My 2018 Word of the Year: Depth

Happy New Year, kids! Welcome to the very last blog post of 2017, the much-anticipated reveal of my word of the year!! (Okay, no one was anticipating this, but I like to pretend I’m #fancy sometimes.)

Before I started pondering on my 2018 word, I thought about the past few words of the year. Last year my word was “mindful” because I knew going head-first into a full year of being a full-time business owner would mean that each decision had more weight, and I wanted to be as intentional with my time in and out of the office. (Also funnily enough my friend Jessica of Simply Jessica Marie also chose the same one without either of us knowing!!)

The year before that? I chose “create.” I I still can’t believe how that word truly manifested itself into my own creative business. (I started off January 2016 by practicing a new calligraphy letter each day, and in turn, decided I need to paint an animal for each letter too because who doesn’t like making more work for themselves? #allthethings That’s how the Animal ABCs collection was born!) After that turning point for me, choosing a word of the year became a must instead of just a maybe. Prayerfully planning and thoughtfully looking ahead helped me hear the voice of God better in my day to day life, not just every 12 months. I remember clear as day feeling the pull to create all through December 2015, and I’m thankful I shut up enough to listen, trust and take that next step into the purpose God is calling me to. (Sometimes that’s what it takes y’all: just shut up and listen. #nosugarcoatinghere)

 The first prints of the animal abcs collection in 2016! these were Hand-lettered with the alphabet for a nursery.

The first prints of the animal abcs collection in 2016! these were Hand-lettered with the alphabet for a nursery.

Choosing a word of the year is all about creating focus and clarity for the next 365 days, free from distraction or pressure. (And I think we could all use a little less distraction!) But unlike that long list of resolutions, promises and workout routines, your word of the year can’t be “broken.” How freeing is that? It’s simply a mini mindset shift for digging in and adding more purpose to every aspect of your life.

So let me step down off my soapbox, and let’s dive into why I’m so excited about 2018’s word of the year: depth.

 Sarah of  sarah ann design  created this for me when i told her my word of the year!

Sarah of sarah ann design created this for me when i told her my word of the year!

Like all good words of the year do, this word just magically kept popping up in my life. I kept thinking to myself at church, “Man, I need to go deeper this year,” and in the car with my boo thang, “How can I take our marriage to the next level?” I knew my business had gone wide this year — lots of new projects, countless rabbit hole ideas and in the first 6 months or so, a lot of throwing things at the wall to see if the sticked. This year, the width is set, and I’m ready to go deep and niche down. I’ve figured out what lights me up (wedding stationery, products, pet portraits) and what is better off in the hands of a different artist. 2018 will be the year of digging deep into that sweet spot of where I shine AND what sustains me and pruning away distractions.

cami monet watercolor florals

But beyond my business shift, “depth” is my focus for my personal life as well. Like a soccer mom at Target, I struggle with distraction and chasing after the sparkly things. (Darn you, Sugar Paper and your pretty wrapping paper.)  And sometimes these sparkly things are good things that can seem like I’m on the right path, even if I’m in the middle of BFE. (Anyone else have these pitfalls?)

So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. - Colossians 3: 1-2

In case y’all didn’t know, I’m married to hands-down the best guy in the whole world who has a big ole heart and is frequently mistaken for Adam Levine. Our almost three years of marriage have been the BEST THING EVER (and yes, I say that with all caps because being married to him is SO fun, SO challenging and SO rewarding. Love him. And I highly recommend marriage. It’s awesome.), and I want to keep that streak going.  We had this verse read at our wedding (and it’s inscribed on the Bible I gave him!), and it really speaks to that whole depth thing I keep yammering on about:

They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:8


See in our relationship, I don’t want it to be surface level. I want us to have deep roots by that stream, the kind that will last through the proverbial Hurricane Irmas and beyond. So this year, I really want to invest more into marriage by creating even more depth. Maybe that looks like making room for more heartfelt talks (open-ended questions vs. yes/no questions are game changers y’all) or even marriage counseling. Katelyn James encouraged me so much about this at Creative at Heart because I got a little pride about the whole counseling situation because 1. I don’t want people to think we had issues and 2. It sounds terrifying. But she explained it to me like this:  you’ll invest all this money into your education, your business, but why not your marriage? Hit me hard, y’all! Keeping the embers stoked and vulnerable, open communication has been key for us, and I want my focus on “depth” to make sure there’s no coasting in our marriage. Because coasting just doesn’t work, and it can be so much easier to coast when those distractions take over, don’t you think?

