Meet the Artist – Mati McDonough

July 23, 2012

daring adventures in paint from alakim on Vimeo.

This week on Meet the Artist, I have the pleasure to introduce you to Mati McDonough. Mati and I met a few years ago when she taught Get Your Paint On with Lisa Congdon. Mati is a mixed media artist and has just completed a book entitled: Daring Adventures in Paint and she will be teaching 3 courses at the retreat based upon projects in the book. Mati is also one of the founders of Teahouse Studio in Berkeley, California. Mati and I just visited with each other during Susannah Conway book signing held at the studio. She is a lovely person, kind and generous and is a warm and caring instructor. I am proud to introduce you to her today:

photo credit: Leslie Sophia Lindell

Tell a little about yourself. Where you have lived, what type of creative work you have done and how you came to build your business.

I’m Mati Rose pronounced like Ahoy Mati! I grew up in Maine and then moved cross-country to San Francisco in 2000. I’m a painter, illustrator, teacher, studio co-founder and new author of “Daring Adventures in Paint”.

Do you think most people are living their creative dreams? Are you living your creative dreams? How?

I am living my creative dreams! That doesn’t mean that it still is not a struggle, but I can finally own that I am living my creative dreams:)

photo credit: Leslie Sophia Lindell

How does family and life experience play into you achieving your goals? Who around you encourages you?

I grew up with a very creative and resourceful mom who could make anything out of anything. Rugs from t-shirts, belts into chairs and sweaters into blankets. My dad died when I was a baby, but left behind 100’s of art prints that he created in his life that were a big portal into who he was. I learned the importance of art as a way to communicate very early on. I didn’t think that I could necessarily support myself as an artist though until my late 20’s when I started taking risks: having my first show, taking adult ed art classes, applying to art school, submitting my children’s book to publishers and so many more micro steps.

Now I intentionally surround myself with supportive and encouraging creatives. There are so many of us out there!

How do you conquer fear? How do you encourage others to conquer their fears?

I conquer fear with practice. One of my mantras is “Show the World Your Magic”. I think that we all have a place of magic, light and shininess inside that wants to glow. This practice of shining debilitates fear. Fear is holding us back in the dark shadows keeping us small. I am very familiar with this scary place and by speaking openly about our fears it helps to transform and universalize them.

photo credit: Leslie Sophia Lindell

What are the steps you follow when you are working towards a goal?

I write down my goals on big pieces of paper in pretty colors and try to break them down into smaller steps. I ask for help. I have used therapists, coaches, self-help books and ecourses to help me stay aligned with my goals.

After you have achieved a major goal?  How do you wind down and still keep that momentum moving forward?
This is hard since there’s often a crash after a big goal, like an art show. I always feel a wee bit deflated and uninspired. I think it’s just about showing up back in my studio and back at the canvas and refilling my well. Taking walks, photos and doing personal projects… cleaning helps too;)

Here is a list of Mati’s favorite websites:
The wholehearted ones:
Superhero Journal
Kelly Rae Roberts
Lisa Congdon
Brene Brown

Her Favorite places in the US:
US: San Francisco (home for 12 years), Oakland (new home), Maine (hometown), Minneapolis/St. Paul (collegetown), NYC (art!)

and her favorite museums for creative influence
Bilbao Guggenheim
Walker Art Museum

what do the following words mean to you…art? design? creativity? how do these fit into your life?
Art, design and creativity is EVERYTHING and EVERYWHERE! It is just about keeping your eyes open and seeing it!

photo credit: Leslie Sophia Lindell

Want to meet Mati in person? She’s one of the instructors for Create.Explore.Discover.


Learn more about the event.


Here’s where you can find more about Mati and her work:

website: matirose

studio: Teahouse Studio

courses: get your paint on

book: Daring Adventures in Paint

illustration: Lila Rogers Studio

Next, we will explore Truckee, California, the home of our retreat.

Also in Create. Explore. Discover.

Meet the Artist: Andrea Jenkins

September 25, 2014

It is my pleasure today to introduce you to Andrea Jenkins. I first met Andrea in a Polaroid Photography class at Tea House Studio in Berkeley, CA. My friend Jenn and I traveled to San Francisco for the course and it did not disappoint. It also began a new creative adventure for me. Before the […]

Continue Reading

Photo Giveaway: Andrea Jenkins

September 24, 2014

I’m so excited to announce that Andrea Jenkins has offered two pieces of photography for a giveaway this week. In order to enter just click a Rafflecopter giveaway and follow the prompts. The giveaway is going on now until September 27. Thank you so much Andrea for sharing your inspiring work with our audience. Best […]

Continue Reading

Anne Weil: Crocheted Stone Giveaway

September 11, 2014

Last week we introduced you to Anne Weil the maker behind the popular blog Flax and Twine. Anne will be teaching for the 3rd year at our retreat and we couldn’t be more thrilled. She will be teaching Arm Knitting for One and All and Crocheted Stone Lovelies. As a tribute to her Crocheted Stone […]

Continue Reading


through photography, art, and good design, we create products that capture the joy of local life and everyday surroundings.

join our VIP list to receive first access, special treats and designs.