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A community initiative aiming to create 100 portraits, and collect the subjects' ideas about their ideal relationships in a book.
A community initiative aiming to create 100 portraits, and collect the subjects' ideas about their ideal relationships in a book.
A community initiative aiming to create 100 portraits, and collect the subjects' ideas about their ideal relationships in a book.
49 backers pledged $3,601 to help bring this project to life.

About

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The Ideal Relationship Project

$3,601

49

In a Nutshell

  • The Ideal Relationship Project is an arts-based, community initiative that aims to create 100 portraits, and collect the subjects' ideas about what makes an ideal relationship, into a self-published book. 
  • The book will be organized by age, gender, and relationship status. Each chapter will begin with an article summarizing the most salient themes in its category, using an arts-based, heuristic research methodology. It will be letter-sized, and 110-115 full color pages.
  • Low budget and/or gift giving options include postcards of existing portraits and/or a copy of the final book (portrait not included), once it's completed.
Cover Design (Final design may vary)
Cover Design (Final design may vary)
Sample Page Spread (All The Single Ladies! category)
Sample Page Spread (All The Single Ladies! category)
Sample Page Spread (Married or In A Relationship category)
Sample Page Spread (Married or In A Relationship category)

What is the process?

  • Each subject is asked to describe his or her ideal relationship in no more than two sentences and submit an image they would like to see rendered. 
  • The portraits are portrayed in a uniformed style that incorporates a mandala form, intended to promote mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing. 
  • A process note in the form of a video and blog entry is created for each completed portrait as well, and posted to the project's website. I also do a "quick quote" video, if footage is provided.

Sample process video:

Quick Quotes Videos (15 seconds each):

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SAMPLE VIDEOS.

How can I support this project?

 There are three ways to support this project:

1. Participate. Check out our rewards and select an option including a contribution of your face and personal quote ($50-$125). A personal video clip and interview is not required (but it is appreciated).

2. Pledge. Check out our rewards and select an option including the purchasing of postcards and/or the final book, once it's completed ($3-$35).

3. Follow Us. If you're still unconvinced, check out our website and follow our blog. When you follow us, others will too, and that's a big help! (Free)

 5 Reasons to Support This Project

The New York Romance Writers of America dig our project.
The New York Romance Writers of America dig our project.

 1. You Might Fall in Love. There are three basic steps to the Law of Attraction: ask, believe, and receive. Before the Universe can give you your heart's desire, you must be sure of what you want and how to articulate it. This project forces you to do just that, in a most concise manner. Help us help you manifest the love you want!

Celebrity psychiatrist, Dr. Amen—PBS expert and a frequent guest on The View, The Larry King Show, CNN, Dr. Oz and others—endorses our project too.
Celebrity psychiatrist, Dr. Amen—PBS expert and a frequent guest on The View, The Larry King Show, CNN, Dr. Oz and others—endorses our project too.

2. It's Community Oriented. This is an arts-based community project, the purpose of which is to encourage personal insight, spread the wisdom of healthy relationships, and provide a positive experience for participants. And there are no limits how far it can extend; we've received support from backers in such countries as India, Sierra Leone, and Israel. The long-term goal for the artist--should The Ideal Relationship Project be successfully funded--is to turn it into an intergenerational project.

A grandmother in India shares her wisdom and support for The Ideal Relationship Project
A grandmother in India shares her wisdom and support for The Ideal Relationship Project

3. Everybody Gets Something. Every pledge has a physical reward attached to it. From a $3 postcard, to your own digital portrait, to a copy of the book itself, every participant walks away with a momento.

Backers in Sierra Leone show their support for The Ideal Relationship Project.
Backers in Sierra Leone show their support for The Ideal Relationship Project.

4. Its a Unique Gift Idea. Have a friend or loved one getting married? Celebrating an anniversary or the end of a painstaking divorce? Or perhaps you are just looking for a unique, one-of-a-kind gift for your boo? The Ideal Relationship Project's book is the perfect blend of charitable consumerism and quality gift giving. For $35 You will receive a promissory Thank-You postcard from me, as well as three blank postcards, and a copy of the book, (anticipated date of completion is June 2016). The note and cards can be given at the time of your occasion (if occurring before this date) and then I will send the completed product to the address you specify.

Postcards can also help you make new friends (starting at $3)
Postcards can also help you make new friends (starting at $3)

5. Kindness is Contagious. In a study designed to identify cause-and-effect links, political scientist James Fowler and medical sociologist Nicholas Christakis of Harvard University found when one person gave, others in their group tended to be more generous. Recipients became more generous in turn, and so on down the chain. Surprisingly, when a punishment round was added, generosity lasted even longer, promoting elevated, positive feelings. And as researchers at the University of California have discovered, the better you feel, the kinder you are towards others.