Cultivating depth in 2018 is also about taking a big step forward spiritually. And yes, this is another area where I can easily get distracted!

“Why do you think young Christian adults struggle most deeply with God as a personal reality in their lives? Noise and distraction. It is easier to tweet than to pray!” - Tim Keller

After all, the immediacy of social media is is no match for the patient, life-giving process of prayer. (Which is one reason why I deleted Facebook off my phone today!) I also have this prayer ADD problem where I’ll be praying one minute and then dissecting the lyrics of a Taylor Swift song the next without even realizing it. This year, I’m diving into trusting God more deeply in every single aspect of my life, surrendering (AKA letting God be the driver instead of me!) and taking time to read, like really read, instead of skimming the Bible. Oh, and those little moments during the day that I spend flipping my thumb over pretty photos? (Y’all know what I’m talking about.) I’d like to replace those with flipping through my Bible or praying a word of encouragement over my hubby. Sounds like a much better use of my time.

I mean, as much as I love splashing around in the shallows over here, I have this craving for depth. (Cue Hillsong’s Oceans…) More face-to-face instead of Facebook. More lingering on the source of all things good. More purpose instead of interruption. That’s what my focus is for 2018. And while social media and our phones make it extra convenient to communicate and check in, I don’t want to get lazy with how I foster my friendships and grow in my relationships.

I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete. 2 John: 12

There’s a freedom that comes with stepping out of the shallows. Freedom from distractions, freedom from counting followers and likes, freedom from comparison. That sounds like right where I want to be, so I’ll be doggy-paddling my way to the deep end this year and correcting my nearsightedness.

Also, I used to love this quote in high school (#thetumblrdays), and I found it to be very fitting for this year. Now where’s my seashell bra?

I must be a mermaid. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.

TL;DR: My word of the year for 2018 is depth. I want to make sure I’m going deep instead of wide in my business (no more random projects and focusing primarily on watercolor), creating a marriage that has a strong spiritual foundation (trading in surface level for more richer convos and connections and making that a primary focus), growing in my faith and running headfirst into knowing God deeper and better.

Do you have a word of the year? Let me know in the comments below!

Top 5 Lessons I Learned in my First Year as a Full-Time Creative Biz Owner | #BizBirthdayBash

So I'm about 3 weeks late for writing this post, but chalk it up to another lesson learned: I'm horrible at finding time to blog. But anywho, let's cut right to the chase: Cami Monet Watercolor & Calligraphy is officially ONE YEAR OLD!


Last year, I took the leap from nine-to-fiver to full-time artist on September 16, and honestly? That day was terrifying. I didn't know if I was going to fall flat on my face or end up working as a barista at Starbucks and setting up a GoFundMe to feed my cats. Luckily that didn't happen (although I can make a mean latte with my Ninja Coffee Bar a.k.a. best Valentine's Day gift ever. Yes, that is an affiliate link because trust me, ya need one.)

But what did happen is I had a ton of mistakes, total flops, little victories and big wins. And I became best friends with Google and some actual real people too. Like my #bizbestie Elisabeth of ElisaAnne Calligraphy!

 we totally accidentally on purpose coordinated for this shot. and i love it.

we totally accidentally on purpose coordinated for this shot. and i love it.

