Kia kaha

For about 20 some odd years now I have had some very dear friends in New Zealand. The shootings in Christchurch have shocked and hurt so many. From my knowing, they believe they are one people (a lesson we could all learn) and this has been devastating for them.

“Kia kaha” is stay strong in Te Reo Māori, one of New Zealand’s official languages. It is the equivalent of “my thoughts are with you” and it seemed appropriate. You can download both cards here:

Version 1 with Silver Leaf ferns

Version 2 with Kōwhai plant

If you would like to write cards full of love for the people of Christchurch, where many have been impacted by the recent shootings, please send your heartfelt written cards to the following address:

Sending Love
PO Box 90701
Victoria Street West
Auckland 1142
New Zealand

Sending Love has a Christchurch area coordinator will get them to where they need to go. I have designed two cards, each prints two invitation/A2-sized cards per page, that you can print and mail. I am posting this on my Patreon as well but my logo is not on it on purpose, I’m not out for publicity, this is solely to do some good for my whānau (extended family).

Thank you for being here, no matter where in the world you are. We are all one race. The human race. Let’s act like it. xo

On Donating Work

Cancer Sell donationA few months ago I was involved with a project that left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. It wasn’t the project itself, or the committee I was on, they were both fabulous. It was the reaction of the artists that were involved.

Charity Begins in the Heart

One of the best things about being an artist is knowing that my work can impact the world. It may only be in a small way, with just one person, but even just one drop of water can make a ripple across a lake. So when I see the opportunity to donate some of my work in support of a good cause, I typically jump at it.

What goes through my head in a situation like that is from an attitude of service. How can I help them? What kind of work will bring the greatest good?

What doesn’t go through my head is, “How much commission am I getting?”

A Fundraiser By Definition

When someone puts out an open call for submissions for a fundraiser, in my opinion, all of the money should go to the fundraiser. I don’t ask for money from it. That defeats the purpose to me. It is especially true if the fundraiser is for an organization that I belong to that supports my needs in some way. If I am not the one running it and it earns me money personally – it’s not a fundraiser, it’s a sale.

If I am offered commission, I tell them that I would like to donate it back into the fundraiser; that’s what fundraisers are for, raising funds. I don’t ask for more. I was appalled when I’d heard that the artists the call went out to had refused to be involved, in support of their own arts organization, because they weren’t getting enough commission and had asked for 50%.

I don’t get it and I am happy to say that I do not think like that.

Recycling for Art

The Economy Made Me Do It

If I, by current financial situation, cannot afford to create something because of a lack of supplies – i.e. canvas or watercolor paper – I usually don’t let that stop me. I’ll recycle cereal and food boxes into canvas, whatever it takes. There is always something I can use and art is, by its very nature, invention.

Professional artist or not, I cannot look at an opportunity to help someone and say no because I put too much work into a piece to not make money off of it. My brain doesn’t work like that. I’m an artist. Creating is, thankfully, not a finite thing.

If I run out of canvas, I use paper.
If I run out of paper, I recycle boxes.
If I have no more food boxes, I’ll recycle plastic bags into plarn and knit something.
I’ll draw, paint with nail polish, make dye from plants, whatever I can get my hands on.

But I will NEVER allow money to dictate my creativity. Never.

Money, or a lack thereof, controls everything else in my life. I’ll be damned if I am going to let it keep me from doing what I love.

Work Ethic

I think what it all comes down to is that I apparently have a different outlook on my art and being an artist. I love what I do. I don’t do it for money. If I get money out of it, WOOT. Bonus. If I can bring in enough money to help support my family, DOUBLE WOOT. But money doesn’t motivate my creativity. It just isn’t why I do it.

What about logos and other gigs that are paid work? That’s different. I do get paid for my time, when I’m lucky, but that is contract work and a whole different kind of animal.

