Sunday, July 12, 2009

announcements, project progress and charity!

Hillary promises she has been working on the project she gave herself, but says she doesn't have pictures yet. In the meantime, here are some other things we wanted you to knoe about:

- Mario Marathon is doing a fundraiser for Child's Play, a charity founded by gamers to provide children's hospitals with much needed toys, video game systems and other forms of entertainment for the children in said hospitals and their families. We contribute 20% of our sales to this Charity every year from about Thanksgiving to about Christmas. Since our founder is a die hard video and board gamer, she wanted to make sure you knew about this fundraiser for one of her favorite charities.

- There may be a cross business personal jewelry design challenge in the works, but Hillary is waiting to post on it until she has made more progess on her original self-challenge.

- Hillary reached 200 followers on twitter and wants to celebrate! We are offering free shipping and free gifts to anyone who types "TW200" in the customer comments section of their order. Both Happy Hippy and Artful Unity are participating in this sale. This sale was originally slated to end tonight at midnight but it has been extended to Wednesday at midnight.

- Lastly, we have been working hard at trying to produce weekly content for our blog. We don't simply want this to be a collections of link lists, a bunch of unrelated posts or a mirror of Hillary's other blogs. We aim to keep this blog filled with interesting content and well thought out posts. To this end, we have decided to decrease our official posting schedule to twice a month. We will try to keep to once every two weeks, but, depending on scheduling and time needed for articles we are working on, it may work out differently. Also, if we have enough content for more than 2 posts per month, we will certainly post it. We are sorry to have to announce this decrease, but we see no other way to maintain and improve the quality of our posts.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Graffiti and life changes

Hillary was inspired by this site displaying artistic graffiti and wanted to share her thoughts:

Graffiti is frowned upon, but it is the epitome of thinking outside the box, and some of these artists are more talented than artists in galleries. I get why we don't want people painting random walls with curses, but there's a difference between that and the true greatness achieved by some people like those at the link above.

Our society tries to place emphasis on order and conformity instead of artistry and individuality. I understand that society is set up this way so that total chaos doesn't reign, but more and more I hear the whispers of the people and feel the push of the underground toward life focused on individuality, toward creativity and thinking outside the box in everything... People want art, they want music, they want to "be strange".

There is a song by Bis called "how can we be strange?" that says "please send a message to all the people who find their pleasure in being normal. Please help them to see they can be different, although our lives make it hard to see it." It goes on to say "how can we be strange, when we've got work to do today?" I think more and more that people want to be "strange" and be able to do work. I think that it is more common that people want to live life outside the box--I don't think it's a few radicals anymore. I think most people prize creativity over other qualities while feeling like they have to place emphasis on things like data entry, profit margins, and abiding by rules for the sake of abiding by rules. I think there are a lot of people who admire graffiti artists, performance artists, and musicians who aren't mainstream, but think that they could never do it themselves.

The thing is, you can. We can. It is true that you may have to abide by laws and, no matter how much you try to get away from it, profit margins always end up being important because you have to pay rent, but who says that has to be your whole life. Furthermore, who says you can't strive to make your daily life a little more strange. Maybe you won't ever be a well renowned graffiti artist, but maybe you can propose an unusual idea to your boss, or come up with a new and interesting way of getting your mundane 9-5 duties done, or spend your time outside of work pouring your heart and soul into a new idea. If more of us did this, and if more of us pushed just a little toward a more individual and creative society, I think we could have some beautiful things happen without total chaos.

The first and foremost example that comes to mind is Amanda Palmer. (Please keep in mind that her blog posts are not for the easily offended.) She was lucky enough to be in a theater department in high school that encouraged her to do whatever her soul felt was right. She does that now and amazing things happen. Art is created spontaneously by herself, those she performs with, and her fans at shows, in the street, on the beach, and anywhere else she ventures. She made little to no money through the traditional "get a record label, get them to publish a CD, go on tour for them", route, but managed to pay her rent and turn a profit using social media networks and other less traditional routes. I see this more and more through musicians, artists, and even "common people" in standard 9-5 jobs. I think people are ready for a big change and I think it will be absolutely beautiful. I can't wait to see the amazing things that will come from it.