I want to introduce you to a project. I believe I mentioned this a couple of weeks ago, and hopefully you’ve seen it floating around on my facebook and twitter.
It’s called Open JAR: The Illustrated Autobiography of an Alter-Ego
So it’s a book. Or more specifically, an art book. Now, I’m not going to lie and say that the author isn’t a good friend of mine. She is. And she’s lovely. But I honestly would not be writing this much about it, if I didn’t really love the project itself. I was able to meet with Kelsey at her home and get a good looksy into the progress of this book. We had a great collaborative brainstorming session and I am really really excited about it.
So here’s some things I love about Open JAR:
- Size. It will be a large coffee table book. The sort of book that you can read front to back a hundred times, or simply open to a single page and enjoy what’s there. Every page offers something-an insight, a story, beautiful words and pictures to fill your mind.Content. Just the amount of raw material going into this is extraordinary. She’s got stacks upon stacks of journals, poems, sketches, and artworks to be picked through and incorporated. But she’ll also be creating original drawings and writing to create a cohesive and fun reading/viewing experience. This is as honest as it gets- this lady won’t hold back on the real, personal stuff. But don’t be intimidated- you will love her satirical, funny way of presenting even the darkest of subject matter.
- Story. The narrative chronicles the last several years of Ms. Sweet’s life. And let me just say that I have a lot of respect for this young woman: her experiences in life so far are definitely stories worth hearing. Her narrative can pull you through the darkest times and bring you up, laughing as you go, to the highest points of strength and resolve. It’s a story of people, creativity, evolving, and the path to collective creative consciousness.
- Creative Story-telling Elements. Normal books are boring right? Well, I still love them. But I especially love authors who use creative combinations of literary tools to move the reader through their narrative. This is a book created by an artist. For one, the main narrative is told through the eyes of her alter-ego JAR. But it doesn’t stop here. A host of metaphoric characters guide the reader on a journey, offering different perspectives and ideas. The cosmic hero-a unicorn pegasus- races across the bottom of every page- as the book pulls you on an adventure through time and space. And JAR herself? A character dropped and hurting becomes a metaphorical container, sealed shut. She must work her way through the past, climbing mountains to finally open. And then…who knows?
- Visuals. This will be a beautiful book. Rich and colorful and full of little things to look at. It will be like a playground for your eyes, as Ms. Sweet applies her experience in multimedia art to book-making in the most wonderful of ways.
- Collaborative. Despite the fact that the story, narrative and characters revolve around the author’s own life, this is really much more of a community-oriented project than you might expect. She is asking others to contribute with their own art pieces (drawings, writings, etc.) dealing with the book’s major themes. The story itself impresses the importance of community for creativity. And by attempting to fund the project with a kickstarter, she asks for the support and interest of another community: you. She sees this project as being about something much more than an autobiographical piece-but as something that anyone can benefit from and enjoy.
- It’s more than a book. One of the many reasons that this project came to be is her graduate course: Art as a mirror of evolving consciousness-an idea that defines the book’s major themes. But these ideas of consciousness, awareness, creativity and community go way beyond all of this- it is her philosophy and her mission as a working Artist, Psych major and a Community Leader. Ms. Sweet will also be teaching Creativity Survival Workshops- which build upon the major themes of Open JAR in practical ways, to help anyone and everybody expand their creative possibilities. If you know me, this is something the painting bee can definitely get behind.
I’m asking you to contribute to her kickstarter with whatever you can….Because I want to see this book come to fruition and I know how excessively difficult it will be without funding. Because every little bit makes a difference and you can afford it if you really think about it. And because I think that you will also love this and gain a great book to enjoy and share with friends and look through over and over for years to come.
And I promise you. I know this lady-she’s a smart cookie and a hard worker. If she meets her $2000 goal, she will spend every penny of it, working her ass off, to bring you something amazing.