Friday, April 20, 2018

Meet the Artist: Donna Cervelli

Today, I'd like to introduce you to photo artist and graphic designer Donna Cervelli.

Hi, Donna! Welcome to our art space.

What type of art do you create?

Currently my work is a blend of fine art and graphic design. Over the years my work has evolved. I’ve work in different mediums and I think that shows in my current work. Photography, which was once a hobby for me, has become more of a passion. With the ever changing technology in cell phones, the built-in cameras, make it even easier to take pictures. A lot of my current work starts out as nothing more than a garden photo or an evening sunset. By using filters and apps I alter the original photo, add text to achieve the final design. These designs have been known to show up on  products in my online POD (Print On Demand) store. For the past 18 months I have focused my attention on my POD that’s set up though my Zazzle store, HeART & Soul Artwork

I love creating art and my Zazzle store allows my to showcase my work on wide variety of products, everything from home decor to clothing and print products, such as invitations. 

How did you get started creating this particular type of art? 

I started my store on Zazzle about a year and half ago.  Prior to that I worked for a major newspaper in Chicago, for over 15 years. I was a senior designer in advertising and created ads for the newspaper. In addition to my full time job I did freelance work; everything from logo designs and business cards to acrylic paintings. Within the last five years I’ve my creative focus leaned more toward my painting. I opened up on online store with Fine Art America mainly to sell affordable prints of my work. Like other Print On Demand companies, Fine Art America, also prints artwork on products, such as phone case, pillows, tote bags, etc. Through a referral from a friend, I checked out Zazzle in January of 2017. I opened a store and tested it out. I didn’t take it too seriously, as there were a lot of personal changes going at on the same time. Later in the year, around June, I decided to pursue Zazzle on a full-time basis. While most of the work in my store is based on my photography and graphic designs, I have also incorporated some of my more recent paintings.

Tell us the story behind one of your favorite creations.

That would be my EARTH DAY is Every Day design. Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd. But I feel it should be recognized throughout the year. I believe we should, reuse, reclaim and recycle whenever we can. With that in mind I wanted to design a logo that could be used all year round. Since I love gardening and have so many photos of my gardens, I decided to incorporate them into the design. That’s when I came up with the heart shaped collage with photos taken of my various flower beds. The green texture within the words Earth Day, is actually a close up photo of plant leaves.

Find Donna on the web to learn more about her art:



About the Artist:

Donna was born in and grew up in Chicago. As long as she remember she has loved art and the arts.  When Donna was 10 years her parents signed her up for weekly art classes, at the home of a local artist who taught adults and children. There, Donna learned the basics of art such as shapes, color and composition. She worked in several mediums and painted landscapes and still life. Several years after high school Donna attended the American Academy of Art in downtown Chicago. Her areas of study were illustration, lettering and design, and advertising. Donna went on to work for the Chicago Tribune Newspaper, as an ad designer in the creative department. Wherever life takes Donna, her art work is always there in one form or another. Currently she has a print on demand online store, through Zazzle which allows her to showcase and sell her artwork and designs.



Recent Posts:

Mother's Day Special Offer
Entrepreneur Encounters: Donna Sneed
Meet the Artist: Dayna Bickham
Entrepreneur Encounters: Marnye Young
Meet the Artist: Sarah Annerton
Entrepreneur Encounters: Zach Bolton
Meet the Artist: Patricia AZ Phillips
Entrepreneur Encounters: Dottie Coffman
Patron of the Arts
Meet the Artist: Mark Spivey 
Just Because You Can ...
Meet the Artist: Corinne Danzl
Meet the Artist: Krystine Kercher
Our Trip to La Jolla
Dreaming of Vacation?
My Inner Artist


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Come join Tracy's journey through the screenwriting and art worlds at






Come visit Tracy's TMPix Art Shop on Zazzle!
Original Photography Turned into Art
Some funky, some beautiful.
Some bold, some gentle.
Some playful, some romantic.



Thursday, April 19, 2018

Mother's Day Special Offer

A customer asked today if I ever autographed my photo canvases - they wanted one for a Mother's Day gift.

I decided others might be interested in the same information, so I'm creating a special offer just in time for Mother's Day 2018 (instead of thinking about it after the fact, like I usually do).

Yes, I can and will autograph any canvas print ordered directly from me. (Zazzle is print on demand and shipped direct, so I don't have control of those items.)

