Bright Lights on Monica of Smart Creative Women

Monica Bright Lights

About a million exciting things are happening in my dear friend Monica Lee’s life right now, not the least of which is that she celebrated her birthday yesterday. Happy birthday, Monica!

Monica is the host of Smart Creative Women, where she interviews the leading voices in today’s creative industries. I’ve learned so much from watching her in action! She’s also about to launch an online business course for savvy creatives called Smart Creative Style, which will cover everything from creating a personal brand that’s unique to you, to promoting yourself in an organic and genuine manner.

Usually Monica’s the one conducting interviews, but today I’m the one asking the questions!

What do you do for a living?: I am a professional illustrator and host of Smart Creative Women, which is a web TV show where I interview women who are in the business of creativity. I also teach an online course called Smart Creative Style. This is a 6 week interactive where you can discover your creative style and what sets you apart. It will also cover how to then apply it to your creative business and branding.

Where have you lived? I was born in Italy and from there…let’s see. Oklahoma, Hawaii, Texas, Georgia, Kansas, New York and California. I may have left somewhere out! I am a military brat who then became an international flight attendant. In essence, I’m a walking version of the Johnny Cash song lyrics: “I’ve been everywhere, man!”

Place you’d most like to visit: I haven’t been to France in a several years and I’ve never spent quality time in Italy. So probably, Italy! Although I do miss the UK.

Favorite indulgence: Books! Especially the big, pretty coffee table kind. I love sinking in to their beauty!

Best advice ever received: Hmmm, I am usually the one passing out advice (for business coaching) so this is hard. During a talk I once went to, the speaker said, “Your mind is the final frontier.” Meaning that if you can harness your thought life you’ll be unstoppable!

What’s the most stylish thing you own? Oh pleeeeease! I love this question. I’ve recently started upping the ante on my handbag purchases. One that I’ve carried for years is a calf hair leopard print bag. I also picked up a small vintage leopard clutch at an estate sale…it’s old and really nice. I use it all the time.

Bright Lights on Monica Lee of Smart Creative Women

My favorite things as of late…

I just picked this silk shirt up! I’m trying not to wear as many t-shirts.

My Old Gringo cowboy boots — thinking I need another pair soon!

I recently interviewed artist and textile designer Virginia Johnson and then grabbed one of her shawls. It’s the perfect weight!

I love that classic Wayfairs come in a petite size for those of us with small faces. I don’t have to look like a bug in my sunglasses anymore.

Lastly, I couldn’t live with out my black leather jacket(s).


Thank you, Monica!

Visit Smart Creative Women to get advice from some of the brightest creative minds out there, including Joy Cho, Annie Selke, and Whitney English. And take your business to the next level by signing up for the Smart Creative Style course, which starts next week. I’ll be one of Monica’s guest speakers, so I’ll see you there!

P.S. I’ll be headed to New York on business this week, so I’ll only be posting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Be sure to come back next week to hear about my adventure!

Bright Lights on Kelly of Studio DIY

Bright Lights on Kelly of Studio DIY

Kelly Lanza runs Studio DIY, a blog about crafting your way to the happiest celebrations, and I’m thrilled that she’s here today sharing her favorite things. Not only is Kelly insanely talented, she’s also incredibly generous, funny, and kindhearted. Before you fall in love with her blog, a word of warning: Studio DIY may give you a sudden desire for a piñata of your own!

What do you do for a living? I’m the editor and founder of Studio DIY. (In other words, I’m a full time blogger who gets to craft and throw confetti around all day!)

Places you’ve lived: I was born and raised in New Jersey, spent a few years in Washington DC and then headed for the glorious weather of Los Angeles, where I currently live.

Place you’d most like to visit: I couldn’t just pick one! I’m dying to explore the Mediterranean region (Hello, Greek Isles!) and I’d love to venture to India, the Maldives and Morocco. Thanks to my endless Pinterest procrastinating, I’ve also had my eye on this little village. I’d travel halfway across the world to find a little piece of colorful patterned building heaven in a second!

Your favorite indulgence: Cake. My goodness do I love cake. I feel like all other desserts are more acceptable on a daily basis (Ehm..donuts.). But when you get your hands on that perfect slice of cake, it’s just special, no? The more layers the better. And always, always cream cheese frosting.

The best advice you’ve ever received: From my mom, “Everything has it’s pluses and minuses.” From my Dad, “Life isn’t fair.” And from too many people to count, “Dream big.” Now, those first two may sound a little cynical but boy are they true, especially when you’re self employed! Do I get a little jealous of the people who get to leave their work at the office door at 5pm every night? Sure, but then I remember the big ol’ “plus” of this crazy career… I’m doing what I love, and you better bet I’m dreaming big!

What ingredients do you think make for a perfect party? An excellent selection of sweets, a boatload of confetti and a group of great friends. A funky piñata and some schmancy party hats are also preferred. My biggest tip is to focus on a few special elements and make those awesome.

Bright Lights on Kelly of Studio DIY

I’m a total stationery freak and often use great cards as wall art in my home. Dear Hancock is a particular favorite because any card with a piñata on it has my name written all over it!

My motto is “When in doubt, spray paint it.” I’m embarrassed to say just how many items in my apartment have been gilded. My favorite brand is Montana Gold. Their colors are great and their gold chrome can’t be beat.

I never thought “photographer” would be a part of my job title, but my Canon Rebel is attached to my hip. I got it as a college graduation gift and it is probably my most used possession. (This lens is a great companion for it!)

I live in sunglasses (That’s LA for ya!) and recently bought some funky yellow heart ones just because they were too fun to pass up! A new wardrobe stable.

My hair bows have become my signature, and I don’t leave my house without one. I often feel like an overgrown five year old and a giant hair bow is a pretty good way to represent that, yes?

Every morning at 9:30am, I get a big ol’ craving for chocolate. Nothing like starting early huh? Trader Joe’s chocolate bars are always on hand to help me out.

When you’re photographing DIYs all day, your nails have to look schnazy! I repaint my nails about a hundred times a week and always go for not-so-average colors, like this yellow OPI beauty.

With piñatas always on the brain, I have a fully stocked crepe paper closet at all times.

Confetti!! It’s comical how my floor is always covered in the stuff. I often find pieces stuck to my little dog’s nose and hanging on to my boyfriends feet. Whoopsies!

Thanks, Kelly! Everyone, head on over to Studio DIY to get inspired by Kelly’s party ideas. And definitely follow her on Instagram for a sneak peek into her fab LA life, including her adorable pup and lots of — you guessed it — confetti!
Frock Files | More Bright Lights
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