845-887-3156 debra@debracortese.com

Moonlight Graphics Design Studio – revived!

I actually started a part time job last week. (Yes, the current economic challenges have definitely affected my family/home/finances much more than I care to acknowledge or accept, but that’s another story and one I no longer care to tell.)
Anyway, after the first day of training – as a Starbucks barrista, I could feel that gnawing, nagging ache that I get whenever I’m doing something that is not aligned with what I enjoy, and what I believe I’m supposed to be doing with my life. So, I made the decision that I will continue to follow my dreams. I’ll continue to create art for pleasure, art for licensing, and art for wherever, whoever will enjoy it. But, I do need to feed the kid, cats, pay the utility bills and hopefully keep this roof over our heads!
I did run a successful design agency for over 20 years, and since I’ve had a fulfilling leave of absence… the time finally feels ok to get back to what I know and do best – help others creatively present, market and sell their products and services. Technology has changed a lot since I closed the Vermont Agency, but I’ve more than kept up with computers, software and I am practically addicted to social media marketing, so I know I’m ready for this. And, as much as I admire Starbucks, I’m letting my fantasy of being a super Barrista fade and will instead, happily look forward to enjoying a perfectly created cappuccino as an enthusiastically satisfied Starbucks customer 😉

That said, I’ll be looking for and accepting all kinds of design and production projects. If you, or someone you know, needs a logo, a brochure, post card, catalog, package design, web page, email ad, help setting up a blog or anything related to design and production, give me a call and we can chat a bit to see how I may be able to help you produce an effective, and attractive, product. I’m keeping my rates reasonable, will work hourly, by the job, or on contract. I prefer to discuss your needs first, then prepare an estimate and we can work from there. Everything is negotiable and I am especially interested in work that benefits the environment, children and animals, but of course, won’t be turning down business if it does not exactly pertain to these interests.

I’ll continue to create art for licensing, new handbags and whatever art/subjects inspire me. If you have any questions, comments or advice, I’d love to hear from you. I do plan to present several workshops on topics pertaining to design, production and social media marketing. Have already written several sections and am putting together a plan and schedule. As soon as these are ready, I’ll be posting dates, prices, etc. Thinking about starting a separate blog just for this.

Here’s a link to my ‘new’ Moonlight Graphics website. Check the View Portfolios to see samples of the some of the projects I’ve produced. Let me know if you have any ideas, leads, connections? I appreciate any/all networking connections and promise to pay it forward.

The Art of Networking and Sharing Information

Attended my second event/presentation hosted by the South Florida Association of Women in Communications tonight. Once again at the Havana Club (make that Miami City Club…everything changes so often here in Miami. maybe other places as well. I liked the name Havana Club, more of the Miami flavor I’ve grown to love – a subject for another post perhaps).
Working solo and from a home studio is part of being a self-employed artist. It is wonderful in almost all respects, except you get a bit fuzzy brained if you don’t get out of the studio and talk to actual humans every so often. Since this is Miami and there are at minimum 3 interesting places to go every night, discernment is critical. My time is very dear to me so I choose to attend events that I feel will not only be interesting and within my budget, but also where I can meet people with similar interests. (#pizzatweetup at Spris on Tuesday fit this criteria as well)

Agenda for tonight’s meeting was a panel discussion on how to diversify your professional offerings to compete in a tough job market. With the highest unemployment rate in decades, the job market is becoming increasingly crowded and competitive, and even the employed worry about job security. The 3 panelists, Jessica Garvar, Community Relations Director, Jobing.com, Rochelle Broder-Singer, RB Editing and Writing, Violet Lowrey, President, A+ Professional Resumes, and moderator, Charlotte Libov, Freelance Author/Public Relations Professional discussed ways to expand and transform your skills and talents to increase your value, switch industries, or transition to freelance or consulting work.
Fabulous networking before the discussions began. I met Life Is Art Directors, James Echols and Annette Peikert, Juan Campos of NY Life Insurance Co., writer, Marvin Glassman, Marylene Gacon an Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant, Shervin Bain a recent PR graduate, and got to chat with several people I follow on Twitter: Blanca @miamishines, Maria @vicequeen and the newly elected President of the SF Women in Communications, Julia Wakefield. All of this was greatly enhanced by the outstanding view of Miami from the 55 floor of the Wachovia building, and of course, the complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Women in Communications get the gold star rating for making guests feel like VIPs!

