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Your Valentine Gift From Artella
February 14, 2008

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A Word from the Creative Surge General

Even though it's become such a commercialized holiday, I believe it's important to remember that Valentine's Day is not only about sweethearts and romance, it's about all kinds of love. One of my favorite kinds of love is the kind of love that we feel when we are actively engaged in creativity. If we're not doing it regularly, it's easy to forget how good creative love feels!

In fact, many studies, including one in December 2007, by The University of Texas at Austin, have proven that people who regularly engage in creative acts are healthier and feel better. Why is this so? Here's a report from Artella's Creative Surge General with reminders for all of us!

The Top 5 Ways Creativity Is Good For Your Heart
  1. Creativity is relaxing. When we engage both our mind and body in something that we enjoy, our bodies release powerful hormones that relax us, undoing all kinds of damage caused by stress in day-to-day life.

  2. Creativity is a healthy distraction. There is no better way to forget our troubles, challenges, and pain than to get involved in meaningful creative projects. A creative project is a great way to focus on what IS working in your life, rather than what isn't.

  3. Creativity gets our heart pumping. From the adrenaline that gets going when we're happily engaged, to the often quite physical nature of art, creativity gets our insides moving and shaking. Painting, sculpting, writing (especially via longhand), and running around town looking for "art junk" at flea markets is GREAT exercise. :-)

  4. Creativity gives our self-esteem a boost. Endless studies have been done on the effects of positive self esteem on general health. When we create something that we're proud of, we get a huge psychological boost that has endless rewards. Think of the small child who shows off a drawing and says "Look what I did!" We all need a healthy dose of that kind of pride!

  5. Creativity offers great opportunities for connection with others. You share your art or writing with someone else and it sparks a meaningful conversation . . . you post your work in an online contest and others comment on it . . . you collaborate on a creative project to create something from two heads instead of one . . . you donate your work for a charitable cause that makes a difference to others. These are just a few examples of many the kinds of connections that creativity can provide. They all remind us that we are not alone on this planet, or in our pursuits of creativity. Connection with others makes us healthier and happier, and truly part of the fabric of the world.
Happy Valentine's Day to you, on behalf of everyone at Artella Land! Keep reading to find out about your special Valentine's Day Gift from the Creative Surge General!

1. Attention Poets! It's Poetic Idol time again! The next deadline for the Poetic Idol Competition is February 28, 2008. You can submit up to 3 poems, and win great prizes (including the $200 top award, and other monetary prizes, plus free publication of an e-chapbook of your poetry). Once again, the voting will be done by the Artella Community! To enter, make sure that you get your poems (you can submit up to three) in by midnight EST on February 28. Submission details are here. Good luck!

2. Free Event on Digital Altered Books™!
Digital Altered Books™ are the latest phenomenon to hit the creative world. On Monday, March 10, I'll be presenting Digital Altered Books™ Revealed, an online workshop to show you all about this brand new art genre that merges the fascinating process of altering beautiful vintage books with the creative ease of digital imaging technology. You will not only will you get loads of tricks and techniques for Digital Altered Books, but will also come away with some goodies, so you can start experimenting, yourself! Space is limited, so sign up soon!

And speaking of which, if you've already caught Digital Altered Book™ fever, we've got ten just-released NEW Digital Vintage Books™, for a total of 20 books in the collection, plus several NEW Digital Ephemera Packs. It's simply amazing what people are doing with this new art form! To get an idea of these fabulous, interactive books, follow the links to the four insanely creative Digital Altered Books™ that William Charlebois has created by going to the bottom of the left-hand sidebar in his Artella Cafe blog, Billizetti's World.

3. Gifties Galore in The Artella Cafe! -- Did you know that, every single week, you can get a bouquet of free Artella goodies, just by voting for your favorite artworks in the Creativity Contests we post in the Artella Cafe? And you get even MORE good stuff when you actually share your own art in the contests, too! At any time, just go to the Creativity Contest Central to find the week's open contests and ballots. Each week, look for the "star" icon next to the posts, which indicate a contest is open for entries. A "thumbs up" icon next to the posts indicates the contest is open for voting.

Here are the current contests open as of today:
Note that you need to be logged in to The Artella Cafe in order to place your vote and claim your gifts. If you have not yet joined the Cafe, it's easy! Just click the "Join" button in the upper-right corner of the screen, or go to this link to sign up.

