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Clustering Like Stars
In the Fall of 2002, I lived in a rural part of New York with few neighbors and what seemed like even fewer places to meet new people. In fact, one of my main reasons for starting Artella was to address the absence of community in my life, as I was hungry for connections with and among creative people. At the time, I wrote:
"More and more, I am learning how much we long for community, how much it fuels us as we dance with the earth's tilt and embrace all that is possible in art and life. Thus, Artella, named for 'art' and 'telling', was born in an effort to ignite a communal spirit among artists, writers, and creative individuals."
Well, that's even more true today than it was four and a half years ago.
We know that being part of a group of like-minded spirits feels really good. That's proof enough of its values, but contemporary studies have shown that people who participate in group connections are happier and healthier, and one study showed that they even heal faster. Now there are newer studies cropping up showing that online groups share these same benefits. Long before the methodology or impetus for such studies was around, communities, tribes, and clans were the core of many – if not most – societies. Being part of a community seems to be structured in our DNA. When we cluster together like stars, we shine all the brighter.
My dear friend Susan has a new book that just came out, called Fabulous Friendship Festival by SARK. It is book that sings with the power of the connections we make with other people. This book is a rare gem because it delves into all sides of friendship connections in a way that is passionate and real. If you are looking for richer connections in your life, I highly recommend this wonderful book. It will make your heart beat sweeter.
I'm excited to say that Artella is going to be doing more along the lines of community and connections, as we've been busily working on rhapsodies of restructuring that will allow us all to connect in new ways. There are lots of new exciting changes and additions that will be coming very soon, so stay tuned for all the new changes. We'll announce everything here in the next Artellagram!
Artella Founder & Publisher
If you've never participated in an Art "Round Robin" project before, you must give it a try. In a round robin, an item is passed around among the participants, each participant adding an artistic element before passing it to the next person. This could be:
The possibilities are endless!
- A series of art journals, with each participant contributing a spread or two before sending it on
- One piece of clothing that is passed around to all participating artists, then given as a gift to a lucky recipient
- A series of incomplete art dolls, with each person making a small contribution to each doll before sending it on and receiving a new doll
- A series of quilts that are passed around and worked on by each individual before returning "home" to the originating artist
- A single altered book passed back and forth between two people, alternating between page spreads
Click the photo above to see a few "in progress" shots of some dolls made out of Altoid tins in an art doll round robin in which I'm currently participating. It's so much fun to see these little creatures develop as each artist adds his or her contribution!
Look for upcoming round robins announced in Artella!
Just as you can do a round robin art project, you can also create "round robin writing" with two or more people. This is a great way to challenge yourself with some new writing guidelines, or just to have fun with fellow writers.
What are the rules? Whatever you want them to be! Each person can add a word at a time, a line at a time, a sentence at a time. Set it up so that the participants can see all of the contributions that come before theirs. Or, alternatively, create a game where none of the participants see any of the the contributions that come before theirs, and then just merge it all together at the end to see how the Muse of Serendipity has played her sly game…she always seems to come out during these types of things!
I've done these kinds of games with poetry quite a bit on Artella teleworkshops and the results can yield some spectacular poetry.
Here's an example of a poem that was created by several wonderful folks in a teleworkshop I gave called "WordJazz Poetry". We moved around the circle, person by person, and each person contributed a single line. We moved very quickly, so there was no time to "think" from an intellectual point of view. Rather, everyone just moved with the intuitive, creative flow. Here is the result:
I remember time
it felt like butter
melting on corn on the cob
on a hot summer day
I remember that
it sounded like whispers
on the sunset
and I knew that
I would get to be there
but not until the hands of the clocks
had gone around
and so I sat
to think a minute
of the preciousness of the moment
that had been given to me
and what I could soak in
and hold in my heart
and before I knew it
the clock struck one
and I knew
that time was
an imperfect beacon
and challenging me
to go on
- Artella 10 is at the Printer, and We're Having a Pre-Order Special! Artella 10, The Body of Art: passion and products of universal creation, is currently at our new printer in Honolulu (it will arrive to us on the Big Island by boat!), and it will be sent out to our wonderful subscribers in early May. You can now pre-order and save $5 off individual copies of the issue, or save $10 off the price of an Artella Subscription.
See the cover of Body of Art here! This 40-page full-color issue has been a true labor of love, with 35 contributing artists and writers, 12 full-length "how-to" art projects, an authentic vintage ephemera kit, a deck of autobiographical ATCs created by the contributors, plus an over-stuffed CD with 12 artist's studio tours and personal journals, and over 170 free downloadable art goodies, tools, and resources. And, of course, Artella always remains 100% ad-free.
Until the issue is sent out, both individual copies and Artella Subscriptions are available at the special Pre-Order price at the links given above. We're so excited about Artella 10 and hope you will be, too!
- Calling All Poets to our NEW Poetic Idol Competition Format...Enter by MONDAY! Our next deadline for the Poetic Idol Competition is this Monday, April 30th, and we're doing something we've never done before! Our wonderful panel of judges (and no, we don't have a Simon amongst them) will choose the finalists, and then the Artella community will actually choose the winners of the contest publicly on our site! That's right - YOU (and everyone else in Artella Land who chooses to join in the voting) will select who wins the new grand prize of $200! Because of the continued increase in entries, we are expanding the prize money and increasing the number of entrants who will be awarded a prize. And all the winners will be determined by the votes from the Artella community! Details on voting will follow, but in the meantime, make sure that you get your poems (you can submit up to three) in by midnight EDT on Monday, April 30th. Get all the submission information and updated guidelines here.
- Want to work with Artella? Artella is continuing to grow and we're looking for a few more good people to join the excellent team who connect from anywhere in the world to work in our exciting virtual office. The specific things we're seeking include help with administrative support, database entry, research, and graphic design. Our model for hiring begins with a trial period, where the new folks on our team work on a bartering basis. If it works out for both sides, they can eventually move on to a paid position, which is the exact way the entire team of Artella has been built. If you're interested in applying to work with us, please send us an eMail and request an application.
- Attention all Studio Members…your new Studio Art Kit, "Literature & Lore", was mailed out earlier today, complete with a fun interface and access to a variety of download methods -- one for every possible computer's capabilities and individual's artistic needs. If you did not receive your kit, please send us an eMail and let us know, and we'll look into it right away!
Not a Studio Member? Get the details about Studio Membership and receive the "Literature & Lore" Studio Art kit immediately when you sign up! It's our biggest kit yet, overflowing with authentic vintage inspiration!
- Meet Marney in Person! I'll be presenting both the keynote address and a full-day workshop called "The Blissness Plan Art Journal" at the Art Unraveled mixed media art conference in Phoenix, Arizona this August! If you'd like more information, take a look at the workshop description, and listen to a recording of me talking more about the Blissness Plan Art Journal, at the link above. I'd love to meet you!
This Quotz Crystal is a high-resolution jpeg image, suitable for printing. Print it out to remind you of the value of connecting with other wonderful souls!
If the image doesn't show up, go to http://www.artellaland.com/quotz11.jpg to see it.
Grateful for this cluster,
Artella Founder & Publisher
Artella PO Box 78 Johnson NY 10933
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