It takes a village.

You can get lost in a work of art.  Utterly, totally, devotedly lost. 

If healing is merely the willingness to change, then art that places you back in the center of your life, rather than in the periphery of everyone else's, is the ultimate healing.

When you see something that creates that "click" inside you, you remember who you are.  You fall in love with your ideas again.  You begin to let go of everything that's not it.  The perpetual roar of the demands of daily living go on mute.  You may not know what comes next, but you know you are part of it, it wants you, and you want it.  You have come back to the center of what makes you, you.  

That's what it feels like when I look at the art for the 7.16: Haiku Milieu: Begin with the End in Mind.

Sue Demel created the Celtic knot image.  She conceived it, and drew it.  Sue is one of my dearest friend on the planet.  She spent a lot of time on it.  She shared it with me.  I loved it, but I did not know what to do with it.  The whole enterprise of Haiku Milieu was so new, my ideas of the "look" were evolving, and I was flying by the seat of my pants.  She said, "I love you.  Do what's right for you and the project."

Cathie Van Wert Menard took the logo, and gave me several versions: some in bright, jewel tones; some muted; some with sparkles, some with enhanced lines. At the time, we were thinking that Haiku Milieu would be a daily email.  Again, I did not quite know what to do. She said, "OK, I've got all the versions in this file, let me know when you want to pick this back up."

Fast forward to today.  The idea of a daily email grew into a once-a-week, Sunday Haiku Milieu Club.  We used a text-based Haiku Milieu logo, which lets the images and the words have the focus.  The text-based logo became the logo for the book, audiobook, soundtrack, t-shirts, etc.  It was going well.

But when it was time to create the images for this Thursday's show, I woke up with the image of the logo Sue made.  I went back to it.

'WHOA."  I sat and looked at the pure unadulterated logo Sue made, maybe literally, for an hour.  Not gonna lie.  I could not take my eyes off it.  I was transfixed, changed.

Then I went through all the variations Cathie created, again, transfixed.  Simply amazed at the different feelings she evoked with color and subtle design shifts.  And now I strongly felt that wonderful feeling, ancient and new at the same time.  I was getting an idea.

So I reached out to Jennifer Ferguson, the graphic designer of Haiku Milieu and all of my other identity materials of late.  I sent her the black and white logo Sue created. 

Jennifer has an incredible design sense, and somehow manages to take my ideas and bring them to life even better than I could have imagined.  She had an extra challenge this time.  As these shows invite more and more collaboration, the numbers of artists participating grows.  She had more names than ever before to work with, and just look what she did.  I think I gasped the first time I saw it. 

And thus the image for our show was born.  It took a village.

Now, this story has a wonderful ending.  But that doesn't mean the journey didn't have moments with each of us wondering if we were on the same page, if we had heard each other right, if we were going to have to start all over again.  You know, the things that happen in EVERY collaboration. 

The thing is, we trusted each other.  We trusted the project.  And we trusted ourselves.  Maybe every collaboration does not turn out as magnificently as this one.  Maybe they are not meant to.  But you almost can't fail to experience the ultimate healing if you follow that "click," and keep going forward in the direction of what brings you back to the center of what makes you, you.  - Jenny Bienemann

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