Madyson Designs

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Eight More Creative Ladies

This is a continuation of my original Seven Creative Ladies article. Be sure to read the original post to get more creative inspiration.

I was so inspired by the ladies in my original post that I couldn’t wait to do a second round. These are just a few of the many talented, friendly, and interesting women I have gotten to know recently. This time, I seem to have gotten a very diverse group of women in many creative fields. All serve to show how differently the creative vein runs through different people. Like in my first post, I posed two questions to everyone. The responses are fantastic insight into what makes us all tick.

I asked each person to think about these two questions:

  • What made you decide to pursue a creative career in general?
  • What do you consider your main creative focus (i.e. print, web/dev, photography, etc.) and what made you choose that over all other creative fields?

Again, I got so many different answers and a great cross section of what inspires different people.

avatar-tsg_biggerNadine Gilden | @curiouslt |

I always wanted to do something creative. I come from a creative family – mom was an interior designer, she went to FIT way back when, and dad loved to paint/sculpt. I originally wanted to be an art director for an ad agency, so I was a Communication major in college, always taking art classes on the side.

Web – it was just the perfect marriage of right brain, left brain for me. Any time you have an open canvas, you get to be creative, but with the web, you then have to take that and make it function, which was much harder, more limited in the early days of the web than it is now. I love it because it is always changing, improving and pushing me to keep up!!

I fell into designing for the web. I was working for Time Warner’s interactive television division at the time, and they called us all into a meeting and asked ‘Who wants to work on the website were starting’ – of course I raised my hand.

MK_smile_BW_profile_copy_biggerMichelle Krasniak Oxman | @mishikraz

I decided to pursue a creative career because I sincerely believe I’m not living up to my full potential if I’m not doing something creative. I’ve had jobs that were non-creative/non-writing and they sucked the life out of me after a while! You always seem to come back to what you know.

Writing, though I’ve fallen away from the personal creative writing in the last couple of years due to my schedule. Most of my writing these days is business related through my work with Fuel Brand Inc. where I am the Media Relations Manager and Head Writer and “writing-world centered” through my posts on Fuel Your Writing, where I am the Managing Editor.

As corny and cliche as it sounds, I didn’t choose writing…it chose me! I’ve been writing since I was a child and it seemed only natural that I would end up in a career that involved writing.

picture-98_avvy_biggerChristine Kawasaki-Chan | @eristine |

Growing up I spent much of my time drawing and working in crafts. I started designing icons and playing with typography as far back as age six, usually involving animals such as cats and bunnies. As I grew up I continued to pursue many forms of visual arts, and through my scholastic career I generally filled “the designer” role on various councils and committees.

My main creative focus is brand positioning and in that space I’m most passionate about visual identity. To incorporate so many traits and ideas into something so simple as a logo, or a brand name is no easy task. This is a challenge that never fails to excite me.

diana4twitter2_biggerDiana Adams | @adamsconsulting

I do not have the typical “creative journey story.” As a matter of fact, until 2006, I was not creative at all. I remember I dropped out of art in high school, and picked up calculus in its place because it was easier for me.  I earned a degree from USC in business administration with a concentration in accounting.  I started Atlanta’s premier IT consultancy firm with my husband over ten years ago, and my hobby is studying physics.  None of these things are necessarily creative.

In 2006 all of that changed.  I found myself in the middle of an intense spiritual awakening, and I suddenly had the urge to write.  I started my creative writing by writing poetry, which quickly progressed to short stories, and that progressed into writing my first book which I plan to self publish next year.  Along the way I’ve assisted with publishing a wonderful cookbook that I am very proud of, along with a few pieces of writing online that have gained quite a bit of attention.

The main creative focus in my life is my writing, and I could do it all day long and never get tired of it!  I think that is when you know you’ve tapped into a true passion.  Whatever that thing may be, if you could do it all day long, lose track of time, “wake up” ten hours later, and still thirst for more, that is a passion, and I feel like I’ve found that in my writing.

My favorite part of the writing process actually takes place before I put the pen to the paper.  I love the inspiration that unfolds when you dig deep down within your soul to find the ideas and words that magically fit together like a puzzle.  I find the inspiration process enables me to live more in the moment and really look at the world around me.  It enables me to be grateful for the simple things in life.  I can gain inspiration from something as simple as a blade of grass, and I can appreciate that.

044-1_biggerRobin Pernice | @makinitrite

For me creativity is something I was fortunate to be born into in the musical sense. Memories of family reunions on my late and beautiful Mother’s side are full of the harmonies and sounds of the voices of my Grandmother, Aunts and Cousins all singing and playing guitars. Our Idea of fun. It is really what defines me as a person so the decision to move in this direction is comparable to climbing the heights of the slip and slide and roaring down hands raised high with some courage mixed up in there too. At the age of 50 I am unwrapping the gifts, dusting them off, and beginning again. I have raised a family, and now have time to breath and rediscover myself.