But for Mother's Day 2018, which is May 13 for those who may have to look at the calendar like I did, I'm offering limited quantities of the following four photo canvases ordered directly from me. Each canvas will be signed, and I'll include a personalized note to the recipient. Each canvas ordered also includes free shipping to anywhere in the continental US. (If you need items shipped outside the continent, please e-mail me for a quote.)

Orders must be placed by Sunday, April 22 to ensure delivery, so e-mail me today and we'll start the process. Once your order is placed, I'll send you an e-mail to get your shipping instructions and any personalized information you'd like to add. I'll also gift wrap the item if you want me to ship directly.

The watermark in the images below are used to protect my photos. The watermark will not be on the photo canvases.

The four photos I'm offering for this Mother's Day special:


Water Lily
20 x 30 
$299 includes shipping (continental US)




Soft Peach Tulip
20 x 30
$299 includes shipping (continental US)



African Daisy
16x20
$149 includes shipping (continental US)



Gerbera Daisy "Heart"
16x20
$149 includes shipping (continental US)
(This image is one of my favorites and
has never been made available for sale before today.)



If your mom is not an art collector like I am, I'd love for you to explore my Zazzle store to see if you can find anything else with my artwork that might fit her fancy. We have thousands of different products for inside the home, car, for vacations, for RVers and camping enthusiasts, and so much more - items like ceramic tiles, shower curtains, bathroom sets, coolers, extra-large beach towels, flip flops, notebooks, melamine plates, cellphone cases, jewelry boxes, duvet covers, bath towels, placemats, clocks, dartboards, jigsaw puzzles, playing cards, and the list goes on! (Look for the coupon code at the top of the Zazzle page and enter the code for savings. You can join the Zazzle Black program, for $10 a year for free standard shipping or $39 a year for free 2-day shipping, and you'll save on shipping all year, too!)

Come visit TMPixArt to find something she'll love!






Come visit Tracy's TMPix Art Shop on Zazzle!
Original Photography Turned into Art
Some funky, some beautiful.
Some bold, some gentle.
Some playful, some romantic.







Recent Posts:

Entrepreneur Encounters: Donna Sneed
Meet the Artist: Dayna Bickham
Entrepreneur Encounters: Marnye Young
Meet the Artist: Sarah Annerton
Entrepreneur Encounters: Zach Bolton
Meet the Artist: Patricia AZ Phillips
Entrepreneur Encounters: Dottie Coffman
Patron of the Arts
Meet the Artist: Mark Spivey 
Just Because You Can ...
Meet the Artist: Corinne Danzl
Meet the Artist: Krystine Kercher
Our Trip to La Jolla
Dreaming of Vacation?
My Inner Artist


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Come join Tracy's journey through the screenwriting and art worlds at


Entrepreneur Encounters: Donna Sneed

I recently joined an online group of female entrepreneurs, and I've loved getting acquainted with them. Today, I'd like to introduce you to Donna Sneed, owner of SDS Solutions.

Welcome, Donna!

Tell us about your business.

I am the CEO of SDS Solutions, a virtual call center company, partnering with independent contractors who provide professional customer service to major Fortune 500 companies – from the comfort of their own homes.

How did you get started in this business?  

My husband is the pastor of our church which is located in a very deprived area of our city.  For quite some time, we’ve been trying to figure out what we can do to help some of the people in our community bring in some revenue into their homes. 

A lot of the families don’t have transportation, which can be difficult to get and maintain a job. 

We had an opportunity to host a job fair at our church and with the help of advertisement via the local news, more than 150 people showed up to find out more about how they can work from home.  This helped us to make up our minds to pursue starting our call center with hopes of helping families who cannot leave their homes for one reason or another, earn revenue to take care of their families.

I did some research for several months and we made the decision to go for it so we launched SDS Solutions, LLC.

What's your biggest challenge as a small business owner?   

My biggest challenge is helping people change their mindset to believe these opportunities to work from home are real and with some discipline, they can be very successful – setting their own hours and working for themselves.


Share a story with us about a specific moment in your business that changed you or made a difference somehow in what you do.   

