Create & Cultivate Desert Pop-Up with Society6

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Create & Cultivate Desert Pop-Up with Society6

Hello, Palm Springs! Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to speak on a panel at the Create & Cultivate Desert Pop-Up. The event drew a massive crowd of women entrepreneurs, creatives, and aspiring self-starters who gathered to share ideas, network, and grow. It was empowering to hear so many other women's stories of success and forging their own career path.

I was invited to join the Creator Nation panel by Society6, one of the sponsors. S6 and I have a great relationship– in addition to licensing my artwork through their platform, I also occasionally write guest blog posts for their Artist Resources, and we've teamed up to create an online video class through Skillshare that helps other artists learn about earning passive income through the print-on-demand model. I’m always proud to represent a brand that is so supportive of artists.

 
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This Desert Pop-Up was my first experience speaking at an event targeted towards aspiring women entrepreneurs. I had the opportunity to join the Creator National panel, alongside a group of women who are absolutely killing it in their industries. My fellow panelists and I have entirely different career trajectories, but we're all under the umbrella of content creation. Most importantly, we've all built careers out of leveraging our creativity.

 
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The Creator Nation Panelists. From left to right: 1) Jaclyn Johnson, CEO of Create & Cultivate. 2) Cat Coquillette (hey, that's me!) 3) Megan Anderson, blogger at Styled Avenue. 4) Jessi Malay, blogger and singer. 5) Jill Wallace, founder of Little Black Boots. 6) Kayla Seah, founder of Not Your Standard. 7) Olivia Culpo, fashion influencer, model and former Miss Universe.

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During our panel, moderator Jaclyn Johnson asked each of us genuine questions about establishing our initial success, growing our brands, and our future business goals.

I shared my story about my brand's origins: Five years ago, I would arrive home from work in the evenings and decompress by painting with watercolors. I started snapping photos of my paintings and posting them to Instagram. Soon, my following went from a couple hundred friends and family to several thousand "fans". I set up an online shop with Society6 and directed my social media audience over to their platform, where my following could purchase art prints and products that featured my watercolors. This was my first step into art licensing and opened up the floodgates for my career as an artist entrepreneur.

 
 Mural artwork created specifically for the Create & Cultivate conference by  Laura Berger .

Mural artwork created specifically for the Create & Cultivate conference by Laura Berger.

I also spoke about the value of community over competition when it comes to sharing my advice with fellow creatives. The great thing about art licensing, especially through sites like Society6, is that more artists involved doesn't make the pie slice smaller for me, it makes a bigger pie for everyone as the platform grows in both quality content and customers. I have a series of online video classes that teach creative entrepreneurs methods of earning passive income online.

There are so many opportunities to license content and my classes delve into the ways that I've been able to do this successfully. In essence, I’m basically considering where I was five years ago and everything I know now that I wish I would have known then. These are the vital bits of advice that would have fast-tracked my success.

 
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After the panel, I was approached by a series of like-minded women who wanted to connect. Each were at different phases of their careers, but all of the women I spoke with were passionate about achieving a level of success that fulfilled them creatively.

During my one-on-ones with the conference attendees, we discussed their goals and the steps it would take to reach them. I noticed an overwhelming trend of women that self-sabotage themselves before they can even begin their journey.

"I would love to support myself through my art like you do, but I'm afraid to put myself out there like that."

I heard a variation of this concept over and over again– women that had ambition and drive, but lacked the confidence to embrace it. I challenged them to reevaluate their self-worth and consider that it's not who they are that is holding them back, but who they think they are not.

This is a topic that resonates with me. I'd like to do a deeper dive into the challenges we face as self-starters (especially at early stages), which I'll save for a future blog post.

 
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Kate Bosworth blew away the audience with her keynote presentation, moderated by Create & Cultivate CEO, Jaclyn Johnson. Kate spoke about her industry experiences, the long-overdue #metoo movement, and her role as producer on her new movie, Nona, which puts a face on Central America's sex trafficking industry.

 
 Photo credit: BCBGeneration

Photo credit: BCBGeneration

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In addition to speaking at the Create & Cultivate Desert Pop-Up, I also designed the Society6 signage and products throughout the event, including the tote bags and giant Instagram wall. Society6 handed out branded tote bags, filled with all sorts of goodies for event guests.

We wanted the designs to feel cohesive with the event look and feel, so I incorporated bright tropical watercolors with retro-inspired graphics.

 
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I also painted a custom watercolor Instagram wall for the event. Society6 wanted to showcase their new product, wall decals, and this was the perfect opportunity pre-launch. I watercolored the painting a few weeks before the event in Mexico. It breaks the record for the largest recreation of my artwork ever. I'm glad I always travel with an art scanner!

 
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The Society6 team also decked out their space with framed prints of my artwork.

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This was a wonderful opportunity for me to share my insights, meet plenty of incredible people, and learn from other women's entrepreneurial experiences. See you next time, Create & Cultivate!

 
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