Jessica Garvar, Community Relations Director, Jobing.com

Jessica Garvar, Community Relations Director, Jobing.com

Rochelle Broder-Singer, RB Editor and Writer

Rochelle Broder-Singer, RB Editor and Writer

Violet Lowrey, President, A+ Professional Resumes

Violet Lowrey, President, A+ Professional Resumes

Social Media event at the Havana Club, Miami

wired, wide awake and full of ideas again after tonight’s stimulating and informative Social Media presentation at Miami’s Havana Club. Thank you to The Association of  Women in Communications of South Florida @awcsf for putting this together, speakers, @alexdc and @murrayiz and the Havana Club for superb cocktails and hors de’ouevres!

[ Alex de Carvalho, co-founder of StartPR and adjunct professor of social media at the University of Miami, and Murray Izenwasser, Director of Client Strategy, Interactive Services for Starmark International. ] 

A few images to share:

Social Media Raffle









Gourmet Green Market at Miami’s Legion Park

Upper East Side Green Market Biscayne Blvd

The Upper East Side Green Market at Biscayne Blvd and 66th Street is right on the bay at Legion Park in Miami. This is just one of “The Market Company” Green Markets around Miami and it is definitely one of my favorites! Fabulous produce, cut flowers, Estela’s Orchids, seafood, local honey, African shea butter products, Manuel Vives’ fresh roasted Columbian coffee beans direct from his property at Hacienda Manzanares, the most exotic and aromatic blends of herbs and spices, homemade ice cream, cookies, breads, Organic specialties (and catering), local restaurant specialties, hummus, sauces, James’ secret recipe BBQ, Anet’s Columbian Baked Goods, Italian specialties, (for breakfast I tried the mini taralle, split and layered with homemade mozzarella twist, garden fresh tomato, fresh basil and drizzled with balsamic vinegar and smooth, virgin olive oil – makes me hungry just writing this!). Don’t miss the doggie baked goods and unique, “Barkundy” bottled sauce for your favorite pooch from Annie’s Pooch Pops. Chiropractic alignments (see photo below of Dan with East Side Chiropractic checking spinal alignment on Fran Rollason, President of MiMo Biscayne Association) and massage therapists were there too!

Vendors and products vary a bit from week to week, but quality and variety is always more than you anticipate. Here are a few photos from last week. Too bad I can’t post the aroma and tastes as well! Be sure to say hello to Christian for me (he’s in the Honey photo). Chat with the vendors and fellow shoppers. Definitely one of the friendliest places in Miami. 

Green Market Estela's Orchids photo: Debra Cortese
Estela’s Orchids

Green Market Gourmet Garden photo: Debra Cortese

GreenMarket YUM photo: Debra CorteseGreenMarket Produce photo: Debra Cortese

GreenMarket Barkungy photo: Debra Cortese

GreenMarket regulars photo: Debra Cortese Leigh and Elcee, regular visitors to Green Market!

GreenMarket BBQ photo: Debra Cortese James BBQ – the best!

GreenMarket CookiesIC photo: Debra Cortese Homemade Ice Cream and Cookies – Try the Orange Ginger Cookies, YUM!

GreenMarket chiropractic photo: Debra Cortese Dan checks spinal alignment for Fran Rollason of MiMo Biscayne Association

GreenMarket Honey photo: Debra Cortese Bee sure to say hello to Christian 🙂

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