Let’s not dance around it: 2020 has been hard, right?!

Beside the global pandemic and all the unrest, feeling so disconnected from my friends and family has been difficult, to say the least!

But I’m not alone. 

So many of us in the creative community have really been feeling this lack of connection over the past few months and I was wracking my brain to come up with a way for us to feel connected, to feel like someone has our back, to feel like we’re all in this together even when we’re forced to be apart. 

Creatives need community.

Going live, making videos, sharing tutorials, and forming some Facebook groups is all very special to me but it still feels like everyone is looking to me, rather than building it all with me.I know creatives need each other; we often fuel and inspire and encourage one another. That’s where The Turquoise Iris Journal, my digital magazine published by and for creatives of all kinds, comes in. The magazine, in all it’s collaborative glory, gives us a place where all creatives can come together and be a part of a collective effort. We’re linked together as a team, learning from and teaching one another rather than everyone learning from me while I teach. 

I feel that this is a great way to pull our community together right now: through tutorials, teachings, common interests, quotes, and activities. When I think about the magazine and allll the creatives coming together to make it possible, I get the same feeling I get when I’m on a trip and I look up at the stars and feel connected to my family. 

The magazine really serves as a very powerful connection that I haven’t felt before in this community; whether you’re contributing a tutorial or following one, we’re all looking at the same stars.

I think the key to becoming a better artist is learning from other creatives, and I’m not alone. 

Here’s Abbie, the Chief Barketing Officer of #IrisJournal, with a few of her admirers. 

I recently read a book this month called Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon. In it he says “find the dots around you but don’t connect them.” The author asks that we look around at the patterns in our life and art and use that to form our creative identity, but that we shouldn’t close those dots, nor should they be allowed to box us or close us off. It’s so important to me that we leave those dots open, unconnected, undefined so that we can add new dots through other creatives.

That’s the purpose this magazine serves: it adds new dots to our world. It shows us all the potential in the mediums, ideas, and approaches that other artists might use. 

#IrisJournal expanded my world… and the world of our contributors.

When I first started out as an artist I would have done anything to get my work in front of someone who would notice it and appreciate it. Anything!!!  I remember the feeling when Miss Mustard Seed featured me on her blog. (Click here to see the original post!) I can still feel what that meant to me and I made it my mission to give that feeling to other artists, no matter where they are in their creative journeys. If I see something in another creative I think it’s important to give them a platform.

No artist is better than any other, we’re all at different stages along our own individual journeys; some are beginners, whether they’re starting at 9 or 90, and some have been doing this a long time. To me, recognizing that distinction allows us to realize that we can learn from others no matter how far along they are on their journey. Because we’ve all taken a different path, there is always something we can learn from each other, whether we’re furniture artists or bakers or sculptors or designers. 

That’s what The Turquoise Iris Journal is about. 

It’s a place where we can share our journeys, learn from each other, connect with other artists, and realize that we are all just a click away from becoming better than we were yesterday…

All because someone had the courage to share. 

I found my courage in starting this magazine and our contributors found their courage in submitting their articles.

What will you find in #IrisJournal?

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