There’s something that puts a smile on my heart every single time and that is hearing the excitement in the voices of young women who have struggled for many years.  These women get so excited hearing they can be their own boss and spend more time with their families – all while earning revenue doing what they enjoy!  Every time I hear their excitement about these opportunities, I smile because it has been and will always be my desire to help people be successful.  To help someone get up from what they have considered to be a place of defeat is so important to my husband and me.  We believe communities are made better when families are strong and strong families start with strong individuals who believe in themselves.

Connect with Donna on the Web:

Facebook ~ SDS Professionals 
Twitter ~ SDS Companies  
SDS Solutions, LLC 

About the Entrepreneur:

Donna Sneed is a Pastor’s Wife, Mother of six daughters, Grandmother and Entrepreneur.  She has been employed full-time for the Department of the Navy for over 31 years.  During this time, she has gained invaluable knowledge through extensive training at Georgia Military College, Valdosta State University, and the Defense Acquisition University which helped to develop entrepreneurial skills which equipped her to start and operate a publishing company.  She has authored and published a prayer/study guide and founded the Christian magazine entitled, “Character Magazine.”  Recently, she launched a virtual call center to give families the opportunity to work from home.





Recent Posts:

Meet the Artist: Dayna Bickham
Entrepreneur Encounters: Marnye Young
Meet the Artist: Sarah Annerton
Entrepreneur Encounters: Zach Bolton
Meet the Artist: Patricia AZ Phillips
Entrepreneur Encounters: Dottie Coffman
Patron of the Arts
Meet the Artist: Mark Spivey 
Just Because You Can ...
Meet the Artist: Corinne Danzl
Meet the Artist: Krystine Kercher
Our Trip to La Jolla
Dreaming of Vacation?
My Inner Artist


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Come join Tracy's journey through the screenwriting and art worlds at






Come visit Tracy's TMPix Art Shop on Zazzle!
Original Photography Turned into Art
Some funky, some beautiful.
Some bold, some gentle.
Some playful, some romantic.




Friday, April 6, 2018

Meet the Artist: Dayna Bickham

I love how my life overlaps into different categories on a daily basis. I met today's featured artist through an entrepreneur group, then I learned she's an author, too. Please give a big welcome to artist Dayna Bickham.

Dayna, share with us the kind of art you create.

Abstract expressionism:




How did you get started creating this particular type of art?

My friends were art journaling in their Bibles. I too wanted to express my relationship with God artistically, but could not seem to do so in the same way everyone else was. Stickers, drawing and painting in my Bible was not fun for me. I talked with a friend about my lack of drawing skills and my desire to be artistic and she encouraged me to pick up a paint brush. Three years later I am creating art nearly every day and it has become more than a time of devotion. Many of my pieces reflect my emotions, thoughts, or times of worship. It is often a ministry to share my process as much as my art.

Tell us the story behind one of your favorite creations.

A friend of mine told me once that she did not like my work. I laughed and assured her that was okay, not everyone likes all art. I went on to explain that art needed to evoke
feeling and connect with the viewer. It was okay if mine did not connect with her. Fast forward several months (and after her home was hit by the POST Harvey flooding south of Houston) the Lord told her to ask me to paint something for her home. SHE DID NOT WANT TO ASK ME TO PAINT AT ALL. She did and after I laughed, (I am not perfect by any means!) I said yes. She asked if I could worship and paint to a particular song and of course I agreed. The song, "Peace, Be Still" by Lauren Daigle, (The Belonging Co) evoked images of ocean waves and moonlit nights. I wanted to convey the crash of waves and the stillness of the in-between moments of inhale and exhale. I did not charge for this large painting - (30" x 40") but instead gave it as a gift for her house warming. Her reaction was priceless. Needless to say, she loves my art now and even sees herself in the painting, floating in the waters, not worried at all about the wind and the waves of life. (I put her face in the picture near the top so I was super glad she saw it!)


Connect with Dayna on the Web:

Facebook ~ Dayna Bickham University
Facebook ~ Dayna Bickham Author
Instagram


About the Artist:

Dayna is an avid adventurer who writes, paints, and lives life out loud. Her passion for people leads her on mission trips around the world and into her own back yard. Her art is a business in itself, but she also teaches people to connect with their inner abstract artist and to embrace creativity in all its forms. Dayna never lets fear or circumstances keep her from moving forward because she follows after the ONE who makes all things work together for good. What is there to fear in that?





