The Manifesto

palm tree 2012.JPG

Hey, I'm back! Winter break done, social media break done too. I'm back and I'm back with a vengeance. Well, that MIGHT be overly dramatic but I'm back with renewed vigour and some vim too. (<---- love bringing old cliched sayings back to life)

Where was I? Well, for part of the winter break I was in Maui. Sun. Opakapaka (that'd be snapper). Swimming. Outrigger canoeing. More sun. You KNOW you'll be seeing more photos and stories over the next few weeks.

But it's 2013 and let's get started. There have been SO many amazing resolution posts - some of you DO set some, some of you don't. Some pick theme words. All inspiring.

For me, I need some stage setting. (I'll flesh out the details of what will be happening this next year in other posts). And to set that stage (inspired by Jen over here), a manifesto. Think of it as an argument for its existence. The WHY of this space.

Raincoast Creative Salon Manifesto

I believe that we all need to create. 

We are those same people who scratched an image of an antelope on the wall of a cave with charcoal tens of thousands of years ago. We are those same people who added a few beads or sewed a line of contrasting thread to a piece of clothing, just because. We are those same people who banged a drum as someone else sang a song. We are those same people who carved a design onto a clay pot that we were making by the river just because it looked pretty.

Over history creating has moved from an accepted part of daily life to something seen through the filter of commerce and competitive success. Can't make a living at it? Then don't do it. Can't be the best ever at it? Then don't do it. Don't even try.

We are a people for whom it was commonplace to play an instrument and gather with others in the parlour to play. Textile arts such as knitting, embroidering, sewing - everyone had a basic knowledge of these skills. And we've always made our homes a unique expression of our tastes.

We haven't changed - we all need to create. It's in our DNA.

I believe that we are best inspired by many different art forms.

We can't just rely on the medium that we are working in for inspiration - it ends up being too limiting. Too much of a closed loop. 

If we are looking for photography inspiration, looking only at photographers results in a second-guessing loop where we wonder if any of our ideas are original. Or we doubt that we can create ANYTHING of value.

We need creative sources from all sorts of different genres and mediums to inspire. And it isn't just the highbrow - I like the lowbrow too. Whatever inspires, challenges AND entertains.

I believe that we need community.

We need the authentic connections online and in real life. We can't live in a vacuum and we definitely cannot create in one. 

We need people to share our stories and our art. To have a laugh together and a coffee. To celebrate our successes and commiserate with our failures. To encourage and challenge and inspire each other.

I believe that people need to experience the arts together.

Just as we are those stone age people scratching a drawing onto the cave wall, we are also STILL those same people sitting around a fire while someone tells a story. We are still the same people making shadow bunny ears and the barking dog on the cave wall. 

We may have our online community but we need to experience the arts together. Face-to-face. In a theater, in a gallery, at a concert. With others.

There is a magic that happens when you move from seeing something by yourself to seeing it with a crowd. Something electric. Something in the space in-between. Something in the collective that we can never recreate on our own in front of a screen.

So that's why I'm doing this. This is what I believe. 

I'm super excited for 2013. And a little scared. You need to stretch yourself, right? Nothing like jumping into the deep end.

I have some new collaborations plus a new contributor too! And I'm taking some brave and bold steps - we're taking it offline into real life. More on that soon. VERY soon.

So how about you? If you had a manifesto, what would YOU include?