New Paintings & Big News!

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The day I realized I longed – I needed – to paint again, was the day I challenged myself to paint at least 1 hour each week. With my schedule packed with loads of design projects, it wasn't easy to find the time. But I made the time and found Fridays to be the best for me, coining #FridayPaintday as the name of my personal challenge.The challenge began in August of 2014 and since then I've accumulated dozens of paintings and rediscovered my calling, my innate desire, my what-I-was-put-on-this-earth-to-do-realization that painting was what I needed to do.

After only a few short months, I didn't feel like I was on a challenge any more, I felt like I was back on track, back on my path. Realizing painting was what I was going to pursue came with a mound of fears "who's actually going to buy my paintings?", "can I make a living painting?", "what will my husband think about me shifting my career, again?", "will anyone like what I create?"....

I tossed and turned for weeks scared to admit it to myself, to my husband and to everyone else that I had to follow this calling. Because I knew it meant so much change and hard work. But I kept looking at the paintings on my wall, paintings I had created years ago when I was painting and I was less fearful and jaded, and the paintings I had created in the past months, and just I knew I couldn't wait any longer. I had to follow my heart and face my fears - not just because I owed it to myself, but also because we had just found out we were pregnant (!!).

I confessed everything to my husband – and hearing myself say it out loud – I felt immediate relief and a sense of calm wash over me. I was exactly where I needed to be.

So here I am today, excited to share with you what I've created. I'd love for you to go and take a look around. You'll see paintings that date as far back as the beginning of the challenge and some as new as last week. You'll also see a few of my new series dedicated to each week of my pregnancy. These paintings have more of a simple, calm, ethereal feel and are created with watered down acrylic paint on watercolor paper. They begin at 13 weeks and will continue till the end of my pregnancy.

When I was asked by Craft Your Life Collective why I paint, I answered:

"Painting and creating art comes from my desire to express myself and to somehow capture and render the emotions and beauty I experience. It also pushes me against insecurities and boundaries that limit my imagination. Each day I paint I feel more whole and exactly where I'm supposed to be."

Let me know what you think by sending me an email or by going to my instagram and saying hello. If you see something you like or are interesting in a custom piece of artwork, let me know. Read more about my new decision and new energy here.

LATELY : 04

Meredith C Bullock - Lately - Wayfaren Brand Design Meredith C Bullock - The Desire Map - Lately

Meredith C Bullock - Lately - A Beautiful Community

ONE

Wayfaren has officially launched! A few months ago I had the pleasure to work closely with husband and wife team, Wayfaren, on their branding and business direction. I helped guide them to dig deep, uncover the perfect business name, create a new brand and logo, tame their ideas and get clear on their mission. Working with these two was been a dream, and their beautiful creations are amazing. Go here to see more >>>

TWO

I started reading The Desire Map thanks to my friend Mary Crimmins recommendation.  Instead of thinking about how much money I want to make, what things I want, and all of the goals I want to accomplish, The Desire Map encourages you to think about how you want to feel first. For example; if I want to feel healthy, what can I do in order to achieve that? Or if I want to feel more loved and secure, how can I achieve that? It's been a huge mind shift in the nest way possible.

THREE

Last month I got together with our community of creative woman for Gathering No.3 and watched ladies share their story. As usual, we shared wine, chatted and snacked on a bunch of amazing food. But this time we tried something a little different; before the Gathering I chose 3 ladies to do a little show & tell. At the Gathering these 3 ladies opened their hearts and shared their story, their struggles, their passions, their beautiful work and themselves. It was incredibly inspiring and I look forward to next weeks Gathering. Pictured is the talented duo, Hey Wanderer. See their beautiful work here >>>

4 STEPS TO LIVING THE LIFE OF YOUR DREAMS

4-steps-to-living-the-life-of-your-dreams If I was asked to sum up the one thing I help others to accomplish, the most important thing I feel I was put on this earth to do, I'd answer I help others to live their dreams. No matter who you, where you are in your life, or what you want to accomplish, you can accomplish your dreams. Here are 4 steps that I guide all of my dream clients through:

 

1. Identify your dream. Take a few moments and imagine your big, ultimate, I-was-put-on-this-earth-to-accomplish dream. Now take out a sheet of paper and write "My Big Dream" on the top, consider and answer:

  • What does your dream look like?
  • Who's there?
  • What are you doing?
  • Where are you?
  • What have you accomplished?
  • Who are you working with?
  • What are you like?

