‘Tis the season for Awesome

I don’t care about the gifts under the tree. I’m looking forward to see what awesome new projects and ideas that come to me when I take time to reflect and celebrate the year. You too may find yourself celebrating or reflecting, or both. Hello 2016 but first a quick rundown on 2015.

All-Access Pass with CCMTL

The idea of creating CCMTL as a community of artists, photographers, and creative entrepreneurs came in those moments of reflection a couple of years ago. I love the holiday’s for the break from work and the quiet moments to reflect.

What a year 2015 has been. At each monthly Brunch we filled the house with those who wanted to meet leaders in the industry, from photographers of every stripe, to brand specialists, to financial wizards. These intimate and friendly brunches gave people up-close-and-personal access to professionals working in the creative fields.

Imagine if you wanted to have coffee with a busy photographer, or a marketer and started making cold calls to set it up. Would you have time to do all those calls? Would you know what to say to make it interesting for them? Would they give you hours of their time? You could do all that work or you could just follow our facebook page events or listings on the blog, then show up. Easy peasy.

We Made it Work, Thank You.

A very big thanks to you who showed up, who participated, who make our community bursting with creative energy. So many talented people with so many great ideas, dreams and aspirations. Together we can go further than each can alone. This is the basis behind Creative Collisions MTL.

We are photographers, jewelry designers, travelers, videographers, graphic designers- but also more than that. We are parents, lovers, dreamers, adventurers.


We believe we deserve to pursue activities that bring us joy, inspiration and well deserved financial rewards along with that.

Our biggest challenge is taking our talents and abilities and monetizing them into viable products or services. School doesn’t teach us HOW to do this. At most you may have taken a class or workshop that quickly covered the elements of a business plan, but then what?! How do we go from today to the sparkly future we want? We start today, we seek out like minded people to inspire us to “Go for it”. That’s why you are here, aren’t you.

See the Forest and know where to go

Over the last couple of years, topics that comes up again and again, are:

  • How do I break-in to desired job
  • How to organize my day from distractions
  • How do I build a habit of a creative practice
  • Am I pricing my work competitively
  • Where can I find clients that pay
  • How to promote myself and where
  • How to show up on social media
  • Do I have what it takes to create a business
  • …the list continues.

Pick the thing that’s the most troubling for you and chances are it’s the same for many people in the same boat as you. Figuring out how to navigate the path toward creating your own career on your own terms takes the right mindset and the tools and strategies that work. It’s not enough to be a creative genius if nobody knows about you.

Has this happened to you? You watch too much CreativeLive and ignore your creative work. You listen to webinar after webinar on marketing, client referrals, branding, yada, yada, yada. and are left with a bunch of notes that don’t really help you but try to sell you their products. I know how it feels; it’s like you are lost in the trees. Too much piecemeal information and not enough cohesion.

There is no shortage of information in this internet age. Yet without a way to make sense of it all that is tailored specific to your goals it’s easy to feel lost. “You can’t see the forest for the trees”.

Getting to the NuB

You know what a nub is? A nub, defined as the essence, the core of something. Getting to it!

When you don’t finish a project, or don’t follow-through on a warm lead or hear yourself saying the Coulda-Woulda-Shoulda ( I could have, I would have, I should have), then that means there is something holding you back. If you can figure out the nub of THAT, you can achieve anything.

Here’s your chance to get to the nub of it. Stop being held back by muddled thinking, unclear goals, time sucking tasks and find ways to leverage your talents, grow your client base and earn more money.

Start the new year with intention, with passion and purpose.

And to help with that, CCMTL is forming Creative NuB’s. Rhymes with hub, a focus of activity from which ‘good’ things revolve. It’s a small group that meets at regular intervals to talk about their challenges and successes in their art and business. The groups are formed in a way to encourage synergy based on your career stage, your life skills or even enthusiasm. In joining a NuB you will find accountability partners, solutions you may not have thought of and non-judgemental ears to bounce-off  your ideas. The creation of these NuB’s further reinforces that together we can go further than each can alone. 

Want to get in on the action? Click on the button below to take you to the sign up sheet.

(Button disabled. Please send an email to creativecollisionsmtl@gmail.com)

Yes, get me started

If you signed-up,thank you! Now we get to work to forming groups to get the best synergy. We will also send you more information on how it works, the timelines, and all the details of what you can expect so you can be sure this will benefit you.

If you are not quite sure, please sign-up anyway and you’ll get a personal call or visit to go over all the details. You are not committed by just signing up. Go for it!


Have a wonderful happy holiday with your friends and family.  Many joyous celebrations and perhaps a moment of reflection on where you are right now and how 2016 can be even more amazing. Let’s do it together.









How a Belief outperforms a Plan every-time

This post was originally published in July 2013 in theCR8infinitum blog. I think it still holds true power. Believe!

pink eggs

The word Belief remained on my tongue as I read an article about marketing. The idea being, that in selling anything from ideas to products, you start not from “what you do” but “why you do it”.

