This issue is one of my favorites so far. There are a lot of fun things going on this month. The month began with my birthday and – while I’m glad I was born – the date is most significant as the start date to my third annual “Happiness Walk.” Sound corny? I suppose it is a bit. But it’s also great fun! For the past three years, I have asked most everyone I know (usually at the last minute!) to gift me a picture of something that makes them happy in their everyday life. The result is truly overwhelming each year. I set out about 50 photos of adorable dogs, lover’s bright smiles, cheeky coffee cups, shiny motorcycles, funny-shaped trees and fancy cars that cause a smile every day on route to work. It’s hard to browse around the photos and not find a reason to smile – but the trick is that it isn’t just a smile for ourselves, but a smile shared with our friends. Still sound corny? Just trust me! Make a visit to the sim and you’ll get it.
This is also a terrific issue because of our good friends Doc Romano and Jos Loll. They are both fun guys with silly (sometimes naughty) senses of humor, as well being talented artists. My long-time friend, Tyler Cross, also chimes in this issue with a “travel” feature. I know his dry wit well, so his article had me giggling. I’m sure you will enjoy it too.
Lastly, there is a live music section that features our own advice columnist and TSFTG friend Mahogany Soulstar. She made her singing debut recently, so Susan Aloix snatched her up for a quick interview.
I found a quote that read “August is when laziness finds respectability.” I speak from an American experience, born in the “south” and now a “Yankee.” August means higher temps, not much rain and no one over the age of 10 moves very quickly – or is expected to do so. August is also a month of high emotion. For kids, August is full of summer vacations, fireflies and s’mores but a return to dreaded school looms in the not-too-distant future. For adults with kids, the coming month marks major milestone of time, whether your child is just beginning school, or going away to college. It’s a month of anticipation of the adventure of life ahead but the present has a definite expiration date. So August is the time we eke out the memories from our collective “mulberry days.” Focus is on FUN and, for now, we do our best to press pause on thoughts of the future.
Both of our featured artists this month say they use their art as a means toward joy, whether that joy comes from an ego boost or being able to express in images what can’t be expressed in words. Silivren says that her photography is therapeutic, and M8ty discusses a beautiful photo that he created to mourn a personal loss. They both have this beautiful talent/gift/ability not only to communicate emotion but to invite us to identify with their human experience. Life is often considered a journey we travel alone, but art – in all forms – reminds us that we are in this together.
And that sentiment perfectly segues into announcing our newest gallery (#3) called “Exploratorium of Art.” We all labored over a word to describe what we dreamt this gallery to be, and Patrick offered that word at about 3am, not expecting it to go anywhere, as he had suggested about 200 others by then. But I said “Yes. That’s it!” and the Exploratorium was coined. The artwork displayed will be meant to explore, study, enjoy, and spark conversation.
Happy July, all! This issue of FOCUS has been an interesting one to produce. I happen to be in the role of collecting all the pieces and parts that make this magazine a whole. This places me in a very fortunate position: I get to read everything first!
Not only do I read it, but I lay the articles and photos out so I pay a bit closer attention, and I get what I will describe as an “intimate view” of each raw article. I fix the misspellings and sometimes edit to make the words a bit clearer, or to shorten in order to fit on a page, but I’m tempted to leave the articles as I receive them. While I try to extract the humanness of their words in a genuine way, sometimes nothing can communicate another’s feelings but their own words, typos included.
This issue features very passionate and emotionally aware artists. They are interesting, sensitive people who we as a group can be proud of ourselves to call friends.
The first feature is Trisha Rose, a photographer who wears her heart on her sleeve. Even in the titles of her photos, like “Making Angels with a Friend” or What Bothers Me Most is… I Don’t Miss You,” the intent and message conveyed is crystal clear with heartfelt honesty.
Our Membership feature is Ladmilla. I’ve known her for some time, so I was surprised to learn I knew so little about her passion in her art. Then our live music feature is Kaleb Wolf Avedon, a deeply feeling artist in many ways. He explains his personal connection with music and what it means to him to share his talent.
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