Backstory: we both coincidentally went full-time with our businesses on the VERY SAME DAY, so we kept in touch with each other as our businesses grew. It was so handy to have someone to reach out to who was going through the same struggles as I was at the exact same time. So of course after a year of emails, texts, DMs and Facetime chats, we knew that we wanted to do something to celebrate our one-year business anniversaries and you know, actually meet in person too. (P.S. Elisabeth is literally one of my favorite people ever, and our weekend trip was SO. MUCH. FUN.) And that' how our #BizBirthdayBash was born! We wanted to give back to everyone who followed along on our journeys and share the things we did right and the things we did wrong in our first year to help anyone else with the big dream of being their own boss. So we met halfway in Savannah, Georgia to host our fancy-schmancy webinar on the morning of September 16! (And holy moly, y'all we are so grateful that almost 500 of you signed up and more than 100 of you fabulous people tuned in live! SO cool!) 

We also spent a lot of time sipping tea and lattes, chasing cats, making serious headway on a Harry Potter puzzle at a bookstore and geeking out over historic architecture in between scarfing down fancy chocolates and yummy meals. It really was such a relaxing getaway! (And y'all we stayed at the cutest AirBnb above a bakery. I mean, how does it get any better than that??)

Did you miss the party? Don't worry you can still download our party favor: our 100% FREE and 100% awesome PDF guide “Top 100 Tips & Tricks Every Creative Biz Owner Should Know" that spills ALLLL the beans on productivity, client management, marketing, taxes and more!


So yeah, let's dive in to those lessons learned, shall we? Buckle up buttercup because it's about to get wordy.

1. Say yes to saying no.

Y’all I can’t even tell you how many projects I took on just because there was the oh-so-tempting promise of money. And at the beginning when you’re starting out, anything with a dollar sign attached to it looks like fair game. I said yes to every styled shoot that came my way. I took on projects that had me cursing my clients, and I struggled with trying to deliver things that weren’t even in my wheelhouse. Yes, I could do them, but does that mean I should? Think of it this way: every project you say yes to means you’re saying no to something else. And if you say yes to the ehhhh projects, you won’t have room for the dream projects. I'm a total people pleaser through and through, but I've definitely learned that overcommitting and being busy isn’t a sign of success, and there is opportunity cost that comes with every project. 

Of course, I think it's definitely a good idea to experiment and try different projects. I mean, how else will you find what you truly love to do? You'll start to reach a point where you can be more selective because you're truly honing in on that sweet spot where you talent and demand meet. 

"I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.” - Steve Jobs


  • Say yes in the beginning, but become more selective as you grow.
  • Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should.
  • Make a list of the all things you do actually do and the things you don’t. And stick to it. (Example: I am a watercolor artist, not a banner cutter outer.)
  • Create a list of referrals to have on hand when people ask you for the things that a) aren’t in your wheelhouse based on the list you made or b) have you already dreading them c) don’t have time for or d) don’t move your business forward. I love sending my friends work, especially when I know they're a perfect fit for a project. (Which means I just served that client by NOT taking on the job! Oh snap.)

2. Charge your worth.

Whew, lawdy y'all, this is one of those topics where I can get on a soapbox and go wayyyy off on a tangent, but let's keep it short for clarity's sake. Bottom line: your pricing can truly make or break you. And when I first started my business as a side-hustle, I was headed right down the "break" path.

Thankfully in my charge-$30-for-a-logo phase, I was still working full-time, so it wasn't as big of a deal. But I knew once I went full-time with my biz, that making three cents an hour wasn't going to cut it, so I took a big scary leap and raised my prices. By a lot. And guess what? I still got clients. Nobody died and called me a greedy monster. And I was able to match my corporate income in the FIRST month of going full time. My secret? I started pricing by value, instead of by time. 

I think it's super duper easy to get sucked into the 'hourly rate' trap, especially when the first words out of a prospective client's mouth are, "oh, what's your hourly rate?" We're wired to think in terms of billable hours, but as a creative, this pricing model just doesn't work for us. (Or are least, not well!) The work we're providing isn't quantitative; after all, your clients are paying you for the creative talents/ideas/skills you possess, not just the hours that go into creating the end product. Plus starting out in that time-tracking mindset already starts you off on the wrong foot with your clients because now y'all want two different things. Your customer is hoping that your calligraphed vows only take an hour so they can save a buck, and now you're in a position where taking 20 minutes to write each word sounds like a profitable game plan. Not good. 

