Monday, September 29, 2008

Peter Pamela Rose is a Friend of Votre Vray!

Dear Friends,
It is my extreme delight to say that I just had the pleasure of interviewing the creative woman, actress, film maker and gem of a woman, Peter Pamela Rose about her work as a life coach and "chiropractor of the mind." The interview will appear in its entirety in a few weeks. Until then, please visit Peter's site and see what she has to offer. You won't be disappointed.

Artstock 11th Annual Open Studio Tour

Opening Reception at Connie Logan's Studio (the largest home studio in Greensboro).
October 11th 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
October 12th 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
1206 W Cornwallis Drive,
Greensboro, NC

Music to be provided by Kristy Jackson.

For for information and a look at Connie's work visit:

(Connie was the FIRST Votre Vray creative woman interviewed for the project!)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

KSVY Sonoma, CA, 91.3 FM to Stream Mel Edwards' Tale

It is with humble pride that I announce that Jackie Baldwin, radio host of Story Lovers World radio program has selected my porquois (French for "why") tale, "Ian in Arabia" to be featured this Sunday, Sept. 28th at 5 p.m. PDT. My work will appear alongside U.K. teller Jamie Crawford, Irish teller Richard Marsh, and Missouri teller Mary Garrett. 

How to access the streaming
  • Go to KSVY
  • Click on high or low speed in the upper right corner.
  • You should immediately be switched to the program in progress.

Jackie Baldwin has earned a lifetime achievement award for her contribution to storytelling and the promotion of the arts. To be included, yet again, in any work that she touches is an honor that cannot be equalled.

(FYI, Mel has appeared in two Story Bones publications that Jackie has created. For more details of Jackie's work visit

Creative Women Honored and Call for Submissions


Attention all media outlets, a press release about Votre Vray and the Creative Women project has been posted on the above link. 
All Votre Vray Creative Women will be honored by having their names, art modality and websites listed on this blog, in the programs for "Shout: Kiss My Art" and in the book, whose working title is Votre Vray Creative Women. 

It isn't too late to share your story. 
Yes, the interview portion is over, and your story won't be part of the play, but much like the Chicken Soup books, you can still write your story and submit it for consideration in the book and in this blog. Tell your friends and colleagues.

Submissions should not be longer than 2000 words.
Send as inline text or as an rtf document to: MelEdwardConnect [at] Yahoo [dot] com by deadline, November 14, 2008.

Your personal story should include (but is not limited to):
  • What is your art?
  • When did you realize you were a creative person?
  • Who supported your art/creativity?
  • What advice have you been given or can you give to someone who is trying to live a creative life?
  • Also submit your contact information (address, phone, e-mail) in case there are editing questions.
  • You may submit your website and business name for inclusion in the final product if your work is chosen.
What you write should be something that does not appear in any other media format (online or in print). If it is found to be a duplicate story it cannot be used in publication as you cannot give first rights to Votre Vray.
No submission of stories about other people, please. This must be original work sent directly from the woman who wrote it.

Thank you for supporting each other and the Votre Vray project. With you, the whole world can know that your truth is your way!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Metropolitan Arts Council Grants Votre Vray!

The Metropolitan Arts Council of greater Greenville County, SC, has quite generously granted the Votre Vray Creative Women project funds to put "Shout: Kiss My Art!" in front of three local audiences the final quarter of the year.
This is a dream come true, as every woman who has been interviewed, and each woman who has answered questions or shared her story in her own words outside the interview process is receiving validation. Your story is important and others need to see your, hear of your success and know they can follow in your footsteps. 
Thank you most certainly to the grant committee, the board and most of all, to all the Votre Vray Creative Women who have been part of the project thus far. You each give me another reason to count my blessings every day. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Raising Money by the Storm, What Other Options Do We Have?

This week I received the following quote in one of my Foundation Center e-mails:
"I would like to live in a world where we're not fundraising episodically with each storm Our mission is so much bigger than these epic storms. Our mission is to be there for the American people every day." - Gail J. McGovern, president and CEO, American Red Cross (in the Washington Post, 9-12-18)

This quote seems to reach far beyond the plight of storm victims to the way many of us tend to live. We don't have a store of funds to go to when we have a storm or major life event that hits us somewhat unexpectedly. Sure, we realize that life is full of surprises, yet we fail to plan for them. Then, we bemoan our fate and shake our heads in despair when we're unprepared.

