anne Weil Designer + Author + Maker & Lover of Beautiful Things, and Founder of Flax and Twine. 


An unexpected journey to finding and trusting her creative voice, enjoy our conversation along with a glimpse into Anne's lovely world filled with clean and simple designs in all of her favorite creative expressions from Knitting + Weaving + Crochet + Embroidery (and gorgeous photography!)

 Anne makes things for home, for play, for gifts or for fun and she loves nothing more than showing you how to make them, too! while encouraging you to find peace and a happy handmade life through making. 

*editors note from Marisa* this is the episode where I discovered I need readers! to check the sharpness of our close-up on not 1 but 2 of our cameras! either that or a bigger filming monitor - on the wishlist! thank you for understanding and just pretending we are intentionally fuzzy filtered.



You can find all things Anne Weil at and @flaxandtwine on Instagram.

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Reinvention as an Artist sometimes means...

Reinvention as an Artist sometimes means...

You change a painting after it has been released.


I've proven to a very action oriented self,  that personal growth is directly correlated to business growth. It's not just about all the strategy + business tips & steps you take, that brings you your kind of success, it's the inner work, the reflection, the questions you ask, the willingness to start at zero, know nothing again~ and an ongoing openness to


All of this to say, I sometimes turn my attendance and listening time on certain coaching calls into a time for painting. (I often encourage The Expansive Artists to do the same)

Hours of guidance + wisdom have been poured into this painting since I released it the first time, and it now holds even more meaning than before.

I chose the animals to represent their symbolism specifically for this incredible time we are living in.


The horse represents FREEDOM

The white tiger represents VISION

The black panther represents VALOR

The raven represents WISDOM


I intend for this collection of animals to be a reminder of the qualities I want to stay connected to, especially now.


The additional time invested and insight woven into this piece now represent a transformative time, one that I've been wanting to experience.


If you know my work then you know how much I'm a fan of new beginnings, but this, this is much more than a new beginning.

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A Story About Reinvention

A Story About Reinvention

That time you rewrite your bio, and in search for your bio photo, come across one of your very first professional shoots from 2005.

A graphic designer & interior designer, (who really wanted to sell Art but wasn’t sure that my work was ”good enough”) I started Creative Thursday with selling my hand-painted vintage chairs.

This was one of my favorites, her name was Edith (I named each chair & wrote it on the bottom along with my signature + date)

I started this Creative Business with a passion to share my journey and inspire creativity for all 💕.

I thought if I could so this, self-taught, little to no formal training, there is no reason why you can't too!!

So my motto became, let’s do this together! I’ll take you along for the ride, share my story + give you peeks behind the curtain, opening up about challenges + wins along the way.

As I write this almost exactly 15 years to the date from the time this photo was taken (Sean, me + my chair at the entrance to the tiny Laurel Canyon bungalow we rented from a friend, when we first moved in together as a couple) - I’m ready to tell a new chapter to the story.

I did it. Built my dream business as a Working Artist, (with my paintings!) shipped over 10K packages with my Art all over the world, had a book published, designed 9 fabric collections and sold a few chairs along the way too 😊

But what happens next? 15 yrs in, what do I believe is possible now that I didn’t before & where did my fertility challenges + loss along with comparison of Artists who came up with me at the same time + expectations of where I “should be by now” slowly chip away at my spirit + confidence.

What’s next?
Evolution, reinvention, growing up, awareness, recognition of a strong, quiet wisdom + aligning with my true purpose + the desire to guide other Artists so they don’t have to experience the same struggles.

What happens when you want to evolve your work?
Artists often find success in a certain style & then feel trapped in one voice or color palette. They resist change because now their income is dependent on that 1 style. And because change is “scary” 😳

Reinvention is the story I want to tell now #creativethursdaybymarisa

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(not) business, art or podcasting as usual

(not) business, art or podcasting as usual

Integrity 🖤 Humanity 🖤 Decency


The change I'm witnessing and personally experiencing has been a seismic shift.

I write to you on this Creative Thursday with optimism and hope for the future  and the incredible transformations that will come out of this time. And I am so ready to do the work, more than ever before.


I'm not the same person I was 2 weeks ago.

Creative Thursday is not the same business.

And the direction of my Art is shifting.


Over the past 10 days I've chosen to be still, not only to learn, listen and reflect - but using my Instagram stories in support of amplifying Black voices, artists, thought leaders while sharing resources on ways you may be able to help and care for your heart during this time.

I want to highlight a resource with you here that I found great comfort and clarity in created by Deepa Iyer. If you want to help but you're feeling uncertain about what your role is during times of social change, this and may offer some insight.

And while it's so tempting to continue to stay silent especially in the current climate~ even with the best of intentions, I've been hesitant to speak up, for fear of making a "mistake" or have what I communicate get taken out of context.

But as I shared with you last week, worrying about "getting it wrong" is no longer a reason to stay politely quiet.

This time has presented an invitation for me to use my voice and platforms in ways I haven't before.

As uncomfortable as it's been, I've been having some real conversations (honestly my favorite kind - small talk is not my thing), and letting some truths sink in that have been hard to hear, but vital to understand.

While I'm gently easing back into business, it's not going to be business or art as usual.