But you know what, even if those vows do only take you an hour (in which case, good for you, Speedy Gonzales), why should be paid LESS for completing a project faster? As you get better at your craft, odds are, you will complete projects faster. If you're pricing hourly, you're shooting yourself in the foot. Pricing is much more related to the value a customer puts on the art you're creating for them and the experience you have, rather than the time it actually costs you to make it. My favorite illustration (heh) of this is the Picasso Principle. 

The Picasso Principle: A woman recognized Picasso on park bench and asked me to sketch a portrait of her. Picasso agreed, pulled out his sketchpad and got to work. After five minutes, he ripped the sketch off the pad, handed it to the woman and said, “That will be $10,000.”  The woman was floored. “Ten thousand dollars! Why, it only took you five minutes to draw that sketch!”  To which, Picasso replied, “No, madam. It took me 30 years”

Charging your worth allows you to deliver the best service possible without feeling like you need to slap another "billable hour" on the invoice, leads to more enjoyable work (how awesome is it to feel valued AND get paid?!) and lets give your clients what they really want —solutions to their problems. Creative work is valuable, and you deserve to be paid for it! I explain a little more about this on Sablewood Paper Company's blog The Stationery Pricing Taboo, Part III! Go check it out!

Okay before I go off on more pricing tangents and make this the #longestblogpostever, stay tuned for more upcoming blog posts about the top pricing mistakes I made, how your pricing reflects your brand, and how to add more value to your offerings without spending a dime. I get reallllly passionate about helping other entrepreneurs actually make money, so i got lots to say, peeps. Have something you'd like for me to cover about pricing? Shoot me an email at and let's chat!


  • Start by simply picking a number and let go of getting hung up on the math. Ideally pick one that makes you uncomfortable. Odds are you probably didn’t get it right the first time, but don’t let the fear of messing up hold you back. Set a price. Own it. Get paid. And adjust as necessary.
  • Have a goal in mind for your yearly “salary” and break it down so you can see what it will actually take to reach that goal.
  • Don’t price by time, price by value.
  • Ways to bring in more income: Raise prices (increase your fees without increasing cost by adding value) or just raise your prices where you finally aren’t losing money, increase your sales volume, lower overhead (bye-bye course subscriptions), fix under-performers and prune (aka drop the non-profitable shiz), diversify your income, create scalable products/passive income (like online courses and digital downloads)

3. Systems are your secret weapon.

I know we’re all creatives and free spirits, but you cannot run a business on Paypal and post its, y’all. You need to have systems so you don’t lose your mind and so your business can grow while you can get back to work on the things that matter.

After all, systems help free up your brain space. And Lord knows I need more brain space.

I have workflows set up in Trello for each invitation client that outlines EVERY SINGLE STEP of what I need to do (everything from client gifts to emails to send). (You can also set this up in Dubsado with a workflow and have automated emails.) As you tweak your workflows, you’ll know where the hangups where/where you can improve things/where you can bring in help/etc. The Trello for Business course changed the game for me on this!

But let's dive in a bit to my all-time favorite system, BEST BUSINESS TOOL EVER (yeah, it's legit), and organization bae: Dubsado. It’s my number one system for organizing everything in my business, from client invoices, contracts, design proofs, lead captures, questionnaires, and more. I honestly can't recommend it highly enough, and if you've been around me for longer than 5 seconds, you'll hear me gush all about it. (Bonus: having streamlined systems makes it easy-breezy for clients to work with you, which means your client experience is top-notch, which means you charge more. Oh yeah, we just went full-circle.) Want a behind-the-scenes look at how I use Dubsado? Check out my How to use Dubsado as a Designer webinar where I go over all my tips and tricks here!


