Shine True is, first and foremost, a celebration of creative living.
Mary Diridon, MSW, CPCC
Hi there. I'm Mary Diridon (Diri for short), the creator of Shine True Creative. After a long and rewarding career in behavioral health, I made the radical choice to dive deep into my lifelong love of creating.
Shine True Creative was born as a place to share that creative journey. Several years later, I now have the thrill of not only bringing my own creations to life but also helping others to do the same.
So. Dang. Cool.
Welcome to Shine True Creative. I am honored and excited to share this adventure with you.
You know the saying, "When one door closes, another one opens?" Well, that's how Shine True Creative's story begins. In 2014, I left a 20 year career as a social worker, counseling center director, and business/life coach to focus on my family. Within a few years, my marriage was ending and I was jolted into taking stock in my professional future. I needed to figure out my next steps. I knew I felt called to do something different but I wasn't sure what that would be.
At first, I was afraid...of failure...of judgement...of starting over...of choosing wrong...of everything. Paralyzed by fear, I defaulted to a familiar scarcity mindset that prized safety and logic over joy and purpose.
But with time, lots of work, and the support of countless friends, loved ones, and professionals, my new life started to take shape and my healing progressed. I began to trust myself in a way I had never done before. Despite having just faced the worst "failure" of my life (and even more so because of it), I felt stronger and more confident than ever. With this newfound trust in myself, I was guided less by what made sense and more by what felt right. And somewhere along the way, I came to actually appreciate this twist in my path as a fresh start, wide open and full of possibility.
Shine True Creative was born from this fresh start. In that wide open space, I took a leap of faith into the creative life I had always wanted. It began with a web and graphic design business centered on authenticity rather than spin and, as my creative journey expanded to include my passion for songwriting and music, Shine True Creative did as well.
Now, Shine True Creative is where you can find music for your next project, get your website up and running, kick-start your creativity, discover your authentic brand, bring your own songs to life, and listen to some damn fine music...all in the same place.
1. Outlook: I truly believe that a creative spirit, dedication to learning, willingness to be vulnerable, value of excellence over perfection, and persistence to keep going after failure are much more important than talent in songwriting and music creation.
2. Curiosity: Being aware of our own thoughts and feelings and noticing what's going on in the world can be a fountain of inspiration. My songwriting is inspired by my own life experiences, my observations of the world around me, and my active imagination.
3. Imperfection: Expecting perfection, especially in the novice stages, is one of the quickest ways to kill creativity. Leaving the space to try, fall short (or crash and burn), learn, and try again not only gives us the chance to improve from our mistakes but also gives us creative material - some of my best songs were inspired by some of my biggest mistakes!
1. Uniqueness: Each one of us is wonderfully different. My creations are customized to reflect each client's uniqueness and, as such, they vary widely in style. This means there is no signature "Shine True Look." So, just because I'm all about shine and sparkles, doesn't mean I'm going to bling you out. Unless that's your thing, of course.
2. Simplicity: The human mind is likely to get overwhelmed and turned off when too many elements are competing for attention. I focus on keeping audiences engaged with creations that are as clean and simple as possible, while still authentically conveying each unique brand.
3. Self-Sufficiency: I want my clients to be able to keep up their sites without having to re-hire me to make changes. I use platforms that are easily understood and provide training to clients on how to maintain Shine True creations on their own.
I put this section last because (a) I believe there many aspects much more important to the work I do, such as outlook, attitude, curiosity, and a good connection between myself and my clients/students and (b) it feels a bit icky to lead with "Hey, there...look at my smarty pants!"
That being said, I do think it's important to point out that my training and experience give me an uncommon perspective as an artist, coach, teacher, and designer in these ways:
My knowledge of social work and psychology combines with my experience as an artist and business owner to help me to understand the emotional hurdles of creating and putting ourselves out there on both a personal and theoretical basis.
Through formal coach training and real-life practice, I've developed effective techniques to help people gain clarity and self-awareness, overcome counter-productive habits and thinking, and stay on track with their goals.
Since the coaching, music, and design fields are not regulated by specific educational requirements, I want you to know that I didn't just wake up one morning and decide to call myself a coach, teacher, musician, and designer. I did the work to make sure I was ready to give you my best.
So, here are some of the highlights of my work experience and education that give me some super-handy tools in my Shine True Creative toolbox:
Relevant Past Work
Medical and Clinical Social Worker, specializing in working with teens and tweens
Director of Counseling and Family Services for the YWCA of Silicon Valley
Private Practice: Co-Active Life, Career, and Business Coach
BS in Psychology: Santa Clara University
Master's Degree in Social Work (MSW): San Jose State University
Professional Co-Active Coach Certification (CPCC): Co-Active Training Institute
Commercial Music Production Certificate: West Valley College
Creating Music for Film, TV, and Gaming Certificate: West Valley College
Design and Branding Training
Girls' Guide to Graphic Design
Girls' Guide to Web Design
B-School by Marie Forleo