What Other Options Do We Have?
I had a friend named Joe who worked for the Forest Service in Eureka, Montana, where we used to live. He knew every few years he would need a new vehicle because of his lifestyle in living in near wilderness and understood he often had much more available funding during the summer when fire season was busy. So, instead of living it up each summer, he put away the equivalent to one car or truck payment per pay period. When the time came to buy a new vehicle, he had it in CASH. How many of us have paid in cash, upfront for a new car or pickup? 

Don't have a job like Joe's?
You still have other options. Creative people usually have a season when marketing their work traditionally goes much more easily than the rest of the year. This could be during a season or a shopping period such as the holidays. Instead of using the money you've made ahead as funds to pay the bills the rest of the months you're filling your creative well, find an additional way to passively market during the lean times or to recycle the work you're already created. Visual artists who traditionally use flat surfaces can license their work to be in a variety of product from checks to screen savers. Performance artists can still sell recordings of their work.  There is always an option and if you have the guts to follow the creative path, you've also got it brains to invest in learning how to make money at what you do every day of the year.

Until next time,
keep creating!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lily Pottery and others at Art in the Park Greenville

Art in the Park, Greenville, SC was a success at Flour Field this past weekend. I'm happy to say I picked up some business cards from some wonderful creative women and two fabulous creative men. I'll be blogging about them in upcoming entries, but one I wanted to mention now since I'll be heading to the South Carolina Arts Alliance in Education conference on Wednesday and won't have time to write much beforehand.

Lily Pottery will be moving to her new location this Friday, Sept. 26th and having an open house from 5-9 p.m. at 1203 Pendleton Street. If you can't make it to the launch of her new fall line, visit her on the web at!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Votre Vray Creative Woman Launches Blog

Votre Vray Creative Woman Bailey Earith, of Bailey Fiber Art, has launched her blog. Please visit her at:!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Women Express Selves in Baghdad

Most of the world has an erroneous image of how other cultures live based upon old news footage, inexact or incomplete coverage and sensationalism about the actions of a few. I'm willing to bet most women in other countries feel we live like the celebrities they hear about or the hurricane survivors across the southern coast because those are the only images they see of our nation. It is quite easy to have such a misconception. In fact, when I was a teenager, a youth exchange group from Florida came to northern New York state for winter break. When they arrived, they quickly looked relieved to see we were a lot like they were. Then we all laughed when their group leaders said, "The only images they see of New York are of violence in NYCity." The teens thought we wore leather jackets, carried knives and were street-tough kids. In reality, we were living in a former mill-town on the Hudson River and none of us lived a life remotely close to the media image.

So, imagine my joy this morning when I listened to Morning Edition on NPR and heard author Dexter Filkins, NY Times reporter, promoting his latest book The Forever War. Filkins, who has spent four years in and out of Iraq, said that when he was there recently he visited a park in Baghdad that a few years ago was a dark, dismal place with razor-wire, gun carrying men all around. This time he saw hundreds of Iraqis enjoying the park including women without head coverings, showing their sense of style by wearing jeans! I cheered for the women and said a silent prayer that this is becoming the norm.

My question for the rest of us is this, "What misconceptions do you have about yourself (or others) that may be holding you back from expressing yourself creatively?" I think it may be time to stop holding on to falsehoods and embrace our truth individually and collectively. Don't hold back if it can make the world a better place for even one person -- yourself.


See more about Filkin's book by clicking the title link below:
The Forever War by Dexter Filkins, Hardcover, 384 pages Alfred A. Knopf List Price: $25

Monday, September 15, 2008

Community to "Shout: Kiss My Art!"

On Tuesday, November 11th, regardless of who the new president-elect may be, Greenville, South Carolina women will have a chance to "Shout: Kiss My Art!" The Votre Vray Creative Women show is based upon the answers of the 75 interviewees and surveys from over 80 local women taken at the Upstate Women's Show. "Shout: Kiss My Art" will begin at 7 p.m. at the Hughes Branch of the Greenville County Library. Admission is free. (Please note this show is about adult women's lives, and is not suitable for children.)

I'm so excited to be able to offer this event free to the public. I truly want to reach out to populations that normally would not be able to afford or interested in attending a regular theatre event. To encourage women to come, the first thirty women who e-mail me at MelEdwardsConnect [at] Yahoo [dot] com will get a gift bag of goodies from sponsors and a "Shout: Kiss My Art" T-shirt with the blog address on the back. The goody bag will also have a listing of all the women who have been part of Votre Vray as well as their websites, even if they didn't get to do a full-blown interview. Basically, if you signed a release, gave your input on the launch questions, and got it to me in time, you're in! This is win for all involved!