  • Sign up for Dubsado and organize your freakin’ life! Use code 'camimonet' for 20% off your first month or year.
  • Get a bookkeeping system. I use GoDaddy Bookkeeping, but Dubsado also has a bookkeeping system. (It's your one-stop shop, y'all!)
  • Sit down and write out every step for different processes of your business. Think if you had to hand your business over to someone; would they able to manage the biz without you? Great businesses rely on great systems, not great people. But great people come up with the great systems!

4. It will take longer than you think.

One of the hardest things about going full-time is not having a team to pick up the slack. There will be emails you need to handle, random orders coming in, client crises, etc. all right in the middle of a huge deadline. You may think you are a super duper fast worker, but the reality is you can really only knock out three major tasks per day. THREE. (Or at least, that's my reality!)

When I was working at my magazine job, I would check the clock at 3:00 and think ‘Yes, only 2 more hours!” Now when I look at the clock at 3:00, I think, “CRAP I ONLY HAVE 2 MORE HOURS.” The time goes fast, and it can be exhausting to try to keep up.

Allow yourself buffer time/margin/white space for projects. I've worked on lots of custom projects that have taken longer than expected or my own poor planning has left my rushing around like a crazy person. There’s almost always something that goes wrong with shipping/client response times/that important details of WEEKENDS. Even if we sometimes work on the weekend, other businesses don’t and that can screw up shipping times when you don't plan ahead. Time management is crucial, and that's where all those systems come into play to help alleviate that pressure and scale your business. 


  • Leave at least 5 days of ‘buffer room” for each project.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself so you don’t set yourself up for failure.
  • Before beginning a project, account for shipping time, weekends, holidays, vacations, other projects currently being worked on and labor time for yourself.
  • Don’t be an optimist.
  • Have projected deadlines for each stage of the project and note them in your calendar.

5. A well-constructed client experience will make you irreplaceable.

Humor me for a minute here, and pretend you're buying a plain white t-shirt. You go to Wal-Mart first only to be greeted by never-flattering fluorescent lighting, cash register beeps and squeaky shopping cart wheels, and you find the white shirts crumpled up on a metal shelf riddled with neon yellow price tags. It's only $5.88 (Roll-back prices, y'all.) You pick up some eggs on the way out, clang your WD-40-lacking buggy to the register, and then tell yourself that you're never going to Wal-Mart again. (Why is it always a lie??)

Now let's say you head to Anthropologie for a white tee. You pry open up those heavy wooden doors into boho Narnia. It smells like a Hawaiian orchid garden mixed with eclectic coolness, and you feel like you could finally start living your organic, artsy princess dream-life that revolves around a perfectly fluffed white duvet, hand-painted tea cups and twinkle lights on your porch. You find the same cotton white shirt that's nearly identical to the Wal-Mart version, except this time it's folded exquisitely on a live oak farm table and the price tag is letterpressed with gold foil. It's $68, and you can't imagine a better deal than this versatile white top that you're going to wear all. the. time. You buy it, along with 5 new candles, a ring dish and the cutest stationery, and tell yourself that you're only shopping at Anthro from here on out. 

Same product. Different experience. 

And that's why we'll pay 10x more the price for the same end-result. 

Think about how you want your clients to experience your biz. This is where those little minute details can lead to big profits and uplevel the value that lets you charge premium pricing. Give your clients white-glove service that will keep them coming back.

Examples: sending client gifts, adding GIFs to your emails, infusing “you” all throughout your brand, having a high-end color palette and cohesive design, having systems set up to make it as easy and seamless as possible for your client to book with you/work with (*cough* DUBSADO *cough*), exceeding expectations, adding extra bonuses, handwritten notes, throw in a free print, beautiful packaging, social media shoutouts and storytelling, sending a Spotify playlist with your proofs, anticipating needs before your client does... so many little things that make a BIG difference!

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou


  • Buy a product from yourself and mail it to yourself too. Put yourself in your client’s shoes to see where there are hangups, difficulties or places to add personality. Or have a friend go through the client experience with you to give you feedback.
  • Embrace Southern hospitality, y’all.
  • Anticipate your client’s needs and surprise and delight them along the way.
  • Always under-promise and over deliver.
  • Communication is key.
 celebratory cupcakes from our #bizbirthdaybash webinar!

celebratory cupcakes from our #bizbirthdaybash webinar!

