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Announcing 12 new sustainable creative businesses: Time to celebrate! 🎉

The Autonomous Creative Incubator

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    I’m so incredibly proud to introduce you to the inaugural cohort of the Autonomous Creative Incubator!

    We’ve all been working so hard for this day 🐣

    Six short months ago, these awesome creatives committed to launching new businesses.

    Why did they take this major step? Because they all needed to create time, freedom, and autonomy in their lives. I mean, don’t we all? But it turns out, the way that actually happens in reality is by redesigning what we do for a living to bring in a lot more money with a lot less effort and time.

    That well-resourced time means freedom and the white space we need to take care of ourselves and also make the creative work we dream of. That’s what each of these people have begun to make happen in their own lives. It feels slightly magical!

    Stay tuned next week for a deeper dive with some of the cohort that will give you insight into exactly HOW they pulled off this amazing feat!

    Today, this amazing cohort is out there with brand-new offers, working with clients, and bringing in revenue!

    So please help us celebrate by clicking through and checking out what they’re doing. (And if their work is what you need, this is your chance to get in on the ground floor with them!)

    Celebrating 12 new creative businesses

    The Quiet Coach with Samantha Clark

    Award-winning visual artist and writer Samantha Clark created her Quiet Coach service to offer one-to-one creative coaching and mentoring for writers and artists who want to keep exploring, learning and growing.

    Traveling at the gentle pace of the written word, she offers a structured space for deep reflection and supportive, focused feedback on your creative work-in-progress. If you’re feeling creatively stuck, isolated or discouraged and can’t see a clear way forward, Samantha can help!

    Find out more at http://www.samanthaclark.net/creative-coaching/

    Portraits by Sarah Marie Lacy

    Portrait painter Sarah Lacy creates luminous heirloom portraits that embody your spirit and story, creating a connection between generations of your family and community.

    Portraits are memory made tangible. The important moments so often slip past us, lost in the chaotic river of our lives. Portraits help us slow down time. They tell our stories with sensitivity and nuance, capturing our softness and our strength. A portrait creates a connection between generations of your family and community, and share the wholeness of your character with rich, meaningful, intimate storytelling.

    Our faces contain so many layers: our experiences are written there, embedded in our skin and bones. Sarah’s portraits honor and share these stories with your loved ones and the world.

    See Sarah’s work and learn more at https://sarahmarielacy.com/

    Stephanie Shafer Illustration

    Stephanie Shafer covers books with illustrations and also type.

    She uses a bold graphic approach to illustration to create thoughtful covers that translate the written word into visual form with strategy, elegance, and wit.

    Stephanie’s unique skillset makes turning manuscripts into fully formed books a seamless process for publishers.

    Check out Stephanie’s beautiful portfolio at stephanieshafer.com

    Creative Coaching with Deirdre Colgan Jones

    Woman Ascending

    Artist, mother, and creative guide Deirdre Colgan Jones coaches artists with practical tools to alleviate anxiety and stress as you try to “have it all.”

    Her mentoring guides clients towards a holistic approach to art and life with thoughtful accountability.

    If you’re questioning your calling as an artist, or you’ve professionalized your creativity and feel too depleted or burnt out to do this work for yourself, or it feels futile to be an artist when ecosystems are collapsing, Deirdre provides a safe container for playful experiments, and encourages you to be creative in an expansive, open-ended way—wherever you are in your creative journey!

    Find out more at https://bit.ly/CC-DCJ

    Copywriting for eco-friendly businesses by Retts Wood

    Retts Wood honed her skills writing copy for luxury brands and quickly realized that a) good copy can change the way people think, and b) if words can persuade, hers needed to convince people to invest in good things, not exorbitantly-priced handbags.

    The oceans are full of plastic, the streets are choked with cars, and our flora and fauna are dying. Thankfully, there are businesses out there whose fantastic concepts can make a real difference to our ailing planet. But people busy reinventing transport or replanting mangrove swamps often don’t have time to think about copy. Their incredible ideas get lost in jargon, and as a result, they often fail to find the funding they need.

    That’s why Retts now writes copy for eco-friendly businesses, helping them to articulate their complex ideas, generate sales, and make an impact. Because no matter how brilliant an idea is, you need the right words to sell it.

    Find out more at https://www.rettswood.com/copywriting

    Live Online Jewelry Workshops by Victoria Lansford

    Victoria Lansford uses her mastery of ancient metal techniques to forge links with her mind blowing, contemporary artwork.

    She keeps the lineage of this ancient knowledge alive by teaching her processes to jewelry designers and metalsmiths who want to expand their skills beyond typical forms and master complex techniques in their own voices.

    Students level up fast via carefully designed courses that balance step-by-step instruction, practice, and feedback.

    Victoria demystifies the seemingly impossible that, with practice, becomes the totally accessible.

    Find out more at https://victorialansford.com/workshops/

    Coaching for sensitive creatives with Eleanor Chaney

    Artist, educator, and creativity coach Eleanor Chaney knows that making a living as a creative can be hard, and making a living as a highly sensitive creative is even harder.

    We live in a world that tells us being sensitive is a flaw. But what if you could find the ways to unlock its secret strength AND run a creative business that works better for you?

    Eleanor’s one-on-one coaching service is designed specifically for sensitive creatives, enabling them to move forwards in ways that support their longer term goals and don’t cause emotional overwhelm in the present.

    Learn more at https://www.eleanorchaney.com/creative-pathfinding

    Martha Remsen, Production coaching for sewists

    Martha Remsen is an up-cycling sewist from the mountains of Colorado who helps small sewing businesses streamline their production process so that they can slash their production time significantly.

