So you have a vision and you want to share it with the world but some networking limitations have made it hard for you to do so. You have a talent for producing music, designing, creating fashionable and unique pieces and a story you’d like to share with the world but haven’t got the place to market your creations. You breathe, dream and bleed art. You’d rather paint instead of eat; you’d rather sew before you sleep; you’d rather write than wrought away your ideas. It’s your passion; it’s your life and all you’ve ever hoped for is an avenue without a dead end. Ahh so you’re a struggling artist, a struggling writer? Well what if I was to tell you that there is a network so innovative and groundbreaking that it could possibly change all of the above. They’re called ArtRebels and are giving artists and writers and people like you and me the opportunity to engage in the creative artist’s world on a global scale. This site is so clever, eye-catching, lucrative and yes, very fun to browse on. You can be a part of this community here: www.artrebels.com. It’s a place I may want to submit my first novel. It might also be one of the first places you do too if you’re interested in self-publishing.
Pretty cool huh? ArtRebels is a business based on creativity and their website is a place where artists and writers can network, share and sell their work. They are revolutionizing the idea of how artists can profit and how the art community can connect and thrive. ArtRebels, a creative portal filled with all walks of art from fashion and visual art, to music and literature have created a new definition for the expression out with the old and in with new, dispelling the myth of the starving artist and promoting the growing artist as enterprising.
ArtRebels sends the interpreter, innovator and art lover on a colourful journey to find meaning and gain ownership over the various different works the website offers. The challenges the artist faced before have now been replaced with opportunities, giving the artist access to patrons and patrons access to art. What has begun to take shape is this thriving connection demonstrating that the independent artist’s art is not only of visual value but can be of monetary value too. It’s also a liberating platform for creativity and gives innovators and artists a chance to compete in the corporate world because it disables networking constraints among the creative community. ArtRebels is an intentional break from conventional ways of sharing art because it creates a new place for people to share and collect what they love, creating a new perspective on the artist. They are also giving the autonomous author, artist and designer a wonderful balance between independence and unity. ArtRebels’ website has become the artist’s gallery and the writer’s library.
So, what are the positives?
-Everyone has the chance to join their network. This site is floored with opportunity, allowing anybody (from writers to artists) the CHANCE to be a part of their movement.
-Changing the accessibility of art, ArtRebels is thinning the line between the failed artist and success, allowing the artist to get closer to people and closer to their dream.
-They’re changing how we look at the artist and the business world by providing more opportunities (jobs) for the artist to add their creative touch to a bland way of making money- could ArtRebels be the answer to boosting the economy?
-ArtRebels may be the first to fire off a movement that will push others to think outside the box and to look at art as a lucrative business, rather than a practice that is only used for entertainment.
-They’re creating a positive change by creating projects for the youth, social change and charities.
-They’re bringing back a sense of community by uniting people at art festivals they have organized for inspiration and for a good cause.
-In so many ways ArtRebels is making life colorful and fun- who could hate that?
Magnetized by what this network has to offer it is so important to see that ArtRebels have created an enriching haven of various art forms which provide the same relative freedom artists and writers have while they are creating. Inevitably they are providing texture to the business world. The artist has the power to evolve as an innovator, allowing art to take on a form of emancipation. The layering of business and creativity can show the world a different way we look at artists and business. Without a doubt the cumulative effect of artists and ArtRebels demonstrates that there can be a definite kinship between art and business. Most importantly, if you have work to contribute go for it. Submit it to ArtRebels.
My evenings are usually made up of sipping coffee, occasionally engaging in conversation with the odd stranger who approaches me and of course writing in coffee shops, however, last night I decided to exchange some routine for some good ol’ fun. I’m too old to trick or treat and I couldn’t be bothered to hand out candy fearful that my hand would get the better of me and incessantly fill my mouth with chocolate bars instead of children’s bags. The safest solution was to head into the city to watch one of my favorite bands the Toronto music scene has to offer- not to mention the lead singer is my brother (a little bias, maybe). So that’s what I did.