I have been writing and singing songs for many years. The first time I asked for a guitar was at age 5, yep, that is what I wanted for Christmas. Disappointed to find a fake plastic one. So naturally the path of creativity I walk upon is one of music and writing. However I also draw and am very interested in the graphic design arena. Let me stick to what I know for now.

First public singing was done with a very famous Kansas City personality doing Woman’s Meetings. I was a backup singer and later became a Worship leader. I was able to travel to Wyoming and Montana during that time twice a year to do just that, lead Worship. Fast forward to present: Now looking for my place in this world as I approach the end of a 27 year marriage. Unlike many of the women that have written before me, I am not employed…yet. Catching up now. Learning new things and myself again. Stretching it to the limits and beyond. You women inspire me. Yesterday August 10, 2009 I wrote six (6) poems/songs and one (1) quote. It was my deceased Father’s Birthday. I’ll leave you with the quote: ” I sit and I ponder in this world I see, I watch and I learn. Is now that I know…only now that I see, this world I sit in does include me.”

Thank you all for the inspiration and you can all appreciate this one, another original. “If it ain’t got sting it ain’t no thing….BRAND IT” and that is just what I doing!

37_biggerShelly Bowman | @g33kgurrl |

I wouldn’t say that I made a decision to pursue a creative career.  Creativity crept into my work because I was born with a wicked eye for color, an ear for music and a keen sense of the power of words.  I was a singer and wrote prolifically from an early age.

My educational and early career background doesn’t scream creative.  I was a licensed merchant marine officer.  I worked on tankers, on a tug boat and shoreside in the maritime industry.  I spent time working with Federal and International regulations and the movement of cargo from point a to point b.  None of that requires any particular creativity.

I stumbled into web design as part of my job when I worked at Stanford University.  I built on my skills through various projects as I stepped through various job titles and organizations.  Today I work as an analyst by day and spend my “off hours” devoted to our clients.

My husband James is the heart of our business, doing all the heavy lifting.  He has been designing websites since Al Gore invented the internet, in case you haven’t heard.  My eye for design and ability to capture and convey emotion through written word has complemented his skills as a designer.  We work alongside each other, offering assistance, support and direction for each part of our clients’ projects.  It’s our cooperative energy and efforts, which encompass design, usability and creative expression, that has made our work with small businesses and ministries successful.

MyPicture_biggerChris Rossi | @modbird |

Creativity, art, design have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a very creative-minded home.  My father was an architect and urban planner, my mom had a passion for painting and fashion design.

The top floor of our town-home was the “studio”.  It housed my dad’s desk scattered with drafting tools, rendering markers, pencils, tracing paper, my mom’s easel and my favorite…a long unfinished wooden dresser full of all kinds of art supplies (the non-kid kind). You name it, it was there. My sisters and I would raid it on a regular basis. Of course we would usually get in trouble for doing so…but it was so much fun!

I think I always knew I wanted to do something creative as a career but also struggled because with my dad generously paying for private college, the professional route seemed to be the “assumed” one. I took a graphics communications class in high school and I was immediately hooked into the world of design.

In college I had some distant thoughts about Architecture but was really drawn to Graphics and Design. I studied Design, concentrating on Graphics, but also taking and loving many courses in Industrial design, Art History and fine Arts.

After working in advertising for five years, I decided to pursue my graduate degree.  This time, I was torn between Architecture and Industrial design.  I decided upon Interior design, realizing that it was a perfect merge of the two. It focuses on the human interaction of space and objects.  I found the perfect program at Pratt in Brooklyn.  Not only had I always wanted to move to NYC, but their program was more “interior architecturally” based rather than focusing on decoration.  I have also been able to integrate graphics quite nicely into many interiors in the form of environmental graphics.

I’ve worked for various design firms throughout the years as I’ve moved from NY to Chicago, back to LA and then to Florida six years ago. My professional focus in Interior design has included High-end Retail, Corporate/Branded environments, as well as high-end Residential design. In my free time, I try to indulge in my fine arts passions of metalsmithing, painting and ceramics as much as possible.

It’s difficult to nail down one focus for me. Maybe it was all the “toy” options up in my parents’ studio that I should blame.

I don’t see the creative disciplines as separate, and I actually hope my interaction with the different mediums/disciplines continues to grow.  When I look at art, design, architecture, fashion, they all intertwine.  I love how they influence and inspire each other.  I am happy to be a part of any, and as many, of them as I can while I move through and learn from this wonderful life.

15a_biggerMichelle Trevino | @michelletrevino |

Having been born and raised in a small rural town in Missouri, I found creativity to be a form of escapism. It took many years to find a focus for my creative outlets.

When I was in third grade, my parents bought a new computer. I don’t mind showing my age by saying it was a Commodore 64 because its still one of my favorite computers to this day. We were one of the first, if not the only one, to own a home computer in town. My sister and I would spend hours coding simple programs on it. My inner geek awoke, but I was not completely satisfied.

I had always had a fondness for writing and during one summer vacation, I sent several articles to magazines, with a couple being published. I was only 11 years old at the time so looking back, I realize now that it was a bit of an accomplishment. I was hooked and thought I would become a writer someday. I bought magazines to give me inspiration. In many cases, I became more enraptured with the design than the articles themselves.