4. Announcing NEW Blog Topic of the Week! Since the beginning of the new year, we have been posting a weekly Topic of the Week for our talented Artella Cafe Bloggers! At the end of the week, the Artella staff chooses their favorite post, and that blogger receives a great prize! Plus, everyone who posts on the topic will receive extra Artella Cafe points, which can be redeemed for all kinds of Artella goodies (the complete details about the upcoming Artella Cafe Points are finally just about finished and will be coming out soon!) To see the current Blog Topic of the Week, check out this post.

If you do not yet have a blog in the Artella Cafe, it's easy to start one! All
Membership Levels get a free blog with their Member Ship Cruise Cabin. Get Member Ship information, here. If you ARE already a Member, login to the Member Ship's LinkLobby with your username and password to sign up for your new blog.

A little hint: if you already have signed up for your blog but you're having difficulty getting started, anyone can now download my "Blog Customization and Design Webinar" for a tutorial on how to design and customize your Artella Cafe blog so you love how it looks!

5. Want to sell with us? You've probably seen the wonderful artists from The Shoppes of Artella showcased all over Artella Land lately. Just as we hoped, these new featured spots are really boosting their sales! Jaime Adcock wrote to say:

Just had to drop you a quick line and say "Thank you, Thank you" for the new Artella marketing initiatives of the Shoppes! Wow! Talk about the audience reach that Artella has -- amazing! Each and every time that I've been promoted through the new Shoppes initiatives (daily newspaper, LinkLatte, etc.), I've had additional sales of my e-books, and all without me having to do any extra promoting on my own. Plus, I love that Artella is donating a portion of the sale to charity. What a treat . . . I am truly spoiled! Thanks so much for making this amazing opportunity available.

Well, all these efforts are all part of Artella Shoppes Artist Co-Op Program, a one-of-a-kind, true community for artists and craftspeople selling handmade goods, providing opportunity and exposure that isn't matched anywhere else, on- or off-line. Take a look at the highlights of the Artella Shoppes Artist Co-Op Program, here! Even if you are not yet ready to list your products, you are still welcome to join this supportive community of artisans while you prepare to sell your work. Sign up to get your invitation to join the new Shoppes Sellers' forum in the Artella Cafe, attend next week's online monthly gathering of Shoppes artists, receive valuable coupons for Artella products, and more!

5. Attention Luxury Art Studio Cabin Members! Don't forget, you have until tomorrow (Friday, Feb 15) to submit your art for the "Eyes of a Child" Studio Kit Contest. This month's kit -- "Gentle Men" -- will be sent out at the beginning of next week.

Not a Studio Member? Sign up today and get the "Eyes of a Child" kit immediately, and then get the "Gentle Men" kit when it comes out next week! Each and every kit is overflowing with artistic inspiration and design elements you can find ONLY at Artella. And while our Studio Kits are available in the Artella Storefront, if you receive them as part of your Luxury Art Studio Cabin Membership, you also get all other juicy benefits of Membership, like a free blog AND free personal art gallery in The Artella Cafe, a subscription to The Artella Daily Muse and unlimited access to the thousands of freebies aboard the Artella Member Ship. Get all the info about Studio Membership, here!

6. Your Valentine Gift! To romance your Muse, we'd like to give you a set of LoveSplash Background Papers! To pick up this set of 4 beautifully artistic downloadable papers, which are equally suitable for both digital and paper art, follow these simple instructions:
  1. Go to this link in the Artella Storefront and place LoveSplash Background Papers in your cart.
  2. If you like, you may add other items to your cart at this time. When you are done, follow the links to check out. (IMPORTANT: if you have not already signed up for an account in the Artella Storefront, please follow the instructions to create your new account. If you do already have an account, simply enter your login information to proceed with checkout.)
  3. When you check out, enter this coupon code in the Discount Coupon Redemption box: CREATIVESURGE and the price of the Background Papers will be subtracted from your account before you complete the transaction.
  4. When you have completed the transaction, follow the download instructions that appear on the "Thank You" page.
Have fun!

Artella Founder, Mango Lover, Hula Dancer

Artella PO Box 4418 Kamuela HI 96743

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