New Changes That Feel Old: “Lines & Verses” Now Up

Writings for various items are now all collected in one place! “Lines & Verses” is a new menu bar item alongside “My Portfolio” and such, and just as “My Portfolio” presents my artwork, “Lines & Verses” presents, well, the little writings I have created for various items over time.

It is a recent change, yet one that feels quite old. Almost as though it is not new at all. Indeed, the various lines and verses I have created have been around all this time. Only they could only ever be seen on products, as they were never gathered and so presented together anywhere.

This is something I have long sought to change. Greeting card verses in particular always seemed to warrant clearer exposure, generally being more substantive and poetic than other stuff.

Lots of Flowers Pink and Green Mother's Day Card, product at The Draw on Zazzle

Lots of Flowers Pink and Green Mother’s Day Card
© 2015 Darren Olsen

Lots of Flowers Pink and Green Mother's Day Card, inside, product at The Draw on Zazzle

Lots of Flowers Pink and Green Mother’s Day Card, inside
© 2015 Darren Olsen

Yet I never knew quite what to do with it all. Collect everything on a page? In a post? Several posts? And how to handle the existing stuff versus the current?

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Kuumba and the Kwanzaa Creations Kit

Kuumba, or … Creativity. The formal Principle states: “To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.” Clearly Kuumba means so, so much more than art and music or whatnot, or even the creative process that leads to such. It means nothing less than the making of all of life better–however this grand ideal may be achieved. It follows beautifully and rather meaningfully from the immediately preceding Principle (Nia, or Purpose); is backed by its successor (Imani, or Deep Faith); all three of which in turn rest on the foundation of the the first four (Umoja, Kujichagulia, Ujima, and Ujamaa–Unity, Self-Determination, Collective Work and Responsibility, and Cooperative Economics).

Yet there is no doubt that Kuumba is most often associated with creative and artistic endeavors; and, for good reason. Is art and culture not a significant part of who you are? Who a people are? Can the arts–music, film, art, whatnot–not convey the highest ideals of love and learning? Can they not soothe you during hard times; help connect you to others and to your culture; or remind you of what really matters, grounding you in a better reality? (Yes, I know a lot of art does not necessarily do all these things … and that is okay and even needed. Not everything worthwhile in life has to be of a profound nature. But art most certainly can do these things; and, sometimes, it does.) Moreover … is the creation of art not quite a process sometimes? With everything from inspiration to actual creation, to all the effort that may take, to finished work and shared enjoyment? A process that does sometimes leave life just a little more beautiful?

Collection logo image for the Gather 'Round Kwanzaa Creations Kit at The Draw on Zazzle

Logo for the Gather ‘Round Kwanzaa Creations Kit on Zazzle
© 2018 Darren Olsen

The Gather ‘Round Kwanzaa Creations Kit is the most complicated and drawn-out “project” I have yet done for The Draw. It took about four months from conception to completion–usually two-to-three hours a day–feeling at times as though the work involved was only growing. Yet while I am not of African descent, the Principles of Kwanzaa do speak even to me, at least a little … and not least of all Kuumba. While in deference to and respect for Kwanzaa and its non-commercial nature, I had long decided against doing a Kwanzaa drawing, the key there is “a” drawing–one lone drawing like any other, soon done and placed upon several products. When instead, I hit upon the notion of doing several drawings–pieces of innumerable unrealized drawings, really–whereby families and friends could gather at their computers and themselves create something truly special and unique–it was suddenly so much more workable. Hopefully, I could create something that would allow others–families, most of all–to truly create something unique and special for their Kwanzaa celebrations … and, of course, all while sharing time together, collectively creating!

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