I also use mind mapping when I ingest information. It is a way to take non-linear notes, engage the whole brain and create one easy visual that allows me to remember what I read with a single glance at the completed map.
“Normal linear note taking and writing will put you into a semi-hypnotic trance, while mind mapping will greatly enhance your left and right brain cognitive skills.” – Tony Buzan
As I start to read, I write down main points and let them interact with each other, one leads to the next, one might direct you to another area etc.
Once I get the overall main points, then I add more detailed notes (this can evolve overtime), and though from your point of view, the result may look chaotic… for me, the map makes sense to me as I remember physically creating the whole map. In one glance, I can recall ALL the material that I read.
Then I gather related material to develop and enhance.
Molly, my graphic novel,is not just an illustrated work of creative non-fiction, nor is it simply about one cold case- it is a Vancouver story. It belongs to the people of Vancouver. I am presenting my work in 5 instalmentsas a broadsheets in newspaper form.
We are tapping into our calling, our purpose, our joy in this SACRED CONTRACTS journal series. It is inspired by Caroline Myss. The journal series is an experiment on my part, and I welcome you to join along.
We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,— This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile And mouth with myriad subtleties,
Why should the world be over-wise, In counting all our tears and sighs? Nay, let them only see us, while We wear the mask.
We smile, but oh great Christ, our cries To thee from tortured souls arise. We sing, but oh the clay is vile Beneath our feet, and long the mile, But let the world dream otherwise, We wear the mask!
Mask- a covering, a disguise, to prevent, to protect, to conceal, to filter, a pretence, a reflection, a performance, a transformation…
Journal as you contemplate the following questions:
What masks do we wear?
Why do we wear them?
What appearance do we portray to others?
Do we wear masks to hide what’s actually going on underneath?
Do we wear masks of persona to protect ourselves from judgement?
To maintain a semblance of control in the chaos of life?
Do we wear one mask, or many different masks or many layers of masks?
When do we fully remove our masks?
When are we safe to do so?
Do we create our own masks or are we born with a pre-determined set?
Or does someone else help us make them?
Are masks an avoidance of showing who we really are?
Do masks allow us to approach?
Or are they armour?
It’s interesting that despite the masks- the eyes are exposed. Can we truly ever fully hide who we are? Fully deny that we want to be seen?
The crudest curriculum vitae crows and flaps its wings in a style peculiar to the undersigner. I doubt whether you can even give your telephone number without giving something of yourself. —Nabokov, Nikolai Gogol
I am pleased that things are moving forward as intended! Phase 1 is on track regarding community outreach and awareness. I have confirmed that I am implementing a pilot project in the Fall in at least one local high school. During the summer, I will be meeting with 7 local young women to work on the curriculum and product as well as discussing their participation as peer supporters in the pilot project.
The pilot project will consist of 10 sessions, at the end of which the participants will have created at least one sock monkey each as well as a group business plan based on Jennifer Lee’s Right Brain Business Plan. The business plan creation will allow the students to learn life skills and entrepreneurship skills in a creative and fun and project-based way and the business plan will be displayed in a celebration event. The process will demystify the language around business and will garner the students valuable learning experiences around social media and online marketing. The pilot project will allow me to develop the ultimate workbook/workshop series and allow me to document and evaluate the program.
PILOT PROJECT FALL 2014
Each session includes: journaling, mind-mapping, drawing, product (sock monkey) making, business plan development, debriefing, independent and group work.
Each session addresses various life skills and employment skills while using a project based learning model
Outcome: At least 1 sock monkey per student, business plan (group project), resume update, website launch, photo and video documentation, exhibit
SESSION 1 The Big Picture- the mission and the mantra
SESSION 2 Visions and Values- what do we stand for
SESSION 3 The Marketplace- where does our business fit in?
SESSION 4 Marketing- social media, blogging, connect with customers
SESSION 5 The Financials- budgeting, planning, projections
I am funding the development of Phase 1 through my arts and crafts sales and through donations. I am extremely grateful for the support so far! Your name is added to the donor list with each purchase/donation.
Many of you have asked, pleaded, begged… so today I’m doing a special SALE!
Today only ending 12AM PT: order your handdrawn portrait in my signature style for only
18″ x 24′ on newsprint in china marker
Regular price ranges from $100-$300
But until midnight tonight, for $30 per portrait, I will email you a high def photo of the portrait based on photos you email me. I will also be wheatpasting the original on our Gastown street art wall.