Recent Posts:

Meet the Entrepreneur: Marnye Young
Meet the Artist: Sarah Annerton
Entrepreneur Encounters: Zach Bolton
Meet the Artist: Patricia AZ Phillips
Entrepreneur Encounters: Dottie Coffman
Patron of the Arts
Meet the Artist: Mark Spivey 
Just Because You Can ...
Meet the Artist: Corinne Danzl
Meet the Artist: Krystine Kercher
Our Trip to La Jolla
Dreaming of Vacation?
My Inner Artist


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Come join Tracy's journey through the screenwriting and art worlds at






Come visit Tracy's TMPix Art Shop on Zazzle!
Original Photography Turned into Art
Some funky, some beautiful.
Some bold, some gentle.
Some playful, some romantic.




Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Entrepreneur Encounters: Marnye Young

Today, I'm excited to introduce you to a new entrepreneurial friend, Marnye Young, an award winning narrator for NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors.

Marnye, tell us about your business.

I am an audiobook narrator. I'm currently working on:




How did you get started in this business?

When my identical twins were born 9 weeks early I knew that I did not want to leave them. I wanted a job that would allow me to stay home with them and when a friend told me I had a great voice for audiobooks and should think about setting up a home studio, I jumped at the chance.

As a Yale MFA grad and SAG AFTRA voice, stage, and screen actor, I could literally eat my cake and have it too. I had done one audiobook about 7 years prior and fell in love with it. Not only did I get to voice all of these different people but I could wear sweat pants and a tshirt doing it. I would be with my twins during the day and record at night.

My friend was an invaluable resource in learning the ins and outs of the audiobook world and continues to be. The rest I just winged. Seriously. If I didn’t know something I would ask a veteran narrator or just google it. I put my profile on Amazon’s ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange), threw up a few samples of different genres and different accents, and started auditioning. I landed my first book within a week and the rest is history.

What's your biggest challenge as a small business owner?

Competition. Yes I did say that. I think the market is flooded with narrators right now especially female narrators and the challenge is how do I set myself apart from them. In my opinion there is not enough work to go around and I know that in some situations authors have listened to 60 different narrators and sometimes more. Much like acting LOL! I just moved from one extremely competitive business to another. To a lesser degree but also a challenge: how can I do the work I want to do but still manage to provide another income for my family.


Share a story with us about a specific moment in your business that changed you, or made a difference somehow in what you do?


The Game Changer for me was when I auditioned for a gritty southern romance by USA Today Bestselling author M. Robinson at the very start of my career. I ended up getting the book and that birthed the beginning of a beautiful friendship and business relationship. I didn’t realize I was actually auditioning for a producer with an agency called Silverton Agency. He liked my work so much that he took me on as one of his narrators. Here I was two books in I think (both ended up being bestsellers) and I was already recording for a USA Today bestselling author. I couldn’t believe my luck. Silverton Agency remains one of my strongest business relationships while I have simultaneously developed my expanding client base.

Connect with Marnye on the web:

Marnye Young - website
Marnye Young, Narrator - Facebook
Marnye Young - ACX (includes samples)




About the Entrepreneur:

Marnye Young is an award winning narrator for NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors. She is a Yale MFA grad SAG-AFTRA voice stage and screen actor who has spent her life in the South, Midwest and North. She has been reviewed for her impeccable comic timing as well as her ability to make you cry and do accents. When she isn’t narrating she's writing a comical blog about her identical twins, fishing, following NASCAR, volunteering (CRIS radio and TIC) , running a small playreading group in NYC and of course “mom”ing. Her favorite literary character is Sherlock Holmes.





Recent Posts:

Meet the Artist: Sarah Annerton
Entrepreneur Encounters: Zach Bolton
Meet the Artist: Patricia AZ Phillips
Entrepreneur Encounters: Dottie Coffman
Patron of the Arts
Meet the Artist: Mark Spivey 
Just Because You Can ...
Meet the Artist: Corinne Danzl
Meet the Artist: Krystine Kercher
Our Trip to La Jolla
Dreaming of Vacation?
My Inner Artist


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Come join Tracy's journey through the screenwriting and art worlds at






Come visit Tracy's TMPix Art Shop on Zazzle!
Original Photography Turned into Art
Some funky, some beautiful.
Some bold, some gentle.
Some playful, some romantic.