3 Benefits of a great peer group

3 Benefits of a great peer group

I have been involved with our peer group for most of this year (2022) and have found so much value in having like minded people, I can relate to. Here are my top three benefits of a diverse peer group;

1 Brainstorm Trust – They are the best people to understand what you face in marketing and the art world, so running ideas off and with them is simply immeasurable. They may have already tried what you are thinking about solving and issue, and can advise how they went.

2 Connection – is key. Everyone needs connection, and connecting with others of the same interests and skills is imperative. Also being an artist can be a bit lonely at times, so having lovely friendships that you connect with are life saving.

3 Combined Skills – the best thing about having a group of people with similar interests is that we all have different skills, abilities and different life experiences. Plus we all look out for each other however we can. That may be recommendations on different approaches, it may be recommending who could complete something we need or it may just be an understanding nod. Knowing we are not the only ones facing the same issues is very reassuring.

We have all asked each other some questions and I will connect you to their pages so you can read their questions and answers as well.

Tammy de Zilva – Loopla Designs

Website https://www.loopla.com.au/blog

What made you decide to be an artist?

Since I was young I have always had creative hobbies. I took a course in design fundamentals many years ago and learnt about surface design which was something I hadn’t heard of before and excited me a lot! I further explored this in my spare time and after quitting my unfulfilling IT career I decided to follow my dreams and establish my own business specialising in surface design.

What is your best-selling item and has your peer group influenced you in producing this?

My best selling product is my tea towels. Whilst this product was established before I joined this peer group, the group has been so supportive of my journey and encouraged me when I have new market stalls or launch a new product.

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?

One of my goals is to release a fabric collection with Cloud 9 Fabrics

What made you decide to be an artist?

I’ve always been creative and have just kept on an arty path through school, university & working life

What is your best-selling item and has your peer group influenced you in producing this?

My best-selling item varies depending where it’s sold. At markets it’s tea towels but online it’s a shower curtain in a rainbow design that gets heavily promoted by both Redbubble & society6. Both of these were created before joining my peer group.

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?

Hopefully selling more designs under my KOOSHTI brand rather than POD (Print On Demand)


What made you decide to be an artist?

I never actually decided to be an artist it just happened – I was always drawing in school regardless of the lesson -one primary school teacher said to me now is not the time to be drawing you’ll be doing that as a career now focus on today’s lesson!!

What is your best-selling item and has your peer group influenced you in producing this?

I am not at the stage where I am creating products yet. After spending many years working for other companies I’m now focussing on creating designs purely for me and my ideal customer. The peer group has been very inspirational to me in seeing others actually doing what I want to do – in our group, I see the day-to-day issues that come up when running your own business and I love the fact everyone shares what they know to support each other.

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?

In five years’ time, I would like to have an established catalogue of designs that I license and also work in collaborations

Irene Tan – Missy Minzy


What made you decide to be an artist?

I have always loved drawing and creating from a very young age. The love for art has always been encouraged in my family.

What is your best-selling item and has your peer group influenced you in producing this?

I have a few best-selling items. There are my temporary tattoos, enamel pins, suncatchers and removable fabric wall decals. All were created before joining the peer group.

Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?

I love to see Missy Minzy (my business name) attracting many more potential stockists stocking my products in their shops within Australia and around the world. Having more paid collaboration with dream clients for better brand awareness and portfolio.


Thank you for reading, please connect with me on social media or send me an email at benitatatters@gmail.com. I would love to hear about the benefits of your experiences with peer groups.

The Artists Way – book review

The Artists Way – book review

The artists way by Julia Cameron has been one of the most influential books I have read about moving forward in creative practice. She talks about writing morning pages, and at the present stage. I am still working with this the most. There are many other things she has in the book for homework exercises, however, I will need to re-read it at a later stage to implement these processes.

So morning pages mean writing three pages every morning to get everything clear in my mind. This helps me to get any negative things or difficulties on the page and then work through a process on how to manage these difficulties and overcome them and ask for clarification or requests from God. It helps me sort through what things I need to be working on today to ensure that each day I make progress in my business.

When I did the ‘Immersion” course with Bonnie Christine, she talks about doing one thing each day to ensure you move towards your business goals. This is something I have taken on board and implemented each day. Some days don’t always make it into pages, but I am still moving very slowly in that direction.

Another of my business idols is Stacey Bloomfield, her motto is ‘slow growth is good growth’, this is so true and I absolutely relate to it.

Further, about the Artists Way, Julia Cameron talks about having an artist date. It is supposed to be on your own but I enjoy doing things with people, especially my family. However I do walk the dogs on my own often, so I guess I have my artist date each time I walk. There is always something different to see, a flower, or type of leaf, or an idea I get when just walking for that short time each day. I find it to be an extremely valuable experience. I take my phone so I can photograph something I may like to draw later. I also like to say hello to at least one person on my way, it gives me a feeling of community.

There are many other things Julia Cameron talks about in her book, but these two are the things that are what I have implemented so far and made a life-changing difference. This has changed the way I can focus and produce work for my business.

I enjoyed this book, however, I found some parts with the homework overwhelming, so I have left them until I get these first two into a pattern that is working. I recommend this book to anyone who needs clarity and direction in building their business. Of course, I still need clarification from others, but I get a good grounding on a direction first.

Please note, that I am not paid for this review, it is simply my thought after reading and implementing the directions of this book. If you enjoyed this review, please join my newsletter for further updates and reviews.

Welcome to my world

Welcome to my world

My Office

This is where I spend most of my day doing various activities. Editing websites, and creating newsletters, to drawing with pencil and paper or drawing straight into Creative Cloud Fresco.

One of my favourite programs to use is Illustrator, I just love bringing my created drawings in, adding colour and creating a pattern to go onto fabric or other items.

Who is in my world?

Wes, Benita, Skye and Sammi

My husband Wes and I have four children between us. A son in Orange NSW and three girls here in Sunny Brisbane. Our eldest daughter lives with her partner and fur babies (yes we have fur grandbabies.)

They may be practising to walk over the threshold (ssshhhhh don’t tell them I said that)

We also have our own fur babies, Chihuahua’s, that keep us amused with their crazy doggy antics.

Benita and Bailee

What am I learning?

I am learning to draw, every day I learn a little bit more as I practice each day. This is a drawing I did yesterday, of an Iris growing in my backyard. All my patterns start out like a simple drawing that I upload to the computer and create into a pattern. This is only a first draft, so there are many more stages before this will be pattern worthy as you can see.

Rough sketch of Iris from my back yard

Earlier this year (2021) I completed the Immersion course with Bonnie Christine. This was an amazing course and I learnt so much about using Adobe Illustrator to add colour, create patterns, and oh so much more! I am still learning as I put what I have studied, into practice creating collections to put on my Spoonflower shop.

Also I am learning about God our creator as I read through the Bible with my dear friend Nicole. We use an app called YouVersion where we can comment on the verses we read and what we learnt or thought. It’s a game changer for me as it makes me focus on what I am reading, and also consistent.


I love to sew, and would absolutely love to be able to sew my whole wardrobe with organic fabrics printed with my designs.

Calligraphy is also something I love to practice, in fact my latest calligraphy pen was a reward for myself for completing my collection called Nature Walk (Soon to be released on Spoonflower).

TWISBI Calligraphy Pen and Pilot Ink from Larrypost

I would love to see your world

I would love to see what make you tick, feel free to post some images of your world. Lets connect!