“Life skills” are defined as psychosocial abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life. Life skills generally include 3 broad categories of skills:
• cognitive skills for analyzing and using information
• personal skills for developing personal agency and managing oneself, and
• inter-personal skills for communicating and interacting effectively with others.
During a successfully implemented creative arts program, participants generally:
Engage in the program from beginning to end.
Respond without physical or verbal aggression.
Communicate effectively with instructors and peers.
Cooperate with others in the group.
Demonstrate ability to accept redirection.
Demonstrate ability to share and take turns.
Demonstrate appropriate use of equipment.
Respect personal boundaries of peers and adults.
Demonstrate creative solutions for problem solving.
Demonstrate initiative and leadership skills.
REVIEW OF LIFE SKILLS/ EMPLOYMENT SKILLS TO BE ADDRESSED IN CURRICULUM IN A USER-FRIENDLY, REPLICABLE WAY:
Learning and Problem Solving Skills, including: listening to understand and learn; reading, comprehending and using written materials; thinking critically and acting logically to evaluate situations, solve problems and make decisions; learning to access and apply specialized knowledge from various fields; and continuing to learn for life.
Social Skills, such as: anger management; resolving conflict; addressing attachment, connection, peer awareness; working well with others; and developing a positive self-image.
Personal Management Skills, including: creating a budget; money management; ; managing stress; and managing time.
Development of Positive Attitudes and Behaviors, including: self-esteem and confidence; honesty, integrity and personal ethics; a positive attitude toward learning, growth and personal health; and initiative, energy, and persistence to get the job done.
Personal Responsibility, including: the ability to set goals and priorities in work and personal life; the ability to plan and achieve goals; accountability for actions taken; adaptability; a positive attitude toward change; and the ability to identify and suggest new ideas to get the job done–creatively.
Teamwork Skills, including: understanding and contributing to an organization’s goals; understanding and working within the culture of the group; planning and making decisions with others and supporting the outcomes; respecting the thoughts and opinions of others in a group; exercising “give and take” to achieve group results; leading where appropriate; and mobilizing the group for high performance.
Project Management, including: project planning; group management; client relationship building; social media management; product photography; advertising; documentation; supply management; project execution; project delivery and project evaluation.
In my role as art director at @bypoststreet, and as therapeutic art facilitator in the Lower Mainland, I am fulfilling my passion to awaken creative expression in everyone around me. I do this through visual art, art facilitation, art events, street art, blogging, journaling and craftivism. Especially sock monkeys.
Sock monkeys are a significant part of my work. Perhaps my life’s work!
I have been delivering sock monkey therapy and workshops for years and there is nothing quite as magical as witnessing the smiles on participants as they awaken to the healing power of the sock monkey. I use sock monkeys as part of my therapeutic art classes for at-risk youth and in my general art classes for all ages. The process is quite miraculous. The simple process of making a loveable creature allows for a moment of safety and caring. The socialization and resulting dialogue is part of the magic. Each stitch in a sock monkey contains thoughts, laughter, tears, dreams, horror, joy, secrets, trust etc. The natural instinct for many is to want to make more and to share them.
There are so many stories:
H. using a sock monkey to comfort her as she testified in court against an abusive boyfriend. T. making a sock monkey for his sick friend to take to treatment. M., struggling with mental health issues, making sock monkeys with worn socks and dental floss and couch stuffing, bringing them to me to send to Africa. C. using sock monkey making in her work with people living with Alzheimer’s. A. making a sock monkey for her hero, after his mom passed away. L. using sock monkeys to process trauma to face her abuser and to create dialogue and raise esteem in her peers. H. interpreting her favorite artist’s work through sock monkeys then connecting with the artist through her micro-industry online sales and social media. The entire school (Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary, North Vancouver) infused with sock monkey fever as we made 200 for Operation Sock Monkey.
Lindsey Hodgson and her Operation Sock Monkey team working GLOBALLY, delivering 1000’s of sock monkeys to children in South Africa, Nepal, India, Haiti, Northern Canada and more. Passion Foundation bringing sock monkeys as comfort for young victims at a rape relief crisis center in Cape Town. Families using sock monkeys to help comfort their terminally ill children and themselves. The use of sock monkeys in attachment therapy with Clowns Without Borders. Women in Woza Moya making an income through sock monkey making.
Little Maxx annually bringing smiles to children in a hospital in Philadelphia as he gathers sock monkey donations.