The changes I'm making will not be overnight. Some days I will voice them, other days they will be subtle, but know they are happening every day.

My black square in solidarity on Instagram is not one and done.

I've taken steps already, and at this moment, rather than be too quick to action I'm allowing more time to research, shift perspective, let knew ideas percolate, decide on who I want to learn from, and then choose the best way I can offer my support. I promise to keep you posted as I learn more. While I do not intend to use my platforms to speak politically, I will never again question whether to speak out in support of human rights.

The place I enjoy speaking from the most is my podcast.

I invite you to tune into today's episode posted below, where I candidly go into more detail about the specifics that I have learned during this time ~ for the record this is not me trying to make this about it me. I am recording it in case it inspires some new ideas and conversation for you~ and also as a record for me. I don't want to forget this moment and slide back into old ideas and habits as if nothing happened.

About business (not) as usual here's some what I hope will be fun, inspiring events + opportunities coming soon


  • Starting June 23 I'm hosting a FREE 3 Day Challenge. "Sell a Piece of Art this Week" One of my ongoing missions, and a topic that I will be speaking up on more often~ is in emphatic support of valuing the work of the Artist, We had such success with this challenge in The Expansive Artists last month that I want to open up the opportunity to you, and other emerging and established Artists you know, to join us this time. Look for your invitation coming soon.
  • New Art Collection release coming soon. I've been asked about purchasing the original I shared with you in my last email, featured below. Truthfully I love that piece so much, I've been letting it live with me a little longer. But it's time to let it bring some comfort to someone else's home so yes! "We are One" will be available for purchase along with 5 other new originals in a black and white series I've been working on this past week. I will also be making a donation in support of Black Lives Matter from the sale of those pieces. I'm researching organizations now and would like to choose one in support of entrepreneurship and the Arts if you have a recommendation please reply back and let me know!
  • Season 2 of Creative Thursday video interview series is FINALLY launching. Save the Date for the first episode airing July 9. One thing being quarantined at home has offered is some extra time to finish long overdue projects. These conversations with fellow Creative business owners are so good, I can't wait to share them with you.

    "I stand with you in peace, love, justice, equality and creativity"

    I hope you enjoy the new podcast episode.

    much love

    ~ xo Marisa


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    The Quarantine Jungle is FINISHED!

    The Quarantine Jungle is FINISHED!

    It's official!! The 40" x 30" painting I've been working on throughout the L.A. Quarantine ~ one of my largest and most detailed pieces to date is complete.


    The Artist’s secret to finishing a piece of work: give yourself a deadline

    Over years of painting characters and animals in different settings I had never painted a Jungle before.

    Technically I began this painting on a whim during one of our painting nights when I had my large studio almost 2 years ago.

    And it had been sitting, just waiting to be finished all this time.

    It was the extra time home and a desire not only to complete this painting but to challenge myself as a painter...something I’d clearly been avoiding which is why ahem I stopped shortly after I started... 40” x 30” is a far cry from my familiar small size of 6” x 6” 😳

    Working through all the details took much longer than anticipated, and I also unexpectedly discovered how much I love having one large painting to return to day after day.

    I've always felt fulfilled with my art through the process of creating and completing a piece in one sitting with my daily painting practice.

    Stepping out of my comfort zone opened up a whole new avenue to explore with my work, and I can't wait to see where this leads.

    I promised myself it would be finished at the end of the quarantine and while we’re not quite there yet, I feel a gentle shift back to some aliveness and (socially distanced) in person connection 💕and it feels like it’s time for this painting to be completed - that, and - I am also ready to begin new work!

    Because you know what happens when you commit to regular creating- your creative inspiration gains serious momentum. The muse is in the house!

    Voila! a finished painting and a happy Artist (with even longer bangs.)

    Stay well + creative xo Marisa

    Enjoy the Quarantine Jungle!

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    When your Collector LOVES your Work In Progress #WIP (but it's not finished yet!)

    When your Collector LOVES your Work In Progress #WIP (but it's not finished yet!)


    What do you do?

    Do you leave it as is or fulfill your original vision?

    I held a challenge last week for my members in The Expansive Artists. "Sell a Piece of Art this Week" 

    A BIG success! I am in awe of the progress made by the Artists in just one week, technically 3 days!! from opening online shops, posting regularly on social media, going LIVE on social media, getting booked on a podcast, launching books, and online workshops, to emailing announcements to their Collectors, and SELLING WORK!! Wohoo!

    And, questions also came up like this one Nadia shared in the Expansive Artists. She shared that her work was "in that awkward teenage stage where she doesn't want to touch them for fear that people won't like them..."

    What if your Collector won't like the work once it's finished? 

    ...I know how the story ends! What did Nadia decide and how did it work out?

    Grab your sparkling beverage of choice (I happen to be sipping a glass of Lamarc Prosecco on this episode) or your favorite treat and tune in to hear my thoughts on how I handle this fear, and spoiler alert, we're going to do some celebrating...!!

    And YAY!! how cool is this! Now that the blog is back you can listen to this episode right here.

    Oh my goodness...why didn't I do this sooner. LOL one step at t time. 

    One step at a time leads to progress and momentum that just keeps building. The clarity comes and the pieces do start to click into place, they do!


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