Monday, June 21, 2010

Make My Monday "Courtney Walsh"

We have a GREAT Make My Monday interview with the fabulous Courtney Walsh. If you're a scrapper then you might remember her from Memory Makers Magazine. Not only did her work grace several covers but she wrote inspirational articles and had dozens of projects printed. You can find Courtney here and her amazing book here.


Hi, Courtney!! I have been a fan of yours for quite a few years! From your scrapbook pages in Memory Makers Magazine to your book "Scrapping your Faith" I love your style and your stories!! Can you tell us about your experience creating for MMM??

I loved writing for MM. I loved all the editors (both in Denver and in Cincinnati!) and had so much fun working on the books and especially the magazine. Basically, I would brainstorm a bunch of ideas, submit them and wait. If they liked them, I would get to write the articles...but sometimes I wrote on assignment. For instance, I got to interview all the new Masters a few years in a row, and I wrote an article based on those interviews. I didn't submit that as an idea, they just needed someone to write it! I always felt so fortunate to have that wonderful opportunity. I think I grew as a writer.

I had the chance to pick up your book "Scrapping your Faith" at CHA in Chicago a few years back and to meet you!! How long did it take you to create all those pages and to write the book?I had a CRAZY deadline for that book. I think I only had 3 months total to write it and create 80% of the artwork! I did it over the summer, and yes, it was insane, but so, so worth it. I really do believe that text sort of poured out of me. It's easy to write something you're passionate about!

Obviously your faith is very important to you. Does it spill into all you do creatively?
It really does. My novels have a faith-based slant, my paintings seem rooted in scripture or based on a revelation God's given me. I think it's my way to express myself, and I love it!

I can't remember now how I first found your blog...I may have just googled you {LOL!} but I am so happy I did. I love reading about your family. How long have you had your blog? Can you tell my readers what you write about? I would love it if you shared a few of your favorite posts with us!!!
I've had my blog since '05, I think! I started it as a way to get myself to write regularly. Now, I love it. I love sharing my stories and my photos--even if I only had a couple of readers (my mom and sister!) :) I have read that a blog should be focused on one thing--i.e. writing--and that no one wants to read about your life if you're not a celebrity. That may be true, but I haven't found that to be the case. I LOVE to hear about people's stories, revelations, their prayers, their hopes, their dreams, their creative journey...these are the things I write about. Everything!

I remember back in the hey day of scrapping and magazines and "getting published" that is all I thought about!! I actually did finally get a page published in the MMM Editors Choice special publication. Quite a thrill for me! How did you get started in the business? Do you have any tips for those of us who might still be trying to get noticed?

I just started submitting, but also, I read a LOT-- I studied design and photography. I really believe you have to be willing to learn to get better. I also had the good fortune to have some very successful, talented friends (Leah Fung, Renee Villalobos-Campa), who, just by talking to me about scrapbooking, taught me sooo much. I really think God brings me friends and mentors in the most divine ways. My advice would be to keep honing your skill, keep submitting, and keep learning! Scrapbooking is a FUN hobby, but if you want to work in the industry and get published, you have to learn good design, have great photos and be willing to keep improving! That said, I think there is something to be said for keeping your hobbies as hobbies. Once you start getting assignments, it becomes work. (Work I LOVE, but work just the same.) Be prepared to look at it all differently.

You have a new book coming out, right? Can you share a bit with us?
I am writing a 3-book series for Guideposts books, and I am really, really excited about it. Not surprisingly, it does have a bit of a scrapbooking slant. It takes place in a sleepy, lake town filled with clapboard cottages that are passed down through the generations. My main character finds an old scrapbook and begins to put together the pieces of her recently deceased mother's past...and then goes on a hunt to find her father--a man she's never met. Along the way, she finds new friends, new love and yes, a passion for scrapbooking. I am just starting book two right now! They'll be released in the Fall of 2011. :)

How do you find the time to manage it all, Courtney? I mean you are such an attentive and AWESOME wife and mom!! How do you fit all that creativity into your day?

