The Story of Rebecca E. Parsons ~ Visionary and Possibilitarian
Everything is possible and possible is everywhere!!!
Rebecca E. Parsons is the Visionary Thinker, Possibilitarian and Deliberate Creator you may know as Cre8Tiva, her alter ego. Rebecca/Cre8Tiva have been on a blissful journey to Cre8Topia for decades leaving imaginative artwork, applauding friends and creatively inspired students strewn throughout the world.
To meet her is to get swept away by the whirlwind of creative passion and enthusiasm she exudes. She radiates caring warmth with a true desire to see you succeed. Her motto is…Everything is possible and possible is everywhere!!! You can’t help but be inflamed to embrace the possibilities and transform you life into art. She firmly believes that is is no harder to do what you love than to do what you don’t.
Rebecca is President and CEO of REP MEdia, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Cre8tive Compass Magazine, and affiliated media: TV, Radio Talk Shows, blogs, etc. She is a writer that Food Network star Sandra Lee recently described as “the hands down winner of wordsmithing.” Sandra also said of Cre8tive Compass magazine, “This is pure genius.” You can read the whole story here.
Rebecca founded and successfully grew both a decorative painting and graphic design business over a twenty-five year period. She is an award winning artist and graphic designer, having won awards for designing signage at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. From the meager beginnings of a little decorative painting company called ‘faux is me studios,’ her artwork landed in The White House, the Smithsonian, in numerous magazines and has opened the doors to appearances on HGTV, TLC, DIY and so much more.
Rebecca is a featured Designer at FaveCrafts.com and is featured on Craft Gossip and Cresendoh. She is a regular columnist for The Balancing Act (Lifetime TV), Create Mixed Media, Inspirista blog, The Blogger Connection and Vintage Allies Variety (VAV) Magazine where she does regular interviews for VAV Broadcasting. She is an accomplished writer, motivational speaker and a Christian Spiritual Director.
She is accomplished in publishing, writing, graphic and web design, branding and marketing. Ms. Parsons has a total of 35 years experience in advertising and publishing. Her clients have included Fortune 500 corporations, Kimberley-Clark, IBM, Prudential, Scientific Atlanta, Bell South, Peachtree Software, Ernst & Young, Siemens, GTE, and The US Olympic Committee. She teaches art and creativity workshops throughout the world and 2013 will see the launch of her spiritual creativity retreats for artists – Cre8Topia TM and The Artist as a Spiritual Explorer TM.
She teaches art and creativity workshops throughout the world including The Gibbes Museum Studio in Charleston, SC and The John C. Campbell Folk School. She operated her own award winning school of decorative arts called Do What You Love Workshops for 15 years in Atlanta, Amelia Island, Florida and San Diego, California. During this time she developed her creativity retreats for artists – Cre8Topia TM and The Artist as a Spiritual Explorer TM and edited a popular magazine about decorative arts for SALI (Stencil Artisans League Inc.).
Rebecca’s award-winning art is mixed media personified. From doodles to digital paintings, from murals to custom designed purses and accessories her creations are magical fights of fancy that make you want to join in her quest for Cre8Topia.
She shares this passion for creativity through workshops, two radio Talk Shows, Cre8Tiva’s Blog, Cre8tive Compass Magazine, a LIVE web TV show and as a Creativity Retreat Leader and Holistic Coach/Mentor to Artists. Rebecca has written and self-published five books for creative people and is writing her 6th, “Curate YOU…showing people who color outside the lines how to make a living doing what they love!”
Her artists’ statement reads: “Early in life I knew I was creative as I would draw, dance, write and sing the day away. My box of broken crayons was my greatest treasure. I love to explore and push the limits of tools and products creating and experimenting with wild abandon. My work has evolved, as has my life, to embrace my love of the human form, nature (especially the ocean) and my spirituality. You will find my work is figurative and whimsical and I always hide a trademark bubble in my artwork! My propensity to use texture, especially little treasures I find, stems from the roots of my love for decorative painting (commonly called faux finishing).
