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The Creative Entrepreneur: A DIY Visual Guidebook for Making Business Ideas Real Paperback – November 1, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This book is for the large audience of artists, crafters, and creative individuals from all walks of life who desire to make a livelihood from their creative work, or who possibly have achieved some success, but don't know how to replicate it or move to another level of accomplishment.

These crafty DIY artists are everywhere--they are holding alternative craft fairs, they advertise in the pages of BUST and READYMADE and CRAFT, they are selling online by the thousands at Etsy.com, and are blogging at Typepad, LiveJournal, and Whipup.com. But many of them do not have the skills needed to take their business ideas to the next level.

The Creative Entrepreneur takes readers on an inner journey of creative exploration to discover how to make their dreams of creative livelihood real, as they craft their own Creative Entrepreneur Journal.

About the Author

Lisa Sonora is an American artist living in Mexico, who wants to live in a world where following your heart's desire is considered practical, and making a living from your gifts is a no-brainer.

Her first book, The Creative Entrepreneur: A DIY Guidebook to Making Business Ideas Real (Quarry, 2008) won two independent publisher awards and launched a movement that has helped thousands to make their creative business ideas real. 

The Creative Entrepreneur is used as a textbook in many business, entrepreneurship, and arts programs, including University of Madison School of Business.

A sought after facilitator, she's led international creativity workshops on five continents for the past 20 years: at schools in Africa, inside tech companies, coach training programs, churches and zendos, and at retreat centers and universities. She trains others to lead creativity workshops in her Creative Journey Facilitator Training, and has a Creative Entrepreneur School in the works.

Her 30 Day Journal Project brings together a global audience twice a year to celebrate the power and magic of creative journaling.

When she's not consulting or in the studio making stuff, you can find her journeying to foreign lands in search of textiles, trying to take better photos, and adding to her visual journal sketchbooks in cafes around the world.

Lisa lives in Oaxaca, Mexico with her partner Alex, where they host artist retreats and residencies. 

She blogs about creativity + travel + courage at lisasonora.com. Lisa's memoir, Sketchbooks: My Personal Creative Practice, is comprised of journals she kept during her move to Mexico.


Lisa is a graduate of DePaul University's School of Music, and has professional degrees in Music Therapy and an MBA from New College of California in Sustainable Enterprise.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Quarry Books (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592534597
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592534593
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ellen M. Gibb on December 7, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be a thorough delight! It's packed full of wonderful tips for your creative business, no matter what it is. Business concepts and process is presented in such a way that all right-brain folks (like me) will feel coddled, looked after, and safe. If only I had had this book 25 years ago when I tried to start a weaving business! The author makes it fun (amazing, no?) to make business plans and imagine ways to
materialize your artful dreams. Also, as a serious art journaling person, I loved the layout of the book, which contains wonderful examples on almost every page of brilliant journal layouts and compositions. All are in sun-drenched, glorious color!! This book is so delicious to read that I had to ration myself to a chapter a day. Otherwise, I would have devoured it in one sitting and missed many valuable sections. I purchase a LOT of art books--a LOT--and this is one of the best this year--definitely five stars.
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I was skeptical. But, then I found that this book is a real motivator. Fun to read, fun to look at, but with a serious mission: how can business owners like me blend creativity and business success? The book goes on to answer that question.

Our small web company deals with the un-bending requirements of accounting/distribution systems with the softer, yet stronger, notions of creative presentation of products and company image. I am constantly looking for new inspiration, and this book has it.

I have already started my journal, and I have gleaned a couple of new ideas that I will use. I found it delightful to browse or to read chunks at one sitting, and it helped me look at my situation with a fresh point of view. I highly recommend it. I got a copy of the book for my son too.
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Although I already have a boring all text and statistics yawn fest business plan, I find that I seldom refer to it. I need something else to help move me forward and get me unstuck. I need something to get me excited about strategic planning. This book does it.

I, like many artists have shelves full of books on the business of art, creativity, marketing and the like. They bore me to tears. This, on the other hand, is a great motivational tool.

Rather than have me fill notebooks with dry lists, this book instructs me to create mandalas, vision boards and visual journals. I have created these before but not as a business tool. This book takes me step by step through the process of figuring out what I want and need, and gives me all sorts of insights to keep moving me towards my goal.

This is the best book of its kind that I have seen. It's probably the only book of its kind that I have seen. It's art with a purpose, which appeals to me.

There are many books on making visual journals but this book in my opinion is the one you need if you are seriously thinking of your art as a business. I have already told many of my artist friends about it.
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Format: Paperback
Books on helping creatives grow their own business are hard to find. I've read and reviewed Craft, Inc. and it was a good resource for starting a creative business. However, while it covered many aspects of running a business, I found that it wasn't good for actually teaching you how to set-up and create your own business from conception to reality. Enter Lisa Sonora Beam and The Creative Entrepreneur. Billed as a "DIY Visual Guidebook for Making Business Ideas Real", this book not only teaches readers the fundamentals of building a business to match their creative dream, but it presents the core business concepts in a way that makes them easy for creative personalities to understand.

The Creative Entrepreneur developed out of workshops that Beam created and offered "creatives" who wanted to take their craft and turn them into viable business opportunities. She does not believe that artists need to starve in order to succeed. This book is her legacy; it shows artists that they, too, can grasp business concepts that turn their artistic visions into concrete and functioning business plans--no matter what they are. At first glance, this book looks more like an art technique book than a business fundamentals primer. Don't let the shiny fool you; this book packs an informative punch. Beam introduces the book by explaining how the visual journalling process aides in the process of business creation. She encourages readers to follow along with the exercises in this book, just as if they were sitting in on one of her workshops.

The rest of the book explains and shows examples for various business concepts that are key to uncovering exactly what form your artsy business will become. Beam helps you explore your strengths, develop a vision and goals plan, and set SMART goals for yourself.
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This is an unique book where the author presents the visual journaling techniques and prompts to meet the three basic challenges faced by many creative/visual-oriented entrepreneurs: dealing with the emotional & psychological mental blocks, misunderstanding the creative process, and lacking the practical business knowledge.

The first three chapters of this book focus on the self-analysis, discovery of skills and talents, and mental/psychological blocks. The last two chapters provide the strategic tools for managing and growing your business. The author show how a visual journal can be used as a living document that is subject to change over time, and also is adaptable to ever changing personal needs and business climate.

The first chapter, the shortest one in the whole book, shows how various journaling techniques can be used for brainstorming, problem solving and gaining insights. Additionally, it lists the benefits of a visual journal, and also briefly mentions what supplies (simple) are needed to create one.

Chapter two starts with the creation of a flower with four intersecting ovals that can be viewed as the creative entrepreneur's mandala. This enables one to see a "big picture" of the essentials needed for the realization of one's business vision. Chapter three, the largest of all, views the blocks not as personal barriers but opportunities for growth. It explains the characteristics of each side of the brain (left & right), and how they can work together rather than compete. It also shows that it is necessary to understand the four modes of functioning so that they can be controlled and managed more effectively.
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