We should make an official “Help Another Artist” day

24 Sep

Did you buy a fancy coffee today? Another pair of “fashion boots” you know won’t really keep you warm and safely footed this winter? Another big hunk of fabric that will just sit in your stash?

In 2013, i faced the results of losing 80% of my stoodio supplies, a lot of personal items, art and household items, when Calgary had a massive flood that destroyed homes, riverbanks, businesses and park areas. It was terrifying. Most of us however got to go back to our homes, rebuild our businesses and adjusted to the way Mother Nature had re-shaped our city. Many people i have never met in person, my on line friends and fellow bloggers and artists,  stepped up and donated, whether cash or supplies, and i was floored by the generosity and thoughtfulness. I am STILL grateful to all of them.

Why am i bringing this up? Mother Nature cannot be “blamed”. The effects of Man and War though are a different story entirely. Imagine being forced out of your country due to a political game played by “the powers that be”. Think how your art business/passion would be affected, with students too afraid to travel either in your own country or from another more stable one to yours. Envision not knowing if your business, your home, maybe even your own life was safe.

I have an online friend who is facing this right now. Elena Ulyanova is an artist who was based in the Ukraine, and who has now been forced to move to Poland. Elena has been instrumental in sharing a lot of her eco dyeing and printing expertise to any who ask, and gives freely and clearly, with no kitchen scrap nonsense and no airy-fairyness. She loves what she does, and it shows on her blog. She’s scientifically minded, but a true artist as well. She needs studio space for a year and has started a fundraiser through IndieGoGo. I contributed. Of course i did. I value her, her work and it’s a way for me to “pay forward” all the help i got when *i* needed it. She’s not asking for a lot really, and every bit helps, so go, share, comment, make the world better for another person, support another artist. The direct link to her campaign is here.

I’m lucky, blessed, and so are you, to have a home and art space and supplies without any worries about safety or availability of materials. We can all too easily become complacent about what we have, what we are, how much we can share–whether from our art wells, or our bank accounts–and rarely are roused unless there are dire photos and scary stories.

Please, as fellow artists, consider helping.

Do *you* really need “more”?


Posted by on September 24, 2015 in "Art, fear and permission", common good, True Artists


6 responses to “We should make an official “Help Another Artist” day

  1. rayela

    September 24, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Wonderful, Arlee! I would very much like to figure out how we can set up a fund through TAFA to help each other when the need arises. Not only in awful situations of weather and war, but also just to move ahead when needing to invest in growing our businesses, in whatever capacity we need and can’t do alone.

    With the drying up of so many of the grants and assistance programs that used to be available to artists, crowd funding has really helped and Elena has worked very hard at putting her best foot forward with this campaign, even with English not being a first or comfortable language for her. But, these campaigns only make a difference if they work and they only work if we become a crowd and all pitch in. I’ve pitched in by helping her with translations, strategy and the campaign video. Money is essential, but there are other ways to help and the best way to figure out how is to approach her and connect with her and find out what she needs for her studio.

    I really hope she meets her goals as it does not seem to be a lot to ask. It’s always hard to put your need out in front of people, but she is doing it because she has something valuable to offer and she knows that she can build community in her new place.

    Elena is about half way through her campaign and about $1,000 US has come in with a target goal of $7,300. That means she has to raise about $420 a day to reach her goal. We all come from different abilities and $20 for one person might have about the same “value” as $200 to another. Dig in and do what you can!

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlee

      September 24, 2015 at 5:50 pm

      Thank you Rachel! I would guess that some are rather cynical about these things, but *as* someone who is often thought of as only cynical and wizen-hearted, i can attest to the fact that these things do wonders for one’s morale, one’s Karma and a feeling that we can make a difference in our often insular little worlds!!


  2. marginmirror

    September 24, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Donated! My DH’s family came from Odessa area, Ukraine…to U.S. and then Canada in the early part of the 20th century, escaping pogroms…How could I not contribute?

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlee

      September 25, 2015 at 6:13 am

      Marg, OMG, so did mine! Except that in our case, my great grandfather grabbed his son (my grandfather) and left his wife and 4 daughters…………

      And does everyone see? We could be all related, another reason to help.


  3. theimportanceofprocrastination

    September 25, 2015 at 1:55 am

    Dear Arlee, Rachel, girls, you give me strength not to get into despair and to move forward. I am lacking words to say how much I appreciate what you are doing to help me…

    Liked by 1 person

    • arlee

      September 25, 2015 at 6:19 am

      We are related, as textile artists, as human beings! I wish i could do more too, Elena.

      Liked by 1 person

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