She has recently expanded her teaching to the Internet – she calls it WEBucation TM. She teaches creativity, art, PhotoShop and blogging/social media e-courses at her own Cre8Tive Entrepreneur University, CraftEDU and FAMM e-school.
Ms. Parsons attended the West Virginia University, the University of Georgia, and the Art Institute of Atlanta..
Rebecca’s Life Journey:
In 1982 I was a newly divorced woman with four children struggling to support my family. Today I am a successful business woman having been a self-employed working artist for over 25 years…half of those years making well over 6-figures.
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly…
After my divorce, I worked as a project manager in the construction industry and took my first computer class (Fortran programming) in 1983 and fell in love with computers. One company I worked for had a Macintosh computer, with a tiny 8” screen and MacDraw and MacPaint software. I was in heaven as I taught myself everything about those programs. Being on the cutting-edge of this new technology eventually led to a job as a computer graphic designer. As the computer, software and opportunities advanced, I was able to open a freelance graphic design business that I still operate today.
My life-long love for painting and creating was reawakened in the mid 1980s when I helped a friend do a faux finish in her stairwell and later when I walked into a little stencil shop in Atlanta and bought my first stencil. The owner of this shop became my mentor who brought me to a group called SALI (Stencil Artisans League Inc.). This would prove to be a pivotal moment in my life a few years later when I opened a part-time decorative painting company called ‘faux is me.’ This little hobby turned into a thriving enterprise during the next decade and I found myself operating two wildly-successful businesses with growing client lists and financial prosperity. My work landed in The White House, the Smithsonian and in many magazines and opened the doors to HGTV, TLC, DIY and so much more.
Master of Reinvention…
However, there were many challenges along my personal and career path and several times I had to reinvent myself and my business. Life threw a big curve ball at me in 1998 when I broke my back, had two major surgeries to fix it, and was told I would never be able to climb a ladder or scaffolding again. An opportunity for reinvention #1.
Faux is me could have turned woe is me except for a late night pity party where I decided, to remain in the business I loved, I would become a recognized expert in my field within five years. Opportunity presented itself the very next day with the arrival of the winter 1998 issue of The Artistic Stenciler magazine They were looking for a new editor and, if interested, please call.
In my drug-induced state of “I could do that,” I picked up the phone and called. Within a week, I was editor of a magazine and completing my book on the business of decorative painting I started during my recovery process.
By 1999 I was writing for several art publications…Country Sampler, Decorating Ideas, Decorate with Paint, Paint Magic, Painting magazine, The Decorative Painter, American Painting Contractor among others. Through Internet forums I heard that the Paint and Decorating Retailers Association was launching a new magazine called The Faux Finisher. So I again picked up the phone and asked to be part of it. The editor said I could submit an article.
That article and my artwork became the cover of the premiere issue and led to a regular business column. To date I have had an article in every issue and have two volumes of business columns for each five years.
When recovered enough to walk without aid, I opened a small teaching studio and began selling my book over the Internet. As my name recognition grew, more opportunities came to me in the form of television shows, speaking engagements, and travel teaching.
My five year plan for becoming an industry expert happened within two years. My life was full and I found that teaching transformed into mentoring and coaching. By 2004, I had taught and coached over 3000 clients, operated a thriving art school, was speaking before groups of 500 or more, and fulfilled a life dream moving to a tiny island on Florida’s east coast.
My Skipper is Broken…
While teaching in North Carolina in late 2004 several teachers were on a walk and I tried to skip and couldn’t. I made light of it by saying, “My skipper was broken.” I found myself falling down at odd moments over the next few months. Life came forth with another bombshell while painting a tiny mural in California. I was trying to climb a step ladder, when my left leg would not go up, even though my mind thought it was moving. For the first time in a long time I was flat out scared!!
