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KONY 2012 from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.

Our bracelets are coming in the mail.

2011, the year of FABULOUS

It has been a while since I have posted, life tends to scoop me up and carry me along with it most times. I jump off the carousel and run back to the beginning to start all over, picking up new things along the way that I may have passed by.

The year started out with the death of my external hard drive. I was using for it as a supplement for my main drive and, well, it led a good life having tolerated me for three years of hard, daily use. It is, on a bad note however, holding 168GB of my life hostage…writing, art, all my music, my client work, everything. So, I am learning to adapt.

This year is about renewal for me, a renewal of self and the things that drive me. About breaking old habits, forming new ones, and being thankful for the time in between. Instead of waiting for a better situation to come along, I am making one.

Working for my Self.

One of the decisions that I have made is that I am no longer accepting new clients*. I have had far too many of my own projects go undone, sitting in journals, waiting for me to pick them up and bring them to life. I can work on someone else’s projects, or I can invest that time into my self and my family and work toward getting paid. Family and self won out.

*I have some current clients that are fabulous, and will continue my work with them, but I am at a comfortable, manageable work load right now so I will not be taking on anything new.

Art for Cures

Art for Cures is resurrecting this month from the ashes after a three year pile up. Yup, three years. (Thankfully I am not alone, as I have run into others who have been breathing through straws under their own avalanches for longer than I have.) The guilt piles up as much as the work does, but I am finally out from under after sneaking time in between work, college, homeschooling, and daily life. I have a plethora of updates coming in the next week and will be posting a few things to both our Etsy and my eBay account.

Art for Cures is also, God willing, going to become a non-profit this year. We are going through the planning preparations now and I will have more updates on the AFC site in the coming weeks.

More thank yous than I can count to the friends and members I have been blessed with who have stuck by me, I could not be doing any of it without you guys. MWAH Your support and love have been the one thing that has kept me moving forward.

Pen in Hand

My writing, other than running Word Whimsy, has been on the back-burner so long my characters have all started pelting me with rocks and small, sharp, projectile implements. Odonatia, Coffee Cartel, Making Art from Non_Cents, and Clementine’s Garden are all on the goal list for this year though I am planning on doing the “book happy dance” with my friend Pam Carriker with at least one caffeinated book soon. Congratulations Pam! HUGS You can pick up her new book on Etsy or on Amazon.

Full sailing ahead.

One of the biggest dilemmas for me recently has been which school to pursue once I have graduated in March. I am graduating with my BFA in Visual Communications, Digital Design (basically the degree for what I have been doing for 24 years) and have already started the enrollment process with Full Sail in Winter Park, Florida.

I grew up around and loved the Winter Park area. It is commercially overrun now, like most places, a lot of the quaint independent shops that were unique to the area having had to make way for larger corporate shops they, sadly, couldn’t compete with. I still have a huge poster-sized menu from the old East India Ice Cream Company (any of you remember that place?) that we used to frequent. The park is still there, and my tree with its sitting branch best for train watching that my grandmother and I used to frequent, as well as a few old busking spots. The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival is what really drove me to become an artist full-time and, while I don’t attend the show anymore, or at least not near as frequently, it still holds fond memories. We have a similar show, FAFO, that we enjoy and attend every year here locally.

I will be starting my MFA in Creative Writing the first week of May then plan to move on to their Game Art program. The reason the decision was so difficult is because of accreditation, or lack thereof. I have my own goals and projects, though, and I look forward to having both degrees under my belt.

I also used to work for a rubber stamp store in Winter Park and there is nothing better than getting paid to play and create, well maybe…

Art grows on trees.

After a great deal of thinking, I have decided to postpone Gumtree’s launch until June of this year. We need the extra time to build stock as well as get all of our paperwork in order. I feel it was a necessary decision though as, with my external drive in possible permanent limbo, there is more that can be done so that our launch is as smooth and seamless as it can be. I know that when we do launch it will be an incredible experience and one I have been looking forward to for years.

Gallery exhibit July 2011, Winter Park Florida

All paths seem to lead to Winter Park lately! The Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project will be exhibiting at Full Sail’s gallery in July and I am proud to have one of my original journals in it. I am mailing it out on Friday and will be posting a video walk-through of it on my YouTube channel this weekend.

We don’t need no stickin’ genre.

Dragonfly Press Publishing, formerly a venue for zines and other small press publications, launched itself as a small, private publishing company last year with its first title, Freemasonry through the Jaundiced Eye of a West Virginia Hillbilly.

Ophir E. Vellenoweth, also the band leader for Buddy O & the Dancemasters has been a delight to work with and I am currently typesetting another book for him, a work of fiction entitled Tales of the Colstops. I am looking forward to presenting it to you soon. He is currently working on a sequel to Colstops and another book within the Freemasonry genre. Freemasonry through the Jaundiced Eye of a West Virginia Hillbilly is now available in digital download format or hardcover.

Dragonfly Press Publishing will be releasing at least one zine this year, possibly Kraft Paper Muse which has been reorganizing with support in the background.

All I want for Christmas…

UPDATE 1124.09: Noah passed away at 8:02am this morning in his home. God hold you close baby. Noah and his family received over one million cards this month alone from around the world. Thank you again to everyone who sent one. Please pass the word to STOP sending cards because they need their privacy now. They have posted a request which you can find in the newest update here.

UPDATE 1118.09: STOP SENDING CARDS! From what was relayed to me, they received 80,000 pieces of mail on November 11th alone. Wow.

