Immigrant Women Entrepreneurs Europe

We are Women Migrentrepreneurs. Finding our place, making our mark.

Colours and Courage: an inspiring (inter)view with Stephanie Levy

This week I am excited to share the thoughts, work and travels of the lovely Stephanie Levy, an American artist and creative entrepreneur now living in Germany.  Following Stephanie’s blog, I’ve always enjoyed the transporting views from her studio and beyond, and I hope you will too!

from a Studio with a View*

Could you tell us a bit about yourself, by way of introduction?

Hi, I’m Stephanie, an American artist/illustrator who is now living in big, beautiful Berlin, Germany. I grew up in the States, but I’ve been living in Germany for the past 16 years.

I have two sweet daughters, Sophia and Lucy, ages six and four, and a German artist husband. My family keeps me busy, busy, busy, but in a positive way.

I love meeting new people and old friends, chatting over coffee and/or tea, reading in the park, walking by a river or the sea, tasting occasional decadent treats (European bakeries are incredible!), making collages, writing, photographing, and travelling in Europe.

After long stops in Heidelberg and Munich, I’m delighted to be living in Berlin again – one of my favorite cities on our planet.

How did you get started on your creative (ad)ventures?

As a child, I always loved to draw, paint, and make collages – as most children do. Somehow, I never stopped making artwork, and I studied Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico and the University of Tennessee in the US, and then I completed a Master’s degree in Art at the University of the Arts in Berlin.

After I had children and I was spending lots of time at home, I starting putting more of my artwork online and I began keeping a blog called A Studio with a View.

When my children were born, I was living in Munich – where I didn’t know many people – and so the Internet became an important way for me to connect with other creative women.

To be honest, before that time I wasn’t even interested much in the Internet. I had used email and google of course, but that was about it.

A fellow artist I studied with in Tennessee – Anna Maria Horner  – was a real inspiration for me because she has six children and still manages to create artwork and write books – and she keeps an active blog!

In hindsight, I am actually grateful that I was “forced” to start using the Internet to spread the news about my art and illustration. The Internet has opened up so many doors for me, and helped me get press and work experiences I would never have dreamed of!

Berlin by Stephanie Levy

 I was amazed at your ’12 countries’ project!  How did that come about? …And what stands out for you regarding this experience?

Thank you! Well, actually my 12 Countries in 12 Months project came about last year as I was turning 40. One afternoon, a couple of months before my birthday, I was taking a bath and feeling sorry for myself that I was getting older.

Then I thought, “Well, honey, you are going to have to stop being sad, and plan something a bit wild and out of the ordinary for your fourtieth year.”

I have always loved to travel, and since Munich lies right in the middle of Western Europe, I thought maybe I could make a series of short trips, once a month through the year.

I talked about my idea with my husband, and since he is a crazy artist too, he said, “Go for it!” So I did!

Starting in July 2011, I visited: Vienna, Amsterdam, Berlin, Venice, Prague, Lisbon, Barcelona, Budapest, London, Paris, Athens, and Stockholm. My trips usually lasted between 4-6 days, and I scheduled them over weekends so that my husband could stay home with my children while I was traveling.

Most people think that all of this sounds outrageously expensive, but actually I looked for inexpensive train tickets, flights, and accommodation in advance and it was much cheaper than you’d think. I didn’t completely suffer, but I am a modest traveller, and I wasn’t going for the luxury suites.

From this experience, I would tell anyone – “If you can dream it, you can do it!” It might take a bit of planning and organization and saving beforehand, but if you have dreams of travel and adventure, you should go for it too.

Where would you like to go next? 😉

All through my travels this past year, people kept telling me that I should visit Istanbul. I heard it so often, it felt like a direct message from the universe!

I’ve always, always wanted to go to Australia one day, but I haven’t been yet. And one day I’d love to travel on the Siberian Express!

What inspires you?

I love beautiful landscapes, but I also like the energy of big cities, which is one of the main reasons why I wanted to move back to Berlin.

Berlin is chaotic, dirty, loud, crazy, colorful, and vibrant. There is a unique creative sizzle in the air that I love – it reminds me a lot of New York in the States. I think you either love Berlin or you hate it – and right now I’m in love!

artwork by Stephanie Levy

Can you tell us a more about your ‘Creative Courage’ online course?

My Creative Courage e-course is about helping women around the world clarify their creative goals and giving them the tools to make their dreams a reality.

Offering this e-course has been an amazing and life-changing experience for me to be quite honest. In the course, I share my personal stories of developing an online business and living abroad,  plus I invite 12 successful creative women as interview guests each session to tell us about how they reached their creative goals as well.

Both the women I interview and the women taking the course are a true inspiration and I learn so much from both sides.

Bringing this community of women together – from over 30 countries! – has been an honor and I’m so grateful to everyone who has participated so far.

When women write to me about how they feel more confident after taking the course and are now approaching galleries, getting featured in the press, taking part in exhibitions, publishing their work online and in print media – that is the best feeling in the world!

With Creative Courage, I feel as though I am truly channelling my personal abilities into a one of a kind experience that I can now share with others around the world.

Our next session starts in September! For more information, you can have a look here.

a peek into Stephanie’s studio

What are the challenges in doing what you do where you are?

As a mother of two, it is always a challenge to juggle work and family in terms of time. However, both are important to me and I wouldn’t want to change either one.

When I am doing work I love and helping other women, I hope that I am being a positive example for my girls!

Any words of advice for fellow migrentrepreneurs?

Listen to your heart and follow its advice. Most of us know what we would love to be doing; it is a matter of organizing our lives so that it is possible. Trust your intuition.

Also, give yourself time and don’t be too hard on yourself. Honor your dreams, and don’t give up, but have patience too. Your true passions are not running away. Nurture your dreams, take care of yourself, and allow your unique and beautiful life path to develop and unfold.

Thank you for inviting me to share today, I’m very honored!

Thank YOU, Stephanie!  And the feeling is mutual!  🙂

* If you are interested in joining the Creative Courage e-course, or if you have any questions, do visit Stephanie on her blog – http://www.stephanielevy.blogspot.com or feel free to email her at stephanielevy[at]web.de

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Filed under: Creating Opportunities, Crossing Borders, Inspiration, ,

3 Responses

  1. koosje says:

    Thank you Nola, Deidré and Stephanie for this great interveiw! I followed the first Creative Courage course, and it was truly amazing. Eyes were opened, thoughts and art were shared, small and big steps were made, and are still made by many of the participants! The Creative Courage community is growing with every course, which is a strong, rich and a very supportive group of women from around the world. I wouldn’t want to have missed it for the world!

  2. stephanie says:

    Thank you Koosje and Deidre! xo

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