My Marrakesh Blog + Creative Thursday Blog

I believe you are the company you keep. Surround yourself with positive people who, despite hard times, keep their eyes fixed firmly ahead and press forward to accomplish their goals and good things will start to happen in your life. I prefer to be around such ones. I had my share of draining relationships when I was in my 20's so once I hit 30, I decided to change all of that and 'weed' my little friendship garden because people are a huge part of our life - they really can make or break us. We can flourish or die inside simply by maintaining regular contact with those who aren't good for you. Your gut will tell you if you listen. That's why I'm so excited to share these two friends of mine with all of you today because they encourage me, support my work, and I know for a fact that they are authentic - what you see is what you get. I'm honored to be around so many creative types who are out there shaking the trees and making some good stuff happen! First up is Marisa Haedike of Creative Thursday fame, a friend who came to me via this very blog! We have been friends for exactly one year this month. It's funny how we came together, it has to do with a person who wasn't so kind to us and as a result, we started to talk about the experience and became great friends. It's funny how relationships form and blossom. Today I noticed that Marisa's name is up in lights over on Erin's wonderful Design for Mankind blog so I have to point you over there to check it out. I'm so proud of you Marisa. And she's in great company. When my grandfather passed away last month, Erin sent me a gift package of chocolate and homemade cookies because well, Erin is that kind of lady.

Marisa is an artist who, like me, had to explore the non-traditional approach to making a living because the common path didn't work very well for us. Often in life the paths we are told to follow or that we think are the best for us when we're fresh out of college don't always pan out. Sometimes the realization that it's not working doesn't hit until we're in our late 20's or beyond, some don't see the need to make a life change and explore a new career until they are in their 40's and beyond. I read about a lady recently who attended law school in her 60's so there's no 'cap' when it comes to the time in life when you are meant to explore whatever it is that you were put on this planet to do. You'll just know, so the next step is to act. And that's what Marisa did. She's a 35-year-old painter who has not only built up a huge following through the internet, but her art goes beyond the canvas as she explores the business side of being a freelance artist on her blog through her podcasts that have a cult-like following. Her encouragement and advice seems to resonate with a broad range of people, me included. Topics she speaks about openly include Artists are Sensitive, Trust the Process, Dealing with Adversity, and my favorite, You Can?t Give A Sh*t What Anybody Thinks. Now that's honesty, people!

Click here to read all about the lovely Marisa and how this L.A.-based painter spends her day as a freelance artist.

Next up is another friend of mine who has her name up in some major lights this month, yay! It's Maryam Montague of the blog My Marrakesh. I found her huge spread in the April issue of Budget Travel starting on page 62 and so I have to share this great article with all of you. If you have access to Budget Living please pick up a copy and read it. She talks all about the best places in Marrakesh to shop, eat, see... It's an extraordinary treat and will make you want to instantly hop on a place headed toward this gem of a city in North Africa. Beautiful job, Maryam.

(image from marisa haedike and design for mankind)