This week has been rather strange…in a good way.
I had been trying to wrap my head around, process, and, in some ways, mourn the idea that I might be putting down the medium of digital art and my experience as a marketer to take up the flag of social justice and art eduction. I thought my path was going to be all new things, projects, and media. In some ways that is true…but this week kinda shined a light on the fact, I could be a very unique person in this field if I hold onto my design roots.
Many current and alumni MFACA I had the pleasure of meeting are, often, more of a traditional education or art background…continuing — as MFACA students or community advocates — down a path of traditional education and artistic practices. I started to think I need to join this conga line and learn those damn steps (cuzzzz I am not moving my feet in-time with them), but the more I interview/listen/get to know other Community Arts peeps, the more I am seeing they are not taking up a new flag under this program, but are often simply playing with the toys the GAWDS gave them, but just in a new sandbox.
All of us in the new MFACA cohort are magically getting connected with groups, people, and organizations that are like minded…all of us finding commonalities or continuances, almost like some introductions were orchestrated…(GASP!) I wonder who could be doing it — it is like they know something or they have done this before?!
I myself have fallen in with Glenn Ross and his adjacent Green Party comrades.
I did a branding interview with Glenn thinking I was simply going to to help jump start his State Delegate campaign and create him a compelling power icon (or logo) — no big whoop, I have done it a hundred…and THREE…times. But the marketing muscle is so strong in me, I automatically started brainstorming social media campaigns, talking points, possible exposure angles…and am slinging compelling viewpoints from the hip that were exciting to some very connected community members — Green Party Management included.
DING! Light bulb.
I attempted this previously with my freelance business — my idea was to only work with “brands” that I thought were ethical…and even leant my skills to other non-profits and socially minded companies as a volunteer, but over time I had supplement this projects and donations with an actual paying gig or a consistent job. All the while moonlighting from my by-day corporate art director position, as a by-night closeted social advocate.
And maybe I succeeded…roller derby got big (for a minute), some of the non-profits I worked with became sustainable, and even a few companies I marketed trained or employed those in need.
But it feels completely different now. Maybe the ammunition of a more politically liberal community, social justice successful mentors, and equally fighting peers makes me feel like I am using my talents more “for good (rather than for evil).” Or maybe it just feels good to be doing something I feel really successful and strong in while stretching my psyche, heart, and intellect into a realm I feel like I am a novice? Or maybe it is this what I am supposed to be doing with my talent?
I see a great community leader with a sermon of social evolution…he simply speaks humbly and softly. I see analogous alignments in language and behavior as I have seen in so many budding entrepreneurs…he almost blushed and giggled when I told him he was “a marketable product.” I know the Green Party is an underdog, but I am also excited to take up the challenge of getting a small metro to be asking more questions about who their delegates are and who they SHOULD BE.