And the amount of people simply sewing a monkey to help them through emotional crises…
It’s endless. The feedback I get could fill a book and maybe it should. It’s hard to imagine the actual number of people who utilize the power of sock monkey to make the world a better place. And I am honored to be a small, albeit extremely passionate and vocal, member of that tribe.
I still make them on my own. All the time. I make them as my art. They help me calm down.
I make them as a volunteer operative of Operation Sock Monkey. I am passionate about spreading the word. I get countless requests to teach sock monkey making. But there is only one me, so my brother, filmmaker Fred Thorsen, created this wonderful video for me (originally offered as a class for Six Degrees of Creativity):
But there is a whole new level of sock monkey therapy that I want to explore.
I want to develop a life skills/entrepreneurship curriculum/workbook/workshop to increase the extraordinary powerful impact of sock monkey making– a replicable model that allows youth groups, schools, community organizations and Operation Sock Monkey to use sock monkey therapy to create healing opportunities and to teach business skills, business planning and mind-mapping, essential life skills and the power of entrepreneurship through a project-based learning model. I want to develop a powerful, easy to use tool to deliver the life skills, to awaken creativity, to increase the production of sock monkeys for income and for charity. The pilot project will involve seven local young women (graduates of my various youth-at-risk art programming) to test the curriculum and to help facilitate local workshops.
• Why now?
This is a critical time to begin the project as Christmas craft fairs are taking applications now for their 2014 tables, as schools are planning their 2014-2015 scheduling, as my team is ready to go, and as I have opened my life to this moment to dedicate my time to it.
I want to pay the fee to become a licensed Right Brain Business Plan facilitator to increase the power of the curriculum and to be able to expand the @bypoststreet curriculum event further.
I want the curriculum to be translatable and easy to deliver– locally and globally.
I am so tired of seeing cutbacks in programming, seeing schools and community programs have very little funding for workshop facilitators, yet desperate to bring them in. I want to create an easy means for these organizations to utilize the curriculum I have created on their own. I don’t want them to struggle financially to be able to deliver this powerful tool. And I don’t want to have to struggle financially anymore due to programming cutbacks!
As I wrote already, there is only one me, so I want to spread the curriculum by “training the trainers.”
I have dedicated my life to awakening creative expression in others, and now is the time for me to increase the scope of that teaching, to utilize all my knowledge and to build a new career for myself where I actually make a living through sustainable curriculum development around creative expression (from sock monkeys, to visual art, art events, journaling, business development, etc.).
I am the one to do this. I got this. You know I do!
I NEED YOUR HELP.
I am looking to raise immediate funds to begin this critical phase to be able to focus on it fully in May and June. If you have been touched by the work that I do, and would like to see this project come to fruition, please donate.
CURRENTLY FUNDRAISING FOR PHASE 1:
a. Develop the curriculum covering:
Creative Expression, Therapeutic Groups, Art Techniques, Project-based Learning, Employment Skills, Life Skills, Entrepreneurship, Mindmapping, Business Plans, Community Outreach, Operation Sock Monkey, Social Media
It is time to develop the new product line and solidify our company branding to expand our international presence and we need your help!
Today we launch a 45-day Indiegogo Campaign to raise $5000 in order to fine tune the brand and create our next apparel collection. We had an incredible first year of developing the company, but we now find ourselves at a crossroads.
Nowhere can man find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in his own soul. – Marcus Aurelius
My life has taken an interesting turn, and I find myself having to declare bankruptcy and start totally fresh. This means giving up my tiny condo, packing up and finding new live work space, and basically reevaluating many things in my life. It is an interesting time for me as my parents have passed away (I have done a lot of processing and grieving around my definition as “daughter”) and I have left my frontline youth work that was wearing me down and leaving me depressed. I realize I have been carrying around- not only an insurmountable sack of debt that just kept getting heavier by the day- but that I have also been carrying a lot of emotional baggage. I am left with “nothing” yet left with everything beautiful and whole. I refuse to see this as a failure on my part. As an artist, I need to be fully open and vulnerable. And I know I was born with a gift for art for a purpose. This transition will take time. It will be incredibly healing. I am ready.
We are all born with gifts. We all ride the rollercoaster of life. What are your gifts? Passions? Where are you right now on this crazy ride?
I am 100% committed to my graphic novel and several exciting art and workshop projects! Can’t wait to share those with you! The team I am working with is extraordinary- including family, sister-friend, interns, youth…
But I am taking a bit of a retreat to focus my attention on both the move and on these projects. I am refocusing and deciding which projects are the most important and which ones I can place on the shelf.
