Monday, December 7, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
For those of you that don't know what TWLOHA's is...
Today is basically about writing the word love on your arm. Writing it to promote awareness about things such as self injury, addiction, depression, and suicide - specifically within the teenage years. (As I think this is where it is most often not taken very lightly. - you know, hormones.) But also acknowledging that these are things people won't grow out of. That people much older than their teens suffer. They fight these things ever single day.
So writing love on your arm not only promotes awareness and conversation about difficult subjects. It's also there as a sign of support. A sign that someone cares about you when depression, addiction, self injury, and thoughts of suicide make it so difficult to believe that could be true.
Love is the movement.
Rescue is possible.
You are never alone.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
This is me. Hands down. Overly sensitive and what might seem to others as overly dramatic. I had a difficult time watching The Day After Tomorrow yesterday because watching all of those people die made my stomach feel really heavy.
I've joined a prayer and meditation group that meets on Tues. It's been going really well, and I'm really enjoying it. I was raised Catholic and so I've always had a religious prayer oriented lifestyle. But I've always been one of the more "open" Catholics if that doesn't seem like too much of a contradiction. (I personally wouldn't say it is... as I know plenty.)
And while I was living in Germany, my yoga teacher was my best friend. She was still in yoga classes at her local ashram and sometimes I would go there with her. It was a very interesting experience in Hinduism. And a bit of Buddhism. Meditation classes. Yoga practices. Prayers to the gods and "gifts" of fruit.
But I've never had the two cross over until this group I've joined. It's been wonderful.
We're reading and discussing this book - Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening by Cynthia Bourgeault.
I'm adoring it because it's bringing together my faiths? Ha. Things that I already knew were tied, but there's something to be said about validation in printed form, even if it is just someone else's opinion.
Which brings me to the next topic. Chapter 5. The main point of chapter 5 is to reinforce the fact that while meditating in centering prayer you're not suppose to look for anything divine. You're not suppose to look or even have any miraculous events happen. As the entire practice is about letting go.
But it goes into a part about how imagination and the devil are linked. And how monks use to fill their days with meditation and prayers so that the devil could not sneak in through the imagination.
For some reason this has bothered me more than it should.
Perhaps they speak of "imagination" in a different way than I do. I've never in my entire life viewed my imagination, my creativity as a bad thing. So it's been a bit unnerving to know that others might. I'm getting more use to the idea. I don't need approval from everyone. (but wouldn't it be nice if that were a possibility.) The more I think about it the more I realize there have always been people against the arts. Harry Potter, for example. I suppose the people who oppose Harry Potter and think that the imagination that led it is the devil's work are the same people that would denounce creativity all together.
It's been a difficult pill for me to swallow. Which is also silly because the prayer and meditation group is all about letting go. Instead I find myself throwing up walls and being defensive.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
(I've always wanted a website where there was a bookcase sort of thing, and you could select the "book" you wanted and the pages would turn, ect... As close as you could get to actually looking through my books on the computer. So maybe I'll put that in motion once with is finished so that I have a place worthy enough to share the work of others. I just know nothing about website design. Maybe I'll make an art trade with someone who's willing to help in that department.)
Anyway - I'm looking for people who are willing to participate. I say willing because unfortunately there are a few requirements.
1. I want you to be honest with yourself that you'll have the time, motivation or inspiration to do a page. I'm thinking a two week max in any one place. If nothing happens in a 2 week span - that's completely okay. Things come up, but I'll ask that you pass the book along so that others have a shot.
2. There's a bit of a financial factor, as I won't be able to provide funds to mail it each and every time. So when you're finished I'll need you to mail it on to the next person on the list. I'm going to collect addresses ahead of time and move it around in a way that hopefully the financial burden won't be great, but there is a chance that you might be asked to mail it to a different country.
Other than those two things -
The idea behind the book is a game of telephone. Have you ever played that game as a child? You sit in a circle and one person starts by whispering something in the ear of the person sitting next to them, and that person whispers what they heard to the next person and so on.
