The Creative Entrepreneur Book

The Creative Entrepreneur book cover, Lisa Sonora Beam, author

The Creative Entrepreneur: A DIY Visual Guidebook for Making Business Idea Real by Lisa Sonora, published by Quarry Books (2008).

No more starving artists!

Most creatives and artists think they are not good at business, math, marketing, or some other thing that keeps them stuck in dreaming-not-doing mode.

The truth is, it can be daunting, and even overwhelming to consider all of the details that go into launching and running a successful creative business.

If you’re like most people (and not just creatives) you’re probably saying or wondering things like…

What idea should I choose?

What if it doesn’t work out?

I’m so unfocused. My ideas are all over the place. Where do begin? How do I begin?

Do I need a business partner? Funding? 

How will I sell my stuff? Especially if I hate the idea of selling? Geez? Who would even buy my stuff?

How do I price it? Know how much to charge? 

How do I figure out my costs? Do I really need a business plan?

What’s in a business plan? Should I go back to school? Do I have enough experience?

What if my idea is a big flop? What if…I fail? 


The Creative Entrepreneur book and workshops take you step-by-step through these questions, dilemmas, and more.

The Creative Entrepreneur Method is a wholistic approach to both business and creativity.

It’s a practical, tactical and strategic method, that shows you how to figure out everything from choosing your area of focus, to promoting your work.

It’s an inner journey of exploration, too, that helps you navigate the highs and lows of inspiration, self-doubt, and all kinds of difficult emotions in between. Jealousy. Comparison. Criticism. Destructive tendencies that all have remedies you can apply now.

You’ll learn a fun, visual way to approach business, creativity and the difficult emotions that naturally go with the territory.

Creating anything new is a hero’s journey. You are the heroine, and I’m here to help you find your way to the dream you want to make real.

The book includes full-color images on every page (you know you love picture books!) guide you through engaging and meaningful art journaling prompts and projects.

All of the illustrations in the book come from real journals and sketchbooks made by me and my students in workshops.

Creative Dreams Made Real

My creative dream has always been to be a thriving artist doing meaningful work that makes a difference.

Realizing that dream involved a lot of trial and error.

What kept me going (aside from sheer stubbornness) were two drivers:

  1. not wanting to be a starving artist; and
  2. being able to do meaningful work that fully utilized my creativity in ways that also empowered others.

The work presented in The Creative Entrepreneur has its roots in seemingly divergent areas of my work and life: psychotherapy, business, spiritual practice, creativity consulting, teaching, and being a lifelong artist in several media including music, visual art, and writing.

Academically, I have an MBA (Master of Business Administration), and professional degrees in music and Music Therapy (BMus, MT).

For 10 years I ran a boutique agency that helped green and social enterprises promote their good work. The first agency of it’s kind in San Francisco, and just a few in the world when I mapped out the idea (in a heavily painted and collaged sketchbook, of course!) in 2000.

Before my agency, and after my first job as a therapist in psychiatric hospitals, I did all sorts of creative, entrepreneurial things, including teaching creativity workshops at wonderful retreat centers and in corporations, and working alongside other artists to help them make the business side of their work better and easier.

The Creative Entrepreneur book and workshops came about simply because others kept asking me to show them what I knew about creativity and business.

If I were to encapsulate my mission, it would be: No more starving artists!

My wish for you is that you take the material in this book, use it, and that it helps you thrive beyond your wildest imaginings.

Award Winning Bestseller

The Creative Entrepreneur (link to Amazon) has been a best-seller on Amazon and in 2009 won two Benjamin Franklin Independent Press Awards: Best Book in both Craft and Business.

If you get the book, I highly recommend the print version, as the Kindle and iBooks versions don’t do the beautiful layout justice. Like many visual books, The Creative Entrepreneur doesn’t translate well to Kindle or other ebook layouts, which I find disappointing.

Where to buy The Creative Entrepreneur

Get The Creative Entrepreneur Book on Amazon.

Your Turn

If you do have The Creative Entrepreneur book, I’d love to hear your thoughts. How has it helped you to work visually with journal prompts? What new ideas did you take away? What else would you like to know about, that wasn’t in the book? You can leave a comment here, or email me.

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