I say a lot of crap.
Most of the time I believe it.
And sometimes I question myself.
“Would I be preaching ‘positive thinking’ from a wheelchair? Or would my pink colored glasses crunch under the weight of hardship?”
But every once in a while something happens that makes me think this whole “spreading the pink” Lifestyle Artist path is just perfect.
HugNation is a Webby Award-winning weekly live broadcast once co-hosted by 94 year old Rev. Caleb Shikles.
When he passed, HugNation founder (and grandson) John Styn decided to continue the show solo and do a semi-annual “Hug Tour” to take Grandpa’s message of love, hugs, and oneness on the road.
The 6 city 2009 West Coast tour is taking shape now!
We are currently looking for
1) A good charity match.
We want to use the tour as a way to raise funds for a good cause. We are looking for a “Light spreading” (vs. “Dark fighting”) organization. Preferably not faith-based (or at least pretty open-minded and pink-friendly.). And willing to work with us to try to get some press/attention and maximize the positive impact.
We want to give proceeds from Tshirt sales, and discuss other possibilities. (Hug-a-thon?)
Specific dates, and needs TBA.
3) Local Contacts
in Seattle, Oregon, SF, Sacramento, LA, and SD. (other cities possible if need/venue/etc.)
4) Individual & Corporate Support (firstname.lastname@example.org)
5) donated shirts? APB is doing all Tour Shirt stuff at his cost. But we could get more money in the hands of charity if we could get things like the shirts donated! American Apparel, I’m looking at YOU!
The 2007 Tour was a magical experience that changed me forever. Hopefully you can be a part of the journey this year! STAY TUNED!
2007 Video from Sacramento Hug:
I’ve been meeting with my friend at American Pig Clothing to plan and produce a “Tour Shirt” for the 2009 Hug Tour.
Now, i LOVE designing shirts. Most of what I wear are one-off shirts I’ve created at Cafepress.com or Spreadshirt.com. But their systems are pretty limited in the type of shirt and printing you can do.
So I am EXCITED about what is possible working with a real T shirt company.
I’d like to do a short sleeve and a long sleeve version. The long sleeve might be a thermal, and would have the “love more. fear less” on the sleeves.
I never used to wear t-shirts. But over the last few years, I’ve grown to love these super soft, poly-blend monochromatic t’s from OBEY:
Maybe there is a way to do something along those lines using the HugNation logo or the Hugmobile imagery.
I prefer it on the edge. Iâ€™d rather be trailblazing than enjoying the ease of a trail.
Even so, sometimes itâ€™s hard not to feel a sting when I see others get press or recognition for things Iâ€™ve experimented with in the past.
The sting fades quickly when I remember that 1) it is the joy of discovery that gets me excited and 2) If I believe in the concepts, then I want to see them fulfilled by any and all.
Tonight I saw that â€œWe Live In Publicâ€ won a best Doc award at Sundance. As someone who lived for 2 years in an experimental webcam house, itâ€™s stings to see someone else get recognition. Granted, that project was 100 times more impressive and worthy of attentionâ€¦but Ego can be childish.
I also was sent a link to GlobalHugTour.com tonight.
I was a bit taken aback since I had been working with a designer on “Hug Tour 2009” shirts this very week.
Obviously I want any love-based concept to succeed in any form, but my Ego likes to whine.
And fears start to creep up. Thoughts like, I may be forced to â€œcompeteâ€ with that project for attention (and possibly money.)
Plus they use the term â€œHug Ambassador,â€ got an endorsement from Gary Vaynerchuck, and we both want to be on Oprah!
I recognize how ridiculous it is to feel ownership over a â€œHug Tour.â€ And Amma (The Hugging Saint) is really the Supreme Queen of Hug Tours, anyways.
So give me a moment to just let this temporary Ego surge calm down and then we can all work together to make the world more love-filled and amazing.
Okay, I’m better now.
I leave on Saturday for my 11th Burning Man.
But for me, the pilgrimage began 2 months ago.
The preparation weeks are bliss for me.
Itâ€™s like I have a Pavlovian response…and I start to CREATE. Ideas fly thorough my head. Everything looks like a part of a sculpture or costume.
My world becomes a fury of paint/glue/fabric/cut/spray/glue/sweat/& love.
My apartment becomes a studio. The foam-cutting knife does not get put away after use. Nor does the glue gun.
Pink fur scraps infest my apartmentâ€¦like some Fraggle virus.
And the artistic projects fill the house at an incredible rate.
During the pre-burn season I give myself permission to embrace a â€œCut first â€“ Measure laterâ€ design philosophy.
I let it â€˜float more.â€™
And the stream brings such delights!
This year Iâ€™ve been inspired to create (with my mom & girlfriend’s help):
â€¢ A sticker design (chosen as the official gate sticker this year. Gifted to EVERY participant.)
â€¢ rubber stamp designs (x3)
â€¢ Art Bike (â€œAll Hail Snuffleoctopus!â€)
â€¢ Goggle-head-dresses (x2)
â€¢ Stencils (2)
â€¢ Tons of customized clothing,
â€¢ and now we’re working on decorating a Lounge on the Esplanade!
Plus I have 3 responsibilities for during the week. 1) Bike Ride â€“ Wed. 12:00 noon @ Bat Country 9:30 & Espl.
2) HugNation â€“ Sat. 12:00 noon Center Camp, spoken word stage.
3) And I also act as a Courier.
By â€œCourierâ€ I mean that I bring things to the Playa for people.
I extend the offer every year on my blog that Iâ€™m happy to bring something on anyoneâ€™s behalf.
Sometimes itâ€™s a picture to print out. Or old letters.
Letting go of an expectation or a regret.
This year a beautiful young woman sent me ashes of her child.
And a letter of celebration. Celebrating the miracle of the brief life.
She had named her child after Grandpa Caleb.
But he was very premature.
Now Baby Calebâ€™s ashes are making the same journey as his namesake.
But I canâ€™t help but think that from the perspective of the Cosmic Danceâ€¦it is beautiful.
We are born. We live. We die.
We are loved. We love.
The number of breaths we take does not determine the worth of our lives.
Rather, it is the purity of the journey.
So this yearâ€™s Burning Man Journey is infused with not only a narcotic creative frenzy, but also a depth.
And a renewed appreciation of the Journey itself.
*** If you are going to Burning Man, I will be camped at 9:30 and Esplanade. No amount of planning can force encounters to happen, but if our journeys do cross paths, please say hello! Iâ€™d love to share a magic moment.