And I am still connected with youth work in a new and exciting way. Stay tuned!
What is the point of a piece that is meant to be temporary? Work that is impermanent reminds us that nothing in life is permanent, that every state is temporary and transitory. Contemplating this concept teaches us to embrace change in our life, instead of working against it. When others notice a piece that is there one day and gone the next it creates a kind of energy/excitement within the community. – Keri Smith
Making a painting in a studio can be a bit stifling at times, but when you add the street installation element to it, it begins to be this exciting and urgent way of communicating. – Cake
Successful art programs recognize that art is a vehicle that can be used to engage youth in activities that will increase their self-esteem. These programs also recognize and involve the community in which they live. Ultimately, successful programs culminate in a public performance or exhibition in an effort to build participants’ self-esteem through public recognition.
I have been been involved in facilitating art programs to vulnerable youth in Vancouver for many years. On January 20 and 27, 2014, I took three years worth of youth drawings- along with a group of six youth from Intersections Media and their youth coordinator (Alison Donnelly), filmmaker Patti Henderson- and installed an art wall at YouthCO. YouthCO is a community-driven organization run by and for youth that seeks to engage, educate and empower young people living with or at-risk of HIV and Hep C. The gathering centre at YouthCo needed some sprucing up; the installation of wheatpasted original art work made the room vibrant and alive. The wall has the magic of street art while in an indoor setting. The youth created amazing short films from the footage they collected and footage by Patti.
Special thanks to Intersections Media Intake 7 participants, Alison Donnelly, Patti Henderson, Shane MacInnes, Anna Thorsen, and ALL THE YOUTH WHO CREATED THE ART OVER THE YEARS for your great work on the YouthCO wall!
From Anna Thorsen, Creative Director and Katarina Thorsen, Art Director:
We want to take a moment to say THANK YOU.
It was a year ago on Feb 12, 2013 that pen was first put to paper on the first draft of our business plan at Cafca Café on Esplanade & Lonsdale in North Vancouver.
In the last year, we released three t-shirt collections, hosted two art events in Vancouver, one in San Francisco, spent time in Los Angeles & SF for research, met an INSANE amount of new faces in Vancouver, incorporated the business, raised over $38,000 in financing loans and learned more about business, ourselves and life than could ever be explained sufficiently in a ‘we’ve done it!’ list…
Spend an evening with @bypoststreet & YouthCO! @bypoststreet takes Spring Cleaning to the next level with an inventory clear out sale of all remaining Designer Series Graphic Tees and a presale of the upcoming Spring Collection. The night will be complete with two interactive art stations, photo booth, and a YouthCO information table & beer/wine bar.
YouthCO receives 100% of coat check/bar sales & 10% of product sales. YouthCO is community-driven organization run by and for youth that seeks to engage, educate and empower young people living with or at-risk of HIV and Hep C.
The bypoststreet limited edition Winter collection t-shirts now available at bypoststreet.com!
@bypoststreetfeatures unisex luxury and sportswear inspired t-shirts designed by our creative director. Our eco-friendly luxurious bamboo/cotton cloth is milled in Canada and our t-shirts are designed and produced locally in Vancouver. Our collections feature limited edition portraits by our in-house artist. All our t-shirts are produced in fixed number impressions and are individually examined and hand-marked by our creative director with impression number.
@bypoststreet celebrates influential personalities, leading artistic talent and street culture, and rides the new collaborative wave that combines art, music, fashion and social media. Their customers feel the excitement of anticipating and collecting the limited edition printed apparel and gain a sense of satisfaction from purchasing a product that is produced and manufactured locally. They embrace the guerilla marketing philosophy of free and accessible art to engage their customers who might never step foot in a gallery. @bypoststreet facilitates artistic expression through interactive art events and introduce new artistic talent to the customer.
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. – John C. Maxwell
An editor must have the heart and stomach of a monarch. An editor must be a team leader, ruthlessly curating editorial spreads and irreverently forecasting the future. The editor must epitomize style and blaze the trail while leading by example. @bypoststreet finds all these qualities and more in Emmanuelle Alt, the muse for The Editor t-shirt. 29 prints made, each t-shirt hand-marked with impression number.
“Fashion endures, but style changes.” – Coco Chanel
Supplying, curating, envisioning, accessorizing is all part of the job of a stylist, but styling means more than planning videos and photoshoots, pinning to fit and steaming the garment. Styling is to hone the craft and to live the art; it is to exude confidence and style in every walk of life. @bypoststreet pays homage to the exquisite Carine Roitfeld with The Stylist limited edition print. 29 prints made, each t-shirt hand-marked with impression number.