 

2. Write out your goals. Now that you have your dream fully imagined, take a look at it. You'll notice goals within your dream that need to be accomplished in order to fully realize and live your dream. Perhaps your dream is to travel across the world to teach children who to create art and tap into their creativity. Some goals might be:

  • establish a location to teach in
  • identify what age group you want to teach
  • gather art supplies to teach the actual class
  • jot down countries you want to teach in
  • gather contacts and resources that can help you

*Tip: imagine you've accomplished your dream and you're walking backwards on that path that you took to get there. Now list off things that had to happen in order to realize your dream, starting with the very last thing you did in order to accomplish your dreams. This technique is something I learned from the 30-Minute Strategy.

 

3. Create a plan. Now that you have your goals, organize them in sequence from now till the your Big Dream is accomplished and give them a deadline. Using the example goals from above, I'd organize the goals like this:

  1. identify why you want to do this | October 2014
  2. identify what age group you want to teach | November 2014
  3. jot down countries you want to teach in | January 2015
  4. gather contacts and resources that can help you | April 2015
  5. create lessons | July 2015
  6. schedule in classes | July 2015
  7. gather art supplies to teach the actual class | August 2015
  8. teach first class | September 2015

 

4. Follow through. You have your dreams, your goals, your deadlines, now all that's left is for you to follow through.

 

 

AN INTERVIEW WITH BETHANY GROW

An Interview with Bethany Grow I can't recall when I first stumbled upon Bethany's work, but what I do remember is reading her blog posts on launching her new business and her day-to-day life and work challenges on taking the leap into self-employment. I fell in love with honesty, clean designs and hilarious commentary. Meet Bethany Grow, a wildly talented designer, blogger, creative, entrepreneur and the cutest thing since cupcakes.

AN INTERVIEW WIT BETHANY GROW  |  DESIGNER & CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR

How did you get started as a designer and entrepreneur?  I actually got started after designing my own wedding invitations! I loved the challenge of creating the first piece that would introduce the whole look and feel of my wedding to my guests. I had such a great time creating my own that I decided to start designing more and creating wedding stationery for other happy couples! Through that I discovered a love of branding as I loved capturing the whole feeling and experience of an entire event in one design. Since then I've transitioned into working with businesses and blogs to style their look and strategize the brand experience!

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Looking back at your childhood, did you have any creative talents that eluded to a career as a designer/entrepreneur? Oh yes! I mean, I had so many ideas of who I wanted to be and what I wanted to do when I grew up and I wanted to start as soon as I could! At one point I started a fake radio show called "The Cheese" and I wrote stories and songs for the show that were all about cheese. I used to draw and paint all the time and I would sell the finished pieces in my front yard (but I was never successful since I hid behind a tree when cars came because I was uber shy). I loved writing books and had many many notebooks full of novels that I would start.

I just knew that I wanted to do something creative and I don't think I understood this at the time, but looking back at my many ventures, I really wanted to run my own show.

Creativity and art has always been hugely important to me. Maybe someday I'll tell you about the one time I peed my pants in 1st grade because I just REALLY didn't want to leave art class to go to the bathroom.

How were you able to take the leap into self-employment successfully? Did you overlap your day job with freelancing for a certain period of time? I started my business about a year and a half ago and up until three months ago, I was always working another job while freelancing. There were a few times when I actually had 2 jobs! It was crazy stressful, trying to get a business off the ground in the evenings when I was already tired and grumpy from my other jobs earlier that day. Really I decided to take the leap when I realized how miserable my 9-5 jobs were making me and how much I loved my freelance work. And while I did LOTS of planning, preparing, and saving, I honestly couldn't have made this leap without my husband by my side. Together we've been able to set budgets and cut back on our spending so I don't feel too pressured to make tons of money during this truly vulnerable time. He is so supportive of my goals and dreams and can see the joy that freelancing brings me so he has been amazing and made lots of sacrifices for me. And I'm so glad we took this leap together because I'm so much happier and have been able to do so much more with my business!

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What are you doing today or what have you done in the past to successfully grow your business?  I work hard every single day to grow my business! A huge part of what I do that has contributed to my success is marketing with my blog. I've been able to connect with so many potential clients by sharing my knowledge and experiences for everyone! Beyond my blog, I'm constantly strategizing new ways to reach my target market and grow my business by creating new offerings, strategizing new marketing plans, and taking little risks that will push me further.

