Hi. My name is Crystal.
I'm on a journey of forgiveness and it's been hard and beautiful and painful and meaningful. I want to share that journey with you, hear about your story, and then create something meaningful together out of our experiences of choosing to forgive.
For me, there is a lot of connection between the act of forgiving and the act of creating. Two years ago, I wrote a song about forgiveness called, "You Owe No Debt to Me." I've had the idea to do a community project about forgiveness for over a year now and have been thinking, dreaming and planning the best way to accomplish it. Now, I'm ready to make it happen - with your help!
I want you to contribute your art and photos that depict statements of forgiveness and then I'm going to make a music video and book from all these contributions. You can even join me in San Diego to hold your art or sign and be in the music video.
Here's the short, over-simplified version:
1) You support this Kickstarter campaign and share it with your friends via social media AND by talking in person with other people about your/their experiences of forgiving.
2) After the project is funded, you submit your art and photos that includes forgiveness statements like "I forgive ____ for _____." (Submissions will be digital via email due in late January. See FAQ for more info).
2) I record a song I wrote about my own experience of forgiveness.
3) I create a music video for the song by inviting all those who contribute for that reward level to meet up with me for a video shoot and bring their forgiveness art/signs. In addition, I include art/photos that were submitted digitally into the music video set.
4) I create an art book curated from the submissions which includes the story of the project.
5) I send the song, video and book to contributors! We celebrate!
6) I start to work on the next part of the dream... a large public art installation... :)
More about me:
I am not a professional musician or a therapist. I'm a single mom with a full time job. I have a passion for creativity and authenticity. And I have a black belt in Work Ethic. I've been writing songs for over ten years. I have an MFA in Creative Writing. Last summer I made a music video from an old song I wrote called "Made Ready." You should check that out. For that project, I did everything myself. I recorded the song on my computer, did all the art, videography, editing, etc, etc, etc.
For this forgiveness project, I plan to include some other talented folks to bring it all together into something incredible.
More about the project:
This project is about the power of forgiveness and sharing your choice to forgive with others. It's not about complaining or shaming people who have wronged you. It is about acknowledging that wrong has been done, but that things that have happened to you do not limit you. You can choose to forgive and let go of the burden of bitterness.
UPDATE: You DO NOT HAVE TO CONTRIBUTE MONEY in order to submit your photo or art to the project. Since starting this project, I have received emails from people sharing their beautiful and heart wrenching stories of forgiveness. But, many of them are in challenging financial places and I want everyone to be able to contribute their story. I want this to be a community effort.
Even though financial contribution is not required to submit art, I still need financial support to make this project high quality.
I want you to spend some time thinking and talking with people you know about forgiveness. I want you to care about your contribution and care about the meaningful thing we are creating together. I believe art is valuable. I have already invested myself in this personally and financially and I'm asking you to join me.
I already have most of the equipment. Guitar, Song, Video Camera, Final Cut Pro. I will need to pay some talented people to help me out to record the song, help with the video. And I need some basic things that are just part of maintaining the tools of an artist/musician. New guitar strings, cords, website hosting costs, finger paint, coffee, etc.
It will also cost money to print your electronic submissions and construct some of the music video set design. So there's cash needed for that. The books themselves. They will be quality. They will cost money to print.
But, basically, the $1500 just covers the bare minimum to get this done and make it awesome.
Share your story.
I care about this project so deeply and I want you to be a part of it. I am hoping for at least 1,000 people to contribute their forgiveness-statement-art. And I would be honored if you would join me in an act of vulnerability to share this project with others and help make it happen.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: I'm not an artist, but this is awesome. Can I still submit?
A: YES! The only qualifications for your submission are that they include mostly legible words with a forgiveness statement. That means you can write it on a piece of paper and hold it over your face and take a selfie. You can carve it in stone. You can sew it on your pillow. You can write it in sand or cookie dough. You can use a sharpie on a paper bag. Try to make the words readable. Mostly, be creative and honest.
Q: What is a "forgiveness statement"???