The last person in the circle says what they think they heard out loud and most of the time - it comes out completely different than the original phrase.
The book will work in the same way. I'm starting by doing a page. The next person will get the book and create something "inspired" by what I did. And so on. THERE ARE NO REQUIREMENTS ON WHAT YOU DO.
Writing a story, poetry, drawing something, collage, music... (I would LOVE it if someone that was into music joined this. They could write something inspired by whatever the person before them did - and then record it, burn it to a CD - it wouldn't have to be CD quality or anything... then the next person would create something inspired by the music. It would be lovely.) ANYTHING.
The only restriction is that it fit on a two page spread of a 8x10 spiral bound journal.
If you want to participate... send me an e-mail at JFordham84@gmail.com your name and address. Depending on how many people are interested I'm going to get this going pretty soon here. Any questions, feel free to ask!
Thanks for reading. <3
"I've been roaming around
Always looking down at all I see
Painted faces, fill the places I can't reach"
This is just going to be a small little rant regarding censorship on breasts.
I briefly thought about putting a maturity filter warning on my last submission to Deviantart. (It was Page 58.) After all there *is* nudity in the piece. But I dismissed the idea because I thought that was silly. It was just boobs. With no sexual content. Nothing obscene and nothing unnatural - just a pair of boobs.
But - to my surprise I did get reported and the setting was changed.
And I'm not upset or disappointed about that. I'm on the site and I will willing follow their rules because that's what I agreed to when I made the page.
I guess I'm just saddened by the idea that it's not okay for breasts to be exposed.
I think it takes me back to my breastfeeding in public days.
I was one of those women that was going to breastfeed where ever I was. I was not going to make my child scream and cry and wait until we got home. And I CERTAINLY wasn't going to go to some disgustingly dirty bathroom to feed my child.
The only exceptions I made were for male friends and family.
But if you were a stranger... I didn't care.
At that point breasts were not a sexual thing. They were a functional thing. And I was relatively discrete not that I felt I should have to be.
I fed on planes, restaurants, malls, and parks...
And I actually did run into people that asked me to stop. Or go somewhere else.
Once I was in a mall women's bathroom - they had a nice little sitting area with couches and a table... you know the type? I had a lady who worked there come in and ask me to use a stall.
How horrible is that?
I guess I just don't understand where this fear comes from? If you happen to sit on the opposite side of this view, please... explain this to me. I promise I'm a very open person and I will do my best to understand where you are coming from with nothing but respect for your opinion and views.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
I should be putting something up everyday.
Ideally, I'd love to be able to complete a sketchbook page a day, but that's not realistic for where I am at the moment. So it might be unfinished work that progressively gets finished as the days go by. It might be writing. It might be a bigger piece. (I'd like to start doing those more often.)
So we'll see what happens. And if I can keep up.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009
(I know I've spoken of hem before but I wanted to do a piece on them for a while now. They/He shares some of the core beliefs of what I would like to be able to do with my art.)
Started by a guy in the UK by the name of Rich about 2 years ago. AITC aims to help people use their creativity as a cure for mental health issues. Basically promoting art therapy in it's many forms.
His story and the story behind AITC can be found on the page.
It proves that art is powerful. It can help. And it can change the world.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
This one highlights the group known as Invisible Children.
"Our approach to humanitarian work is founded in the strength and intelligence of the Ugandan community. We learned early on it was not only important but essential to heed the wisdom of people that had not only lived in the war, but were surviving it. People who would know better than anyone what the greatest needs were and the best ways to meet them. What we came to find is that while there have been many efforts to address the issues that stem from living and fighting in such a long-lasting war, the people of Uganda are asking for a future beyond the conflict."
-Taken from the site.
Invisible Children is pretty big. They started in Uganda with child soldiers but their work is pretty wide spread these days. They have a film coming out. They've been on Oprah and have held several nation (US) wide events involving hundreds of people.
They are about to launch something they are calling "Mend". I think it launches Nov. 2nd. (This explains the woman and sewing machine on the right.)
