#4Life Path Intersects O’Keeffe-DS106-Creating-Community

Tony Vaccaro

Reading my feeds and mail today some interesting intersections of things to think of and connect.
First there was the new blog post by Nana Lou in the Burgeron Family site about a Conference Presentation on Twitter that several of the members collaborated on and delivered. In true DS106 and Burgeron style it was extraordinary, world class content creatively and succinctly put together to tell the story. AWESOME WORK FAMILY!.
I have been balancing digital art, hands on art, family, and some consulting work over the last 6-8 months. I saw the rally call and was very humbled that my place in the family group was thought to be a contribution and possible inclusion. This group of individuals has been a milestone marker on my life path and I do consider them family. The wonderful thing is – it really is a type of family – no one gets ex-communicated because they don’t participate in everything. Sometimes you put in more work than others and sometimes you slide – but you are always valued and included (aka respected and loved).

This event was started by Todd Conway – Ronald L., stepped up and Rochelle Lockridge was right in there pulling things together again. Others as well – all connected. The summary of the Twitter conference was captured by Nana Lou Burgeron on how Todd got everyone started and the 15 minutes of fame can be read here.
Once again an excellent example of how art and technology along with community can be the most wonderful educational environment for all learners. (remember – my view is we are learners from birth to grave and it is personal)
I am very proud of my digital family and the work they do. I am also thankful that I will have the opportunity to continue to create and connect with them even though I kinda let this one fly by me. How great is that?!
Next in my feeds were conversations from a beginning quilters group.

 This group finds excitement and energy in sharing new tips, new found knowledge, sharing of projects and supporting each other. Much like DS106 community – it is art, it is individual, but it is also collaborative. Sharing is important and done freely and often and it is expected that you build from someone else’s work and efforts and return to allow others to take and make in their own way. So the making is hands on – but the ideas, the knowledge building and sharing are digital.
My next feed was a post from Connie Weber. A fantastic educator in MI who always keeps everyone thinking and looking at the world with fresh eyes. She is an artist in the sense of her creations and her work with her 5th grade students. Everyone should be in her learning community!
Today she posted an article about Georgia O’Keeffe’s ideas on what it takes to be an artist. O’Keeffe has always been a favorite of mine. Her art, her views on life. While she very much seemed to be a loner and prefer to secluded from others, she was very much someone who shared and created community. She did so through her writing. No social media in her time, but letters. She shared with others, listened and took in responses. So while physically she kept to herself and created – she always was connected to others and had the conversations of art and life that made her work better and stronger. That community also supported her. It allowed her to be the artist she was instead of the artist society might have dictated.
Her lessons all make sense to me. They apply to many aspects of my life.
And with DS106 in my #4Life – I would add to Georgia’s work on lessons and add #5.

Lesson #1: Observe the world around you—closely, hungrily

This one has rung true in everything from parenting, photography, daily living and business. You can learn so much from just looking closely. (Flickr 365  Pic a day)

Lesson #2: Organization is key to productivity

Another one that I have learned the hard way over the years. The tedious, the details, the right tools, the organizing to create are important. When you have this in place it frees you to focus on the creating -thus you are productive. It is hard at first – but pay off is great. Once established it generates more creation time vs. wasted time finding, sorting, cleaning up….

Lesson #3: Don’t sweat mistakes—learn from them

Always! Fail Forward!!! Mistakes are you friends and best teacher. You only have to sweat them when you allow them to be the result. What you do with your mistakes is most important.

Lesson # 4: Pay no attention to trends—be yourself

The best is you. It is not a competition with others – only yourself. The lure of fame or the fast buck or being popular can sometimes cloud. But when you really look at those who do achieve greatness – they didn’t worry about being most popular – they only focused on being a better “me”. The greatest individuals and contributors are usually the ones nobody does know. The few that do become “great” often are the representative of the many who contributed. There are the few that take the extra effort and stand out and represent the many who work behind them – rather alongside them knowing it is the work and creating that is important.

My addition:
Lesson #5: Connect, collaborate, build from others to create community and trust.

Art and creating is individual and personal – but it happens when you are doing your own thing alongside others. It becomes greater thru sharing and building. When you find community that respects and appreciates your individual work but can make it their own in a slightly different way – wow!

My wish is you all experience that at some time. It makes a better you if you let it happen. And all it is is sharing and supporting, accepting and respecting. Go for it!

Add a thought or critical friend feedback-

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