Year Two / Why I love this project / What's in Store

After more than two months (eek!) away from this site, I have had a lot of time to think about the ACoLab, what I want to change, and whether or not to continue.  I think that this break was a good one because it really made me evaluate why I like this site.  I think towards the end of its first year participation waned and I thought, “Why go on?”  I think I was losing sight of what originally spawned this project.  I like to create.  I love being inspired.  I really like to be inspired and create with other people.  Ideas that may never have come to fruition if it wasn’t for a certain prompt, a certain inspiration, or a product of someones imagination… it’s exciting.  So, I have to focus.  The ACoLab is about creating.  I was only remembering the other reason I love the ACoLab – seeing how we all imagine differently.  That was one reason why I started the project but it wasn’t the only one and I think I forgot that somewhere along the way.  So yes, definitely the more the merrier but even if it’s just me this project remains an inspiration, a huge challenge (which I love), and at its best, a great space to brainstorm with other creative minds.  So, how can I change the Artist's Collaborative Laboratory to be more of that – a collaborative space, always changing, evolving, inspiring?   This is what I have come up with…

If you know me from my other blog or other hosted projects, you already know I am not too big on rules and restrictions when it comes to art or creating.  I do like them when they can enhance a challenge, but as far as pinpointing how to create something in one particular way, well, I personally don’t believe in that.  (I also feel like each individual’s process is a main part of the creating, a main part of the continuing inspiration.)  So, I am doing away with deadlines.  If you are familiar with the ACoLab then you know that I used to have Monthly inspirations, Extra Inspirations, and Permanent Inspirations.  I want people to feel like joining in at any time is not only okay but encouraged.  I like deadlines because I believe seeing other people's creations can influence what we think when creating; posting everybody's work at the same time avoided that.  But it was one of the last restrictions here so bye-bye deadlines.
 You can also submit to any inspiration more than once.

   I like sharing.  This site isn’t just about showcasing me and my work.  So, I will not only be adding an artist’s submission to the main page of that inspiration but will also make a post for that person all to themselves.  (This will happen within a day or two of submission.)  In that post an artist can choose to add links, info about their creation, what it’s about, why they were inspired, what made them create what, or it can be blank, just the submission.  This info will also be added to your Artist Page.
  More posts.
   I like the excitement to stick around.  I also think it’s nicer when someone submits something not to have to wait two weeks to see it posted.  So, now when somebody submits something I will post that creation within a day or two.  I will post an inspiration on one day, show what I or another person created a few days after that and hopefully will have more to share in between that post and the next inspiration given around two weeks later.  I am hoping to post some other ideas as well in between those two weeks... perhaps an interview or profile on one of our participating artists?  There is a huge selection of inspirations to choose from already.  I have complied all of our previous inspirations/challenges into one page.
  Cleaner space
   I am going to rework the pages of this site to be even simpler.  All artists and their links will now be on one page.  I will still always make an Artist Page for anyone who contributes.  Whether that page has a profile image, info, and/or links is up to each artist.

  Mailing list.
   It’s hard for me to remember to send out reminders and I sometimes feel like emailing people but don’t want to be a bother.  So, think I am doing away with the mailing list.  May I instead recommend subscribing to the RSS feed?  By subscribing you basically stay in check with every new inspiration or notice that is posted.  If you join via email you will get each post right into your inbox.  I have left the links on the left sidebar for all different kinds of subscriptions feeds including Bloglovin’.  I will also be tweeting each new post so follow my Twitter feed @ anikatoro.

   I am going to post new inspirations each month but will also be accepting ideas and inspirations to post.  If you want to see what someone creates to your image, song, word, story, etc., then send it in and I will post it.

So, I am committing myself to another year.  Yes, it’s a challenge,   Yes, sometimes I just don’t feel the inspiration.  But when I push myself to find a way in those harder, more challenging prompts, I find I stumble onto some of the most rewarding ideas.  Committing to the ACoLab and staying productive is difficult at times but after this long time to reflect I was able to stand back and realize how rewarding a place this is.  Won’t you join me on another year??

Please be patient if links are off for a bit or things seem a bit off.  And if you have sent me a submission over the last two months or an email I didn't respond to please send it again.  I know, horrible etiquette!  HORRIBLE!  But I have been moving the last few months and was without internet for 6 weeks or so, and before that I lost my mind somewhere in one of the boxes.  Thanks to those of you who have emailed asking about the future of the ACoLab.  Thanks to those of you who continue to visit!  

Oh!  Please take a moment to look at the pages above as I have changed them up a bit.  Hope to see you back soon! Glad you stopped by. 



Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I'm excited for the future of this space. Thank you for gracing us and deciding it should continue.


Lisa Gordon said...

Welcome back Anika!
I am glad you are continuing with this.