I ventured off into the city in my costume and stood in the rain for a half an hour to watch (cue drum roll) Elos Arma. They’re an Indie band with a unique name, which by the way doesn’t parallel a cheap story, nor did they randomly pick it or choose the name on purpose. Long story short the lead singer had a dream and in his dream, a man (who resembled my late grandfather), repeated the words Elos Arma to him. When he woke up he wasn’t sure what the dream meant or even what the translation or meaning behind the words was. Upon Googling them, he thought the name might suit the band and to his surprise his band members did too. That’s the story of how Elos Arma got their name.
They’ve really grown as a band. I know this because I’ve been there to see them grow into the musicians they are today. From their many band practices in the basement of our house to the many shows played around the city, I’ve been a witness to their change and growth. I saw inspiration and creativity flourish into beautiful song writing and beautiful music making. They are feverishly passionate and emanate this aura of energy most can’t describe easily. This exists in the heart and soul of the band and it’s where music lives. Music lives within them and they within music. They’ve sacrificed a whole lot to fulfill their dreams and I always let my brother know, at any chance I get, that I respect him and admire him for doing that. His dream in making music to make people happy has taken precedence over everything in his life. It has become his life. He bleeds, sweats and dreams music. He’s always told me that it doesn’t matter if he’s played for 1 person, 5 people, or 100 or more, he feels like his world is complete when he’s on stage. I hope he can one day see his dream of playing in front of thousands and even millions transform into a reality. I won’t mention much about their music. I’ll let their music speak for itself. In the meantime, have a listen and vote for them to open for The Trews (please and thank you).
http://elosarma.bandcamp.com/album/mother-father (click on this link to listen for FREE or to purchase their E.P)
Alice: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
The Cheshire Cat: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
Alice: “I don’t much care where –”
The Cheshire Cat: “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
–Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland written by Lewis Carroll
The adventures in writing are often a lot like the adventures Alice experiences in Wonderland. Like Alice, a writer is immersed in another world where peculiar and awe-inspiring things occur. This world exists within the writer’s mind and is made up of ideas. Some are strange and some ordinary. These ideas grow larger, shrink in size and unexpectedly float away in a pool of tears just like our dear Alice did. Although you may not be stuck in Wonderland, the world you have become a part of as a writer sometimes reflects Alice’s. Exploring challenges as a writer means exploring the possibilities of an undetermined path that language as a vehicle takes you. Sometimes this vehicle breaks down and when you once thought language was your best friend, it then becomes your enemy. All of a sudden you’re in a dreadful place; a threatening underworld where a writer never wants to be. Seduced by hope, you anticipate the next bus that will drive you away from the writer’s block you’ve been strolling down for quite some time. More pressure sets in and it seems as though you aren’t leaving anytime soon. At any moment you’re dreading the Queen of Hearts screaming, “Off with her head!” If you don’t get rolling with that paper, the only thing rolling will be your head. You fire up the typewriter and put your fingers in motion, eager that you and your imagination will work together and write a marvelous piece. Suddenly your writing flow is interrupted by a giant fork in the road. Your subconscious is aware that an unknown entity is hanging over you and is judging every word you type. This overwhelming unknown entity is known as every writer’s worst nightmare. It’s known as writer’s block.
It begins when the typewriter which sits on your desk lures you in and beckons you to astound it with your words. You follow the white rabbit of ideas down the rabbit hole where writer meets typewriter. You’re Alice in a writer’s wonderland filled with imaginative characters popping out from everywhere. Although you’re weary, you decide that you’re going to explore the possibilities of a new adventure masked by excitement and the fear of the unknown. A vortex of thoughts and ideas swallow you up. You’re engulfed by a viable, breathtaking and awe-inspiring realm of imagination determined to be ceased by you, the writer. Ideas collect like old friends and fill your mind with noisy chatter. With a piece of paper and pen in your hand, you take those ideas by the reigns and jot them down as fast as you can. The sound of click, click, click swells the room. This beautiful sound is a sign you’re in a writer’s paradise but you must be careful not to wake the big bad writer’s block who is fast asleep and snoring.
