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Happy July! Sorry I am about a week late getting your desktop calendar to you. July is one of my favorite months because it is the the month I celebrate my birthday. So the beginning of this month has be spent enjoying some much needed downtime and enjoying the holiday with my family and friends.

But I didn’t forget about you! So go ahead and grab your desktop calendar here. Also be sure to head over to my Instagram stories and grab wallpaper for your phone as well.

 
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This month I’m asking everyone to have a little more faith in themselves. For June I am sharing with you Crystals and just like these magical crystals you need to believe in yourself and all your magnificently beautiful glory you hold within you. Take care of yourself. Find whatever makes your soul come to life or grab some crystals to give you a boost.

Crystals can be held in your hand, worn on the body, placed under your pillow and is known to promote physical, emotional and spiritual healing as well as blocking all the negativity that might come your way. The reason that this is effective for those who chose to believe is because the crystals are said to positively line up and interact with your body’s energy field or you may have heard of the term ‘chakra’. These sparkly crystals come in all shapes sizes and shades and each different type of crystal is known to help you or heal you. …. Crystals are known to boost energy and positive vibes, clearing your mind, optimizing your health, relieving stress, anxiety, depression anger, resentment, they bring to your life abundance and prosperity and they are also known for relieve creative blocks to allow you to release your creativity freely. So whatever your dealing with in life you can always find a crystal to rock around your neck and believe in yourself and believe that your crystals have the power to assist you in overcome your fears and anything that weighs you down and out the very best in you . Bring your sparkle back.

   

(Image Source)

Check out our Pinterest Board for more Crystal and Gem inspiration.

 
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Finally it’s what we have all been waiting for! I am a summer girl, so I am so happy to see June has finally arrived! To me June is the beginning of long days of family, friends and festivals. This months Wallpaper is a bit different but If you know me you had to know there would be some geometric patterns coming to you eventually.

You can grab yours here. Also be sure to head over to Instagram and grab wallpaper for your phone as well.

Enjoy!

 
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As an Artist/ Illustrator, running a creative business in a highly saturated field, I'm constantly working on ways to stand out from my peers. My real given name is Sareka Unique, but I still have to constantly ask myself what makes me Unique? What is it that sets me apart as a creative?

Sometimes ideas will come to us but we pause to act on them because we have seen it done before, but we have to remember that no one has done it like you. Your voice, your creativity, your background, your family are all part of what makes you unique. If you feel stuck trying to figure out what makes you stand out from others her are a few tip of things that I do to help bring me back to my authentic self.

Limit Screen time

In this social media driven society it is so easy to lose your creative voice. Sometimes I just find myself sitting and scrolling for no reason at all, and I think a lot of us are guilty of this. I follow so many amazing artist and creatives that looking through my feed can at times make me feel like an impostor or that I am not good enough. That feeling is a killer of creativity. Being a consumer all the time can cause you to forget your why, and it can cause you to question yourself and stunt the imagination. You can begin to use what you see on your feed to fuel your creativity, instead of relying on your own instincts and imagination.

Experiment with your craft

Once you limit your screen time you will have way more time to focus on your craft. The key here is to just have fun. Try to bring yourself back to why you started to create in the first place. Drawing and painting quiets my brain and eases my mind, this is one of the reasons why I create. So if you remember your reason, and just start creating for that specific reason as apposed to having an end result the creativity will flow. Once the creativity starts to flow ideas will begin to form to help you zone in on what makes you Unique.

Find your voice

Journaling is something I used to do a lot when I was younger and I have recently picked up again, with just writing down all of my thoughts and goals. Doing this and going back and reading older entries helps me to remember what is authentically me. It reminds me of what my voice is. It also gives me content to share. Most of the blog ideas I have come from me just writing about my experience as a creative entrepreneur.

I hope these tips help! what are some of the things you do when you feel like you are loosing yourself creatively?

Free Art Print!

Click here and download your 8 x 10 art print! Just print frame and put it somewhere as a daily reminder of how perfectly Unique you are!

 
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There is little to argue by saying that everything around us affects us in some way. There is nothing like looking up into the beautiful night sky and feeling the energy of the moon and all its magical glory touch you. Its Magnificent beauty in its many phases. A New Moon is the mark of the first lunar phase. The New moon is the representation of starting new beginnings. During the phase of the new moon this is a period of renewal and restoration, this is a time there you can use the energy of the new moon to achieve new goals, start a new project and release old habits that no longer serve you. Like the moon you have a chance to be s different version of yourself. Reflect, Learn, Grow and Rise Again a new you. A New moon.

    

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Click here if you would like a printable 8.5 X 11 pdf sent directly to your inbox each month! 
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Hey Hey! May is here and that means cheers to nothing but warm sunny days ahead here in the Midwest. “April showers bring May flowers”, so of course this month’s desktop wallpaper had to be a floral pattern! You can grab yours here. Also be sure to head over to Instagram and grab wallpaper for your phone as well.

 
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I have have been hearing about Alt Summit for years and I always wanted to go, but the decision for this year to be the year I take the leap was a last minute decision. I went back and forth in my head trying to figure out if I could afford to drop everything and head across the country for a creative business conference. Choosing to take the trip was one of the best decisions I have made for my business this year!

