October 2, 2009

Feed your inner (or outer) artist

Filed under: Design & Art,Education — Tags: , — lidia @ 8:00 am

artrageous_logoOak Park’s village-wide, 10-day arts celebration ArtRageous starts today. Take a workshop or walking tour, visit an open house or see a film. Or just enjoy the art around you.

ArtRageous takes place October 2–11, 2009. See schedule of events for details.

August 5, 2009

Have you mentored someone lately?

Filed under: Education,Small Business — Tags: , — lidia @ 3:37 am
Photo by Denzil~ on Flickr

Photo by Denzil~ on Flickr

The June issue of Natural Health magazine featured an article on mentoring that really resonated with me—enough that I kept it on my desk, dogeared, for 2 months. The article highlights four points to mentoring a fledgling business newcomer:

  1. Share your wisdom: in addition to helping someone along in their career, it can also give you a new appreciation for what you do
  2. Find a protegé: if you don’t have someone in mind, search local mentoring groups or educational institutions, such as the DePaul University Coleman Entrepreneurial Center which pairs up young entrepreneurs with mentors
  3. Set a schedule that works: though face time is important, if time is limited, phone and email check-ins can work
  4. Celebrate successes: applaud your protegé’s accomplished goals to help them maintain their enthusiasm and momentum
Courtesy of Natural Health magazine, June 2009

On the road to my own business success, I’ve had many mentors who have helped me along (whether they realize it or not!): my dad, who is also a small business owner (and just darn good at business), my first graphic design teacher Phyllis, who helped me realize I wanted to pursue this profession, my first boss Robin, who taught me the day-to-day activities of running a design studio, not to mention the creative side. And my friend Franny, who coached me through the transition of working for The Man to starting my own business.

Who can you share your knowledge with?

July 15, 2009

Calling all creative freelancers…

Filed under: Education,Small Business — Tags: — lidia @ 8:00 am

CFClogoEarly registration ends today for this year’s Creative Freelancer Conference in San Diego on Aug. 26–28.

Having attended last year’s conference in Chicago, I experienced first-hand the many positive effects it had on my business, including motivation to start new projects, higher billings, and beneficial business connections (not to mention friendships). Whether you’re a print or web designer, photographer or writer, it could be the best business investment you make this year. Sign up today and save $50!

July 1, 2009

Summer is here… now get out there!

Filed under: Education,Networking — lidia @ 1:46 pm

events-page-graphicWork slowed down? Heat affecting your productivity? Check out our newly-updated Events page for upcoming business, networking and creative events to keep you on your toes all summer long.

Have an event coming up? Let us know and we’ll post it!

June 10, 2009

School's in…

Filed under: Design & Art,Education — Tags: , , — lidia @ 8:00 am

compass2Strangely enough, this time of year always makes me want to go back to school. But this time it’s not American History, but a fun, creative class to inspire me and recharge the creative batteries. Whether it’s a guitar class at the Old Town School or a drawing class at the Chicago Botanic Garden, learning something new always seems to spark new ideas for my business as well.

Right now is a great time to take advantage of the warm weather and head to the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe. For budding (pun intended) artists, they offer classes in Botanical Arts & Humanities. If art’s not your thing, they offer Cooking Classes and Workshops in topics ranging from gardening to flower arranging. Being a Botanic Garden student for the last few years (see my handiwork at left), I can attest to the fact that their classes are a great creativity boost—a worthwhile investment for both yourself and your business. Hmm, what should I take this summer…

May 26, 2009

Pitch in and help a budding artist

pencilsHere at the bright spot, we love to talk about local organizations that are doing good for the community—especially ones that we support. Creative Pitch collects donations of paper and art supplies from companies and individuals and distributes them to local teachers in need. (see what they need here) I’ve donated materials to Creative Pitch for several years and it’s always heartwarming to receive “thank you” emails from grateful teachers and students.

You can also help them out by making a monetary donation—or for something a bit more lively, head over to the Creative Pitch Spring Fundraiser on Thursday at Lumen in the West Loop.

April 29, 2009

The spiritual side of entrepreneurship

Filed under: Education,Small Business — Tags: , , , — lidia @ 2:05 pm
Istria, Croatia

Istria, Croatia

With the daily barrage of news detailing economic downturns and communicable diseases, people seem to need something positive, something to believe in. The topic of spirituality has come up before in the bright spot (see the post on meditation). And since I’ve resumed my yoga and meditation practice, it will likely come up again. However, I’m pleased to see the topic being even more widespread—reaching the business community.

This Friday, the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center is presenting a workshop called The Spiritual Dimensions of Entrepreneurship. What is a “spiritual entrepreneur”? Someone who is not only “fully aware of the business and the external environment of corporations, but also, of itself.” In other words, they actually care about the people they affect, as well as those who help them achieve success. In this age of layoffs, pension losses and general big-business negativity, a few spiritual entrepreneurs would be a welcome thing.

April 10, 2009

Step away from the computer…

lvbookAre you in a blog-Tweet-Facebook coma? Staring at spreadsheets all day? The remedy: detach yourself from the computer and head to the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book & Paper Arts to sign up for a summer workshop. As a CCCCBPA alumna (that’s my handiwork at right), I can attest to the transformative feeling that comes along with making a book by hand. Plus all that sewing and gluing will help to uncramp your keyboard-weary fingers. In addition to bookbinding, you can also take a class in papermaking or printing.

April 8, 2009

Celebrate spring and get out of your office…

Filed under: Education,Networking,Small Business — Tags: , , — lidia @ 6:32 pm


Check out our brand new Events page featuring upcoming Chicago-area business workshops, networking events and professional development opportunities. And of course, some fun stuff for when you’re not working. The list is updated weekly.

Hosting an event? Send us the details and well add it to our list.