Sunday 1 April 2012

Inspiration Sunday - Mayi Carles

I recently signed up for the Life Is Messy Bootcamp, I have found these type of Internet based courses are great for motivation and meeting new people. The mastermind behind the Life is Messy Bootcamp is Mayi Carles, who can also be found at heartmadeblog if you have your own business she is worth listening too, she has lots of great ideas to share.

Could we start off with you telling us a little about yourself and your background?
Sure thing. Well my real name is Maria Alejandra Carles. At least that's what my parents called me upon birth, but please call me Mayi (pronounced m ah jee).
And here goes, the self-proclaimed job title (drum roll please): I'm an artistic inventor + organizational master + pocket-size creative business fairy. Pow!

Ohh + I'm addicted to cupcakes. Severely hooked to the Red Velvet kind. 
Were you a creative child?
Are you kidding? I was 2 years old in 1984, the year my parents framed my very first crayon doodle, which still hangs in my mom + dad's bedroom in its shiny gold painted frame. At the age of 4, I took up my version of "mural painting", applied Mattel plaster + splattered tempera paint to wall surfaces. When I turned 7, apparently inspired by the otherworldly works of Salvador Dali, I drew on my little brother Coco the first of many permanent moustaches.
To say the least, I've been a little too curious + hyperactive for my own good, always testing the limits of those around me with all the tutu dancing + wall painting + shower singing + party propping + sewing kit playing + all that jazz. 
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an immigrations officer when I grew up, that's how much I love stamps. When I realized the job didn't involve crayons or wearing my pajamas + I quickly changed my mind. 
Ginger Triometric Headband

You studied art in Florence, Italy (I also lived in Italy and loved it), what did you gain from your experience there?
I gained 15 pounds from eating too many gelatos + a tsunamic understanding of who I am + why I'm here. Florence was a very spiritual moment for me. It was right there + then where I knew I had a gift that I couldn't silence any longer. No wonder Italy is home to so many masters. There is something in the air I'm sure. 
From reading your blog, you appear to wear many hats as it were from being an artist, designer, TV presenter, creative business coach to vice president of a natural juice company, how do you manage it all?
Oh boy! I wish I could tell you I have an army on umpa lumpas bouncing around my studio helping me out. Unfortunately, that's far from the truth. It's just me + my 10 little fingers here doing "all the work" (and by "all the work" I really mean "some of the work" because I do give in sometimes + ask for help when things gets too insane). It also helps to have inherited my fathers intensity + obsessive discipline, so I'm naturally very self-driven + hyper active. My Life is Messy Planners are also oh so handy to jot down all my crazy ideas + forget "nothing" (and by "nothing" I really mean "almost nothing", because I do mess up, even if the wonder women complex in me has a hard time admitting it LOL).

 So, can you describe a typical day for us?
Would you believe me if I told you I don't think I have typical days? At least not now that I'm my own CEO! Every day feels so different for me. I guess that's the fun part about being a creative entrepreneur that your job requires you to constantly push boundaries + take risks + do things that scare you + always be on your toes. We're a little bit like adrenaline junkies, minus the bungee jumping :)
Today, for example I'm taking the afternoon off to bake some Banana Nut Expresso cupcakes for hubby cuz it's his birthday + preparing next weeks action plan to world domination. Sometimes I really need chill days like today to compensate for the frequent all nighters. 
 As an artist, what is your favourite medium to work with? and can you share a bit about your creative process?
I'm severely hooked to my scanner these days, using it to digitalize my hand-illustrated whimsical drawings. 

Now, just to prove that you are really human can you share a creative disaster story, such as the time I sewed the embroidery I was working on to the shirt I was wearing or like the time when I muddled up the arms and legs on a doll somehow and ended up with the freakish looking doll ever.
Oh boy! This will be my first time airing this. Here goes. During junior year in college I accidentally drank a full gulp of turpentine thinking it was my Martinelli apple juice. I had to call an ambulance to the rescue + hours later there I was in the ER with charcoal (or something that surely felt like it) in my throat to pump the venom outside my system.
Funny part of the story is that for the following weeks I got many calls from the college's psychologist asking if I was OK. Later she confessed that they just wanted to make sure it was an "accident" + not something I did on purpose.Now I keep my food + my supplies at miles difference :) 
Finally, who or where do you draw your inspiration from?
This is a hard one! I’m really inspired by so many things – a crafty blog + traveling the world + a freshly squeezed juice + dancing in the shower + jogging in the beach + kissing my man + post-it notes + supplies + April Bowles + hot tea + dreaming + music + my grandma’s food + my mom + cupcakes + my dad’s spaghetti's + surprises + Halloween + bubble wrap paper, just to name a few. 
Before you go, a question from Ebi-kun... what is your favourite local dish?
"CarimaƱolas de queso" made by a 100 year old lady in El Valle. CarimaƱolas are made with yucca + filled with fresh cheese + then fried, but I loved mine baked. Oh so yummy! 

I hoped you enjoyed learning a bit more about Mayi, I know I did! If you want to get your business organized I can highly recommend the bootcamp. It is self paced but there are few of us working at about the same speed  and we use the bootcamp Facebook group to ask questions, get feedback, encouragement  etc. You should come and join us!

You can also find Mayi at

All images on the post ©Mayi Carles

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