These are your belief statements. The why of what you do is your belief, and people buy into that belief. A great example is Apple computers. They make computers, yet people don’t buy an Apple computer, they buy into the belief that having their products makes them creative, and the products themselves are easy to use, beautifully designed and fun.

Start with the word Believe as your personal way of looking at the world. If you engage people with what you believe in, you tap into something very powerful.

sabbatical to do listHere’s how to begin.

  1. Write, “I believe in” at the top of a page, then,
  2. Make a list of everything and anything that completes the sentence,
  3. Keep going until you run out of ideas or the page is full.

Why for me:

Once done, your “I believe in” statements become a very powerful statement of who you are. Pick a few that moved you and say them out loud to yourself to create and gain personal empowerment.

Business Students washing up Siskontyttö-statueWhy for my company:

Go one step further. Use these powerful statements in your business for creating your unique vision and marketing statement. This is what people are buying from you; what your product stands for and why it exists. Or on the flip side, maybe you work in a company and have to deal with other employees. How does the team work together? Does motivation and cohesiveness wane at times? By looking at the question of what people believe in we may get to the root of a problem. Understanding the values in the team we may uncover answers to questions  such as: Why are we here and why are we putting in all these hours in? To gain more motivation, create ‘The belief statements’.

Why for the world:

Now for those of you that love to stretch an idea to the nth degree, let’s go even further. From a societal point of view, there almost seems like a crisis of consciousness, which essentially is a crisis of belief. What do we believe in our society?  Right now we believe the world is in rapid change, constant flux, imminent threat of terrorism and danger. This is how we believe our world is today. If we turn that around and say, we believe we are all connected, we believe we have the power of common consciousness, we believe that one person can make a difference, through social networking and exposure they can have now. If that is your belief system then you can change the world simply by saying what you believe in and gathering support from others that believe in you as well.

Martin Luther King did not say “I have a plan” He had a belief, a dream. A plan is a step-by-step action that almost no-one cares about. I have a plan does not create an emotional engagement. “I believe in” has an emotional engagement. And at a fundamental level people are emotional creatures. We are motivated by our emotional needs. We need to believe.

ah-has-in-brain-1a--richardstep-unleash-your-s...Why do it:

The word Believe is a very powerful word and how we use it and manifest in our lives can give us personal growth, personal empowerment, provide connections with people, create business success, both with the clients externally and internally with the people working for you.

Think about what you believe in. Write it out. Say it out loud. While planning is important, even more important is connecting to that inner voice that always asks “why”. I believe this simple “I believe in” exercise will move you to places that no rational plan ever could.

And if you just need a little nudge here and there, be sure to send me a message by email, twitter or comment on the blog. I will respond to you because that is one of the things I believe in.

So come on, get going. It’s 2015 now. What do you believe in and what will you do this year?

A Photographers Roadmap in 10 Steps

For anyone who has ever embarked on the road toward their dreams, the biggest question that comes to mind is, “How?”. How will I learn what I need to be good? How will I manage to make money? How will I get started? How will I get financing? How will I tell my boss I quit? How will my family take it?


The road to success is easy and there are innumerable number of books, videos, articles, classes, coaches, retreats etc. that can give you a proven system that will get you to achieve your goals. The system is not the mystery. The actions are not the mystery. The information you need is not a mystery. What confounds people most is figuring what works best for them given some of the bad habits we all have. Procrastination, fear of failure and success, negative self-talk, doubt, and loneliness rear their ugly heads when we really want to move ahead. It’s not the lack of any one thing or cluelessness to the system or the steps to success that impede us but rather our own self-believing limitations. Much can be written about our self-serving beliefs but you can rather read that on all the other pop-psychology and motivational sites.

Almas imageHere I thought I’d introduce you to Eric Almas, Photographer. Eric, originally from Norway came to the US to study photography where he received accolades in his graduating year and onward. He is prolific in his imagery and shares his knowledge as any great teacher can.

I discovered Eric and his work in my own Photoshop class. In this video he gives us a short list of 10 steps to becoming a photographer. Now, as top 10 lists go, this one has some serious punch.


You should really watch the 5 minute video. Take a page out and draw a line down the center. Take notes from the video on one side and then outline your plan, ideas and actions to achieve these steps. Like I said the system is not a mystery, the information is not a mystery. Do it and you will at least move ahead a little bit.

Here are the headings of the 10 steps but you get more out of it if you watch.

1. Define your visual identity

2. See and understand light

3. Seek a mentor

4. Create images, don’t take images

5. Make an emotional and visual connection

6. Set goals and pursue them with tenacity

7. Shoot to exercise your creative muscle

8. Use Photoshop to infuse personality

9. Market to your audience

10. Don’t give up your dream.

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