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ShiftMandy Smith, proprietress of Flora Phenomena and at the present moment invited me on a Blog Tour. The idea is for an artist to answer questions about their creative process and then introduce three-four kindred spirits and ask them to do the same.  A play-it-forward game of connection and inspiration. Thank you, Mandy for sharing your earthy sun-drenched world and inviting the Hotel to play along.

There is only time to enjoy each moment and be the very best that you can be. —Mandy Smith

Blog Tour Part I: Creativity and The Hotel

1. What are you working on? Today I am writing about 19th-century artists for the Cazenovia Public Library. Tomorrow I am photographing flowers for an upcoming photography exhibition in Ohio. Soon I will be editing a series of photos about transition called Shift and getting my real-life hotel ready for visitors.

How does your work differ from others of its genre? All my work travels through the lobby of The Half Century Mark Hotel. I don’t think imaginary hotels are the norm.

Why do you create what you do?  I create pictures because one day I saw something that needed to be documented and I happened to have a camera with a very nice lens in my purse. No one else did. The photos made people cry. And that made me happy.

Explain your creative process.  Stories and voices that linger in my head get attended to. The voices that linger the longest get photographed and displayed in the Hotel.

Blog Tour Part II: Four Inspirational Women you Need to Know: 

  • Jill Ouikahilo is a speaker, workshop leader, dancer, and inspirational traveler on a mission to create an environment where people can begin to reconcile and integrate their mind-body-spirit. “Have you ever been called to do something,” asks Jill. “It could be something impractical, or difficult for others to understand (including yourself), yet you know it’s what you must do because you heard it in the silence?” She’s created an amazing platform called 44 Hearts to tell her story while encouraging others to do the same. Read more about her remarkable journey here.  
  • Cherie V. is a poet and self-portrait photographer who publishes on her blog, Red Bird Flew. Cherie describes her story as filled with the usual goodness: love, struggle, laughter, tears, mistakes, and ridiculous dancing. She writes with searing honesty and simple beauty.
  • Heather Rampolla is committed to living with fresh, quality food and ingredients. Her blog features simple ways to incorporate healthy food choices within the busy of everyday life. You can sign up for her newsletter here.   
  • Kira Elliott is a writer, artist and non-profit community developer living in the Detroit area. Her purpose is to help make the world more compassionate and open by helping others open their hearts and trust themselves by sharing the tools of mindful creative self-expression and mindful self-care. Visit her inspirational world here. 

Thank you to the following photographers for introducing me to these inspirational artists: Jennifer Wolsey (Jill), Vivienne McMaster (Cherie V.), and Catherine Just (Heather and Kira).

Hope you enjoyed this blog tour.

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