Mend will be a business launched in Northern Uganda that employs former abducted child solders. (mainly women) Each bag will have the name of the woman who made it stitched inside. From their site you can read about the person who made your bag and see how she is "on the mend."
The plan was to do an altered book.
One page a week.
Each page highlighting a non-profit.
Thus spreading awareness about that specific organization and whatever their cause is.
I haven't managed a page a week. More like 2 pages a month.
But I like where it's going...
Here's the cover:I'm pretty excited about it because I get the opportunity to research non-profits and groups I've been interested in for a while now, but haven't really had the "excuse" to find out more about them.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
So the Love Yourself For Art contest came to an end at the beginning of September. Most of the prizes have been mailed out. I have a few stragglers that will be mailed out this coming week and that will be the end of it.
I really enjoyed doing this and the feedback has all been positive. So I am definitely planning on doing this again. I'm thinking March 2010. (As March 1st is Self Injury Awareness Day.)
This time I think I'll expand the project beyond DeviantArt. I'd like to make it available to more people. So you'll see more of it on my blog and perhaps other places if you follow me in those places...
The photo above is of all of the finished prizes. Mine and the ones that were donated. About 44 cards total. It doesn't look like a lot, but it felt like a lot.
Thank you to everyone who donated cards. I really appreciate all of the help.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Recently, I submitted this piece to be considered for publication in a book called, "In Our Own Words". The book is to be published by a non-profit in the UK called Harmless. Harmless is an organization that brings information to the masses about self injury. They even go as far as to include training for those dealing with people who self injure. I think it's a lovely group and an incredible site. You should check it out.
Anyway... the submission was accepted. So YAY! I'll have published art work in the UK at least. I'm pretty excited.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
-Margery Williams, "The Velveteen Rabbit"
* * * * *
So - counting all of the donation cards I've received so far and the ones I've completed, I have a total of 20 cards! Which is wonderful! I should have no trouble at all getting to the 40 goal.
I'm so confident that after I received some cards from a friend on DA that looked stunning in ATC sleeves - I decided to make some of my own from old photo sleeves I had lying around. They look so much nicer now.
So the contest is moving right along.
Here's a few of the cards I've made so far:
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you'll be quite a lot.
And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.
But on you will go
though the weather be foul.
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl.
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get tired
and your sneakers may leak.
On and on you will hike.
And I know you'll hike far
and face up your problems
whatever they are."
-Dr. Seuss, "Oh, the Places You'll Go"
I am of a firm belief that the secret to life and happiness can all be found in Dr. Seuss books.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
So I've been keeping myself a little busy. Probably too busy. But as long as I'm getting the things done that I need to get done I'll consider it a success.
I've started my first ever contest on DeviantArt. Actually, it's something a little bigger than a contest. Here I'll share:
“So I’d like to do a contest.
WHO: This is a contest for people who currently self injure or have self injured in the past. Self injuring is any time you do something knowing it will deliberately cause you harm. This can be any number of things.
I want to trade you a mini piece of art (about the size of a playing card) for one month of you going self injury free.
As you can imagine this contest will run completely on the honor system. I’ll have no way of knowing whether or not you’ve actually kept your word. But of course, I ask you to do so. This contest will be run again in October. So there will always be another chance for you to try again. It’s not a contest of who can go the longest, more of a contest against yourself.
PRIZE: A small 64 mm × 89 mm piece of art work. Something small enough to keep with you. In your pocket, or maybe where you keep your blades, or whatever it is you use, where ever it is you go, to self injure. Something that will remind you you’re not alone. That you’re loved. That you’re strong. And that you have other options. Each piece will be hand made and unique. Some may have similar looks or messages, but each one will be different.
DATES: The contest will start August 1st and will go until the 31st.
You have until the 1st of August to notify me in some way that you wish to participate. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this in a public way – feel free to note me. No one else will know. I want to know everyone that’s participating before the 1st, because the entire month of August I will be making the prizes.”
So that's the gist of it. If anyone that reads my blog is interested... feel free to write me on here and I'll gladly accept you. Or if you have a DA account you can find me there.
I hope everyone is well.