Thank you, Votre Vray women! This is your chance to be seen as creative mentor for others who dare to dream!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Visual Arts Contest Seeks Entries

Calling all Votre Vray Creative Women and Friends!

Dutka Arts Foundation Seeks Entries for Visual Arts Contest

Deadline: Dec. 1st, 2008

"As part of its mission to identify talented artists who are in need of financial assistance in order to reach their goals the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation ( is sponsoring a juried visual arts contest.
Artwork must fall into one of the following categories: oil, acrylic and mixed media. All subjects and styles are eligible.
Cash awards will total up to $5,000. Artist will have their work exhibited and offered for sale at Madison Avenue's Hollis Taggert Galleries.
Entry requires a non-refundable application fee of $25. Visit the foundations website for complete entry guidelines and information on the foundation's other programs."

This information is forward to Mel Edwards' Votre Vray via The Foundation Center:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Eileen Favotire, Creative Woman Accepts No Excuses

I recently had the pleasure to interview Eileen Favorite, writer and instructor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago about the creative life. I began by asking her if she believes we’re all creative, and artists are heart. “That’s a good question. If a banker is called an artist, then they’re in engaged in their art all of the time. That concept conflates a certain consciousness about what one does. What is art? Kindness? Perfection? Awareness? Engagement with something materially? I guess I’d have to say I don’t see a banker as an artist because mindfulness + creativity does not necessarily create an artistic product.” She goes on to acknowledge that the same banker might create art outside of his/her work life.
What makes one an artist? “Artists must be engaged in the practice of their art. That is elemental. If you’re not trying to create something all of the time, then you’re not really living the life of an artist.”

How does an artist keep going forward on the path? For Eileen there was encouragement from friends, teachers and family, the main core of her personal relationships, and the one group that many artists feel they need kudos from to feel supported in their art. “Nobody can keep making art without any success at it,” Eileen admits. Adding, “Ultimately, I couldn’t rely solely upon outside sources (to be encouraged to continue). The power to create and persevere in the face of rejection and discouragement came from within myself. It has to. If you expect the outside world to push you, you’ll get nowhere. You need encouragement here an there to keep going, but the world is accomplished through nothing but your own initiative and the desire to create.”

What is her best advice to artists? “I believe the world is discouraging art making. You must value it even if no one sees it. Success in America is measurable. You can’t change the world’s perception of art. You can only change yourself. It is harder than most work, but it is not going to come if you’re not engaged in the process. Find joy in the process but be disciplined in the amount of time you devote to it. Take risks. Play. Create as if you think no on will ever read/hear/see your work.”

I asked her if it seemed like many artists see their desire to create a lot like building a castle in the air. Eileen agrees for many it is a far off dream that is romantic and wonderful, but it can also be a burden to keep up that castle. “Ask yourself, what can I do now? What resources do I have? Don’t wait for a time when you’ll be able to have all the trappings of a writing office or you’ll never get there.”

Ketra Oberlander, A Woman of Possiblity twice over

Ketra Oberlander was a writer and editor for years when she was dealt a hand most literary folk would consider a spiritual death knell. She became blind at age 40, after years of deteriorating vision in her 30s. “I see the glamour shot view of people, that soft focus, no color, no edges. There are many levels to vision loss that cannot be corrected. My vision was never great.” What would you do? Ketra began to walk to adult education classes just to get out of the house. “I did a few paintings, joined the local art club, and then a miracle happened.” No, she did not regain her vision. “People liked my work,” she beams. “I picked up a paintbrush and my life changed.”

Last January, after five years of increasing her recognition in the art community, Ketra founded an art licensing agency that represents physically disabled artists exclusively. She did it, “so we can connect with a broader audience despite our limitations.” She assures me that she lives a “fully integrated life” and I certainly believe her, even before she offers evidence.
What is her advice? “Emily Dickinson was hiding all her work. I just don’t get that at all. That’s masturbation. There’s a lot of good work that needs to get on a surface where it can be shared and enjoyed. Some people use the word ‘balance’ as an excuse not to do. If it comes out badly, throw it out. So what. If you’re tired, go to sleep. Then get up and do what you want to do as long as it is a contribution. We need more displays of affection, love and goodness in humanity.”

