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InsideFMM | September 19, 2014

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Hit By Art Hard, When A Writer Loses Her Words

Hit By Art Hard, When A Writer Loses Her Words
Macala Wright

It was hard for me to know where to start this post. I’ve spent hours thinking of how to present it…two parts, three parts or four? I fought on how to write it…whether or not to analyze it…and if so, how to break it down.

So, I decided to follow the “cockroaches in my head” and write it as Macala; write it in my seldom used, conversational style. I let the thoughts that meander and swirl in circular fashion in my mind that never sleeps, go where they felt they needed go, in order to tell this story. It’s a way that I seldom write anymore, as it confuses many people who read me this way. Let the journey begin.

FMM is now three years old. We have come a long way. For years, I’ve shied away from many things for fear of tainting the site that I’ve been so attached to for years. Why? Because no matter how novice or advanced our blog posts have been, this site has been my creative outlet and the sole source of inspiration that’s driven everything that is me both personally and professionally. When I started FMM, I had certain goals for the site. Those goals changed as this digital canvas of knowledge evolved. But no matter what it became, it’s always been intricately tied to my identity and brand.

Lately, she’s (meaning FMM) been evolving faster than I can keep pace with. From her name, to her design and her features, I’ve been trying to grow and match what this amazing creation of mine (and now others) has become to the woman that I that I once was to the woman I’m once again becoming. Isn’t evolution and maturation, even though scary and sometimes overwhelming, simply DIVINE?

“What is art? It’s a conversation with a man’s soul. It begins in the flesh, but becomes something else.” – Art Hard

Macala, where are you going with this?

I am sorry my dear reader, I am getting there. What I’m trying to say, is that “as people, our stories constantly evolve.” And the businesses, personal relationships and so many things tied to us a individual people change with that evolution. Frankly, for the past six months, I’ve been in limbo. I’ve been carrying the world on my shoulders, attempting to figure out where to move and what is coming next. And then an email that I didn’t expect popped into my inbox. And it when it came, I did not expect what came with it to have such a dramatic effect on my life.

That email, came from Nancy, the beautiful soul who directs and curates “the Anthropologist” for Anthropologie, as I was sitting in TriBeCa at Kaffe 1668 two weeks ago in New York City. I was surprise to learn Nancy read my our website; I believe that my heart skipped even skipped a few beats. She offered to send FMM Anthropologie’s recently released DVD, “Art Hard.” Art Hard, shot in Siberia, is actually their first short film produced as a company.

Now you know, I’m very discerning when it comes to a brand’s editorial and believe context is just as important as content when evaluating whether or not something is relevant or even worth creating at all. So for me, when a fashion retailer sends me something that relates to content, I take that quite seriously. And because of the brand, it was even more important.

For those of you who know me, you know that I’ve been in love with Anthropologie and a loyal customer of theirs for years. My love of this brand began at age 26, when I finally matured past Free People. From Washington DC to Las Vegas, San Francisco to Santa Monica, whenever I’ve needed inspiration, I’ve headed to the closest Anthropologie store I can find and promptly pop myself down on a chair or couch with whatever divine book I gravitated towards after looking around the entire store (that’s the 19th century English lit major in me). As a company, Anthro represents some major milestones in my life. I still own the SPARROW cream colored sweater that was my first purchase ($58 was expensive at the time) and I shop the sale section every month and by one or two pieces of dinnerware that I like to add to my ever growing collection of purposefully mismatched place settings.

“In Russia, we have a saying that everyone has cockroaches in their heads. It means that we are all a little insane.” – Art Hard

When I got back from New York, the DVD arrived. I sat down with an amazing, full bodied red wine from Kaena Vineyards and started to watch, ART HARD (by Meredith Danluck a film about artist Jim Denevan). Please keep in mind, I did no research on the film before I saw it. I wanted to experience it from the mentality of someone’s who accidentally stumbled across it and see if it evoked the same emotion connection and deep thinking that the Anthropologist content often does when I interact with it. Honestly, the journey I embarked upon was not something that I was ready for.

Now you are beginning to understand the context of what was written before getting to this point in this story. To summarize my experience, I would say that:

Art Hard took my mind on journey that questioned creativity and challenged me to analyze my definition of art. And then it brought emotional release from the weight of the world on my shoulders. Something I never expected. – Macala Wright, Founder, FashionablyMarketing.Me

Furthermore, it took me down an very emotional trip that left me trembling in the middle of yoga class, silently crying in child’s pose and at the end of the class, releasing whatever my mind and body where holding onto. Reflecting on things that inspired me in the film struck trigger points that said that I could just could let go. Art Hard brought release.

Wow Macala, that’s extremely personal and almost too intense to be sharing…Why are you telling me this?

I know, and I am sorry if this seems like social over share. But I am telling you because its worth sharing. Why? Because that is what your branded content, branded entertainment, transmedia or narrative storytelling (whatever buzz term you want to put on it) should evoke from its viewers.

Whether delightful or dark, it should evoke emotion so powerful that it leaves us shaken to our cores. It has to move us in conscious and unconscious ways. If you do that, then you’ve been successful. And currently, less than thirty brands big and small (out of hundreds of thousands) have achieved this.

