About createontheside

I'm a paralegal and a freelance writer. In my writing journey I've interviewed a variety of talented folks from entrepreneurs and rockers and I'm always fascinated by the creative process.

Creative Places-Copper Cat Studio

During Reno Open Studios last October I was fortunate to meet Katie Packham, mosaic artist and owner of Copper Cat Studio.

What inspired the start of your business?

I’ve always been creative, enjoying and excelling at many different art forms from a young age. It’s when I got to college that I was hesitant to make a career out of it. I got a degree in interior design because it was creative but also included a lot of problem solving and project management. I’m very right/left brain equal. I did that for many years and was able to nurture a mural business on the side for about 9 years before delving into mosaics. That is what ignited the passion to make me quit my day job 11 years ago.

My biggest breakthrough came when…

My biggest breakthrough to the path I’m on now is when the mosaic supply company where I taught class for years offered to sell me their business. It was mainly an online business but there was local clientele and I quickly found running it out of my home studio wasn’t going to work. My first move to a public location was in a cute boutique location in Midtown. It was immediately apparent that the space wasn’t big enough for how the business was evolving- mostly workshops, and so when my rent significantly increased after a little over a year, we moved into our current location. I guess that was a huge breakthrough too. I was really upset about the rent increase, but it ended up being the catalyst for the exponential growth we’ve experienced in the last year and a half. I couldn’t be happier with where we are right now!

How do you balance your creative pursuits with your day-to-day commitments?

I would say finding that balance in my day-to-day commitments of running a studio, workshop space, retail front and yoga studio is tough. My time for my own creativity has definitely suffered. I have created a space where others come to nurture their souls through the arts. I feel like I’m finally on the right track and am starting to get in the groove after the move a year and a half ago, so that I can find that bit of creative nurturing I need as well. I love the bustle and energy of a busy studio, but find that I really appreciate those days where it is quiet and I can just mosaic all day without interruption.

What’s next?

I’m not sure…I’ve learned to let the universe guide me. I know that sounds cheesy, but I’ve found that if I lay out some intentions and not try to be too specific with details, the right opportunities pop up at exactly the right time. I am enjoying what we are doing currently but it’s always evolving. The diverse workshops we offer are hugely popular but it’s a lot of work. I see myself simplifying in the years to come and concentrating on just mosaics, yoga and Reiki and other healing modalities.

Anything else to share with the readers?

Just that with our crazy lives, it’s important to take care of ourselves. Whether through yoga, meditation, creativity or getting out in nature…whatever nurtures YOUR soul, we have to fill our own vessel before being able to give to others.

Copper Cat Studio

300 Kresge Lane, Sparks, NV 89431

www.CopperCatStudio.com

Blog: coppercatstudio.blogspot.com

Tessera Glass

www.tesseraglass.com

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Author/Artist Interview S.L. Dearing

I met Shannon through her Etsy business, Underdweller Treasures. I needed some swag for an upcoming author event. Not only did she meet my deadline, but the treasures she crafted for Ever After were a big hit.

Describe your day job.

My day job LOL. I am an Office Assistant and receptionist at a marketing firm in Century City, CA. It is part-time, but I am blessed in that I can do marketing for my books and side business, Underdweller Treasures.

 

Tell me about your latest book.

My most recent release is a two part collaboration with three other authors (Magen McMinimy, Jax Walsh and Jean Michaels). It’s called The Similayer Project and it is a post-apocalyptic, contagion, survival story loaded with intrigue, romance and everything in between. It is also formatted as a normal timeline, so it’s not a collection, but rather a fully fleshed out book that we all wrote. It was a huge undertaking and I have to say I’m super proud of it!

Who are your writing role models?

My biggest influences are Stephen King, Dean Koontz, JK Rowling, Robin Jarvis, William Shakespeare, Magen McMinimy

 

How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your writing life?

I can’t say I’m always successful with that. I try to manage my time as best I can, but I drop the ball a lot. That is life. As long as the most important aspects of your life are intact, it’s okay. So that means, sometimes writing falls to the wayside, and I try to do it when I can.

What are your other passions outside of writing?

Besides, family and friends, I have a side business I mentioned above, Underdweller Treasures. I make jewelry and swag, and I really love that. My sister taught me when I was in my twenties. I read, love movies and music. I’m trying to learn some new languages and would like to learn to play the banjo.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Oh, wow, I guess be patient with your favorite authors. Writing can be a slow process sometimes. As a reader I know it’s frustrating to wait for the next book, but it is a long process. Other than that, find your passion, try to make it your life’s work, and if you can’t, make sure to take time out to enjoy. Oh, and remember, there is no shelf life to dreams… you can always find a new one.