Is there a market for what you create? “The market can’t tell you the value of your work if you don’t put it out there for others to see. Do it to your comfort level. It is okay to be a hobbyist if you don’t want to sell it, but share it. Make your own choices about your work. Not knowing what you want to do with the final product is okay. We change. Ideas can be revisited. I know a 72 year old who just now was ready to show her sculptures for the first time in her life. Life is not an either/or proposition. Being a painter is not my mission critical. My main focus is to be a conduit for love, which usually starts with me giving.”

What about those who don’t create because of other commitments, including stay-at-home moms, or working mothers who are expected to also do all the care taking and cleaning of the household? “You CAN be a writer and a mom, or have a full-time job and be a musician. Do I care if I don’t have balance? No. If my house is a mess, it doesn’t matter. I’m blind!”

See more of what Ketra is about via her site: Art of Possibility Studios

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More Votre Vray Creative Women Featured

Hello, and good day, creative folks. (With an extra prayer and blessing to all those in Ike's path.)

I'm happy to present more Votre Vray Creative Women today.

Colleen Bronstein
When a woman is told she will probably never have children, sometimes she feels a void, a creative space has been taken from her, and she must develop something personal to fill that place. This is how Colleen Bronstein came to the world of a metal smith.
Little did she know, she would be blessed with a daughter, Juliet, who is now a grown woman. Just when all seemed right in her creative world, Colleen was given a new hurdle. She was diagnosed with melanoma. It may not be a surprise to readers to know that she has a pool and has gone twice a year to the islands for years. Her love of the sun and disregard for sun safety nearly cost her no only her livelihood and recreational activities, but her life as well. Thankfully, she has been cancer free for some time now, and is checked twice a year for recurrence. “There is no reason anyone should get skin cancer,” she says. Her newer company Sunsafe Designs helps others remain skin cancer free.
Back in 2005, after her diagnosis and recovery, Colleen reevaluated the way she did her metal working. “I changed the entire process. I now carve the piece, send it to a caster, have it cast, and have the caster do the finishing.” Her reasoning? “I looked back at (my metal working) and thought there could be a connection to all the chemicals I use for my art and the processes that were used in school. Some used heated tar, and that was extremely toxic.”
So, what keeps her going? “As a parent, I wanted to spend as much time with my daughter as I could. I wanted to give her a parent, a mother at home, to be there for her.” As an artist, she was spurred on by her own determination to make it. “I’m a competitor. If I saw and opportunity to put myself out there, I did it.”
How does she interweave the world of a Sunsafe Clothing and sun safety advocate with her art? “My art has a new focus. The sun, sea and sand. It is connected to my passion. My new work is around those images including crabs, Irish moss, seaweed.”
As a creative woman, how does she recharge and have energy to move ahead? “My ideal, complete and total relaxation, is a beach chair, the beach, the ocean and a book.” In the end, her truest peace comes from knowing who she is, what she loves and what matters most to her. That’s all anyone could ever hope to achieve in a lifetime.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Small Art, Big Idea has a project entitled Experimental small works. Artists are asked to donate a work that is 4 x 6 inches, approximately the size of a standard post card. The objective is to help Trade Art do outreach to artists in countries where extreme poverty is an issue.

Visit for more details and an entry form. (Found under "What's New" and the link of "Donations of small art works needed for solidarity project")

Individual Artists may also become a member of TradeArt, a 201 (c) (3) for $60 per year by visiting their site, click on "participate" and then "Become a member." Once you select a membership category, your PayPal bill will pop up in a new window.

Ann Hamilton, Amazing Woman Artist Wins Heinz Award

What is the dream of your creative career? Getting a grant? Juried into a show? A local, regional or national award? Today, Ann Hamilton, Ohio State University Professor has her name in headlines around the world as the Arts category award winner for the Heinz award, named after Mrs. Heinz Kerry's late husband who died in a plane crash in 1991. 

Ann was born in Lima, Ohio in 1956. That means, she's not a newbie artist by any means, but a woman who has found her truth and lives it to the fullest. Her artistic signature is creative experiential art that begs and answers many questions about human interaction and space. 