What's one of your greatest accomplishments?  One of my greatest and more recent accomplishments was taking the huge risk of quitting my job and giving up my steady income to invest my whole heart and time into my business. It was a big step and a hard one to take and I had many a panic attack before my first day of working from home, but with a lot of effort and sacrifice I've not only made it work but I've thrived! It was the best decision I've ever made for my business and I'm so proud of myself for having the faith and guts to do it! Because of that step I've been able to do so much more with my business and make new plans that will propel me even further!

What's one short term and one long term goal of yours?  One short term goal of mine is to finish my book! Over my Christmas vacation I got the idea and started brainstorming and just recently have had the time to get started on it. It's been a big adjustment as writing in this setting is so new to me, but I'm learning a lot throughout the process and I can't wait till it's finished!

A long term goal of mine is to travel all over Europe and Asia! I know that doesn't seem business related at all, but one of the many many reasons I wanted to quit my job to become a creative solopreneur was to have the freedom to pursue my dreams and not just my business dreams, but all of them! It will require a lot of work on my part to earn the money to do it all, but I'm determined and I'm making the steps to eventually get there. Hopefully it's not too far off! I'm itching to go see the world!

Ooh a book, do spill! I'm so excited about this book! It started as a way to fully gather my advice and lessons that I've given to design and consulting clients that have struggled with creating and maintaining a professional and successful blog.

In working with these clients, I've discovered that many don't understand the concept of branding and are missing out on a hugely important part of what they do that can really propel them forward in the blogosphere.

Have that brand experience- the stories, voice, feelings, actions, expectations, style, everything that goes into creating a brand- is what will set them apart and help them be more successful. My goal is to show them how they can create a brand for themselves and their blog all on their own with lots of brainstorming, strategic planning, some helpful tools, and tons of work. I want to empower readers to go out on their own with clarity on who they are, who they want to reach, and how they're going to reach them and then the confidence to go out and do!

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What's one challenge you've encountered as an artist and what did you do to overcome it? One challenge I really really struggled with for a long time was comparison. It's so hard to not compare myself to other creatives when everything seems to be so quantifiable these days! They are making more money than me, they've had more sales, they have more readers on their blog, more Twitter followers, everything! But almost a year ago now I was having a conversation with a friend about competition in the creative fields when it hit me that we are all so different and have so many different styles that why on earth do we compare ourselves to others? That's the great thing about being creatives is that we can all work in our own ways and have so many opportunities to be unique! Since then I've made a huge effort to avoid the comparison trap (though I admittedly still fall into it sometimes) and instead focus on putting my heart and soul into the work that I do. I am unique and do great work and that's all that matters!

Any words of advice for other creatives and artists looking to start and grow their expertise and business?  Remember to relax. It's funny because I almost wrote "work hard" because of course a lot of work is required to grow any business.

So much time and energy goes in to running your own show, it's so easy to become a workaholic and let your life revolve around your work. But don't forget to live your life!

Get outside, go on vacation, read a book, see your friends, try new foods, go see a movie! Regularly stepping away from your work will be so good for your sanity and creativity. And chances are, if you take a step back you'll be so much more excited about being able to get back to your work and it will remind you why you love what you do so much!

Bethany Grow Interview 4

What's the first and the last thing you did today? The first thing I did was cuddle with my dog Bruce Wayne in bed. I'm not a morning person at all so I like to wake up slow (and late) and what better way than to hang with your cute fluffy pup? The last thing that I always do before going to sleep is write in my journals. I have one to record my day to day activities and another Q+A journal where I can answer fun questions! I love to take time every night to look back on my day and write down the things I really want to remember.

Tell me more about your journaling process - the Q&A sounds interesting. I've always been really terrible at journaling. I love writing and I love the concept of saving memories and being able to go back and remember the good stuff, but I've always been terrible at committing to a journal and sticking to it. So this year I started two different journals- the one line a day journal and the Q&A journal. The One Line A Day Journal is five year journal where I can record just a few short sentences about my day. It helps me to stay focused on the things that truly matter that I'll want to remember in years to come. Each day in the journal has five different lines, one for each year and in years to come I will keep writing in that journal and share my quick thoughts on my day. So in five years, I'll be able to look back on the things that happened on each day for those years and see how things have changed! Then there's the Q&A journal. It's similar to the One Line A Day Journal as it only lets you write a few sentences and it's also a five-year journal. But instead of just summing up my day, I answer a random question! This is a fun way to record the simple stuff that might not be important enough to mention in my One Line a Day Journal, but things that will be fun to look back on. Like the song that was stuck in my head all day or what I wore today or who I'm mad at or if I could travel anywhere, where would I go? I have a feeling that these answers will be fun to compare in the next five years.