The Backstory

"Boundless love, often requiring new kinds of love, endless patience, and infinite laughter." - Maria Graterol
"Boundless love, often requiring new kinds of love, endless patience, and infinite laughter." - Maria Graterol

In Search of The Ideal

While chastising me for harboring fanciful ideas about sexually faithful men who'll hold your hand during sunsets well into old age, a good friend once said to me, "There are only two kinds of men. Those who treat their wives and their mistresses well, and those who don't. You decide which on turns you on, then you decide which role you want to play." 

 “I don’t believe that," I responded, "There are men who are devoted to their wives.” 

 “Miserable men who wish they had the balls not to be. Tell me, does your Prince Charming day dream about internet porn?” 

My dear friend is not alone in her assessment. Jokes abound about the drudgery of marriage, even as we celebrate #LoveWins. Oscar Wilde once said, "A man who marries his mistress leaves a vacancy in that position." The Spanish word for "spouse," esposas, also means "handcuffs." Why are married women usually heavier? Because single women come home, see what's in the fridge, and go to bed. Married women come home, see what's in bed, and go to the fridge. 

In light of my own divorce, I realized I had never truly asked myself, "What is your ideal relationship?" 


After traveling to my sister's wedding in India, I found myself falling in love again (i.e. riding that razor's edge of hopeful wantonness and a debilitating fear of rejection and abandonment). As the relationship developed, the ambiguous misfiring of two people's needs and expectations arose. 

Not wanting to screw it up, I felt I needed to clarify my desires. I had a lot of ideas floating around in my head, but nothing I could succinctly state. No log line or "hot premise" to sell potential suitors. No mantra on which to meditate while holding a rose quartz and praying to the Goddess of love. I found both the content and aesthetics of my artwork taking on a distinctly spiritual and interpersonal nature. I started drawing mandala forms to focus and center myself. I began to think, "If I don't know precisely how to articulate what I want, than how am I supposed to find it?" 


I decided to ask a few friends what their thoughts were. Then I asked a few more friends, after that. And then I asked people I didn't know. Single people. Married people. Divorced people. Widowed people. People in long-term relationships. People who just broke up. Almost all of them laughed and said, "That's a hard question to answer." 


 "I Know!" I would exclaim. "But why?" 


I started writing their thoughts down. Then I started doodling their faces. Doodles turned into sketches. Sketches became portraits. Pretty soon, it became a whole series of portraits. And I realized I had tapped into something. I decided to turn the portraits into a Kickstarter project called, The Ideal Relationship Project. 


 So far, I've completed twenty portraits, and feel no closer to coming up with my own definition. In fact, I have decided to suspend my thoughts on the matter altogether, until I have finished absorbing the opinions of 100 other people. In the mean time, I might suggest taking a moment to ask yourself, what is your ideal relationship? 

Risks and challenges

After the project is successfully funded, potential challenges with fulfillment may include unforeseen obstacles in completing the portraits on a two portraits per-week schedule (100 portraits is a lot!).

However, the project only needs 80 more portraits to meet its goal. So, if anything disrupts the rate of 8 completed portraits per month, I have a two-month cushion to catch up to the June 2016 completion date.

Notably, digital images will be sent as they are completed, which could be anytime between July 2015 and June 2016 (portraits will be addressed in the order in which pledges were received). Once the project is successfully funded, the artist will be able to contact participants personally and give them a more accurate time frame in which to expect their digital portraits.

Additionally, there is a video and blog component to this project that will keep participants engaged and constantly apprised of the project's progress. No disappearing after being successfully funded!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $3 or more About $3

    A thank you postcard from the artist.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A Thank You postcard from the artist

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A thank you postcard from the artist
    + 1 blank postcard with your choice of 7 portraits on the front

    (you will be contacted after the project is successfully funded regarding your choice)

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    A thank you postcard from the artist
    +4 blank postcards with your choice of 7 portraits on the front

    (you will be contacted after the project is successfully funded regarding your choices)

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A Thank You postcard from the artist
    + Three blank postcards

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    Reward no longer available 3 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A thank you postcard from the artist
    +7 blank postcards with available portraits on the front

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    A Thank You postcard from the artist
    + Three blank postcards
    + A copy of the book (portrait not included)

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    6 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Single Portrait (One Face):
    A Thank You postcard from the artist
    + Three blank postcards
    + A digital image of your portrait and quote
    + A process video posted to the website

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Single Portrait (One Face):
    A Thank You postcard from the artist
    + Three blank postcards
    + A digital image of your portrait and quote
    + A process video posted to the website
    + A printed copy of the final book

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Couple's Portrait (Two Faces):
    A Thank You postcard from the artist
    + Six blank postcards
    + A digital image of your portrait and quotes
    + A process video posted to the website

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Couple's Portrait (Two Faces):
    A Thank You postcard from the artist
    + Six blank postcards
    + A digital image of your portrait and quotes
    + A process video posted to the website
    + A printed copy of the final book

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Funding period

- (35 days)