Wow!! Thanks! Please STOP!!!!
Posted Nov 13, 2009 1:03pm

Wow! The outpouring of love and concern for Noah is just amazing! Scott and I never in a million years thought that so many people would want to send Christmas cards to Noah. However, please note: We did already celebrate Christmas LAST Sunday — November 8th.

PLEASE STOP SENDING CARDS AND GIFTS!!!!

Noah is very ill. He is not getting out of bed and it’s time for Scott, our families, and I to concentrate on our son. His time is very short and he needs us.

Scott and I would like to say thank you so much for the support and continued show of love. However, we are asking that everyone please stop sending cards and gifts.

Also, everyone please post the stop order on Facebook and any other websites or organizations that you belong to. We need the peace right now.

Thank you for your understanding in this request.

– – –

This was sent to me today by an Art for Cures member. Please read and take a moment to send a card, it means the world to this little boy.

Noah Biorkman (age 5) is in the last stages of neuroblastoma cancer, after a two and a half year battle.  He and his family are celebrating Christmas next week and all he wants are Christmas cards.

Please, please take a moment to send him a card and drop it in the mail right now. Do not put this off till tomorrow, he may not have one.

Email me for the mailing address.

Please take a moment to send a card full of love to Noah and his family and keep the spirit of Christmas in your heart all year long.

Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with Noah and his family…

Art Book Fundraiser for Sophia Tavolacci

UPDATE 1117.09: After some consideration, I am extending the deadline to November 30th for submissions. I got an email from Sophia’s mother earlier today and she said that she had gotten a positive response for the project.

Sophia isn’t giving up. Neither am I.

We did not get the number of submissions I had hoped for, too few for a large book. Many thanks to those creatives who have sent in work so far. Please help me spread the word. We need more creatives!

– – –

My girlfriend Julee forwarded information to me about this precious little girl because I run Art for Cures. As a mother, my own little girl is 8, I cannot imagine what Sophia’s mother is going through. Please help in any way that you can…sophia

YOU KEEP THE RIGHTS TO YOUR WORK. ALL SUBMISSIONS ARE CREDITED. 90% OF THE PROCEEDS GO TO SOPHIA’S FAMILY. 10% GOES TO THE APLASTIC ANEMIA & MDS FOUNDATION. THIS IS FOR AN ART BOOK FUNDRAISER ON BLURB. NO MONEY REQUIRED, JUST DONATE ONE HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGE, ART OR PHOTOGRAPHY (specs below). THANK YOU!

Sophia Tavolacci is 2 ½ yrs old and was diagnosed with severe Aplastic Anemia.

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/sophiatavolacci/photos

This is a rare life threatening disease. Her mother is leading fundraising efforts toward the only option to save her life. Her mother would have to have a special procedure to have an HLA identical sibling so that Sophia can get a bone marrow transplant from her sibling. This procedure will save her life. Insurance covers a little but not everything, so they need a LOT of help. See comment below for links to more information on Aplastic Anemia and the procedure.

Please support this family and come out to her fundraiser this Sunday the 8th if you are local to them in Woodside, NY; details on their site. You can read her story and find more information here:

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/sophiatavolacci/mystory

Every little bit helps! If you cannot donate financially, please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. If you can donate the proceeds of an original piece of artwork or something in your Etsy shop, etc that you could sell on her behalf it would help. They really need this! I know times are tough, they are for all of us, but imagine if this were someone you loved. How important would it be to you to help?

THE ART BOOK

One image is all it takes.
DEADLINE THIS FRIDAY NOVEMBER 30th

I am using the 10″x8″ standard landscape template on Blurb, here are the specs if you need them…

@ 300dpi = optimal image size is 2888px x 2475px

I will make your images work but minimum 300dpi is requested for them to look good and work well.

I have the Blurb software which is plug-in-and-go easy so we can do this fast and help them raise money. Please please please email me directly at renmeleon@gmail.com and include one high resolution image (no need to crop, I will) with your name as you would like it to appear and one link or your email for credit. By submitting your artwork you are giving me permission as Art for Cures to use the image in all promotional aspects for fundraising for this family and to help sell the book.

If the image is not appropriate for the book I will contact you to find a replacement. I am reserving the right to decline submissions if they are inappropriate.

All proceeds will go directly to Sophia’s family via Art for Cures and you will get credit for your work, mentions in the book and on the site(s), etc. You retain all rights to your work. Please help.

Any positive images that represent love, hope, compassion, caring, mother and female child, angels…keep it light, happy, hopeful. If you would like to send loving thoughts to them directly please check out Sophia’s mother’s journal on the site above.

ADDENDUM: I am looking for someone that would be willing to purchase a copy of the final book for Sophia’s mother. I am not getting anything out of this monetarily, and probably won’t even be able to buy my own copy, so I need someone willing to step up and help with a copy for Sophia’s mother. If you would like to help, please email me. I will include you in the thank yous on my site(s).

Thank you!

UPDATE 1105.09: Spoke to a representative of the Aplastic Anemia & MDS Foundation today. As a “personal fundraiser” they are not allowed to help publicize things BUT I suggested we could make a donation and their rep said donating 10% to AAMDS would get the project on their site. WOOT The other 90% goes to Sophia’s family; I spoke to Sophia’s mom and they are excited at the possibilities…

Now we just have to fill the book up so COME DONATE IMAGES!

And the official name of the project is now “Hope: The Sophia Project”.