conjuring the possibility of perpetuating connections and creating collaborations

Murmuration of Starlings

It’s fall back day here in the states when we gain an hour of sleep and lose our afternoon light. This makes me SAD. Literally, as in seasonal affective disorder SAD, but I have a special light to help me with that which makes me grateful. It is also November which has for many become gratitude month in the spirit of Thanksgiving. Not the concocted Pilgrims and Indians Thanksgiving, but the coming together to share and be grateful of a bountiful harvest. Many bloggers post a gratitude a day and some do it on Facebook. I am just here to do it once and remind myself that every day is a day for thanksgiving.

Sometimes I wonder why I am writing here at Scoutie Girl. Mine is not a tale of great success and six figure income. I don’t have any unique trade secrets or tips for how to run an online art business. I have many crafty ideas and am not compelled to write about them often. Mostly I just share my struggles and insights as I try to figure it all out for myself. I have been asked to start conversations with my writing and that has happened, and you keep coming back to read, so it must be doing some good and for that I am most grateful.

This post is a bit different for me and came about from some very unconnected bits and pieces the past few days. I have a lot on my plate at the moment and the end of the year will be as busy as it gets for me. I am – thanks to Danielle LaPorte for pointing this out – Whelmed. Whelmed, but not stressed, at least not most days. It has taken a solid two years but I do believe my proverbial ship is coming in. Which brings me to my title. Two years ago I chose the word possibility as my focus word for 2010.Possibility because I was unsure where this new road would take me. I kept my mind and eyes open and soaked in all I could. I learned how I should market and brand myself and I didn’t do most of it. I made a lot of art and sold a little. I learned that I yearned for more than that transaction, nice as it is.

In 2011 I began with the focus word “perpetuate.” Last December I wrote these words:

Embracing possibility has allowed me to be reborn as an artist not only as a creator of images, but a creator of a well lived life that matters. Possibility will always remain at the fore but I think next years word is perpetuate.

  1. To cause to continue indefinitely; make perpetual.
  2. To prolong the existence of; cause to be remembered

Now that I am clear on my mission (as clear as an entrepreneur can be) I will perpetuate my ideas and work as well as those of my virtual and personal tribe. There are far more of us than I imagined!

The funny thing is I was so NOT clear on what the next six months would bring. I did not know that the environmental issues based on human consumption would overwhelm me. I did not know that I would take a misguided foray into environmental art, or that I would remake my mission not once, but twice in that space of six months. I definitely did not know that attending the World Domination Summit would crack open wide my possibility mission, or that I would return to find my hands tied to take much action due to living nowhere  and having no transportation. I just didn’t know, and for that I am grateful.

I am grateful because not knowing allowed me to be open to my next two focus words: Connection and Collaboration.

I’ve written plenty about the World Domination Summit here and here and a few other here’s I won’t bother with, and my point is the event opened my ideas about connection. “Connection,” my word for the summit, was about not realizing my potential to connect on and off the internet.

I was elated! I was going to have so many new friends and connections and take over the world for sure.

If you haven’t gotten the trend, I am easily excited, and for this I am oh so grateful. My error this time was in that most of the connecting I really want to do is more local. I want to focus on the problems in my own back yard before taking on the world. I’ll leave the world to those younger than I.

So, after 10 long months without my own transportation we bought me a very green, literally, car and I am off to the races again. I am involved in too many new things to post here and they are all so perfect for my meandering mission.

What I realized most recently is I am unique. I have not adapted to the prescribed marketing, etc. because my goals are different.

I want to sell art, but more than that I want to help people navigate a time of great change with the help of art.

Art, in my opinion, is a lost language and one with great healing and transformative power. I want to teach people how to see and use that, which brings me to my latest word, COLLABORATION. Thanks to Tara for a timely post on the exact same topic to save me typing and give you a better description than I could (please read for clarification!).

What I realize is, collaboration is also the way of a New Economy, and a way of living.

We need connection first and then we need to weave our unique talents into a collaborative frame work for intentional new ways.

We need to learn to ride in the goat rodeo where chaos is rampant, order is uncertain, and still things work out. We need to flow together like a murmuration of starlings that inconceivably don’t collide!

The murmuration I have seen as posted above, but I just learned what it is thanks to my friend Emma, for whom I am grateful. I have many ideas I will be revealing in the coming months, but for now…

How do you see collaboration and art making as new ways of being in a new economy?

Lastly I am grateful for this community allowing me to fumble my way onward and giving a darn. THANK YOU!



18 thoughts on “conjuring the possibility of perpetuating connections and creating collaborations

  1. change is inevitable. it’s nice that we can re-evaluate constantly and change when we need to….our choice….our direction…our focus. i currently run a business where collaboration is the only thing that keeps it alive. i love making those connections and finding new friends all the time….those connections affect my own work
    Thanks for reminding us to be excited for new direction and share it with others.