And there ya have it: my biggest lessons from this past year! I can't wait to start planning next year's #BizBirthdayBash with Elisabeth! Be sure to check out her top 5 tips... #4 is a MUST!!

Check out Elisabeth's Top 5 Lessons here!

My Biggest Takeaways from Creative at Heart Conference Round 7

A few weeks ago, I hopped on a flight up to Raleigh for Creative at Heart Conference Round 7, and let me just tell ya, if you've ever been on the fence about attending a conference, well hop on over to the other side where the grass is greener and book a ticket. (I realize I totally mixed up my sayings here, but just roll with it.) It's 100% worth it in every way! 

Even before being a creative business owner, I have always wanted to attend Creative at Heart. And since this was my very first "official" year going full-time, it seemed like the perfect time to say YES! 

Creative at Heart Conference Round 7 | Cami Monet

Best. Decision. Ever. Y'all I am not kidding when I say I have a notebook CHOCK-FULL of words of wisdom from ladies who "get it" and a whole new tribe of women who I can turn to with my biggest questions in life and business. Honestly, there's just so much to say that I don't even know where to begin, but when it comes right down to it, Creative at Heart inspired me to remember the WHY behind my business and to let go of the hustle. (Yes, saying that still ensues slight panic.)

 How cute is that notebook from Rachel Allene??

How cute is that notebook from Rachel Allene??

 OBSESSED is an understatement. This perfect illustration was done by my friend Caitlin of Happy Tines!

OBSESSED is an understatement. This perfect illustration was done by my friend Caitlin of Happy Tines!

Action Tip: Give yourself a few more "out of the office" days when you get back to start implementing all the new strategies and life lessons you scribbled in your notebook. I wasn't able to dive right in to working ON my business because I had to get back to working IN my business the second I got home. (Ah, wedding deadlines.) Basically, plan ahead for the overwhelm, fried-brain syndrome and inspiration overload.

And of course you know it's going to be a fantabuluos conference when it all kicks off with THE Lara Casey. I think every woman in the room burst into tears. I consider myself a Stonewall Jackson, and I'll be the first to admit, I lost it. That gal can speak some truths and hit ya deep, y'all. She asked us where we wanted to be when we were 80. Simple question right? But oh-so-telling. I knew right away that I wouldn't be worrying about the size of my email list or chasing after that coveted 'k' beside my Instagram follower count. I'd want to be drinking hot coffee on the front porch right next to my sweet husband and not having to be anywhere. No deadlines, no meetings, no hustle, no stress. Just watching the trees grow. (And maybe there's a grandkid or 7 running around eating homemade cookies because I'm also now a whiz at baking.) And you know what it takes to get there? Not worrying about which hashtags to use, I'll tell you that much. What is the true source of inspiration in your life? Aim your arrow at that. 

Creative at Heart Friends

We listen to everyone else's dreams instead of following our own path. Cultivated dreams last longer than you.

And when I think about aiming my arrow, it looks a lot like making my faith the foundation of my business and serving others well. It looks like carrying on my dad's legacy and loving on my family and friends. It looks like bringing a little joy to someone's day with something as simple as a watercolor bunny. 

 Y'all I know I love a lady in stripes. So fun meeting Katelyn James!

Y'all I know I love a lady in stripes. So fun meeting Katelyn James!

Katelyn James spoke on the importance of micro changes for macro results. (Equally obsessed with her and her gracious demeanor!) I totally geek out over client experience, and I do everything I can to foster true relationships with each and every client! Southern manners are something I hold near and dear, and Katelyn perfectly explained how to translate those over into your business. I personally send a little client gift to each and every bride I design wedding stationery for, and I have lots of fun surprises throughout the process that I hope makes things easy as pie and memorable too! I also love easing the stress of the big day by sending a photoshoot-ready suite to their planner and photographer to have on wedding day so my fabulous brides don't have to worry about a thing! 

