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June 5, 2008 -- Your Thank-You Gift From Artella...The Magical DaVinci Dare!
June 05, 2008

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Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.
~ Leonardo DaVinci

Last month, the Studio Collage Kit we distributed to Luxury Art Studio Cabin Members was called “The DaVinci Ode” and it was an artistic celebration of all things divine and DaVinci! (You can see a sampling of what was included in this kit, here). Working on this kit was a wonderful re-introduction to the genius of Leonardo DaVinci, who truly was the quintessential renaissance spirit.

What is it that makes Leonardo such a genius? I believe it’s not just that he was so prolific and talented in so many areas, but that he was constantly trying new things. He constantly propelled himself to get way outside of his main areas of expertise to try something new. He wasn’t afraid to be “bad” at something, because he knew that the only failure was not trying.

This reminder to relish new opportunities was perfect for me, as I’m now embarking on the wonderful new adventure of parenting a newborn! My first child, little Kai Yanni Makridakis, was born May 18, and he is already teaching me more than I ever could have imagined. In the midst of “baby chaos”, I’m finding, ironically, a newfound simplicity in the cadence of living. DaVinci himself said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

To celebrate the Renaissance spirit within us all, I’m excited to invite you to participate in Artella’s DaVinci Dare, a special project designed to inspire you to come outside of your normal boundaries and try something new. You’ll find details about the DaVinci Dare in the ARTELLAGRAM NEWS section, below.

If you're in a hurry, here are some "quick links" to the highlights in today’s ARTELLAGRAM. You can simply follow the links that you're interested in to go directly to the relevant information!

The Shoppes of Artella are filled with products created by talented artists in the Artella community. One artist who truly is a “renaissance soul” if there ever was one is Lani Gerity. Lani does a little bit of everything, and she does it all with such heart and authenticity. The next session of her wonderful Artist’s Happiness Challenge, which I found absolutely magical when I participated in it myself, begins June 16.

I hope you enjoy this interview with Lani in the ARTELLAGRAM’S new “In the Studio” Feature.

Artella: Your Zines and Yahoo group often seem to pair happiness and art. How did you first become interested in that combination?

Lani: I was once doing some research on creativity, generosity, and the brain chemical which makes us happy, endorphins. I had an idea that there was a connection so I thought I'd see what was being written about this combination. I found there were a group of psychologists who called themselves "positive psychologists" and they were doing research into positive emotions. They also had a lot of exercises which were part of their research. I found that a lot of these exercises could be turned into art challenges without much trouble. The more I did this, the more interesting it got, the happier I got. Kind of a positive spiraling effect! Anyway one of their big findings is that the more we practice our strengths (the things that make our souls want to dance) the happier and more resilient we are. So that when life throws us those curve balls which it does fairly regularly, we are actually stronger and more able to cope.

Artella: Did you start out in your current art form or is this a new twist in your journey?

Lani: My current art form? My goodness, I'm not sure what that is. Puppets, zines, book binding, art journaling, dolls,assemblages & mixed media sculptures. Lately I've gotten into stitching little colorful hand made baskets and even bottles with cloth wrapped mop yarn. I love it. I'm using lots of cloth and fiber that I've collected over the years for my dolls and puppets, but it's a bit like building a coil pot, but instead of clay this is fiber and cloth. I stitch, wrap and coil slowly as I go. Actually I love the rebellious slowness of it! Have you notice how fast things are getting these days? I'm totally into SLOW!!! Slow food, slow walks through a wilderness area just up the road, slow talking, and of course slow art! I love anything that slows me down so I can really be in the moment, right now.

Artella: Do you have some ideas for finding time for creative pursuits in a day or week filled with job, family, home care and so on?

Lani: Back in the days when I worked for THE MAN in New York City, the end of the day was pretty much a vegetation time for me. I would be so beat after a long day of working in the highest energy place on the planet (I'm sure of this) that I would barely be able to fix dinner. My husband felt the same and since he was typical "boomer" he would want the TV on after dinner. So I found artful ways to amuse myself back then during that post dinner TV hours. I found I could draw, paint, sculpt little things, stitch, and string jewelry all while the television chattered away. I could even "watch" Monday night football that way! No one felt ignored, least of all my inner artist!

Read the rest of Lani's interview, here!

See Lani's art and eBooks in The Shoppes of Artella, here.

If you want more artist interviews from Artell,
take a look at our eBooks Artist Profiles Assembled and Artist Profiles Assembled, Vol 2, and look at the "Ask the Artist" column every single day in The Artella Daily Muse, our daily online creativity newspaper. You can even sign up for a free two-day subscription to The Artella Daily Muse, to see what it's all about.

ART TIP OF THE WEEK: Lani Gerity has a passion for puppets and paper dolls and so do we! In fact, one of the most popular items we included in “The Da Vinci Ode” Studio Kit was a set of Da Vinci Doll Templates, which are mix-n-match paper doll pieces that can be used in an endless number of creative ways. In face, if you take a look at the entrants for the Da Vinci Ode Studio Kit contest, you can see some of the brilliant ways that our Studio Members chose to incorporate these paper doll templates into their artwork. You can also get a free downloadable “wings” collage sheet when you vote for your favorite artwork in the contest, so be sure to take a look!

Why not take this idea and run with it by creating your own set of themed paper doll templates? Here are some simple steps:

  1. Create a background design on an 8.5” x 11” paper. You can do this either digitally, or by drawing, painting, rubber stamping, or creating a cut-and-paste collage.
  1. Draw shapes for your paper doll on the paper: a head, body, two arms, and two legs. You can either draw free-hand, or trace a template you find online.
  1. Cut out the pieces. Fasten them together with your choice of fastener. If you want the paper doll to be “articulated” – that is, to be able to move her joints – you need to use fasteners that will allow the parts to move, such as brads, grommets, eyelets, buttons, staples.
  1. Embellish the paper doll however you like.