Anyone knows that an adventure isn’t always filled with excitement; it’s also filled with challenges. Along the way you meet the Mad Hatter of problems which confuse you and frustrate you. Suddenly you’re startled by the big bad writer’s block who emerges from the darkest corner of your mind. It’s fierce, unfriendly and throws you out into a sea of incomplete thoughts. While you’re struggling to stay afloat, your mind goes quiet, thoughts disappear from thin air, your characters stop talking and your energetic fingers which were vigorously typing on the keyboard stop moving. The wonderful adventures in writing suddenly become less than wonderful. All you can do is hope that your imagination will open up and lend you a hand. Some guidance from the Cheshire Cat and some advice from the Caterpillar would suffice at a moment like this. Despite writer’s block interrupting your adventure you can’t allow it to defeat you. You must continue down the uncharted path even though it’s narrow and your writing feels bigger than you. No matter where you end up in thought, if you follow your heart and intuition you will get there. After all, writing is the art of freedom determined to go down a different path each time, sometimes uncharted, opening up a different world for the reader.
What is it about a writer’s failed attempt to complete a work that makes them feel as though they’ve burned out and can’t seem to tear down the wall built between a thought and a pen and paper? The answer lies here: forming sentences on paper is one of the most challenging ways of getting your point to trickle down from a thought, to a work, to an audience. Overcoming this challenge is sometimes easier said than done. We are often:
The Perfectionist: It goes far beyond the perfectly placed commas, the dotted i and crossed t. You want your writing to be powerful and most of all perfect. With this comes the pressure to produce something flawless and great.
The Bound Autonomous Writer: You try to avoid writing with so much structure and more with liberty but there is a voice which echoes a certain subtle response to the pressure and compliance inflicted by the thought of someone reading it and possibly hating it.
The Failed Writer: You’re afraid of your writing being trashed or hearing the words: “Your writing is horrible.” You create because your passion for writing causes you to. For some of you it’s your dream to succeed as a well accomplished writer and would hate to have your dream crushed. With this hanging over your head you lose confidence and become unproductive because you would rather not write than face your worst nightmare.
The Writer with Reader Phobia: You’re always on your toes, fearful of the day someone reads your writing and hates it. Putting yourself on the frontline with words, you’d rather remain anonymous.
Rest assured because we (us writers) are not alone. There have been many writers who have suffered from what most writers would regard as the unspeakable; that they had writer’s block- gasp! In fact Samuel Coleridge, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Leo Tolstoy, Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemingway all experienced writer’s block during their career as writers. Can you imagine a room filled with these five writers? What would their conversations have been like? How would they have gone about venting their frustrations about writer’s block? Would they have admitted it to one another or would they have danced around the issue by refusing to come clean? Despite having writer’s block, they all went on to write amazing works that would one day have readers admire and grow very fond of them. What does this mean? It means writer’s block is something that happens to even the best of writers.
I’ve experienced writer’s block many times while writing and I’ve never ceased to prevail. Most of my writer’s block woes are due to the above. There is a solution to this problem. Sometimes all it takes is seeking a little inspiration to get your mind glued to the process of creating again. Sometimes our minds need a change of scenery. I usually examine visual works of art or I’ll listen to some music. The usual soundtracks to my writer’s block blues are Bon Iver, Radiohead, a little Lana Del Rey, some Brand New and a whole lot of Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix to get my soul back to its happy place. This is of course in an effort to regain the writer in me.
Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
– (Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 5)
Follow the Queen’s advice. Perhaps the next time you’ve encountered writer’s block and you feel like throwing in the towel, err I mean pencil, take a moment and believe. Although writing may seem impossible at the moment you have to believe in the impossible. Essentially possibilities grow from a place of impossibilities. All it takes is having a little faith in yourself and having a lot of faith in your writing. You may be afraid that your reader will hate your style of writing and you may be afraid that they will misunderstand the point you’re trying to make. Facing your fears is half the battle. I have learned that you can’t please everyone. I have learned to believe in the impossible. The greatest way to face my fear was starting this blog. One thing is true, I have conquered the anonymous writer I once was and I’ve emerged as a confident one. I have learned to love my critic and not to fear them. In the end it makes you a tougher writer who is willing to withstand the wrath of the fire-breathing reader.