In high school, I worked on the school newspaper and the yearbook. Our school had bought new computers and since I had experience in using one, I was given much freedom to work on layouts. I guess you could call me a “creative geek” since I had an equal love for computers, technology and art. I began to daydream of owning my own design agency, but I my parents would have had a heart attack if I had told them so I kept it to myself.

In college, I was lucky enough to get a job in the school’s publications department. I spent a couple of years learning about print, which built my confidence as a designer. At the same time, the Internet was in its infancy, but starting to explode. I tried my hand at coding HTML and found it quite easy to learn. I took on my first paying customer during my senior year and was paid pretty well since not many people were coding sites at this time.

Web design led to an epiphany that this is what I wanted to do with my life. It combined my inner geek with my passion to create. I preferred it over print because of the immediacy of the results. After that, I worked in a couple of web developer positions, including my own college where my team redesigned the website and won a few awards.

Later, I left to pursue my own agency, which I have been running for almost 10 years. I’ve had a part in creating somewhere around 500 websites and have worked with customers all over the world. I am very fortunate to get to design and code websites, as well as provide hosting for them. The variety has kept my life interesting and is what keeps me out of trouble.

You can find out about my background and inspiration in the original article. Thanks again to all those who participated. It’s so much fun learning about each other’s creative history. This looks like something I’d like to keep doing, as long as I can find willing participants! If you’d like to participate in the next round, leave a comment or catch me on Twitter!

23 Responses to “Eight More Creative Ladies”

  1. New post full of morning inspiration! Eight More Creative Ladies

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  2. Shelly Bowman says:

    Thank you so much for asking me to participate although I still say that I do not belong listed among these talented ladies!

    I gain a great deal of inspiration from the storied paths of those who creatively impact the world around them. Thank you for sharing these stories with us.

  3. modbird says:

    New post full of morning inspiration! 8 More Creative Ladies (via the lovely @MadysonDesigns) *thanks 4 including me 🙂

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  4. ssr11 says:

    Always on the lookout for more creative women! RT @adellecharles Eight More Creative Ladies – *@mishikraz on the list!

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  5. Eight More Creative Ladies –

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  6. @gracesmith Thanks for the RT! I just finished a second round, check it out if you get a chance:

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  7. gracesmith says:

    Round Two: Eight More Creative Ladies – by @MadysonDesigns

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  8. Chris says:

    Thanks again for putting this together Sarah. I am really honored to be in such great company!

    I love learning more about the lovely creative ladies I interact with on Twitter (And it’s fun to meet some new ones too! )

    It is also so wonderful, interesting and inspiring to see how creativity surfaces within the lives of different people. Love it.
    .-= Chris´s last blog ..hi guys!! =-.

  9. Sarah, Again just wanted to say thanks so much! I am truly honored to be in the company of such talent and creativity amongst women. We bring a unique quality to the world just because we are women. To be able to see the vastness of this on written page, and a page I must add,
    that totally rocks quintessential women and design..well
    all I can say is look out world! Here we come!
    .-= Robin Pernice´s last blog ..makinitrite: @milagro88 Right back at you dolly!!! Always good to see you! *Hugs* =-.

  10. Some very creative ladies on Twitter. Check this out 🙂 ( ) HEY! my biggest cheerleader @makinitrite is one !)

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  11. K says:

    awesome compilation – so many inspiring women on here. congratulations to you all, and much more success. I especially liked Chris Rossi’s comment about not seeing creative disciplines as separate – i think they can absolutely complement each other!
    .-= K´s last blog ..Reflect =-.

  12. Thanks @madysondesigns for the post, Eight More Creative Ladies – I’m on the list, along with some truly creative ladies!

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  13. alexheizer says:

    Eight More Creative Ladies – Madyson blog -

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  14. LenaG1 says:

    A site you should check out. It holds the stories of 6 women.If you want to be inspired go to What are you waiting for?

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  15. Lena G. says:

    If reading these stories does not inspire you to go and follow your dreams no matter what your age, colour or background, then I don’t know what will. Trully magical.

    Thank you for sharing your stories.
    Thank you for inspiring and showing that there is always hope to achieve your dreams.
    Thank you for being the amazing women that you are.

  16. Get inspired by these Eight Creative Ladies!

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  17. mishikraz says:

    In case you missed it, I was featured in today’s “Eight More Creative Ladies” post by @MadysonDesigns!

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  18. Great post Sarah. Thanks for providing an insight and some background info on these awesome designers. 🙂

  19. Looking for some creative gals to follow? Follow them every day, not just #followfriday!

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  20. Sarah says:

    Thanks so much guys, I’m glad you all enjoyed the article! There truly are inspiring gals here.

  21. FreelanceSw says:

    Eight More Creative Ladies

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  22. Sara says:

    This is great, thanks for sharing! I hope you do a third set of awesome creative women!

  23. Diana Adams says:

    Hello Sarah and thank you for including me on this list with these extraordinary women! I’m honored. What an inspirational post.