Take a look at this paper doll, I made for one of our old Articulation "Art Splashes" several years ago. To create it, I simply applied rubber stamps to a piece of cardstock in random fashion, and then cut out the pieces. Once they were cut out and assembled, I rubber stamped and embossed a heart design on the doll’s chest.

WRITING TIP OF THE WEEK: Just like the little poem I wrote about the paper doll in the example above, you may find that paper doll projects are ideal because you can create something fun with your hands, all the while providing inspiration for a special writing project. Try creating a paper doll character using the instructions above, and then write about the little creature. You can use these questions as prompts:

    1. What is this doll’s name?
    2. Where does he/she live?
    3. What did she dream last night?
    4. What makes her laugh, or cry?
    5. What is her secret message for you?

For more inspiration, check out this poem called “Four Aunts” that Barbara Miller (aka Aunt Bobby) wrote in response to paper dolls created by Allison Harding, which was published in e-Artella #e-9.

For more ideas on how to use paper dolls in your art, take a look at the eBook, Paper Doll ABCs: Ideas, Inventions, and Tricks for Artists.

  1. Introducing Artella’s The DaVinci Dare! Spread your wings and try something new! Here's how The DaVinci Dare works:

    a. Go browse in The Artella Land Store and specifically look for things that will challenge you to try something new. If you need suggestions, you can visit the interactive DaVinci Dare Worksheet, which we created to help inspire you to make the most of Artella's DaVinci Dare!

    b. Make your selection. Again, aim to pick items that will truly challenge you to try something new...thatís your part of the DaVinci Dare pact! (Hint: if you're slightly nervous when adding the item to your cart, then that's a good sign that you're on the right track to your new Renaissance!)

    c. Our part of the DaVinci Dare pact is to reward you with our most generous instant savings ever on the Artella eProducts that you've selected. To find out how much you will save on the downloadable Artella eProducts in your purchase, simply go to this page to enter the amount of your total purchase in the Magical DaVinci Decoder. The DaVinci Decoder will tell you the amount of your savings on eProducts, and the coupon code to use when you check out.

    d. If you like, you can add more to your shopping cart and re-visit the DaVinci Decoder again, to see how the Decoder will reward you for challenging yourself...DaVinci style! When you are ready to complete your order, simply enter the coupon code from the DaVinci Decoder. The appropriate amount will be deducted from the eProducts you've purchased.

    This offer expires on June 15, 2008, at midnight EST. Remember, the most important part of the DaVinci Dare is to have fun! Stretch yourself in new ways and enjoy the DaVinci Dare rewards for doing so!

  2. NEW items in the Artella Store! Here are some brand-new items just added to the Artella Land Store this week...all hand-selected and designed to inspire your creativity!

  3. Poetic Idol Competition News! We are thrilled to announce the latest winners of the Poetic Idol Competition, which were selected by your votes!

    The winners are:
    • First Place - Megan Elaine Davis
    • Second Place - Matt Beatty
    • Third Place - Janet Paszkowski
    • Special Recognition Awards were given to Patricia Kennelly, Sara Kleinebrucke, Amy Bardwell, Kate Chadbourne, and Lisa Carrick Heeg

    You can read the winning poems in The Artella Café, here.

    The next deadline for Artella’s Quarterly Poetic Idol Competition has been extended to July 15, 2008 You can submit up to three poems and compete to win wonderfully inspiring prizes, including the top $200 award. Get submission details here! We can’t wait to see your poems!

  4. Attention Artella Studio Members – A big hearty welcome to all the new Studio Members who joined during our Spring Fling Special. You should now have received your Vintage Art Supply kit via US postal mail. If you signed up to be a Studio Member during the Spring Fling and have not received your kit, please let us know. You also should have received the newest kit, “Love Stories: Vintage Romance in Words and Art”, and we hope you are loving it! Don’t forget to submit your artistic creations with this kit by June 15 to win your entry prizes and compete in the next Studio Kit Contest.

    If you’re not yet a Studio Member, you can see a what’s included in the “Love Stories” kit, here. If you become a Studio Member, you’ll immediately receive the “Love Stories” Studio Kit, and then you’ll also get this month’s kit, “Postal Passion”, later this month. PLUS you’ll automatically have access to literally thousands of goodies that come with your Membership. Get all the details, here.

  5. Easy, Fun Ways to Get More Free Goodies! Speaking of contests, did you know that, every single week, you can get a bouquet of free Artella goodies, just by entering our various contests, and voting for your favorite entries in the contests we post in the Artella Cafe? Now, participating in our contests and challenges is even easier, because we're posting the new "Contest Hot Links" on the home page of Artella Cafe. So at any time, you can simply refer to the right-hand sidebar of the Artella Cafe home page and see a list of all the available contests that are open for entering and open for voting. Right now, there are two contests open for voting and four contests open for entering. There's something for everyone - both artists and writers - and you get fun, free goodies for participating in all of them! Happy creating!

  6. Interested in working for Artella? If you're interested in becoming part of the amazing Artella Team, check out this post in the Artella Cafe for details. We're rolling out some exciting new features in the coming months and would love to bring a few more wonderful, creative souls on board!

This Quotz Crystal™ is a high-resolution jpeg image, suitable for printing. Print it out and post it somewhere to remind you that there is always enough time to spend doing things you enjoy.

Lover of Jazzy June Bugs

Artella PO Box 4418 Kamuela HI 96743

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