Today my assistant Adrianne will introduce the Freak of the Week, a person we have both gotten the opportunity to get to know over the years, Laurie Coyle.
Hello, All! Like Crispina, I grew up here in the Berkshires. I met Laurie when I joined Berkshire County 4-H Fair Association way back when I was just starting high school. She is the cousin of one of my dear friends and their family has a wonderful way of making everyone feel like a part of it. I saw Laurie often at 4-H events and their family activities back in the day. I have been fortunate to stay in touch with her as we have both settled and started families here in the Berkshires. She is a kind, funny, and inspiringly creative person whose work always delights me. I am thrilled to be able to share more about her and how her work and creative life are developing. Here is how she answered Crispina's questions.
Share with me a little bit about yourself and business.
I've always been a creator. From Girl Scouts to working in my Mom's craft store as a kid, to set design and as an art minor in college in Washington State, from my role as Program Director of a IS183 Art School to graduate school for Graphic Design, I've always included creativity in everything I do. Now as a business owner and mama, art and craft inform my everyday activities.I make art
, and I also create custom pieces, from wedding invitations to painted signs, from business cards to custom fabric designs. My passions for art and abundance combine in my coaching work
-- I'm here to help artists create or expand their own crafty business! It's exciting work that can bring a business from just the seed of an idea to reality in just a few short weeks (or even days!). I also offer coaching for anyone looking for a change in any area of their life or business and some help getting there.
Who has been most influential in your work?
Some of my favorite artists include Lotta Jansdotter, Tord Boontje, Mati Rose McDonough, and Jessica Swift. These artists all have a childlike sensibility, not too careful, but employ very creative use of pattern, color and repetition. They also all use the natural world as inspiration. As a young art student I also admired Monet, Matisse and Cezanne -- a strong impressionist bent, I suppose.
When and how did you know to follow your entrepreneurial path?
After I left IS183 I was sure I was going to start a brick-and-mortar store, and worked on that for some time. Some life circumstances led me to rethink that dream and put it on hold for a bit, and I decided to embark on my own using my graphic design training from grad school. I suppose feeling the freedom of working for myself was just too good. I couldn't go back. Seeing that I can work as much or as little as I want, sell more if I need to, and just really being in charge of every aspect of my day -- that is just too good to give up! Working for myself has its ups and downs, of course, and adding a baby into the mix threw me off my game for a while, but I'm slowly discovering what type of life we want for our family, and it definitely includes working for myself and calling the shots!
Where do you find your inspiration?
My paintings are inspired by my surroundings in the Berkshires; vegetables, flowers, birds, leaves, sunlight, rain, snow. Being surrounded by nature everyday, seeing the change of the seasons and the changes in light, color and just what's growing in the garden on a given day or what holiday is around the corner. I also include inspirational words, gathered from all sources including music, roadside signs, affirmations, mantras and the occasional Pinterest find. My daughter also inspires me everyday, showing me just how beautiful and fun life and creativity can be.
Aside from working, how do you spend your time?
I love creating with my daughter, and seeing the world through her eyes. We love swimming, hiking, playing with our dog and swinging. We also make occasional family trips to farms, waterfalls, the ocean and camping by the banks of nearby lakes. We love gathering with friends for big potluck dinners and visiting my parents' small farm in Richmond (MA) to feed apples to the cows. I also love yoga, heading off on inspirational retreats, rearranging furniture (much to the chagrin of my husband!), reading personal development books and getting coaching myself!
What is your fondest memory? Why?
I LOVED this one particular elementary school art assignment; we were to paint an image of a recurring dream. My dream took place in a forest behind a house we passed almost everyday on the way to my grandparents' house. I remembered the light streaming through the trees and a wide grassy path leading down a hill toward the light and into a magical garden. I was so thrilled to paint an image of it because it was so hard to describe with words. I think I only had the dream two or three times after that, but it had been with me for most of my childhood. I can still see it, and my painting of it in my mind. Part of what makes it such a fond memory is the beauty and also seeing the ability I had to translate that mental image to a somewhat accurate visual representation -- this is when I discovered the power of painting! (I’d better go find that painting up my parents' attic!)
If you were able to have lunch with anyone – dead or alive, who would it be?
Betty White. Love that lady!
What are you most passionate about?
Creativity, and helping others live their BEST LIFE. I know that probably sounds like an Oprah soundbite, but it's true! I really love seeing people (especially other women and mamas!) find what they are passionate about, and go after it. Life is too short to stay stuck in a job or home or relationship that isn't serving you. We only get one go-round (as far as I know!), and it should be worth living!
What is a goal for your next 12 months?
One of my biggest goals is to launch this new coaching business
with a bang! I want to inspire artists and non-artists in ways that help them really tap into what they want to have and do, and who they want to be. I'm planning to have at least ten 6-month coaching clients find me in the next year and to launch a group program online and in-person workshops in the Berkshires.
Where would you like to be in 10 years?
I would like our family to be living in a lakeside house and running coaching & creativity workshops and retreats here in the Berkshires.
How would you like to be remembered?
I want to be remembered as a catalyst for creativity and change. I want to have inspired countless women (and my daughter!) to reach their creative potential and to be living abundant, happy lives.