  2. It’s allllll about learning to cooperate and collaborate right now, I think. And that is hard work! (Sometimes really, really hard…)

    I wonder if collaboration in the world of art, where perhaps, maybe, possibly collaboration is more approachable and more readily viewed as fun and less scary, can lead by example and teach us ways to collaborate in other areas of life. What do you think?

    We desperately need all the examples of new, healthy, cooperative ways of living that we can get!

    1. I think you are right about really needing cooperation and collaboration everywhere right now, and it is hard.

      I think that those in the arts are surely more open to collaboration and new ideas, and I like the idea of setting examples very much. I think the hard part is finding and bringing together the right people. Like myself, most visual artists work in isolation. I would love to see more venues for artists and all creative people to come together and share work and ideas. Makes me think of all those empty stores?

      That’s what I think.

  3. Gwyn,

    Thoughtful post, as always. I think the success of your posts come down to Emotions. Emotion is that often an overlooked, but essential ingredient to our successes. It is a force of human nature, responsible for so many actions, decisions and choices we make in life.

    In much of the business/marketing advice we receive focuses on data, measurable outcomes, ROI’s, KPI’s, SAT’s PSI’s. Things that come down to a number score that can be compared, graphed, and placed in a spread sheet all valuable tools but only part of the process. Seth Godin wrote in a post that “Communication is the transfer of emotion.” It’s good to see a different side of the business process discussed.

    Passion is a set of strong emotions that people try to communicate through their business. It is a word we often use when talking about starting our own business. We all know what it means and maybe we know what it feels like but your posts share some of the emotional process that goes into creating the passion that is fueling your start-up ideas. You discuss trying out some of these ideas, changing your focus, getting excited, making decisions. And as you mention, things can get messy, meandering and fuzzy in a lot of other ways. For me it reassuring information that says “Ok, what I’m feeling about the process is normal.”

    Sharing your art and talents is a great way to help people. Using that emotional power is such a wonderful way to reach out and share with others. There are so many people and places where art doesn’t exist This brings us full-circle back to collaboration and community which are essential ingredients for business and art. In this new economy, sharing, support, communicating, creating are necessary for individual success which leads to flourishing communities.

    I think I’ve gone on for quite a while here but I feel emotional connections are essential to all our well-being and success. BTW Love today’s featured artwork.

    Take care.

    1. Thank you kindly Maureen! Emotions eh. I don’t know how to not write what I feel I suppose. One of those things I take for granted that I am just learning can be hard for others.

      So much of the time I feel like I have no clue what I am doing here but I always find something to say. It is encouraging to hear some of the why it works.

      Makes me think about the need for letting emotions be more present elsewhere. Lot’s to think about which I love.

      Thanks on the artwork too! There is a good story with that one.

  4. Thank you for your candid and valuable reflections, Gwyn. I’m living in the heart of possibility myself right now, and I’m grateful to be introduced to your work.

    Also, as a professional “Partnering” facilitator whose work focuses on helping people work together more effectively, I thought you might enjoy this extension of your reflections on communication, cooperation and collaboration:

  5. Cracking good post, Gwyn! Perpetuation is an interesting new concept for me. I am all about flow, and suspect they are related. This is truly an autumnal post–as a Capricorn, I’m strongly pulled by the earth, dormancy, and the ecstatic rebirth from a profound place. You’ve opened my eyes to preparing for the solstice with more awareness and focus. Great connection!

  6. Gwyn, this is lovely and perfect. Thank you for writing.
    I appreciate your candor and your perpetual search for spiritual meaning and the ability of Art to communicate.
    Big blessings to you. And love.

  7. The wonderful comments you received (and the shear fact that the Blogosphere makes them possible) shows how collaboration is getting a lot of worthwhile attention right now, in a lot of different corners of society.

    The tie between making art and collaboration? Well, first it starts conversations (like this). Art is an ice breaker that prompts people to talk about their emotions (Maureen). No two responses may be the same, which shows our diversity. Communication and diversity…an economy cannot be strong without.

    I am involved in a local environmental collaboration. It’s an alliance, a forum, where various conservation-minded individuals (nonprofit managers, business owners, citizens) collaborate and share what they know with others who have the small goals. It’s electric. It saves mounds of time and effort. It’s invigorating to be around others who share your goals. But one important factor in this collaboration is that individual agendas are not welcomed. Sure, each individual benefits when they take the information home to work on their own agendas, but while we are at the table, it’s all about the partnership.

    That’s my fumbling answer, one that I submit with a smile because you’ve made it ok to wander.

  8. Thanks Ruth you made me laugh with that end point. Yes, fumbling allowed!
    I am very interested in your environmental collaboration. We’ll have to talk. I suspect it could teach me a few things about how to do this thing I have not quite defined.

    All about the partnership. I like that!

  9. I always love reading your posts here because they seem to drop on me right when I need them. I’m feeling grateful and strange, too, these days. So much has happened to me in the last six months in terms of expansion and learning and connecting. I’m certainly whelmed. I want to take this ball of energy and coax it into more of everything. It’s nice to see I’m not alone.

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