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Monday, February 20, 2017

Finding Purpose

I struggle with creativity and 'making' as most artists do from time to time.  With me, I am more often struggling than creating; this has been the case ever since I can remember.  Usually, I have to have external motivation to get going - an occasion to give a gift, running the craft fair and feeling like I also should have a table, or a custom order coming through my Etsy shop.  It makes me sad that I am not naturally motivated and prolific, but that is just who I am and maybe one day I will square with that.

Last month, I was clicking about on YouTube and a suggested video came up.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever watched, but I made myself do so because it is important to be informed about what really goes on in the world.  The video, a BuzzFeed mini-documentary, highlights the work of Marc Ching, founder of the Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation.  The documentary shows how Marc and his foundation are working to save dogs that are caught in the brutal Asian dog meat trade.  If you don't know the realities of the torture and butchery that goes on on a daily basis, then you too should make yourself watch the video, here.  Be advised it is heart-wrenching.

I have never been one to champion causes or go out of my way to be preachy about something.  But, this has hit me harder than anything has before.  I am not a wealthy person.  I don't have a lot of free time, and I don't live near the AHWF headquarters to do anything hands-on with them.  And I sure as hell don't have the stomach or mental fortitude to go into Asia and do something on the ground.

But what I can do is dedicate my creativity to this cause.

I have, therefore,  pledged the net profits of Brandee Blank Art to AHWF starting this year and have their blessing to use their name and logo on my websites and during craft fairs.  I feel really good about this decision. I feel like my art has meaning now.  I have been inspired to actually clean up my disaster of a craft room. I have a notebook filled with ideas and experiments - it is the first time I have even cracked open my notebook in months.  I even finished a couple of "no rush" back-burner custom pieces that I really didn't want to deal with.

All in all, I feel like this is one of the best decisions I have made.  It is helping to soothe my broken soul by giving me a way to help the Foundation and at the same time lending me inspiration where perhaps I wouldn't have had it otherwise.

Thank you, Marc.