‘Matters Are Afoot’: ArtiPeeps Update

29 Jul

Spring

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‘A counted number of pulses only is given to us of a variegated, dramatic life…How shall we pass most swiftly from point to point and be present always at the focus… ‘ (Walter Pater, The Renaissance)

ArtiPeeps, as it is, has now been going for over a year as a site that provides  collaborative and showcasing opportunities for emerging artists and writers. It has also had, as part of its original intent, quietly bubbling up under the surface, a well-being aspect which, I suppose,  was most overtly shown in The Recovery Project which ran a couple of months ago.  This well-being aspect, actually helping people through creativity, for me at least, has become an increasingly important part of ArtiPeeps’ intent. It feeds directly into its purpose of ‘Nurturing creativity and well-being through collaboration’.  And as the months have rolled by I have wanted to find a way to more overtly blend what ArtiPeeps does in terms of creative opportunities with something that also makes a difference; maybe helps.

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‘Moving From Point To Point’

Having thought this intention through in practical terms my plan is, over the following months and years,  to move ArtiPeeps through a sequence of developmental phases which will progressively lead to its final relaunch in approximately two years time as a site totally driven by artistic, psychologically focused multi-form collaborations. Collaborations, which will not only form an artistic, creative therapeutic resource for people (inc. creatives) but  also simultaneously provide unique showcasing opportunities and create innovative artwork, poetry and prose and outlets for these. 
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So….from the latter part of August ArtiPeeps will cease its normal output. In September, as part of phase 1  I shall be taking a hiatus from ArtiPeeps so I can finally do the 5 year business plan I have periodically talked about doing  in my previous ArtiPeeps Updates.  I have found, frustratingly, that there has been no way I could maintain the level and standard of output and progress ArtiPeeps developmentally at the same time.  Therefore I have made the decision to create some space for that.  From the end of August all features content will stop. The content of ArtiPeeps’ output for September will  primarily consist of  all the posts attached to Transformations  (the great poetry and the overviews) and intermittent posts in relation to my progress in terms of the business plan etc. to keep everyone up-to-date.  The Transformations posts will go out as per normal through September and indeed right the way through all the developmental phases (whatever happens as ArtiPeeps develops my commitment to the Transformations project and the poets involved is 100%).   Everything else will cease for that month. 
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A BIG,  sincere thank you goes to Laura Besley, Greg Mackie and Nisha Moodley for all their wonderful, steady, quality contributions feature-wise over the months. Their creativity and support has been invaluable, Their connection with ArtiPeeps will hopefully continue as we move forward. 
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Then, as  part of phase 2  I will  relaunch ArtiPeeps in October with it being primarily driven by mental health collaborations (one mid-sized engaging with the themes of  fear and trust and the other mid-sized engaging with comfort, light and reassurance.).  This to all intents and purpose will be a trial of what the site will feel like contents- wise whilst being driven by a therapeutic intent. Our showcasing initiatives ‘Weekend Showcase’ and  ‘FreeSpace’ will continue. Excitingly, we will also have some great writers and poets using FreeSpace during this period. We also will be operating our Visitor Peep/Creative in Residence initiative through October with a Monster Project for Halloween and our development commitment to our previous artist in residence Lili Morgan will, of course,  continue.
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However all ongoing features and guest blogs will cease permanently from October so the site will be 100% in alignment with its intention of group collaborations; and, of course individual showcasing (which will eventually be driven through the collaborations). This will mark the beginning of a test period for the mental health strand running right the way through until December. I will  be slightly re-jigging the site too to incorporate the changes. 
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Then comes phase 3 and  will take place  in December. From December onwards I will stop  ArtiPeeps as it is while I train to be a cognitive behavioural counsellor.  My aim then  is, once I’m qualified, to relaunch ArtiPeeps as ‘ArtiPeeps Wellbeing’ a site providing collaborative multi-form opportunities for creatives whilst being of social benefit;  and doing so via the provision of an online artistic/psychological resource for people in need/and for people who need advice/more information.  ArtiPeeps the site will still exist in the interim period and  everything attached to Transformations will still run from it. I will also, I imagine, be posting out intermittently about the development of ‘ArtiPeeps Wellbeing’.
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My training will take 24 months and then I will launch ‘ArtiPeeps Wellbeing’.  The idea behind the new site being that this will be an opportunity for creatives to creating new, collaborative  artworks/literary pieces whilst contributing to social awareness about issues.  Individual showcasing will continue but be driven through the collaborations. Narrowing the focus down will also allow ArtiPeeps to be more easily fund-able. By the time ‘ArtiPeeps Wellbeing’ launches my aim will be that it is fully funded. Two years should be enough time for me to have achieved this. Qualified, I’ll be able to create the new ArtiPeeps from a foundation of true knowledge and understanding and provide therapeutic resources whilst showcasing all the amazing creative  talent that is out there.  My aim is to also provide online therapeutic courses as well and links with outlets for the art/literature and poetry we create;  and, who knows what other threads will develop as we move along. I’m going to maintain a Twitter presence throughout the phases of development and blog intermittently about my progress too.
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I just wanted to let you all know in a straight fashion what will be happening over the months and years ahead as it will have a direct affect on the feel  and content of the site. I am really excited about where all of the developmental phases of ArtiPeeps will take us, and I hope you will follow  along the way.  I  always appreciate your support and interest.
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Watch this space, and all the very best.
Nicky 
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