I am sort of gearing up for next year, thinking about it, ingesting your comments. One thing that I am utterly sure about is that still life 365 is sticking around. In what manifestation, I am not sure, but I do love the community of this space and how we come together to explore grief, death, loss, hope and life through art, craft, music, photography and just plain old friendship. I do want to build the community aspect of this more and more, and so I will be searching for new ways to do that.
One thing I will be doing is scaling back the everyday aspect of posting in 2011, so I will be posting new art Monday through Thursday and using the weekends for monthly features. For now, I will begin using Sunday for these regular features from September onward. I will be using Saturdays for another feature, which I will talk about later. In 2011, I will stop publishing on Friday and Saturday and use Sunday as the weekly feature.
How this will work is:
- First Sunday of the month will be Community Poem.
- Second Sunday of the month will be a new feature called Photo Sunday, which I will explain in greater detail below.
- Third Sunday will be Mid-Month Challenge.
- Fourth Sunday will be Ten Questions.
- And in the event of the Fifth Sunday, I will host a live round table chat about grief and creativity, where we will explore a theme around art.
Some fourth Sundays may be a live chat with an artist as an Artist to Artist feature. I love hosting conversations and interviewing people, and would love to continue doing that, it just doesn't seem like too many other people love it as much as I do. If you do love it, let me know and please please please consider having me interview you on the live chat feature. Or if you don't want to be interviewed, let me know what you would like to see in a live chat.
So, to go into more in depth about some of these new features. Each month will have a kind of theme/creative prompt which will be announced in the previous month's call for Community Poem. I try to publish the community poem theme on the day I publish mid-month challenges (so on the second Sunday). In that post, I will address the next month's theme and rules for community poem, Photo Sunday theme and the mid-month challenge, rather than wait for the Community Poem to be published, so you have a whole month to do the mid-month challenge.
I had a conversation with someone recently who wanted me to clarify what I envision for Community Poem and Mid-Month Challenge. My vision of Community Poem is this: Community Poem is one poem written by many people about grief and issues surrounding babyloss that captures the universal aspects of grief and babyloss by collecting individual aspects of that experience. I have been continually moved by the community poem responses, and hope to keep being inspired to do them. This is why I ask for specific gender/names/experiences to be obscured, so we can go for larger theme. I like the rules and kind of anonymity of the piece, because while we each process grief differently, we also share some common ground. The Mid-Month Challenge, on the complete other hand, is the individual response to each theme and generally I leave the piece open to style, medium, etc in the exploration. Mid-month challenges are supposed to be a way for you to look at the theme and use it for inspiration right now. The intent was not to revisit things you may have done in the past, but rather take the theme to inspire creativity for the present month. People have submitted things they did long before, and I post them, but I hoped people use the mid-month challenge as a jumping off point to explore something creative right now. A new feature, Photo Sundays, encourages you to explore your grief and the world around you through your camera. It will tie into the monthly theme. You will be asked to go out and take some photos, or look inward and take some photos based on that theme. I am hoping people think about photography as an art form, rather than just journalistic capturing of their environment. I don't usually promote websites, but Kate has an amazing photoblog where she talks about technique and how to achieve some of those professional photographer effects with your camera. I have a really crappy point and shoot camera, and I still read her blog every time she posts something. At any rate, I will post those photos on Photo Sunday. (And I might use a Mr. Linky thing to link to blogs instead. I haven't quite ironed that out. What do y'all think?) As for the Fourth Sunday, someone suggested doing Ten Questions that people respond to each month based on the theme, like a meme. I will try to tie it into the larger theme for the month, but this is a way to tie in to our community (remember how I wanted to do that more?) I will post those Ten Questions with the theme post. The fourth Sunday will have my response and a Mr. Linky to take people back to the their blog with questions.
As for Saturdays, I want to really explore technique for people just starting out with art or craft. Often, these things feel out of reach for people because they simply do not understand how to do something. I would love these to come from you, our readers, who have a wealth of knowledge. I recently published one from Kara LC Jones, aka Mother Henna, which I saw a few months ago and gave me techniques that I use in my own journaling and work, so I thought I should share it here. Anyway, please consider making a short How To video about one of your art forms and sending it my way. You can post it on You Tube and send me the link at (stilllife365days(at)gmail(dot)com.) or just send me the video and I can post it on still life 365's You Tube. I know that I will not always have a how to to post on Saturday, but when I have one, I will post it.
So, here are some of the changes to look forward to in 2011. Until then, though, still life 365 will be adopting the Sunday schedules, and still showcasing work on Saturday and Friday. As always, I am interested in your feedback. Looking forward to hearing from you about still life 365.