Visit her studio site to learn more about this amazing woman who began in textile arts (with a BFA degree) and moved onward to sculpture (MFA degree) before using a variety of media including spoken word to create her artistic surroundings. You'll soon understand why this woman won (2007) the United States Artists Fellowship and many more prestigious awards and grants.

Congratulations, Ann! 

Vote for a Creative Woman with One Click!

Britt Menzies, creator of Stinky is being considered for a Home-Based Business Top 100. Those who visit this link will cast a vote for this Votre Vray Creative Woman's inspirational enterprise. On top of it all, Britt is also a mentor for Unessalyn Sweet of! This our shot to give to one of our own, for free, and help her reap the rewards of a job well-done.

What does the winner receive? 
Britt says "a media storm that includes recognition on local and national TV, radio (coverage) in newspapers and magazines, and on some of the largest, most influential websites" (including MSN and StartupNation)

What do you say, folks? I already cast my Votre Vray vote!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Crash, Slip, Decree - Other Gifts of Destruction

Two Votre Vray Creative Women, Toni Quest ( and Dawn Clare ( had life interrupted by a devastating car crash. Ketra Oberlander (who will be featured later this week) became blind after years working in print media. Many Votre Vray women received or handed out divorce papers. Sometimes these seemingly destructive events change a person's life for the better. Out of the ashes, so rises our phoenix of personal focus and creativity.

When the message doesn't get through, sometimes you get told more frequently with vehemence. Let me give you a personal example of being too hard-headed to understand the messages. Nearly 12 years go I ruptured my post-tibial tendon (it is the one that runs from the inside of your knee, under the arch, back up toward the outer knee area). I was not a good patient. I insisted upon working when I was told not to. In the end, the doctor said he was putting me in a cast, sending me home for a month and when I returned at to have it removed, he'd not only yell at me, but put me into surgery and keep me out of work for at least six months. Okay, I stayed at home for a month, spent most of the time sitting and knitting, and went back to a job I hated, that was at least 85% rote and lacked creativity.

I realized I needed a change, so I switched jobs within the year, and returned to teaching in public schools. Within weeks I was overwhelmed by all the energy I was giving others, and began denying my own creative needs again. I became a ball of stress, but the next fall, as I began saying to myself, "This isn't working for me," I was given a chance to go for free to the National Storytelling Festival. Once at the festival, I learned of the master's degree program in Storytelling at East Tennessee State University. By the next fall I had resigned my position to be a full-time student of storytelling.

So enthralled with my creative life, I completed all my coursework in two semesters and one summer session. I then spent several semesters writing and re-writing my thesis (a topic for another day). While I worked on my thesis, I returned to public education as a teacher, and again found myself drained of any creative energy because I was giving all I had in the classroom. Soon, I found out I needed a partial hysterectomy due to tumors, one was the size of a tennis ball! (Just this past summer one of the Votre Vray Creative Women, Chris of told me she'd read those same tumors were considered signed of blocked creativity! I've since confirmed this research and heard that several self-help doctors agree.)

After my surgery, I yet again returned to public education, giving more than I had to give mentally, emotionally and spiritually to my students and job. I became clinically depressed. Then, and only then, did I say, "Enough!" and begin living the creative life of my dreams.

It took three hiatuses from work before I realized that loving the students and wanting them to be successful was not enough. I needed to care for my own health and success first. Now that I do that, I'm feeling better than I've felt in over a decade. I'm just sorry I was such a stubborn fool and that it took me so long.

Next time: I'll talk about fear and creativity.
Until then, keep creating!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Hurricane Season Interrupts Creativity

If you haven't noticed her comment below, Votre Vray Creative Woman, Rachelle Matherne of is alive and well and just barely returned home after evacuating for Gustav. Now, she and millions of others wait to hear if Ike is on the way.

The question that comes to mind is, how many of us not directly in the path of the storms this season fitter away time as we watch the storm path again and again on the Internet, the news and listen to it on the radio. So often, the craziness of an event grabs at our consciousness and won't let go...unless we do something drastic about it.

Timothy Ferriss, famed author of The Four-Hour Workweek advocates keeping business e-mail to one hour per week, not multitasking (so we can pay attention and appreciate the moments in our days), stopping repetitive tasks (like checking the aforementioned e-mail countless times per day...or in the case of the hurricanes, looking for hourly updates on a storm's progress) and having a brief list of must-do activities per day. [If you haven't read this book yet, I highly recommend it, especially if you say you have no time to live your creative dreams.]

