The idea for this project was to create a guerilla giveaway for Independence Day, which highlighted the indivisible aspect of unity. And, at the same time, the variation of form and function within humanity.
One Nation, Indivisible.
The population of the United State (333 million) includes people of all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, and ethnicities. It consists of people from all walks of life, with different points of view, and one common goal. The freedom to BE.
333 individual pins were created for this project. Each pin is a different color, symbolizing the vast array of Human BEings which comprise our dynamic nation.
One Nation, Indivisible. popped up on the streets of downtown Petaluma on Sunday, July, 4, 2021 to coincide with Independence Day holiday. Five locations in high traffic areas were chosen.
I worked myself far ahead last night. I finished the last of the pins at 2:30am. The thought of going to bed without finishing the last batch of pins was REALLY unpalatable for me. Amazingly, I was not tired so I just kept working. The box in the images below contains the 333 pins with their backing cards. They are ready to be locked and ready to be loaded! YAY.
Today, I just had a little clean up work to do, and needed to make and attach the signs for the distribution displays. I finished everything and packed my bag for tomorrow's giveaway by 3:00pm. Which, was nice. I usually procrastinate a little, and end up working, until I go to bed, the night before a giveaway.
I had so much extra time that I even made a little sign for the bag I use to carry the distributions displays downtown. Awesome!!! I will NEVER deny being a it of an obsessive little geek for these projects! It is SOOOO much fun to spread color and joy.
An insane amount of work goes into these projects. While the concept-design is the driving creative force behind them, there are many small details which can make or break the project.
There is a saying "the devil is in the details", which refers to problems or difficulties that result from the unforeseen nature of unexamined details. Having seen this devil arise a few times in the past, when I have rushed things or cut corners, I allow myself ample time to pore over minor details, double check measurements, text and colors, and tweak designs when they don't feel right yet.
While words can communicate meaning, color, line, shape and composition are equally communicative forces. These elements must come together in such a way that they support and enhance each other. It is a challenge, and a grace, to find the appropriate balance to simply/cleanly introduce a concept. The end result should always be more than a sum of its parts.
For me, it is more important to create something that feels right, than it is to produce something that is aesthetically pleasing yet energetically hollow.
One of the things that I notice while doing these guerilla giveaway projects is how ideas/concepts emerge and develop according to their own will and schedule. How some projects turn out exactly as they initially arrived. Others, start out as one thing and change into something else, which better suits the concept. And, how some projects require much more lead time than others, due to materials used and the resources at hand. Still others need the energy of procrastination to push them along.
The Love Bunnies, for example, took a few weeks to produce. Since, having a limited number of molds, I could produce only 24 rabbits at a time, Those rabbits needed to cure in the molds for at least 12 hours. Then air dry for another 24. Then they needed to be painted sealed and have the applique of the words attached to them.
This project started out as an idea for a sticker, which when rolled up for distribution would look like a firecracker. I had some ideas about making the distribution basket into a cake and sticking the rolled up stickers/firecrackers into it as if they were candles. I had some ideas for a character sticker, but when I sat down to work on them, they did not feel right.
So, I abandoned it. I watched Netflix and just let it go. Awhile later, my thoughts turned toward the project again and Independence Day. I instantly had an idea of adopting an image from one older project, and the and concept from another, came into my mind. And One Nation, Indivisible was born.
Over the course of two nights, I mixed 333 colors and created 333 pins circle backgrounds with different colors. Below are some images of the early stages of production.
The growing pile of pins after being assembled which includes placing the pin paper on a metal shell convering it wil a mylar sheet and makeng the front with a button press. The back is then placed into the press and pressure fit into place. Once the pins were done, stickers were place on the back of each one. And, finally.
What is a seed bomb?
The seed bomb is a mixture of clay, soil and seeds rolled into a small ball for the purpose of direct seeding. Seed bombs were popularized by guerrilla gardeners, in New York City in the early 1970s where they were deployed as a stealth weapon to alleviate urban blight and rehabilitate and/or re-green vacant lots. They were inspired by the natural farming methods of Japanese micro-biologist Masanobu Fukuoka, who used clay encrusted seed pellets to propagate his crops.
Mr. Fukuoka believed that Mother Nature takes care of the seeds we sow. She decides which crops to provide us with depending on the available resources and prevailing conditions. Ultimately, it is Mother Nature who decides what will grow and when germination will occur. Whether that be in seven days, seven months or seven years.
Handmade and homemade in Petaluma, these seed bombs were created to inspire joy and wonder. They consist of clay, earth/soil and native wildflower and grass seed.
About two weeks ago, I started working on another guerilla giveaway. In honor of Mother's Day, I decided to honor all mothers, including Mother Earth and Mother Nature, by making seed bombs from native wildflowers and grass seeds. I got an early start on the project, making 200 seed bombs immediately. I also researched and ordered small biodegradable bags to put them into for distribution. And then... the project stalled. The seed bombs sat untouched on a foil-covered metal baking tray near the stove and I lost interest in writing for and designing the packaging until last night. When, my enthusiasm returned and everything came together.
So, began a whirlwind of activity, and another late night and early morning of putting together fun and colorful surprises. I am on the fence about whether my procrastination is a problem for me or not. Since, I can't force myself to do these things any sooner AND I really like what is born of it. So, for the time being, I am just not going to worry about it at all. It is what it is.
Below are some images of the production in progress.
This was the state of things last night when I was less than halfway through. I have discovered that working in little batches is much easier on the body, mind and spirit than completing one task before moving onto the next one. I loved seeing the finished pile get larger and larger and more colorful!
Packed up and ready to go. I have discovered that stealth work involves careful planning and packing. The displays are filled up and loaded in intact, so that installation can be done quickly and easily with two zip ties. I also pack few extra items, like tape, string, wire, wire-cutters, and my don't leave home without it unless you are going to the airport trusty olfa knife, Just in case, zip ties are not adequate for hanging.
An image in words from a dream I had last night.
rose colored walls
a vast emptiness
bare of thought and form
to be inhabited
to the possessor
of its choice
This popped into my head this morning. I am not sure if it is one poem or two.
The second part stands on its own, but it also connects to the first.
Just like humans I suppose :)
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