And don’t worry, I’m okay. My Anusara teacher is used to having her students experience “emotional releases” in her class and feels as if she’s done her job when they occur. And what was evoked by the film and left on that mat has allowed me to put things that needed to rest into the grave they need to go to. And from them, what’s been born is thus far is beautiful.

“The soul of an artist can’t be understood, you can’t even try.” – Art Hard

The quotes that moved me are interwoven into my story. I am not going to tell you about the film because I don’t want to ruin the experience you may have with it. But here is what I will do, I will send one of our readers the film. It’s worth being shared, so simply by leaving a comment that answers the following questions below, you can get a copy of ART HARD courtesy of Anthropologie. Myself, Marguerite, Laura and Nazgul will pick the answer that moves us the most and send it your way to have your own experiences.

What does art mean to you? How do you define creativity?

 

Comments

  1. Josee

    Dear Macala,

    Many thanks for sharing this personal experience, it feels real & authentic! It touched me!

    In (my) today’s (fashion)world it’s all about efficiency and playing it safe… about holding on to what we have achieved. Fear freezes our management….and control is their answer.
    Art is for me the complete opposite, Art is space, art is freedom, art is personal, art caries energy, art inspires! Art creates opportunities!

    To create Art, we need space & creativity!

    Creativity can grow on many different grounds….sometimes it’s about limiting your space, sometimes the complete opposite.
    Creativity to me is thinking outside the box, about creating space, about smart solutions…creativity has many faces.
    Although we might live on different continents….I truly believe we share a common awareness…and that it is no coincidence that I ran into this article.

    Again many thanks for sharing!

    • Hello Josee – thank you commenting. I completely agree with with you when it comes to Fear. No matter if you work for someone, at an agency or a brand, I think fear creates the largest hurdles we face in digital. Fear born from ignorance, fear of change, fear of losing control. I’ve worked for clients and work for companies driven by fear. Needless to say, I didn’t last very long. Fear kills passion and creativity, they just can’t grow in hostile environments. I think the social web is maturing, social networks are getting more refined as their users become more complex. Creating content like Art Hard helps fuel not only creative thinking, but also helps move our digital world forward. Thank you again for the comment.

    • Congrats Josee! Our editors have selected your comment as the one to receive art hard. It’s on it’s way. Rochelle. Thank you so much for commenting and participating as well. Your comments mean everything to us!

  2. Art is the product of creativity, and creativity is the unique gift that every individual can give to the world around him or her. Those that claim to not be creative (I think) are stymied by something (fear, laziness, boredom, rules, etc. etc.). I find that that more creative an individual the more I likable (I personally) find them and the more likely that they will change their world for the better. So, to me, creativity is everything.

    • Rochelle – thank you for the beautiful comment! I actually agree. Lack of creativity I believe can be attributed to someone’s fear or need to maintain status quo.

  3. This is a giant question, of course. Kudos for initiating the discussion. I’ve always been a huge fan of art, but then I’ve always been curious, hungry for new experiences, eager to explore things that I have not seen before.

    The two exhibits that awakened the feeling you speak of within me were the Jose Bedia exhibit at the Fowler Museum at UCLA (http://www.fowler.ucla.edu/exhibitions/transcultural-pilgrim-bedia) and the Anri Sala exhibit at the Serpentine Gallery in London (http://www.serpentinegallery.org/2011/03/anri_sala.html). Both exhibits took me out of my fast-paced, pop culture social media news feed mentality and connected me to a timeless beauty, reminded me that life is fleeting and beautiful and meaningless and meaningful and most importantly should be lived, not fettered away on b.s.

    A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.
    - Albert Camus

  4. Nazgul-Kemelbek

    Art for me has always been something that I failed to explain to myself or others. I just felt it on the gut level, the piece either spoke to me or it didn’t. I remember being younger and trying to read books on the history of arts and trying to dissect the meaning of the word thinking that you could intellectually capture and determine what makes for an art and what doesn’t. Thankfully with age comes wisdom…

    Today I just let myself to get lost in the moment, let my mind wonder and let the piece to speak to me. I have long ago abandoned an attempt to evaluate a piece of art intellectually and have just learned to trust my gut. Art is beautiful, but both art and beauty are subjective depending on the person, so I guess at the end of day all we are left with are the memories of how it made us feel.

    I too did come across an exhibition inspired by Kyrgyzstan that I only could be a part of on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.192078194200798.46300.186338561441428&type=3. I am from Kyrgyzstan, and perhaps for the first time I came across an art exhibit inspired by the country that felt both breathtakingly beautiful and realistic at the same time. I just kept looking at the images and thinking “it is so Kyrgyzstan and it is so beautiful.” I realize that it is also a commercial project, but I don’t think that those are mutually exclusive by any means.

    I am not sure if it answered the original question, but as Marguerite said it is a big one.

  5. I also love Anthropology because of it’s creative spirit. I am an artist and the owner of a now closed boutique specializing in Fine European Linens and Couture. Finding my way still. I had a post on what I believe it is to be an artist. I hope you read it: http://lisalinenlady.blogspot.com/2009/06/on-being-sucessful-artist.html

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