Attending Alt Summit this year was such an amazing experience and I couldn't wait to share all the details of my week. There was so much to say about this trip, that I decided to break it down into 10 of my top reasons why Alt Summit's Alt Oasis 2019 Conference was amazing, and why going was such an amazing decision for me and my business.

Saguaro Hotel Palm Springs, Photo by Kristen Tucker

A Change of Scenery

I live in Michigan and even though It's Spring on the calendar it is still cold and cloudy most days during this time of the year. Being in Palm Springs was such a magical experience, it was like experiencing a little piece of paradise in the middle of the desert. Having the mountains as the backdrop for the whole conference was amazing. I have never been to California or anywhere on the western side of the States, so this was definitely all new and exciting for me.

I decided to fly into Vegas for 3 reasons: I would have a car which gave me a bit more freedom to go where I pleased, the price of the flight and the car was a lot cheaper than tickets to PSP or LAX, and lastly it was a straight flight, no layovers. So I drove from Vegas to Palm Springs and the views were simply amazing. The drive was supposed to be about 3.5-4 hours but it ended up taking me a lot longer because traffic was a bit crazy, we were either flowing at 85 mph or going about 10 mph. It was a bit stressful at times but that was the only downfall. On my drive back to Vegas I did get a chance to stop at the Seven Magic Mountains, which were pretty magical indeed and made the whole drive worth it.

ACE Hotel and Swim Club Photo by Nicole Breanne

 

Saguar Hotel Palm Springs Photo by Nicole Breanne

Seven Magic Mountains Photo by me

Make Friends for life

While I traveled to Palm Springs alone there wasn't a moment that went by where I felt lonely, it was actually the complete opposite. I ended up booking a room at one of the conference hotels, The Ace Hotel and Swim Club, which was absolutely wonderful. Soon after I booked the room, with the help of Alt Summit Facebook groups I had 3 amazing roommates that were as excited as I was to get to Palm Springs. We met through Facebook, chatted a bit through Messenger and stalked each others Instagram pages. We managed to all click pretty instantly once we met in person! I think the 4 of us turned out to be a perfect match. Experiencing Alt together, I'm sure will keep us connected for years to come. Not only did we become instant friends we became friends with each others friends.

Alt was also a place that I could finally say I met people I've followed on Instagram for ages in real life. The connections made with people who instantly understand your journey as a creative entrepreneur is so valuable. So if you are an adult and you are an introvert and you are wondering how to make new friends. Go to Alt Summit the experience will not disappoint.

Photos with my room mates Jamila Watson, Arlene Easterwood and Sally Mason at the ACE Hotel and Swim Club Photos by Arlene Easterwood.

Photos with my room mates Jamila Watson, Arlene Easterwood and Sally Mason at the ACE Hotel and Swim Club Photos by Arlene Easterwood.

So many Creative and Motivated Women

If you ever feel the need to be around some amazingly talented creative boss girls Alt Summit is the conference for you. I've never been the person to just walk up to people and introduce myself or to sit at a table of strangers and have lunch (except for my freshman year of collage when my roommate turned best friend forced me too lol) but at Alt Summit this was very easy to do.

Everyone I met was so open, accepting and willing to share so much good info that it was definitely a breath of fresh air. I loved being able to sit and talk to women and hear about how they are fiercely chasing/living their dreams. I was also able to talk about my passions and what trials I am facing with people who were able to relate. It's great to just sit and talk about SEO and algorithms with people who don't look at you weirdly for obsessing over these things.

You would also think being around your business girl crush would be a little nerve wrecking but it was the total opposite, it was inspiring and motivating. The energy you encounter during the conference is priceless.

Photo by Nicole Breanne

Wordpress Meditation Cabana at the Parker Hotel Palm Springs. Photo by Nicole Breanne

Motivation

Speaking of Motivation, you will definitely get all the motivation you need to continue forward in building your business. From participating in Round Table sessions, to Keynote speeches, to creative workshops you will be busting from the seems with ideas and information that you will want to put into action before you even leave Palm Springs. Even the setting of being in a little piece of Paradise in the middle of the desert was motivation to keep growing as a person and in your business so that you are able to live your best life and create the freedom that allows you to visit places like this more often.

Topics you have been dreaming of learning about

If there is something you want to learn and implement into your business, Alt Summit is guaranteed to have a round table or workshop about that specific topic. Instagram, Pinterest, Podcast, YouTube, Photography, SEO, Creating Content, Hiring Employees, Licensing, Speaking in Public, the list literally goes on and on. This year they even had a Makers Space which was one of my favorite places to be. You could sit and learn new crafts, which for me is very relaxing, and continue to network with other super creative business owners.

It's so easy to get a bit overwhelmed with all the classes and there may be a bit of frustration at first by not being able to be at all the places at the same time. I found that by the second day I felt as if it had already been 5 days, but then realized that it was okay to miss a class because the topic was likely to be repeated on another day. Also, sometimes just sitting and talking to a few other conference participants was just as informative as being in a workshop.

