For me DIY means DIM

DIY. Three simple letters which mean something free-ing: do. it. yourself. I like that. I'm one of those DIY people, always have been. My mom once told me that when I was a very little girl I would always say "Let me do it myself mommy!"

Just this week I translated that into DIM. No, it doesn't have anything to do with being a dim bulb or a dimwit. Rather it is Do. It. Myself. Makes whatever "it" is much more personal.

I'm an artist and ideas come into my brain at the oddest hours. I've learned to keep a pencil and paper next to my bed 'cause I'll wake up with an idea that if not written down will not be there in the morning. And these quasi-wakeful ideas are usually pretty awesome. My only challenge with this is that since I'm still half asleep I don't put on my glasses so when I wake and see that I've written something it's a bit of work to decipher the scrawl.

Recently I had one of these free-range ideas populate my mind. I thought and thought on it. I put it aside but it kept creeping back in. I've also learned that when a creative idea does this, it really does want out.

One of the mediums in which I work is photography and another is digital art. And I have combined the two to make some pretty cool fine art works. One style that I like to do is kaleidoscope-type designs. I will take, say, a photo of a flower that I've taken and do some artistic "stuff" to it in my digital darkroom and voila! I end up with a floral-inspired kaleidoscope design. Can you actually see the original yellow rose (as example) in the finished design? No, but that's not the point. The colors and shapes of the rose are the raw materials that were used in the finished design. Is this clear at all?

Anyway, this new idea that simply refused to go away involves making kaleidoscope portraits. Take a photo of someone's face, take it to my digital darkroom and come out with something stupendous and unique. I was intrigued. I took a few photos of myself that I had and tried it. Cool stuff happened!  My favorite image is one I call "Wishing I Was An Ocean Goddess"

The idea is to create a photo book of kaleidoscope portraits of people. But here's where the DIM comes in. I can do the DIY part...all the art work, book designing etc. But what I don't have for the DIM are the funds to make it happen. What to do?  Give up? No.

Now, I'm not the bravest person in the world and asking for funding is so very hard. Actually many artists have a very difficult time selling their work at outdoor shows because they tend to hang at the back of their booth and never say anything. The thing is, though, I really believe in this project so I needed to come up with a way.

As with all things, if you leave something hanging around in the "ether" long enough, something will stick to it. Someone introduced me to Kickstarter...a way to fund creative projects. I looked at it and I like it because it is both DIY and DIM.  I also like its "all or nothing" aspect. If your project doesn't meet its fund raising goal by the deadline, then it doesn't happen.  No money comes unless the entire goal amount is raised through backers. It has the idea of 'if it was meant to be...."

**update: my project fizzled...but that's okay.

Linda C Smith, Artist and Writer


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