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Creative Thursday

Artistic Discovery + Reinvention with Contemporary Dancer + Choreographer Seda Aybay

Artistic Discovery + Reinvention with Contemporary Dancer + Choreographer Seda Aybay

"Be Inspiring and go out and Inspire Someone Else" is a message my Contemporary dance teacher Seda Aybay always closes our class with. 

You're going to love today's episode. An invitation to discover, reinvent, stay curious, adventurous and to be fully present, especially during times that are like none we've ever experienced.

What new creative possibilities are developing that we've not even begun to explore, yet?

And if you've heard a call to try dancing or come back to dancing, now is the time!


Join Seda and her dance company Kybele Dance for a beautiful live performance on Zoom this Saturday November 14 at 6 or 8 pm PT.

Click here to get tickets

You can find all things Seday Aybay

@aybay_seda on Instagram


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4 Tips for Stability during Chaos from an Egg Chair

4 Tips for Stability during Chaos from an Egg Chair

Did I mention that I got an Egg Chair for our garden? 🥚❤️⁣

Did I also mention that I still haven’t taken it outside yet?⁣

And did I mention that you can find me + the studio mates (sometimes all 3 of them) in this exact spot at some point every day from coffee to wine time.⁣

Let’s just say I unpacked the box right here in our living room, never moved it, and now we currently have an oversized piece of furniture in a space that is most definitely too small for it. ⁣

But who cares, because these are still extraordinary times and I’ll take my comfort and joy where I can get it. And Sean is tolerating the overcrowded living room for now ⁣

This egg chair has become my Quarantine, step away from the chaos hideaway + sanctuary. (Plus there’s a really good view out the great big picture window that looks out on our back yard from this spot)⁣

Tell me, what’s your current sanctuary, favorite “safe” comfort + joy spot, oh and! beverage of choice? ☕️🍷

As we head into more interesting times on top of already extremely interesting times, I'm sharing 4 tips for how I'm finding stability in chaos especially over the next few weeks.


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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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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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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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