I called my back doctor in Atlanta and made an appointment. After a month of tests by neurologists, neurosurgeons, MRIs, CAT scans, electro-something nerve tests, seven doctors gathered to give me the news that I have an inoperable cyst on my spine that is causing the falls and false steps. They said if I became paralyzed, they would operate. I heard you live alone, you will become paralyzed, and die unable to breathe or eight minutes. Opportunity for reinvention #2.
Let me preface this part of my journey with my assertion that when doctors give you this kind of news, they should have a psychiatrist present! They didn’t. So I came home, pulled the covers around me and fearfully waited for the moment of paralysis to come.
I made several life-altering choices fueled by this fear that would prove to be financially and emotionally harmful. I closed my studio, stopped teaching, stopped coaching, turned down invitations to speak…the doctors were right…I became paralyzed by fear!
Sometimes the truth smacks you in the face. My truthful smackdown came in a difficult and painful conversation with my oldest son in 2007 where he said, “Mother, you have done all this hard work to make yourself known and respected…and then you just let it all fade away.” I cried, no sobbed, as I called a dear friend and chocked out the story. Her response was, “Yes Rebecca, you have been waiting to die for two years.”
There it was! Truth in two sentences, two conversations, two people who cared about me, less than five minutes! I have been waiting to die!!! Opportunity to reinvention #3.
I allowed myself time to reflect and understood that, in this short few minutes, I became free of the paralysis that I would later know was depression. This time was not all wasted though because it allowed me to connect deeply with God and enter a training program for Christian Spiritual Direction…similar to life coaching for your walk with God. I also created a new body of work on canvas during this period that was featured in my blog Cre8Tiva.
As I slowly began to find my balance, in May of 2008 I lost my remaining source of income and my ego’s identity as editor of the magazine. Opportunity to reinvention #4.
I was financially prepared (so I thought) with more than ten months of living expenses socked away. I had occasional income from graphic and web design and writing gigs. I began brainstorming for other ways to create income…so the idea of an online magazine began to take form.
“Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.” -Vernon Sanders Law, 1960 Cy Young Award Winner
As we move headlong into a new decade…I have taken time to reflect about the past decade, the circumstances of my journey, and the enormous blessings that have been given to me…I share today with an open heart filled with joy as this has been time of growing into the ME I was Born to be!!!
What stood out, above all for me, at this time of my journey is:
You can come to understand your purpose in life by slowing down, feeling your heart’s desires, and demanding to know.
During this past 24 months, God forced me to slow down by removing ALL obstacles (a job and income) and presenting me with TIME! Time to reflect. Time to mourn. Time to refresh. Time to repurpose. Time to realign. Time to reframe. Time to release. During this gift of time, I found #1-ME and #2-crystal clarity of purpose and #3-this is the time for me to soar…
“To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders” – Chuang Tzu
It has been a Two Year Retreat, mostly silent. Some have followed my story on my Cre8Tiva’s blog and on my other blog, Down, But Not Out (Living Beneath No Means). I had no choice but to reconnect with myself…find strength to look at what brought me to this place, find fortitude to survive, find courage to move forward, find hope to rebuild, find bits of my soul that had been scattered about the universe over the years and bring them home.
And by walking and stumbling and, sometimes even crawling my path the last two years of the decade I was able to learn my deepest passion is to communicate in a major way. A gift revealed itself at the tender age of five when I started my first newspaper. The first headline read: “Young Gril (Girl) Finds $50”…. okay, I still cannot spell, but you get the point. If I had listened then….
If you are going to ask the questions, be sure to listen for the answers.
How many times in my life was I presented with the answers, but I did not listen? Then, a hurried life is brought completely to a halt…so I could do nothing else but listen!
During this time I have been blessed to be able to walk along the beach in my beloved island sanctuary…and capture the moments of my retreat in such magnificence in photos…I step into my purpose, my future, my path with great peace and the completeness of knowing I am who I was born to be…
And, even better, I am fully prepared to help you be who you were born to be through the magazine, the radio show, and the community mentoring/coaching programs.