Even with a hurricane streaking toward your town, you can do ONE thing per day that is creative, even if that means packing a notebook or sketch pad for something to put your ideas and observations in once the storm knocks out your electricity.

May you all be safe, well and peaceful and at ease today, and in doing so, find some space to make your creative sanctuary in times when we have no control but must wait to endure the process and results.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Nancy Digman, Votre Vray Creative Woman Joins Gallery

wUG LAKU'S STUDIO AND gARAGE is proud to announce the addition of a new artist to the gallery and studio. Nancy Lee Digman is a metalsmith/jeweler of extraordinary talent and vision. You can see her creations as part of the 'Earth Poems' exhibition during the upcoming IDADA First Friday gallery tour, this week on Sept. 5th from 5-9 p.m.

The STUDIO AND gARAGE is located at 1125 Brookside Ave, Suite C7, Indianapolis, in the Circle Center Industrial Complex. Look for the IDADA banner outside the door, and be sure to tell Nancy that Votre Vray sent you!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Bill Status - Paycheck Fairness Act

H.R.1338 - Paycheck Fairness Act

To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide more effective remedies to victims of discrimination in the payment of wages on the basis of sex, and for other purposes.
Introduced: March 05, 2007
Status: Voted on by House
Next step: Voted on by Senate
Latest action: Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Sponsor: Rep. Rosa DeLauro [D, CT-3]
View Bill >>News Coverage Blog Coverage
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Votre Vray is not a political site, but the Creative project this site is focused upon is all about women, creativity and living the life you desire based upon your truth. No one can tell you how to vote, what to think, who you should put your trust in or follow politically. That said, I thought many of the participants and readers here would be interested in knowing about this bill, who has passed it, abstained or voted against it. Please do your own research, and come to your own conclusions. Then, remember how it all turned out when it comes to election day. May you exercise your write to vote and may that vote mirror the image of the world you want to come to pass.

Until next time,
keep creating.

Secret Passion become Creative Goal

For many, following a creative path does not manifest as organically or easily as you might expect, or hope. A person can be born with an interest or affinity for creativity and never see that creativity as more than something he or she does for themselves. Sabine Garvey was no exception. She kept her work to herself, away from all friends and her own husband, for most of her life. “I wrote my first poem as a young teenager and shared it only with my mother. My writing was kept secret from the world for many years. Approximately fifteen years later, I wrote my second poem and again shared it with only her.” 

Sabine admits her faulty perception kept her work in the shadows. She felt that poetry didn’t seem like an accepted form of self-expression and she feared others would laugh at her work. “I came across a website of poetry and then I realized there was a bigger community.” Community is what sustains everyone, in some form, knowing we are not alone in our hearts and minds and that others find joy in some of the same creative pursuits that we do. Once community has been found, the path becomes a bit easier. “While writing is my passion, it is not currently the main means by which I make my financial living. It is my ambition, however, to change this sooner than later. It is my passion, my dream and my destiny.”

Best wishes to Sabine, and all other creative souls who walk the same path.

What is art?

Some of the women who have participated in the Votre Vray Creative Women project are fine artists (painters, sculptors and the like) with a lineage of forbears that easily come to mind. The invention and subsequent mundane use of the personal computer has also opened up a world of creative forms not previously available. Purists say, “Anyone who has then fingers, a mouse, and good software can call themselves an graphic artist, but that doesn’t meant they can draw.” This argument doesn’t make many friends in the world of graphic design, advertising and media promotions. 

Michelle Poe began in charcoals and photography and then grew into her graphic design business. “I started with high school yearbook photography and learned page layout. I believe you have to be born to do this type of work. It is demanding. I went to the Art Institute in Phoenix and then transferred to Vegas.” After serving as intern at a large agency, she realized this was the right path for her, stress and all, even though photography is still a source of passion for her.

Michelle is now co-owner of Kherize5 Advertising and Marketing Agency of Las Vegas. She may be reached via

Monday, September 01, 2008

Gustav Impacting Votre Vray Artist

Dear friends of Votre Vray,
I know of at least one Votre Vray Creative Woman, Rachelle Matherne of that is directly impacted by the potential threats of Gustav. Her home was flooded and she lost her entire business during Katrina. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers, as well as all others in the storms path (days past, and present). 
I have personally messaged Rachelle that if she needs anything after the storm to let us know. I believe this community would reach out to her. Creative women are the kindest, most empathic women I know.