Welcome to my stop on the March 2018 Pixel Scrapper “Love Knows No Borders” blog train! As soon as I saw this month’s theme and palette I knew exactly what I wanted to create. I had a vision of a collection of people, created using the wonderful soft colors of the blog train palette, all holding signs with words of love and resistance.
As a scrapbooker, as a designer, and as a human, I feel like I am currently living in two parallel worlds. I feel drawn to making art that is fun and uplifts me, or art that feels poignant and expresses something about my experience in the world whether that is happy or wistful or thoughtful or complex. What I don’t want to do right now is make art about how worried I am, how often that worry slips into terror, or, sometimes even worse, into numbness. I can’t make art about how my heart is breaking seeing my communities devastated in a dozen ways, about how my brain is breaking under all the lies and misdirects, how helpless I feel when a mass shooting, something that once made the whole country reverberate for months and years with shock and mourning, now happens every other day.
I remember the grief I felt after Columbine, after Charleston, after Orlando. I remember how I walked around for days in a haze of shock and pain and disbelief. If I allowed myself to feel that now after every shooting I would be completely non-functional; I would be in a puddle on the floor.
So I scrap about making sushi and hanging out with my family, about celebrating birthdays and my 10 favorite things from the month. I scrap about my best friend and his wonderful boyfriend and how happy I am for them to be getting married soon, not about the tides of hate surging around women, queer people, disabled people, immigrants, and people of color. I scrap about getting older and the unexpected gifts it brings, not about being disabled and in constant dread that I’m about to lose health insurance and life will go back to how things were for me before Obamacare, when for a decade I was brutally ill with zero access to insurance, only this time around I’ll be ten years older…
I think it’s ok that for now my art lives in a separate place. I think it’s ok that, with a few exceptions, a future historian looking back at my memory keeping from this time would have no idea what was going on in the country, or the churn of fear and anxiety going on inside me. It’s good for me to have an outlet that brings me joy and commemorates the sweet parts of life that continue even now. (In fact, wanting to intentionally document moments of sweetness during the hardest of times is how I got into scrapbooking in the first place, back in the years when I was so sick with no health insurance.)
I also think it’s ok that my work as a designer exists in this parallel world. Not everyone who scraps with Scrumptiously designs is living in the middle of a social and political meltdown, and not everyone who lives in the same country I do feels the way I do about what’s happening. I’ve never encountered any scrapbooker who wasn’t a compassionate and open-hearted person, whatever their worldview, and I want my designs to be there to facilitate self-expression for anyone and everyone who wants to use them. (With the obvious exception that I would be sad if someone created something I perceived as hateful using my designs, but, as I said, I’ve never yet met a scrapbooker who didn’t have a huge and kind heart, so that seems pretty inconceivable.)
And, with all that being said, sometimes these two worlds do come together in a way that feels natural and good, and that’s what happened for me when this blog train theme and palette bloomed in my brain. And so I present to you my blog train offering, Resistance = Love. [Download links are down below the second preview.]
This mini-kit comes with seven people, ready to go out and change the world. Each person comes holding a blank sign, and then there’s a pack of 16 sign messages in two fonts each so you can choose what the sign says (and of course you can put your own words on the sign just as easily). There’s even a separate pack of the same messages that come tilted for the person with the scarf and tilted sign. All but one of the seven people also comes in a version without a sign, so these figures can be used for other types of layouts as well. (You’ll notice there are only six people in the previews – there are so many more people I want to make, with different bodies and gender presentations and so on, that I keep working on more, and I finished one more in time to include here. She’s in a wheelchair with shoulder-length light-colored hair, wearing a pink knit hat, shorts, a tank top, and sneakers.) Each figure’s clothing and hair is made using blended art papers, and I am including those papers in this kit as well. Figures and papers are together in one download.
Both download links are for the SAME materials, you only need to choose one. I provide the Mediafire one just in case the direct download Dropbox link is not available due to high traffic.
I hope that you will find a use for this heartfelt offering. I created it to inspire myself, and saw that my art and my worries can intersect, but that sometimes in that intersection I will find hope and strength and resilience. I share it with you in case it speaks to you, as a way to express some part of your experience right now, or as a set of pretty, dreamy figures and papers for making pretty art about anything.
Be sure to check in with the rest of the stops on the “Love Knows No Borders” blog train, it looks like there are some fantastic treats to be found along the way!