But anwyho, enough about me. Here's the nitty-gritty of what I got out of her keynote.

You can slow down, and it's going to be okay. No really, it is. 

Slowing down is hard for me. I'm a workaholic by nature, and I will sit in this old wooden office chair (lovingly, yet uncomfortably reupholstered by my Paw Paw) from sunup till sundown listening to podcasts on 2X the speed, cranking out orders and whipping up paintings. 

I stress myself out. I put deadlines on things that don't even need them. I sit with my laptop on the couch while catching up on our favorite shows (Walking Dead fans, holla at ya girl) to "get ahead" for tomorrow. 

Action Tip: Get a comfy office chair. And then get out of it at 5:00 p.m.


I invest all this time in my business, but what about my marriage? Yikes. I'll spend money to be at a conference, but will I spend money to have a counselor pour into our marriage? I learned that being intentional with my time, my priorities and my gifts can turn my world around. Little changes = big results. 

Shanna Skidmore also inspired me to be happy with the enough. I couldn't wait to meet her right away because I was blown-away (and incredibly jealous) that she is taking a year off social media.  (I think that one counts as a macro change, y'all. Also still very confused on how she markets her business. Do you tape flyers around your neighborhood or take an ad out in the newspaper or what??!! But I digress.) She asked us to write down where we want to be one year from now. Here's what I wrote word-for-word.

"One year from now it will be August 9, 2018. I'll be 28 years old. I'd like to live in an airy white farmhouse with a garden in the back. (One that I actually tend to!) I'd love to have a studio filled with natural light and a place for everything. I want to sit on our deck every night and watch the sunset with Alex, phone-free. I want my relationship with God to be stronger than ever and to pray out loud more. I want to launch an online watercolor course and create some courses or even a watercolor retreat with my dad. I'd like to snowboard more, take last-minute weekend getaways and bake cookies for the post office."

So minus the snowboarding, how much more money do those things really cost? It's funny, we always want more, but the things we truly desire don't necessarily cost a dime. 

If you don't set your enough, you'll skip right past it.


Right now, I'm about to hit my one-year mark of being an artist full-time, and I can't wait to start making these tweaks for year two. It's easy to chase the hustle (and it's a good thing too), but it's hard to be content with the enough.

And that's right where I want to be.

I'm saying yes to holding tight to my why, and I'm embracing the freedom that comes with focusing on gratitude instead of growth. I'm saying yes to saying no. I'm saying yes to stability, purpose, contentment and harmony. (I know that sounds like a bunch of nice words I picked out of a hat, but they're super intentional!) I'm saying yes to turning down the noise. I'm saying yes to giving myself grace in case I completely screw it all up.

And I'm saying THANK YOU to everyone who is helping me get there by sharing your stories and being major encouragers!

Creative at Heart Conference | Cami Monet | Photo Booth

So here's to the creatives and all the fabulous girls (and guys) I met at Creative at Heart who have shaped my perspective as business owner, a wife and a friend. You the real MVP! 

Creative at Heart ladies

P.S. I have about 638 more takeaways/revelations I need to share, but this is turning into a straight-up novel, so stay tuned for a separate post.

P.P.S. The beautiful photos are from the incredible Holly Felts who captured every detail!

Printed Mint Interview: My Biz Secrets and How I Got Started as a Watercolor Artist

Y'all I was SUPER DUPER excited when Printed Mint reached out to me to be a part of their #girlboss interview series! I feel like I can actually buy one of those cheesy Girl Boss coffee mugs now. (Except maybe not because my cabinets already look like the Starbucks stockroom.) I can be a total Chatty Cathy when it comes to talking about running a business and getting started in this industry, so get comfy and grab your reading glasses. I LOVE sharing all the tips and tricks I've learned in my first year as a business owner, and I'm always all ears when it comes to hearing new advice, so let me know your best #skillz in the comments! Let's dive in, shall we?

Cami Monet | Printed Mint | Girl Boss Interview Series

Your business is booming-- and for good reason! What are your Top 3 time management hacks for creating, shipping + all of the good customer relation tactics?