Classes and Keynotes. Photo by Paige Beitler

Classes and Keynotes. Photo by Paige Beitler

 

Me getting ready to get creative with Damask Love in the makers space, Photo by Christina Best

 

Me and Amber in the Makers Space Photo by Sally Mason

Collaboration Opportunities

As an artist I have exhibited at trade shows where the main mission is selling, licensing and collaborating with business who need amazing art for their products. Going to Alt Summit was just as beneficial if not more beneficial than exhibiting at New York trade shows. There is the opportunity to meet amazing business that need exactly what you have to offer. You get to have conversations with the people who makes the business decisions and create meaningful connections.

This year Alt had the brilliant idea of creating an app that allows you to connect with other attendees. You can see what each person does and connect with them instantly through the app. This app played a crucial part in allowing businesses that were looking to connect with me to see my work and set up meetings while we were there in Palm Springs.

I'm so grateful for the connections I made and the collaborations that have come from this experience, and I am excited for the future collaborations that will come from being connected to this awesome community.

Joanna Gains

Alt Summit’s Opening Keynote with Goanna Gains. Photos by Nicole Breanne

So the majority of my Sundays have been spent binge watching Fixer Upper on HGTV. I just adore the Gains and the work that they do. So when I found out that Joanna Gains was this years opening Keynote Speaker, I was beyond excited. It was so amazing to hear her story in real life and see her authenticity that you feel from watching her on tv shine through on stage.

If you really know me then you know how much I love home and family, and that creating a beautiful space is something I just love to do. So being able to hear first hand how she was able to build her business and the Magnolia brand was so special for me.

Now Joanna Gains Keynote may have been specific to this years conference but believe me there is always someone special that will grace the Alt Summit stage and you will not be disappointed. All the Keynote speakers were simply amazing!

Poolside Parties

Alt Summit has some amazing sponsors that go all out for attendees. A few nights through the week there are private parties and dinners given by the sponsors. I had the honor of being invited to a Poolside Cocktail party given by the Novogratz and Amazon Home. Being hand picked to be apart of their event was truly an amazing experience. I was able to mingle with other artist and designers and get a first hand look at the Novogratz new line of outdoor furniture. I didn't have the guts to approach the Novogratz and spark up conversation, but they were present and mingling throughout the evening.

Other attendees I spoke with also had great experiences at these sponsored dinners and events. For those who didn't get an invite to a sponsored party, there were plenty of other parties and meetups going on every night of the week. Also just having dinner by the pool with a few friends was just as fun and fulfilling!

All Modern Opening Party Photo by Paige Beitler

 

All Modern Poolside Party, Photo by Stephanie Elie

Poolside Gossip Cocktail Party with Amazon Home and The Novogratz, Photo by me.

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April is here and that means a new desktop calendar for you to download! You can grab your wallpaper here. Also be sure to head over to Instagram and grab wallpaper for your phone as well.

March was a great month for me! The last week of March I spent with some amazing Boss Babes at Alt Summit. I will definitely be sharing more about that experience in a future post. But I can say that the experience left me energized and ready to push forward in my business.

One of the things I am looking forward to this month is applying some of the things that I have learned, and following up with some of the collaborations and connections I made while in Palm Springs.

For me and my family April is a month of celebrations! My mom and my brother both have Birthdays at the end of the month and I look forward to celebrating with them.

Tell me, what are somethings you look forward to this month?

 
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Hey hey! Spring is almost here and that means our March 2019 Desktop Calendar is here. If you are signed up to our newsletter you should have already received it earlier this week. If not you can sign up here!

In my newsletter I share a bit about what’s been going on with me and a sneak peek at my new pattern collection. I’m planning on sharing more tips and info with my subscribers as the months go on and I would love for you to join in!

 
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I have played around with Gouache a little bit before, but they were student grade and I didn't really take it seriously.  Recently I took the plunge and decided to splurge on some artist quality gouache paints.  

So I headed to my local Blick Art Materials (my favorite place to be) and purchased a few colors that appealed to me. I am absolutely in love with them! I purchased a few tubes of Windsor and Newtons Designer Gouache and a few tubs of Holbein Artists Gouache and I love them both. Paying more for artist quality gouache makes all the difference in your experience.  

Here are a few examples of my first paintings using the gouache.

I am mostly an ink and paper type of gal.  My designing process is typically to draw motifs in ink and then bring them into Illustrator and apply colors and make patterns from them.  So painting is a bit out of my element. With the exceptions of the acrylic I have been using to make my abstract paintings.

I have always admired beautifully painted pieces and wished it was something I could incorporate into my designs so I decided to give it a go.  I have also always wanted to document my process with videos.  Videos and pictures are a great way to be able to track you progress and see growth in you work. 

So I took the leap and started a YouTube channel and I posted my first video.  Its a speed painting I created with gouache.  The recording and editing process is pretty new for me so I am sure I will get better with time.  I want this channel to be a space where I share my creative experiences, learn and document my process.  

So go subscribe and follow along with my creative journey!

LOVE - Gouache Speed Paint - YouTube
 

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