Creative Courage Soul Sisters: Part I

I'm so excited to introduce you to my Creative Courage Soul Sisters series, featuring the brilliant women who are contributing interviews to my e-course which starts this Monday, January 9th.

I'll be posting these spotlights in two parts today. A whopping total of 12 amazing women are joining us to share their ideas and personal stories of how they are living out their dreams of making art, writing books, publishing magazines, teaching e-courses and workshops, and helping other women achieve their own creative goals. I'm so delighted that these gorgeous ladies will be taking part - and I hope you will join us too!

Andrea Scher is a photographer, life coach, creative entrepreneur, writer, and mama living in Berkeley, California. Through her e-course Mondo Beyondo and award-winning blog Superhero Journal, Andrea inspires other creative souls to live authentic, colorful and extraordinary lives. You can also find Andrea over at Superhero Photo, an inspiring e-course that lives in that sweet spot where creativity and personal growth intersect. 

She is also the co-author of the book Expressive Photography: The Shutter Sisters’ Guide to Shooting from the Heart. She lives with her husband Matt and her two boys Ben and Nico. You can often find her sitting on the kitchen floor with her four-year-old, asking him to leap so she can take a superhero portrait.

One of Andrea's creative dreams is to "Publish a beautiful, best-selling book."

Jill Bliss is an artist, designer, teacher, and naturalist now based in Portland, Oregon. She studied illustration in New York City at Parsons, and design at the California College of the Arts, then established her own company - - in San Francisco before moving to Portland.

Jill's art is inspired through her relationship with the natural world. She studies the plants, animals and ecosystems in the area where she lives as well as on her travels, and these studies serve as a basis for many of her illustrations and artwork series.

Jill eloquently writes, "Our everyday world consists of both human-made and natural environments that co-exist, which is something we all have to find ways to recognize and come to terms with – whether it be planning, speaking, drawing, photography, writing, what have you. We all have the potential to be thoughtful, creative cultural producers AND consumers everyday!"

When asked about her creative dreams for 2012, Jill said, "It would be awesome to travel to a new part of the world each year so I could intensely study and draw plants and animals worldwide, and learn the differences and similarities of all."

Heather Smith Jones is an artist, author, and instructor working in mixed media on paper, painting, and letterpress. She owns and operates her letterpress business Blue Sparrow Press and in January 2011, her book Water Paper Paint, Exploring Creativity with Watercolor and Mixed Media was published. For the past eight years she has been teaching young artists in the Arts-Based Preschool at The Lawrence Arts Center.
Heather's paintings and drawings are represented in several galleries in the Midwest and on the East coast. In 2001 Smith Jones earned her MFA from The University of Kansas and her BFA in Painting from East Carolina University in Greenville, NC in 1996. Born in the mountains of Tennessee she now lives in downtown Lawrence, Kansas in a little house with her husband and their three cats.
Heather shared with me, "My creative goals include working in new media and I am starting a few personal projects which I intend to work on throughout the year."

Janine Vangool runs UPPERCASE publishing inc., which is based in Calgary, Canada. She publishes books and a quarterly magazine inspired by creativity, craft, design, and illustration.

Since opening in 2005, originally as a gallery and retail shop, UPPERCASE has hosted some notable exhibitions of Canadian talent and curated numerous thematic and group shows featuring international artists such as Camilla Engman, Christopher Silas Neal, Lisa Congdon, Ryan Heshka, and Hatch Show Print. She also ran her graphic design business from the space.

After years of freelancing, Janine took the leap to follow her own creative path and retired from working with clients. She closed the retail shop to focus on publishing, editing, and designing the exceptionally beautiful UPPERCASE magazines and books featuring artists and designers from around the world.

Janine's inspiring creative dream is to: "Live abroad for a year! We hope that someday my husband gets a writer-in-residence position in an intriguing location! Other than all the inventory, UPPERCASE is actually very portable."

Michelle Ward has personally helped almost 200 creative people devise the career they think they can’t have – or discover it to begin with! A certified life coach by the International Coach Academy, a musical theater actress with my BFA from NYU/Tisch, and a Corporate America escapee, she's been an expert contributor for Newsweek, ForbesPsychology Today, Yahoo! and AOL Jobs.  Michelle has also led workshops and seminars at SXSW and the sold-out Etsy Success Symposium

She encourages everyone to claim their uniquity via The Declaration of You and you can learn more about Michelle and her unique creative coaching programs on her website

Michelle's creative dream for 2012: "Find a publisher for one of my book proposals (I got two in the hopper!)"

Jen Louden is a personal growth pioneer who helped launch the self-care movement with her first book The Woman’s Comfort Book. She's the author of five more books on well-being and personal wisdom that have inspired more than a million women in 9 languages.

Jen has been a national columnist, radio show host, and she even sat on Oprah's couch.  She believes self-love + world-love = wholeness for all. Together with Susannah Conway and Marianne Elliott, she'll be leading The Creative Joy retreat in the summer of 2012. Learn more about Jen's books, workshops, and retreats on her website:

One of Jen's current creative dreams: "To write and self-publish my novel in 2012."


I'm blown away by these inspiring women, and I'm so very appreciative of the time and energy they have put into their responses to my many questions about how they've accomplished many of their dreams. 

I can't wait to share their in-depth, exclusive interviews with you in my Creative Courage e-course. There are still a few spaces left, so I hope you'll join us on this Monday, January 9th. Find out how to sign up here.

Creative Courage Soul Sisters: Part II coming up!