  1. Use multiple systems for organization. My brain has 463 tabs open at all times, so I need #alltheways to stay organized. I use Dubsado for almost every facet every business; it’s been a game changer for me in streamlining my workflows, design proofing process and lead captures. I love how everything I create through Dubsado is branded beautifully, and how easy it is for my clients and I to share ideas and collaborate on their custom artwork. Anything that makes communication with my client easier is a win in my book. This saves me SO MUCH TIME on the nitty-gritty details so I can get back to paper and paint. (Psst...use code camimonet for 20% off!) I’m also a big fan of my Day Designer, Trello and scribbled to-do lists on paper scraps. It’s a bit of a chaotic mess, but it works for me.

  2. Make shipping as easy as possible. I was terrified of shipping in the first few months of business (What if it breaks? What if I didn’t buy enough postage? Why is the line always SO LONG at the post office?!), but investing in Shipstation and implementing drop-shipping fixed all my shipping woes. I print all my labels through Shipstation on my Dymo LabelWriter right smack dab on an actual label, which let me tell ya, is wayyyy better than the paper and packing tape label I used to use! It sends my customers an email with their tracking info and an email when it’s delivered. (Oh yeah, I’m fancy.) Basically, it makes me look way more legit than I actually am, and it saves me time and money. Who doesn’t love that? And then of course, making the decision to drop-ship all my mugs through Printed Mint has saved me a huge headache of shipping fragile items. Plus the packaging is so cute and right on brand for me! I love it!

  3. Stay on task and schedule your priorities. If I’m working on a project with a serious deadline, I swear that’s always the time when I get a new idea for a product or collection I want to launch. I think a lot of creative entrepreneurs can have this same “what’s next?!” problem, but I’ve learned that jumping around from project to project sucks up all my time. Now I use flexible block scheduling for my day, and I write down three main tasks that I need to get done.(Yep, just three!) I’ve also noticed that my projects will stretch to fill the amount of time I give them, so having a dedicated time block helps me knock out my tasks faster and more effectively. Instead of saying, “Oh, I’ll do that this afternoon;” I tell myself, “Girl, you’ve got from 1:00 to 2:00 to make this happen.” And bam, I turn into a productivity ninja. I’m also a big fan of setting time aside for what I need to do and time for what I want to do, so I can still have room for the non-client creating that’s just for me!

Your Instagram is seriously #gridgoals. What supplies do you recommend an artist should acquire to create similar photographs? Ex: Your lovely overhead shots!

All you need is an iPhone and good lighting. (Seriously!) I have two fab spots in my house that get the best light, so I always take my snapshots there during the day. (No overhead lights for me.) Soft, diffused light is best so you don’t harsh shadows! I use a white foam board to reflect light, and I have a quiver of backgrounds I like to use. Nothing fancy — think wooden vinyl backgrounds, sheets, or just a white canvas! I’m often in crazy positions and rolling all over the floor styling, adjusting and trying to get a good shot. (My husband thinks I’m nuts.) I love adding in fun little details to my shots too. Paintbrushes, paints, wax seals, ribbon, fresh florals and antique trinkets are my go-tos for styling accessories. Keep an eye out for interesting props at thrift stores! I love finding treasures that seem to have their own story, and styling them with my artwork flat lays. They can add so much personality to your shots and reinforce your brand and the feeling you want to evoke. Oh, and every photo I take is edited right in the Instagram app for consistency. I up the brightness like crazy, tweak the temperature and touch up the sharpness to get a bright and airy, yet crisp image.

Where do you gain inspiration for your designs? They all feel so personal.

I gather inspiration from pretty much everywhere! I get ideas from bits and pieces of conversations with my friends and husband and little moments in my life that I want to celebrate. (Like my morning cup of coffee.) Lately, vintage china and architecture have also been influencing me. And of course, I’m incredibly inspired by nature. As soon as I see a beautiful flower or I’m in the mountains, I’m ready to whip out my paint brush.

Read the rest of the FULL interview (and my number one piece of advice for business owners starting out) here