Work that I make out of love, I do that to make people smile and maybe brighten a little corner of their world.

abandon_tagv1Create with Abandon

One of the things that I love to do, and am doing more of lately, is abandoning my art.

I joined a group recently on Facebook created by Michael DeMeng called Art Abandonment. The group’s members have been incredibly inspiring and I am proud to be a part of it. I have abandoned art out in the wild before, leaving inchies and art cards in random places or our favorite hang outs. This group has displayed a kind of compassion for others and a passion for their work, though, that I want to help nurture and am looking forward to being involved with.

And making art to give it away to the happiness of others is, in my opinion, by far the greatest payment in itself.

Slugs and snails and puppy dog tails

When I think of little boys, I think dinosaur battles, toy cars racing in dirt, dump trucks and maniacal giggling as they run after little girls with big, wet, juicy frogs.

tribute_dinofordaniel

Brightest blessings and love to the family and loved ones of Daniel Barden, age 7. The next 28 days will honor those lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, this one is for Daniel. You can find the names of the victims here.

A Candle to Wish By

kindnesscandlesThere are no words that can comfort the loss of life this past Friday in Connecticut. For them, and for any life cut short around the world, please help me in honoring them with a candle.

Download and print these candles. Write your wishes and prayers for someone else, or just spread words of love and kindness. Cut them out and tuck them into a card or make them into an ornament for your tree.

If you would like to help the Sandy Hook Elementary survivors and their families, you can find more information here: http://www.newtown.k12.ct.us

Hug your loved ones tight, always let them know you love and appreciate them at every opportunity. You don’t need a reason to express a kind word to someone you care about, their presence in your life is precious beyond words.

Brightest blessings and love to the family and loved ones of little Charlotte Bacon, age 6. The next 28 days will honor those lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School last Friday, this one is for Charlotte. You can find the names of the victims here.

Make it stop. Sign up. Get the kit. Now.

KONY 2012 from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.

Our bracelets are coming in the mail.

Inspiring things afoot

Calling all adventurers! Jesse over at RawToast Design needs your help with a fabulous project. The funding has already passed but he has pledged some great addons if it goes higher. Read up and show him your support!

 

New York holds a special place in my heart so I am excited to see this happening. There is a city of underground tunnels covering more square footage under the city that possibly the city itself. Some of these spaces are incredibly beautiful, like the abandoned New York City Hall Station. If it gets funded, I think this will be the beginning of some fabulous new alternatives to greening up big cities. Help get them funded, they are sooo close.

Support Education and Get Free Toast!

Just got an email from a fellow illustrator, Jesse Kuhn over at RawToastDesign. He needs your help. Check out his blog post here and spread the word!

You will need Facebook to vote but you can vote up to five times.
http://apps.facebook.com/KohlsCares

It only takes a couple minutes to help someone and, in this case, a lot of someone’s!

What You Can.

I remember growing up as a kid and hearing things like “If we keep cutting down the rainforests, then we won’t have any clean air.” A lot of if we do this then that will happens.

What happens when the then‘s have arrived and gone and we are left with nothing. What next?

The Bayaka. from charity: water on Vimeo.

Incredible video. I cannot share it with a dry eye and without a feeling of outrage and disgust. I am as mad at myself as anyone. We all enjoy the conveniences of this life and are just as guilty as the ones doing the logging that destroyed their canopy, their home. As guilty as the ones who are still logging somewhere out there in the rest of the world.

So what do you do?

What you can.

You recycle more. You research more ways to be sustainable. You encourage others to do the same. You teach your kids. And you pray a lot. My family and I are supporters of charity:water and their campaigns. We wear the wristbands and we give them out. We tell people about them. It is such a simple thing to do.

Join and start a campaign.

Buy wristbands, wear them, gift them to friends.

Spread the word.

Our birthdays aren’t in September, but does that really matter? No. Every day, any day, is a day you can help someone.

News coming about LifeSource, an Art for Cures fundraiser for charity:water…