Sunday, January 01, 2017

Make Art, Not War

Here’s the deal. It is obvious that I have a modicum of talent when it comes to storytelling. I’ve seen it and felt it. The problem is that I have not put enough effort into the craft that I’ve been trying to enhance for the last 40 or so years. Here’s where I put in the hand-to-God effort to push beyond the boundary I’ve been sitting.

I’m tired of playing with that envelope that seems to encompass my energies.

Monica Valentinelli has put forth a challenge that she is going to follow. You can read about it here.

“Born out of both my personal experiences and the knowledge that oppression tends to crush the artistic spirit on a cellular level, I have created a Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge for those who need it. This challenge, which came together from inspiration to draft guidelines, is designed to be flexible to work with your talents and lifestyle. Don’t be afraid to customize the specifics to fit your needs. Your art? Your rules.

Why take the Make Art Not War 2017 Challenge? When times are tough, the feeling that artists are not necessary tends to permeate because art is viewed as a luxury item in some cultures since we don’t produce food, clothing, or housing. The exact opposite is true, because art is a documentation and representation of our humanity and all our struggles. People turn to stories to find hope, to be inspired, to reach inside themselves and discover their own courage. This challenge is about making art to tap into your voice and tell your story. After all, one story can change the world. The problem is, we have no idea which story that will be, when it will be told, or in what medium. It’s up to us to find it–by making art!”

This manifesto touched me. It hit me in the core. It made me want to reach into whatever is inside of me and pluck it out like a still-beating heart about to be sacrificed to an ancient cult idol.

My pledge:
  • I will spend at least 1 hour every day working on my art. Be it a digital picture or words.
  • If I don’t fulfill this task, I will write about it for fifteen minutes or 3 pages (whichever comes first). This will include the reasons why I wanted to do this challenge as well as the reasons I see are blocking me. I will be brutally honest with myself in this listing. My internal editor will be turned off.
  • I am mark down on a calendar whenever I complete the day’s efforts.
  • I will join the community and talk about ‘Make Art Not War 2017’ by using the hashtags #makeartnotwar2017 and #manw2017.
My Accountability:
  • I will use a public calendar to mark my progress.
  • I will also use a physical calendar to track my progress.
  • I will check in on Wednesdays over at and review with the others that are performing this challenge.
My Reality:
  • I am going to need help. I am in need of a few friends to assist in keeping me talking about my efforts. I know myself and I know that it is easy to just work on things and stick them in proverbial drawers to never see the light of day.
So, yeah.

That’s it in a nutshell.

See you on the other side.

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