Hi there, fellow creative human! I’m Carrie, tech-savvy artist & creative heart behind Inspirational Zest and I have a passion to encourage anyone with a creative agenda to express themselves and learn to express their own creative side without fear!

My ultimate intention here at INSPIRATIONAL ZEST is to encourage creativity by provide the information, inspiration or even printable art that may give the extra zest to inspire your next creative DIY project.  

Creative expression in any form is good, old fashioned, self-directed therapy for the soul!

DISCLAIMER PLEASE NOTE: I am not a therapist, I am not pretending to be one! I am simply a creative fourty-year-old woman who REALLY ENJOYS helping others who are also seeking something to add fulfilment to their lives, recognize their creative passions and develop new skills. <3 

If You've Got Lemons, I've Got Sugar Digital Illustration

MY STORY, the bit where I struggled with finding a purpose.  This is going back before I had a solid realization that I should be actively pursuing my DIY & ART passions instead of conforming to what I thought was SAFE.  Being stuck just working for other people out of a fear of failure, having it backfire and really was the best thing that ever happened for me!    

I now have my heart in this personal active journey towards a fulfilling life of creativity, having fun making and hopefully inspiring others to make and diy.        


For a long while, I was not enjoying the direction I was headed in with my freelance business -digital scrapbooking and designing for the scrapbooking and stamping industry.  I hit a metaphorical brick wall.  

Some of my cherished freelance contacts had dried up due to industry changes (especially in 2018) and I was struggling to find the meaning in the art that I was creating and now even make an income.

At the same time, in my personal life, I failed to realize that my ‘boys’, who I revolved most of my adult life around, would grow up and while the goal would always be to make them more and more self-sufficient, It happened quicker than imagined and this mama was not prepared. 

The problem, I had not built any sustainable habits that would help me get through a transition.  I was too comfortable and didn’t work on that stuff actively while just working at a ‘job’ 

Did I mention, I also gained back 100+lbs that I had worked incredibly hard to lose?  Yup, that too.  

I stopped actively pursuing my own wellness and creativity because I felt like the life I knew and was comfortable in was imploding around me, I was staring at that brick wall and feeling like a real HOT MESS!

After a lot of tears, soul searching, several mistakes and even disconnecting from the world and myself for a while -as if that would help…  I decided that I needed to back-track and prepare the foundations better. 

I had not failed, I had failed to plan. 

Thus the journey of building a new outlet to express myself, actively pursuing my own personal desires and being helpful to others was born!! 

YES!  This started me back down a winding path with an optimistic outlook.  I wasn’t starting over, I was using the knowledge that I had gained over the last 14 years to build upon and help others do the same. A PURPOSE

I have been missing the connection with other creative humans, not face to face interaction, but I missed helping others, others were always the purpose behind what I was making creatively, even when I first began. I was longing to be of SERVICE in a bigger way within the world and the only way to find that again would be to reach out and connect with other creative beings as I used to when I first began my creative digital journey making scrapbooking supplies.

I made lovely friends, we shared stories, I shared things, I offered advice, help and they shared their art with me which in turn, brought me joy.

It was that connection that made it more meaningful to share in the creative process and do it together with friends all around the world all because I was making people’s lives better, giving them fun, inexpensive, but creative ways to document memories and yes, as a bonus, being able to make an income by doing something I LOVED!    

Example of The Digital Scrapbooking Kits and Digital Layouts that i used to make
The Digital Scrapbooking Kits and Digital Layouts looked like this!


1. My creative digital journey began 16 years ago.

It all happened during nap time.  That time when mamas need to choose between
self-care and actually taking a nap while baby #2  who never sleeps through the night, sleeps.  Not only was I sleep deprived, but I was also deprived of my creative passions.   

Before two kids, I worked at a senior citizens home and in my spare time, being the creative seeker I was, I really enjoyed making home décor projects, crafts, painting, drawing and dabbling in photography.  All the things!  

When I had my second child, I became a stay at home, mom and I was a bit short, not only on time but money so I needed not only a creative hobby, but a potential career path for the future and that is when I first stumbled on Digital Scrapbooking and soon after, making digital scrapbook supplies and printables to sell!

I vividly remember the excitement about the possibilities of creating digitally and working from home – As you read above, I am a creative mess maker so the possibility of being creative, having no virtually no mess to clean up and an undo button to boot was love, and digital was like being embraced big WARM HUG at that time in my life, so I RAN with it and embraced it right back!

2. My digital art business was formerly known as FishScraps.

FishScraps -Take one byte and you’ll be hooked!  

Cute right? 

I am a bit impulsive, my mind was racing with ideas.  with very little knowledge of business, just knowing that I wanted to do it that day, I quickly jotted down all of my ideas and what I wanted….

My list looked something like this:

  • 1 word.
  • Memorable
  • Digital file sizes measured in bytes
  • Selling SCRAP booking supplies (AKA Digi Scrap)
  • I had just drawn the cutest little goldfish.
  • Favourite colours: Orange and Teal


FishScraps was born. Without overthinking it for days, that was my business name!  Cute and nerdy just like me, I kinda loved it!   It definitely stood out as I wanted, it served me very well, it just didn’t grow along with me because sixteen years ago, back before the days of social media,  I knew nothing about business or branding on the internet. I have grown.

3. I was born a creative mess maker.

My mother always jokes that I always had crayons and scissors in my hands, she could always find me by following the little paper snippets all over the floor!

Still to this day, I am cutting up paper, I get so carried away with the process of creating, I fail to pick up things behind me but at the same time, my biggest nemesis is mess! Although I can create it like nobodies business, I can’t create in a mess!  Perhaps I should have named this space, Carrie’s Creative Conundrum?  LOL

The beauty of creating much of my art digitally is that the mess is limited to my poor hard drive where no one can see it! 🙂

4. I manage and create digital art for several online shops!

  • CarrieStephensArt : My successful Etsy shop featuring a selection of digital clip art & backgrounds.
  • CSPrintableart : a shop focusing on printables | coloring pages, stickers & digital transfer images.
  • A shop at Creative Market that focuses on editable vector versions of my most popular designs.
  • A shop at Teachers Pay Teachers with licensing terms more suited towards Educators creating lesson plans to sell in their own shops.

I am super proud of the digital art that i have created over the years.

5. I Self-Published my own adult coloring book!

Published in several coloring books & eventually publishing my own – Choose Joy Asshole | a sassy, sweary adult coloring book fort those who need to vent now and then! **This book is NOT for children.

6. I Don’t Love

  • Mean People
  • Travelling
  • Being COLD.
  • My gigantic feet even though i am grateful for feet that work.
  • The smell of cooking bacon.
  • Being Late
  • Global Warming
  • Dasani Water

7. I Love

  • My family
  • That my husband makes me perfect coffee every Saturday and Sunday morning!
  • Giggling uncontrollably while watching Parks and Rec or the Office with my husband
  • Honesty
  • People who don’t take things personally or get easily offended.
  • Figuring stuff out!
  • Walking in the fall leaves.
  • The first day in the spring when no coat is needed!
  • Talking to my mom on the phone every day. <3
  • Sea Turtles and Unicorns!

8. I Believe…

  • That we are all capable of more than we believe…
  • In second chances! Change is possible for everyone.
  • Self-Education is the way of the future.
  • Being of SERVICE to other PEOPLE is important.
  • In the power of a positive mindset.
  • In the practice of GRATITUDE.
  • Being brave to stand for what you believe in, even if you stand alone!
  • Healthcare is a human right.

Don’t forget to join my email list to access my ALL OF MY FREE DIGITAL RESOURCES in THE ‘CREATIVE JUICE’ BOX!