Taste every fruit of every tree in the garden at least once. It is an insult to creation not to experience it fully. Temperance is wickedness. – Stephen Fry
With @bypoststreet’s Collection 4 limited edition bamboo/cotton t-shirt, The Fashion Maniac, we throw out timidity by bowing to the trailblazers that change the face of fashion by breaking the rules. Take the cue, embrace your passion, try it all and thereby redefine yourself. 29 prints made, each t-shirt hand-marked with impression number featuring a portrait of the fashion maniac herself, Anna Dello Russo.
Clear your energy, honor your rhythm, live your vision. – George Denslow
We stand on the shoulders of giants that lead by example. With @bypoststreet’s Collection 4 limited edition bamboo/cotton t-shirt, The Fashion Icon, we embrace the elegance of our mentors and realize that their passion for free expression in turn inspires us to be our elegant selves. Miroslava Duma, president of Russua’s Buro247, is the portrait choice for the t-shirt. 29 prints made, each t-shirt hand-marked with impression number.
Commitment is an act, not a word. – Jean Paul Sartre
A full beard takes commitment and in turn our hearts have fully committed to this trendy tended, virile, bushy garden of masculinity. Add some tattoos and we are done. Done. Celebrate the “barba” with @bypoststreet’s Collection 3 limited edition bamboo/cotton t-shirt, The Beard featuring a portrait of bearded model Ricki Hall. 33 prints made, each t-shirt hand-marked with impression number.
Be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be. – Henry David Thoreau
The eyes may be the window to the soul, but our brows are the visual expression of our thoughts. A defiant angle, a raised surprise, a furrowed wrinkle, a reluctant horizon- our brows do not lie. Express your cocky self with @bypoststreet’s Collection 3 limited edition bamboo/cotton t-shirt, The Brows, featuring a portrait of model Cara Delevingne. 31 prints made, each t-shirt hand-marked with impression number.
It has the give and control I like in charcoal but without the mess. The graphic quality of the mark making is appealing. You can’t erase it- so you have to go with flow. Much like life.
At present I am enjoying limiting the palette to black on newsprint, with one extra color highlight like red or orange.
The grease pencil, a wax writing tool also known as a wax pencil, china marker or, especially in the United Kingdom, a chinagraph pencil, or nerd pen in Germany, is a writing implement made of hardened colored wax and is useful for marking on hard, glossy non-porous surfaces such as porcelain, glass, polished stone, plastic,ceramics and other glazed, lacquered or polished surfaces, as well as the glossy paper that is used forphotographic printing (particularly for contact sheets), x-rays, and for marking edits on analog audio tape and film. It is also used to label theatrical lighting gels. It is often used as a construction or handyman’s marking tool as it rarely scratches the surface it is used on. It may be used to mark a wet surface. They are also favored among some traditional artists. Due to its ability to write on glass, it is often used in chemistry labs to mark glassware. [source]
Grease pencils can be found in many different colors. They are used by Russell Crowe alias John Nash in the movie A Beautiful Mind when he writes some equations on a window. [source]
I am about to embark on a full-time art career as in-house artist for by post street, illustrator, writer, street artist, and art facilitator for youth/adults. This means moving away from frontline youth coordination to focusing 100% on the art. It is extraordinarily exciting.
Art for me is not just about being in the moment and in the heat of the creative process. My right brain ways certainly thrive on that. But as a right brain enterpreneur, I am ready to embrace DISCIPLINE. Ready to focus on business, sales, marketing, numbers, grant applications, networking etc.
And all this left brain stuff would only be daunting if I hadn’t designed (along with my daughter and by post street‘s creative director) a weekly schedule. It will no longer be about trying to fit in the art around the work schedule but defining myself as a working artist.
Each day has a theme and specific foci that include:
Product, Branding, Customers, Operations, Illustration, Writing, Research, Personal
Time sensitive, Proactive, Arty, Inaction
Sticking to it is key. Including “off” times. Ironically, my new schedule that reflects fluidity and flexibility will be more rigid and disciplined than now. And double ironically, the more I work on art, the more my left brain is awakened and fearless!
Allowing the temptations of distractions and answering to the needs of others above my own is no longer an option! I have to weigh requests and take a breath before saying yes. Before saying no.
Within the new “limitations” though lies absolute freedom and a fulfilled heart!