    Making more products in less time using smarter sewing strategies, means more profit for your business and satisfaction with your production. If you’re thinking “there must be a better way,” Martha can help.

    Find out more at https://www.marthajanesewing.com/coaching

    Comics coaching with Matt Madden

    Cartoonist Matt Madden brings his extensive teaching experience and as well as his noted explorations of the form and history of comics to his individual coaching work with emerging cartoonists.

    If you want help finding structure and focus for your comics project, and you’re not sure how to get it in front of readers once it’s done, Matt can help bring your vision to life.

    Find out more at mattmadden.com/work-with-me

    Cast of Characters from Meredith MacLeod

    Dot diva, pet parent, and maker of many things Meredith MacLeod, is launching her first Kickstarter in September to produce a limited edition, signed, and numbered deck of story-prompt cards. Meredith’s deck will encourage you to explore a story in a new way, combining an image and a verbal prompt together to help your brain jump right into the process.

    Here’s what people are saying about them:

    For someone who is not a ‘sit down and contemplate for hours on the big idea’ kind of person, this exercise was perfect!! It is spontaneous, creative, and fun. Ideal for brains that have limited capacity for too many words or too much information-right up my street!”— Kyla Tomlinson, Cartoonist

    Find out more at https://www.stubborntwigdesign.com/castofcharacters

    Movement & Sculpture in Silver by Rauni Higson

    Silversmith Rauni Higson creates everlasting objects to treasure, for celebration and commemoration.

    Rauni is celebrating 25 years of silversmithing with an exclusive collection of 25 unique silver boxes, the distillation of her 25 years in the pursuit of mastery. These silver boxes are her love letter to the mountain streams of Snowdonia, Wales, and they can be your love letter too. Precious moments can whoosh past, subsumed in the river of time. How can you capture that river of time for a moment? Take a core sample of it and make it last forever, captured in immutable, noble silver.

    A piece by Rauni will forge a link in your family’s history with a meaningful heirloom that will remain a treasure for generations.

    Explore at https://www.raunihigson.co.uk/25-years-in-the-making

    Raccoon Sky Pirates by Chris Sellers

    Chris Sellers is queer game designer making tabletop role-playing games with a sense of wonder and belonging. His awesome indie game Raccoon Sky Pirates, you and your friends play raccoons who have invented an unlikely flying ship out of trash in the junkyard. Tonight, you’ll pilot it across town to the suburbs, raid a house for all its upper-middle-class appliances and gee-gaws, and escape into the night, all while evading the Neighborhood Watch and trying not to explode.

    With no prep required, Raccoon Sky Pirates is perfect for people new to story games, as well as people who have been playing tabletop role-playing games for years.

    It’s amazingly fun!

    Find out more and get yours here https://www.indiepressrevolution.com/xcart/Raccoon-Sky-Pirates-Revised-Print-PDF.html

    On my end, I’m gearing up for a brand new workshop all about how to find a financially sustainable path as a creative.
    Join me on Instagram for more on these topics @autonomouscreative!

    Think you might want to join my next round of the Autonomous Creative Incubator? Enrollment is open until October 17th!

    Learn more about the Autonomous Creative Incubator and apply today!

    Be as proud of your business as you are of your creative work

    The Autonomous Creative Incubator Program

    Let's explore how we can help you develop your profitable and sustainable creative service business.

    Click below to submit a super-quick application — It includes only the necessary information to see whether I can truly be of help on your journey.

    Submitting an application implies absolutely no obligation to join the Incubator. If you think the Incubator might be for you, you owe it to yourself to find out!

    Ready for more success stories from ACI Alumni?

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    The Autonomous Creative Incubator


    The Incubator is the artist-centered program where self-employed creatives design a sustainable, profitable business rooted in their creative expertise.

    The Autonomous Creative Incubator is not currently enrolling.

    You can get the same results working 1:1 with Jessica Abel on building robust business foundations and getting amazing clients who will happily pay to work with you. Click the red button above to explore your options!

    What happens when you design a creative business on purpose?

    Find out directly from our students!


    “By the end of the year, I should be able to pull in enough to run the house on just my money.”

    “I was feeling very guilty about not being able to bring in what I felt was really just my market rate. I'm not even asking for a lot. I just wanted to be paid for the skills that I had. And even that was not happening.
    Now I'm at a place where I can very easily see that by the end of the year, I should be able to pull in enough to run the house on just my money.”

    Avantika Hari-Agrawal

    Filmmaker and marketing strategist

    Sarah Marie Lacy

    From $10,400 in 2021 to $24,000 in 2022. And the year isn't over yet.

    “In 2021 I booked somewhere around $10,400 in portraits. This year I'm in the $24,000 range. And it's only the end of August, so who knows what the end of the year will bring.
    I have a plan for my business now and that sense of... control isn't the right word, because control feels really tight, but a command of this information that I can use to make better choices, use to make better decisions, use to create strategies.”

    Sarah Marie Lacy

    Artist and portrait painter

    Deirdre Colgan Jones

    From needing help with studio rent to fully funded through the end of the year

    “My studio rent will be paid right through the end of this year, which is just mind blowing for me. I have gone from this slightly humiliating position of having to ask my husband, can you put money in my business account because I have to pay my studio rent? To that business account actually having funds coming directly from my clients. That's never been the case for me before, so it feels really good. I'm finally growing up, making a living.”

    Deirdre Colgan Jones

    Artist, mother, and coach