I just love being able to spend a few minutes every night before bed thinking back on the day and remembering the things I should be grateful for. It helps me to clear my head and to go to bed feeling happy.

What's the last music you listened to? The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack! It's my favorite movie and I listen to the soundtrack a lot while I work

What’s the last book you read? Daring Greatly- amazing read! Go read it. Do it.

What's your favorite dessert? Right now, eclairs! But that will change in a week.

Coffee or tea? Hot Chocolate! I actually don't drink either coffee or tea, but you can often find me with a mug full of hot chocolate!

To see more of Bethany's work or to say hello, check out her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

WHAT'S YOUR CALLING?

whats-your-calling-1 Have you ever been asked "what's your dream job" or better yet "what's your calling" and been like "um...what". Yeah, me too. 

After realizing my business Hazel Wonderland, a wedding invitation design business, was something I was really good at but I did not love to do, I had to dig deeper.

I started looking at the things I LOVED to do. I knew I loved music, I loved promoting and supporting creatives, I love encouraging people and I loved inspiring people to follow their hearts.

So I combined that with my God given talent - hand-crafted art - and voila! Here I am a year later with my new self-titled business (because why would it be anything other than my name, right?) combining my love for helping encourage and inspire other creatives to live their dream with my hand-made art and I found bliss. 

That's right, I FOUND BLISS. I am living my dream and I want you to live yours too because it's pretty awesome over here.

Find your own bliss by printing off this PDF and following along with an exercise that will help you to uncover your true calling.

Let me know what you discover in the comments below or at my Facebook Page here. Read more about your calling with this article Career vs. Calling.

Are you living your dream or something close to it? How did you discover what it is you love to do?  And if you are living your dream, I want to meet you. Seriously, if you are living your dream job email me because I want to interview you on this blog. 

THE WINNER OF THE CREATIVE COACHING PACKAGE

It's always hard choosing just one winner for a giveaway. Especially after reading each one of your comments and learning about your business, your ambitions, your goals and your dreams. I just can't imagine learning about what you do and where you want to go and not helping you get there.

So like the last giveaway, everybody has won something.

If you entered this giveaway and didn't win the grand prize, I am offering each of you the 4 Week Creative Coaching Package for only $275 (normally priced at $550). We meet for 1 hour each week, for 4 weeks (via Skype). Each session, I provide my undivided attention, guiding you through exercises and equipping you with tools that allow you to daydream, achieve your goals and clarify where you want to go. Helping you grow and achieve success with your business.

This offer is valid for those who entered the drawing and lasts till January 1st, 2014. To learn more and reserve your spot, email me meredithcbullock@gmail.com.

If you're interested in learning more about what it would look and feel like to work with me and how we can work together to grow your business, let me know and we can schedule a free consultation via Skype.

Thank you to all of you who entered and shared your goals for 2014, you inspire me!

LIVE YOUR DREAM | CREATIVE COACHING GIVEAWAY

Live-your-dream-creative-coaching-giveaway As my favorite time of year approaches, so do new resolutions, ideas, goals, and ambitions. Starting 2014 with a clean slate, renewed energy and a whole new set of goals inspires and motivates me to get all of those things I've been meaning to do, done.

So today, I am giving away a 4 week Creative Coaching Package that will help you get organized, clarify your vision, make more money and achieve your creative goals.

What is Creative Coaching? We all know or at least have an idea of what life coaching is, right? Well imagine that, but instead of focusing on your life, we focus on your creative work. Another words, Creative Coaching helps you move forward and grow in the direction you desire with your creative work. So if you have a goal to make 120K in 2014, we work together to help get you there. Or maybe your goal is to start a new business or maybe even tour with your band for 6 months - whatever the goal - big and small - we work together to make it happen.

Who is Creative Coaching for? Creative Coaching is for artist, musicians, designers, photographers, writers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, freelancers and creatives looking to grow their expertise, build an incredible career, connect with their dream clients, make more money and reach their goals.

What exactly will we be doing for 4 weeks? Beginning in January, we will meet for 1 hour each week, for 4 weeks (via Skype). Each session, I will give you my complete attention, guiding you through exercises and equipping you with tools that allow you to daydream, achieve your goals and clarify where you want to go.

How do I enter the giveaway? In order to enter, follow these 2 steps:

  1. Like my Facebook page (if you already like it, go to my Instagram and follow me there)
  2. In the comments below, share your business name and 1 goal you have for your creative work in 2014.

The winner will be drawn at random and announced on Monday 12/16/13. Good luck!

(PHOTO, PHOTO, PHOTO)