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creative entrepreneuring with Lisa Sonora Beam

2010 November 4

glass hearts at Hacienda Mosaico

As is the case more often than not these days, I’d run across Lisa Sonora Beam via Twitter, loved her website, then bought her then-newly released book, The Creative Entrepreneur.

At the time, Lisa offered a few online workshops. I took a beginning visual journaling class, which included Lisa sharing some of her creative uses of office supplies and other “found” objects in her journals. She encouraged us to use what we already had: highlighters, stamps, paperclips, old office paper, graph paper, wrapping paper, tissue paper–anything and everything.

I was intrigued enough to sign up for her creative retreat in Puerto Vallarta back in January 2010.

Aside for the entrepreneurial folks out there: See? Social media and sales funnels do work!

not only for artists

For the record, I am not an artist. I’m a marketing consultant. Even though the marketing of the book is aimed at crafters and artists, I was drawn to her work because of her approach of applying right-brain approaches to explore left-brain conventions she learned getting her MBA. Not many visual artists have that balance and bring it to the table in an accessible way.

Plus, I love that she’s also a marketing mind, heading up Digital Hive EcoLogical Design and a digital nomad, traveling the world.

Most classes about visual journaling focus on the product and Making Pretty Things. They come from a crafter or artist point of view.

To be honest, I was afraid that I’d be the only person who wasn’t an artist or wasn’t crafty, but it turned out that wasn’t true.

The book attracted people who are serious about their exploration as it pertains to their business.

time to go deep

In Mexico, Lisa introduced us to local sources of art supplies and other materials. Lisa is generous, providing us with plenty of supplies. She’s also creative with what is available locally. I loved that she demonstrates techniques that don’t require expensive materials  and has us apply what we learned to our journals immediately.

Imagine kindergarten workstations with collages, stamps, piles of magazines, ribbons, pens, and Mexican paints.

teeny bit of my workspace. tip: sit next to someone with a lot of art supplies!

She creates an environment where you can not only explore, but go deep and learn some cool tricks along the way (e.g. use an old gift card to spread paint quickly in your journal).

Lisa is fully available during the workshop, respecting each person’s process.

I also got to page through some of her journals, like her strategic planner. Yes, they are beautiful, but loose, meaningful and useful.

Focusing on process instead of product and addressing strategic questions about my business is what compelled me to sign up for her retreat. I got a clearer picture of who my “ideal audience” during the workshop that I still refer to.

Her book lays out a creative entrepreneur mandala. In our reTREAT, we explored the intersections of “heart” and “meaning” and “gifts” and “flow.”

studio workspace at Hacienda Mosaico. far left: Lisa Sonora Beam; center (sitting facing the camera but not looking at it): me! (photo credit: Kelly Pratt)

I couldn’t believe how quickly the week flew by. A couple of us (myself included) worked during our free time–buying cheap, yummy eats at the corner taco stand for dinner– and painting, pasting and all around general playing with our journals into the evening in the open studio.

about Hacienda Mosaico

Hacienda Mosaico is a private sanctuary in Puerto Vallarta, whether or not you sign up for the terrific workshops or use it as a B&B. Sam Leonard, the owner, is an artist, having created most of the mosaics and painted the bold oil cloth rugs covering the tile floors. She has a wonderful eye: Every piece of furniture is a creative work. The garden is welcoming, with a winding path that leads from the pool to the outdoor studio.

Food: Great homecooked, healthy food, served poolside. Can you give three thumbs up?

Bottom line: Beautiful grounds with a great combination of gathering spaces and private nooks where you can get away. It’s located in a residential neighborhood, with plenty of access to local eateries.

Highly recommended as safe, comfortable sanctuary to learn, teach a workshop, or use as a home base while exploring Puerto Vallarta.

And yes, Sam provides free WiFi.

Lisa Sonora Beam is holding another reTREAT in Puerto Vallarta from November 28-Dec 4, 2010. You can get more information here.

(This is an affiliate link, meaning that I get a small bit of money if you sign up using this link.)

outdoor studio photo credit: Kelly Pratt

8 Responses Post a comment
  1. November 5, 2010

    Oh does this look like a winner–how wonderful! I’m picturing you, unable to tear yourself away from the fun and creativity. Until I stumbled upon the info for Jen’s Taos retreat, I didn’t even realize there were retreats. Then I got focused on hers, forgetting that there were no doubt plenty of others. Thanks for reminding me–there is so much fun out there to be had. Yaay!!

    • joy permalink
      November 5, 2010

      thanks, Karen!

      there are a ton of fun creative retreats! there are a lot on the East Coast too that I haven’t attended. are you considering Kripalu and Jen in April? 🙂 then there are the Squam Art Workshops in the fall–Vermont, I think, but don’t quote me on it.

  2. Jill Allison Bryan permalink
    November 6, 2010

    This looks and sounds fabulous! Thanks for sharing info about lisa. I run into her on twitter & fb too. Nice to get a better idea of what she offers. I’m thrilled to be participating in Jill Badonsky’s creative retreat in Taos this January. Retreats are one of the true pleasures in life!

    • joy permalink
      November 6, 2010

      ooh, Jill! that sounds like a fun one. would love to hear about the Taos retreat–and what you’re up to also!

      yes, i agree that workshops and retreats are obsessions–i mean, pleasures!

  3. November 10, 2010

    Thanks so much for the details on Lisa’s retreat. I took an online course from her more than a year ago on visual journaling. I think it may have been one of her first online classes. Retreats are so magical and rejuvenating! In fact, I’m co-facilitating a yoga/creativity retreat in Costa Rica next May. I’m also teaming up with a business coach to create a mutli-faceted approach to being an entrepreneur (I have a degree in dance and an MBA). There is so many wonderful offerings out there. I know Jill Allison Bryan and met Jill Badonsky so I’m sure the retreat in Taos will be fabulous. I’m now following you on Facebook. So very nice to connect with you!!!

    • joy permalink
      November 11, 2010

      thank you, Silky.

      oooh, Costa Rica, yoga and creativity from someone with a dance/MBA combo? that sounds terrific. please send me a link!

      one of the gifts of social media is connecting with complex, kind and fascinating people. thank you for the comment and connection!

  4. November 16, 2010

    Ohhhh how i wish i were going ! i look at the pictures and the memories come flooding back! All of you who are lucky enough to be getting an infusion of Lisa’s creative brilliance – stop once in a while and just think about how lucky you are to be there! i’ll be thinkinig about you!

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