Art Update: Grounding as Antidote to Busy-ness
As everything becomes busier, I need a shift in perspective so I don't just perpetuate the harms of capitalism & White Supremacy & cisheteropatriarchy & ableism & ageism & colonialism & oppression.
Dear Family, Comrades, and Neighbors:
This week is already off to a hectic start. Yesterday, I co-hosted two workshops with Queering Dreams — Sketchnoting for Dreaming Abolition with Todd Berman & Improv Gateway for New & Seasoned Players with Momos Cheeskos — and Saturday I co-hosted Tea with Rupy where we launched our Immigrant Artist Network. It is all so wonderfully delightful; I am finding myself bearing witness to incredible vulnerability & deep belly laughs. In fact, dare I say, I am overjoyed!
There’s even more coming up this week too! And not just what’s on the public Queering Dreams calendar.
I’ve been hard at work since the end of May on a new project called Dandelion Arts Finance Training Program with Independent Arts & Media. We are convening Black, Indigenous, queer, trans, disabled, immigrant, poor, and POC artists, media makers, and arts administrators to develop accessible, peer-based arts finance trainings. In January 2022, we will be launching our official report as well as announcing a Working Group to co-create the curriculum. And this week, Crystal Mason & I are facilitating two different workshops to help deepen the research and impact of the report and program.
And on Wednesday evening, I have the incredible honor of co-creating A Space for Dreaming Abolition with Keyssh, Crystal Mason, and Kapi’olani Lee. This is the third conversation in a series started by Kafi-Ayanna Allah in June 2020 after the murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin that convened an intergenerational community to ask and explore the question, “How do we abolish police in media & arts institutions?” It was part of the Alliance Youth Media Network’s 2nd Annual Youth Media Summit. Conversation Two. took place this past summer and explored abolitionist practices within our work. This final conversation brings together an intergenerational team of comrades ranging in age from 16 to 60+ to hold space to dream abolition. And a portion of this conversation will be shared during Todd’s Sketchnoting Dreaming Abolition Part Two workshop on Monday to create some art!
So amidst all of this busy-ness, it is important for me to not lose sight of what it is that I want to see manifest in this world: liberation from capitalism & White Supremacy & cisheteropatriarchy & ableism & ageism & colonialism & all oppression.
Well, how do I do that? I practice grounding. Over. And over. And over again.
And grounding doesn’t have to be meditation or rest, though those are crucial to being spacious enough to respond rather than react. It also includes incredibly mundane things like running errands, making sure I have simple meals to eat throughout the week, making sure I make space for my husband, and reminding myself over and over again that I am just too busy to be jealous of the other wonderful things that I see happening across social media, like that birthday party or that concert or that gathering in the park.
That last one—not getting jealous—can be tricky. It’s so easy to become jealous cause busy-ness is a buy product of capitalism, the thing I want to be liberated from, and busy-ness prevents participation in other’s festivities. I can find myself in a weird negative loop where that jealousy makes me feel even busier, which just… Well, it spirals and in the end, that’s what capitalism & White Supremacy & all that shit want: for me to feel depressed, alone, and jealous of my comrades all so I won’t do anything to heal myself or my relations.
I can notice all the wonderfulness that is happening. I cheer for all the communities coming together in celebration and joy. And I can remind myself that I too am a part of this much larger community of communities that’s trying to find our way out of suffering and oppression.
That’s all easier said than done, I know.
It’s why making sure I have some things to eat, that I’ve taken time for rest, and that I still make space for my husband is vital. And maybe calling those vitals —food, rest, and relations—busy-ness isn’t so helpful.
Maybe they help me be who I want to be.
And that revelation of being is hella, hella grounding.
VLOG: Running Some Errands
NEW QUEERLY COMPLEX PRODUCTS COMING SOON!!!!!
John and I have been hard at work creating a whole new set of products for Queerly Complex. We are hoping to launch them early December, 2021 along with a website redesign.
Included in the new products will be a whole new Digi collection, featuring Zoom Backgrounds, Profile Squares, and Zines. All will be pay-what-you-want!
I really wanted to make sure that Queerly Complex had something available for everyone, and with this new Digi collection, anyone can own some of my art.
And since it’s free, please don’t steal it! Sign up to the Queerly Complex eNewsletter to get the latest news, including when we launch new products!
Space is still available for both QUEERSPELL workshops. You can learn more about what to expect in this wonderful post where Ash Tré Phillips and me chat QUEERSPELL and what it’s meant for both of us.
And if you want to learn more about QUEERSPELL, check out this post.
There are only 12 spots at each workshop & are pay-what-you-can (Pay more if ya got it!)
A Final Bit of Joy & Delight
I was listening to Tina Turner’s Wildest Dream this morning, when “In Your Wildest Dreams” came on. It was such a wonderful flashback. I haven’t listened to this album in almost two decades. I had to open YouTube to find if a music video was made. Instead, I was treated to this absolutely fabulous live performance. I had to take time to watch it fully before completing this post.
So I wanted to share it with y’all. It’s pure joy & delight.