Synchronicity recently came a’ knocking at my door! I had been thinking about organizing a sabbatical to Peru that I could do in a year or two from now. Then a few months ago a media colleague in Albuquerque told me that his musician friend was running a Artist in Residency program in Mexico. I was curious and upon checking out their website www.arquetopia.org, discovered that they recently opened up one in the Sacred Valley of Peru about an hour from Cusco. Apparently my time came sooner than anticipated because I applied and got accepted for this summer! I quickly paid my deposit and am saving up my last few paychecks of the year while also seeking a little help from my friends. If you have any interest in being a part of my crowdfunding donation team please click here. It’s super quick and easy! And would mean the world to me.
I’ve been wanting to travel the Andes since I was little boy and suddenly it’s on the summer schedule. I feel super grateful to all who have supported me in any and everyway leading up to this six week sabbatical. I will be able focus on creating art in the service of the creative muse, mountain culture, latin rhythms, travellers’ tales, martial arts and good ol’ fashioned storytelling.
“The Mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir
My mantra for this retreat is music, art and movement. I’ve been totally hooked on learning to play the mandolin for the last few years. And it just so happens that the Peruvians rock some serious mojo on their charangos and their folktale songwriting skills are legendary. It’s no wonder myself and so many other travellers have been drawn there for ages.
INSPIRED by the Art of Shen Ku
The concepts and ideas I’m interested in working with for visual arts and storytelling come from the Art of Shen Ku. A combination of martial arts meets time traveller meets survival skills for just about any scenario including dealing with bullies and bandits! We all know how important that is these days! I discovered this graphic novel style book at Op.Cit. Bookstore in Santa Fe almost as if the wings of fate guided my browsing to that very shelf.
I found a interesting article about the mysterious author who published this book in 1999. He hasn’t been heard much since! Last I heard he was shacked up in Thailand scheming up another sailing adventure. My idea is to study and draw inspiration from his incredible art work and create fresh ideas for an animated series to produce back home. There is a strong demand for animated content that has clever characters, timely topics and heart grabbing story-lines. Fortunately, we also have a growing talent of artists, animators, musicians and filmmakers in New Mexico who can execute projects such as this. This is my chance to take a moment away from the busy life of educating and create original storyboards, screenplays and outlines for a new series of stories.
If anything I have said so far has perked your interest please do consider clicking on the link below and support of my artist in residency down south in the Peruvian Andes. I have paid the deposit and will be saving as much of my paycheck as I can before the semester ends late May. Meanwhile I am reaching out to my friends, family and colleagues for help. My intention is to reach $4,000 in my YouCaring crowdfunding page by March 30th. This will allow me to cover the program and buy my plane tickets while saving money for rest of the journey.
The cool thing about crowdfunding is that it spreads out the support so even a little from each friend adds up to a significant amount for the person who receives it! Imagine if 200 friends (geez..is it even possible to have that many???) gave $40 each and some gave $100 or more.That would double the goal! Crowdfunding seems to be a collective answer to the desperate age of hard-core capitalism. A way for friends to help friends. In a cyclical fashion that seemingly could go on forever! In that spirit, I recently donated to my friend’s sojourn to Peru and she’s since traveled to three countries making huge waves of compassion. Over the past few years I’ve shot crowdfunding videos for friends making a variety of bad ass projects. Including; an illustrated Chai Tea cook book and a CD Music Release. The documentary we worked on to save the Rio Pacuare in Costa Rica needed some last minute crowdfunding support and in a moment of flush funds, I jumped into the collective pot. And now, I hope I can pay my art forward to the future generations so they can enjoy their careers and lives as much as you and I have.