Links to S.L. Dearing

Website:

Facebook Author Page:

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Blog:

Goodreads:

Amazon Author Page:

Amazon.co.uk Author Page:

Amazon.de Author Page:

Rising Indies United:

Rising Indies United (FB):

Twitter page:

Underdweller Treasures page (FB):

Etsy:

Twitter page:

Artist Interview-Kelly Burr

I met Kelly Burr at the Copper Cat during Reno Open Studios and I was impressed by her warmth and energy.  

 What are some of the challenges you faced transitioning your artistic work into retirement?

The challenges….OH the challenges. The biggest challenge I’ve had so far, with the exception of my body cooperating with my need to work, is the feeling of “ not contributing to the household”, so finding a way to balance that, has been interesting. Because my “retirement” was forced upon me after my accident, I didn’t have that lead time one takes, before planning such a big change. But, I’ve adapted, and I’m learning to work WITH my body’s schedule, and not against it. My days are random as far as what I can do, but we are making it work.

Kelly included one of her art magnets along with her business card.

What advice would you give someone at a similar place in her journey?

The advice I would give is just to embrace your new place…like anything else in life, it’s an adjustment and you’ll need to find the right balance for YOU, but I promise, once you arrive, you’ll feel amazing, energized and ready to take on the world.

What are your other passions?

I was in the catering/event planning business for 40 years, with my last few years being an executive assistant to a fairly famous( in my neck of the woods) Chef, and I love to plan elaborate parties and cook awesome meals…I just don’t want to do the cleanup!

What’s next for you?

Hmmmmm….what’s next? I’m hoping to be able to teach more, do more private lessons. It’s so cool to watch students, of all ages, learn and create something in THEIR vision, not mine. I love sharing my art and I want others to be as joyful as I feel when I make something!

Anything that you’d like to share with our readers?

EVERYONE has creativity, in some form. I can’t draw, or paint a “picture”. I cannot crochet, knit, spin or weave. I can’t do metalwork, woodwork or blow glass…Find YOUR thing. Study it. Experiment with it. PLAY WITH IT. Let your mind wander. It’s ok. In fact, it’s essential to happiness. You know the old saying…All work and no play, make us ALL very dull people. Go out and be shiny!!!

Website info: Coming soon…MaiWheyArtStudios.com

Facebook:  Mai Whey Art Studios

 

Author Signing Event in Vegas

Big news! I’m going to be at an author signing event in Las Vegas on November 8th. Over 100 authors in the same place, signing books and meeting readers. You’re welcome to either bring your own books or purchase some in person. Three lucky people will win a Kindle Paperwhite!

I’ll be at Sam’s Town in Las Vegas from 3-5pm on November 8th, and I hope to see you there! The address is: 5111 Boulder Hwy, Las Vegas, NV.

Reno Open Studios-2018

One of the things I enjoyed about taking my kids trick or treating was catching a brief glimpse into my neighbors’ homes. Some doors opened to elegant entryways set with tile or gleaming hardwood. Others displayed a cozy family room with a fire crackling in the fireplace. I always wondered how the story carried on after the door was closed.

Reno Open Studios  also offers visitors the opportunity to peek behind the curtain to see magic at work in studios not usually open to the public. Since 2009, the first weekend in October is a citywide open house for visual artists working in media spanning from glass to gourds. Even if you only have time to visit a couple of studios, it is well worth the effort.

Details:

When: October 5th-7th

Where: Throughout Reno, NV-Check online brochure and map for details.

Need to know more? Check out https://www.facebook.com/renoopenstudios

September 6th-National Read a Book Day

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

Stephen King

September 6th is National Read a Book Day. While this notable day doesn’t include any paid vacation, celebrating is as easy as reaching for your favorite read, no need to endure long lines at the grocery to pick-up the ingredients for the celebratory meal.  However if you choose to make it a family affair, opt for take-out so you and the kids have more time for reading.  Remember children’s books expose kids to 50% more words than prime time TV.

By the way, the pictured dragon resides at Sundance Books and Music, a Reno indie bookstore. He’s appeared in at least one previous post, but you never can have too much dragon in your life (or too many books). So what are you waiting for?

Summer Love-August Romance Book Fair

“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” Charles Bowden

Even though August marks the close of carefree summer days, there’s still plenty of time to find your happily ever after.

❦➹☆ Check out these amazing Romance Books! ☆➹❦

Celebrate Love! With 25 romance books in various sub-genres to choose from, all for the bargain price of 99c each, you’re sure to find your next favorite read or two. Stop by and find a bunch of new stories to enjoy! https://wp.me/p9hsEv-fgAugust 99c Romance