A: I'm using that phrase to refer to anything that has the basic structure of "I forgive _____ for _____." You can be as specific or vague as you want, but remember the goal here is NOT to shame anyone who has wronged you, so keep that in mind when you submit. Examples of forgiveness statements:
- I forgive all the people who told me I was ugly.
- I forgive my friend for stealing my idea.
- I forgive myself for not taking that risk.
- I forgive my mother for not paying attention.
Obviously, everyone's experience is different and there's no wrong answer. Just try to keep the focus on your choice to forgive and let go of bitterness, not on blaming or shaming another person.
Q: Can anyone submit art?
A: Yes. I have changed this so that ANYONE can submit art for the project. If you have $1, please contribute so that I can reach my funding goal and make this project happen.
Q: How and when do I submit my art or photo?
A: After the project is funded, I'll send backers the details about how and where to submit. You will be submitting digital files before the last week of January, 2014.
If you are sending a photo of yourself or your art, you will need to submit the largest file size you possibly can so it can display well. If you don't know what "dpi" means, just plan to take a picture in a well lit area that has no blurry parts, and is the largest file size your camera can take.
If you understand the technical stuff and you're submitting a high quality digital art file, then I'd prefer minimum resolution of 1280x720 at 300dpi. Don't let that limit you in terms of size/shape, but definitely DON'T send anything at 72dpi, pretty please.
Q: What are you going to do with my art?
To be clear, if you submit something to this project, you still own your submission. You will be giving me the right to use it in the video, the book and to promote this project, but I will not sell your art individually. I will be selling the book, and by submitting you agree to that. But, you can still do whatever you want with your art apart from this project.
Q: When are you filming the video? I want to be in it!
A: After the Kickstarter is funded, I should be able to confirm one or two dates to try to give people who contribute at the "join me on the video shoot" level the chance to make it. You will be responsible for your own travel, food, etc. I plan to pick 1 or 2 days on different weekends in Spring 2014 and all those who contribute for that reward will be invited to come, hold their sign and be on camera. Again, no guarantees about what shots will make it to the video, but my desire is to include everyone I possibly can!
Q: What will you do with the money if you raise more than $1500?
A: I have some VERY specific dreams for what I would like to do if there's additional money. Basically, I want to create a public art installation that anyone can come and experience. In addition, any extra money will simply go towards other creative projects and musical endeavors. Recording more songs, making more music videos, etc. Wow, don't get me started. I have LOTS of ideas.
Q: Can you help me find a counselor to talk to about the process of forgiving?
I wish I could! And I definitely encourage you to seek out a counselor or therapist if you feel like you need some one-on-one help. I certainly have and am so thankful for it. Although I am passionate about this project, I can't give you personal advice in this area. I encourage you to ask around and get some recommendations on good therapists in your area. It can take a few tries to connect with the right therapist/counselor, so don't give up. It is really worth it when you find a safe professional to process with.
Q: You look familiar, did you grow up in Austin, Texas?
A: Why yes, I sure did. Austin is the beautiful place of my birth and first 18 years of life. When I got divorced, I didn't change my name back (for a variety of reasons not worth going into,) but you may have known me in Austin or at UCSB as Crystal Reed. Hi there. Join the fun and spread the word, please. :)
Risks and challenges
Every creative project has obstacles, but thankfully, because this one results in art, there are not a lot of limitations.
If for some reason, I lose my ability to sing and sit at a computer, that would sure limit things, but I'd still find a way to make this project happen, even if something crazy occurred to limit my physical capacity. I believe so deeply in this project that as long as I'm alive there is no way I'd let it not happen.
The art prints are hand-made and as such will have special imperfections.
Other than that, I think the only thing you need to know is that it's possible I may have to move the deadline for submissions to February or March, and if that's the case then I may not be able to film and edit the video, plus design and print the book in time to stay on track with a summer delivery.
If everything takes longer to produce than planned, I will contact all backers to let you know! Other than that, I don't anticipate any set-backs at all. I feel entirely prepared to adapt to the kind of submissions I receive and create something meaningful no matter what or how many people send in their "forgiveness statements."Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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