I just finished a class for Big Picture Scrapbooking called "Permission to Live a Creative Life." This class was born out of my struggle to give place to my creativity. I believe with all my heart that when I take time to write or paint or scrapbook I am a better wife and mom because something inside me is fulfilled... a need has been met. I really think this is VITAL for creative people. I'm not going to lie, I tend to be a little busier than I want to be, but I would forego laundry before I'd let a creative impulse pass me by! :)

And finally a few just for fun questions....

Top 3 inspiring movies you can think of...

Good Will Hunting. It really made me want to write. I think because of the inspiring story of how Matt Damon and Ben Affleck got that movie made. It made me believe that dreams can come true.

Dead Poets Society. Are you kidding? O Captain My Captain! I get chills just thinking about it.

Anne of Green Gables. One of the greatest characters of all time. But more than that, Anne saw things her own way. She loved life and the beauty all around her, she lived in the world of her imagination and she wasn't afraid to be different. All things I admire.

Since you are a writer, what are your top 3 inspiring books...

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron (Whoa. Just amazing. Amazing.)
On Writing by Stephen King
Frederick the Mouse. :) (I mean, saving up entertainment to get the other mice through the summer!? That's my kinda mouse!)
I'm also planning to read "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott this summer. I've heard amazing things.

What is the ONE place you'd rather be?

Hmm. This is a toughie. My husband and I always say we haven't found our perfect vacation yet. I think if I could go anywhere, I would go to Italy... but at the moment I'm sitting in Barnes and Noble--not potty training--not sorting garage sale stuff--and it's pretty darn near perfect! :)

Thanks again, Leslie!! This was so fun!

Courtney

This interview was sooooo inspiring!! Thank you so much, Courtney for taking the time out of your day to share some insight with us. Can't wait for your books to come out:)


I know you have all been waiting to see my space and mine and Em's canvas. Those will be posted either later tonight or in the morning along with the THREE prizes I'm giving out!!!

I want to get to 80 followers here and on my FB Fan page!!! I am giving away TWO different scrappy/collage prize packs chock full of STUFF you will love and be inspired to create with!! I am also giving away one of the latest books by Jillian Michal's called Master Your Metabolism. A truly inspiring and informative book on losing weight!!! Leave me a comment here for one entry, become a follower for another entry and "LIKE" me on FB HERE for another entry!!!

Winners will be drawn by July 8th 2010. Let's get Words of Me Project to 80 Followers!!!!

Have a wonderful Monday, girlies!!

9 comments:

  1. Great interview!!!! Can't WAIT to see your stuff!!

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  2. I am going to check out Courtney's class. Thank you for sharing this interview. :)

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  3. Thanks for doing this fun interview, Leslie! I loved it!! :)

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  4. What a great interview, Leslie. So much fun to read about others I didn't know to look up!!

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  5. Wow! What a great interview! Love the creative inspiration all of your interviews are providing me, Les! Love them all!

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  6. Excellent interview Leslie and Courtney! I enjoyed reading it and learning a bit more about scrapping. I'm glad I commented after you on SITS Girls and followed your link to say hello. Wishing a happy SITS Monday and blessings for a great week.
    Cheers,
    Eliz

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  7. Hi Leslie-guess what-I have the book Scrapbooking your Faith! I really loved it. I started scapping when I was pregnant (couldn't paint-too toxic) and really got into it. Thanks so much for this interview!
    Tara has an ear infection:( but she is on antibiotics so hopefully she will be well soon! Never a dull moment around here, that's for sure!

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  8. hi! thanks for your kind comments on my blog! that is my daughter and my journal pages. hope you are having fun with the taking flight class. it's nice to have you in the artistic mother's group! :) nice to meet you! :)

    nicole

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  9. Fantastic interview. You always get such great information.

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I appreciate your thoughts and ideas...they inspire me!! I will be visiting you soon. Have a CREATIVE day!!

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