Tag: Art

A Homeless Man’s Coloring Book Pages Show Us Another Side of Creativity

A lesson for children and adults alike.

Healing, like creativity, is a process; there is no on/off switch. It flows like a river, sporadically obstructed by nature and chance. Shit happens—emotionally, spiritually, physically, we get hurt and we turn to various outlets to heal. People exercise, meditate, cleanse, float in some sort of sensory reduction tank (because apparently, that’s a thing), and others create. Regarding books, I do not mean to exclude the reader from this act of creation. There’s a well-known quote by Samuel Johnson circling our illustrious world wide web that says: “A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.”


Look at that face, that’s a solid blue steel.
Image Via Wikipedia


The reader fills in all the blanks—I know this because of all the literary theory classes those college people made me take…Reading allows the human mind to escape the limitations our so-called realities place upon it. Creating is the same. In the moment, your creation feels like all that matters. But it’s still about more than just you.

A local news station in Cleveland recently did a piece on a homeless man who enjoys drawing as a means to cope with his own limitations. Eugene Sopher draws pages for a coloring book that, due to Sopher’s precarious financial situation, may never be published. To Sopher, that doesn’t matter.



“I do this drawing, and it’s medicine, baby,” said Sopher. “I’m in the zone. Not trying to mix it with drugs, but it’s the best high I’ve ever had.”


His lack of finances and exposure have led to some unconventional PR methods: he relies on strangers to make copies for him so that he may share is art with the world. The wide variety of pages he has created contain lessons for young and old alike. Some of his pictures warn about the dangers of gang violence or meeting strangers online, and others aim to simply put a smile on your face. Sopher, who suffers from depression and bipolar disorder, has not had an easy life. He has felt the weight of the world and the resulting discombobulation. At forty-four years young, he spends a good amount of time drawing uncolored pages so that he can escape any personal grimness and help his readers.




“I can do something because if they’re reading that, they can say, ‘You know what? That happened to me. Oh, you what know, I went through that,” said Sopher. “A lot of the reason I keep my cartoons in black and white is it gives you a chance to put color to them.”


Sopher’s story and art remind us that creativity is not some sort of commodity purchased in the restricted section of society. It’s not exclusively available to those deemed ‘intellectual.’ It’s part of all of us, a silver lining that bridges the gap between reality and perception, body and soul. Regardless of one’s age, race, or gender—whether it be the lawyer who journals in her free time or the homeless man who lives to doodle—we are all connected by imagination and our ability to create.




Images Via News5cleveland.com

The Stranger Project Exhibits Hand-Written Stories from Across the Country

An exhibition of handwritten stories has opened in New York City. The gallery is welcoming your stories and will share its display on social media (Facebook: strangerproject, Instagram: @strangersproj). The reception is closed until January 3rd but the exhibition is opened until the 5th.

Submit your story in person (since it’s the only way to go about this process) at 702 9th Avenue! Also, there are unscheduled story collecting pop-ups happen several times a week and can be discovered through Instagram.


Image Via Strangersproject.com


Image Via Strangersproject.com


Brandon Doman, the founder and creator of this artistic project, has taken the Strangers Project across the country, visiting over 80 cities, collecting tens of thousands of stories, and setting up exhibitions in a variety of spaces. He decided to do something about his curiosity in 2009 and transform it to a safe space for expression. From the openness of city parks and libraries, to the intimacy of small classrooms, exhibitions of the Strangers Project are scalable and interactive story-sharing spaces. He’s often works with businesses, schools, festivals, and individuals to bring these stories to different communities.


Image Via Strangersproject.com



More information about The Stranger Project:


“Do you ever see a stranger and wonder… What’s it like being you?”


I’ve been asking that question for the past ten years and have received more than 40,000 hand-written, true, and anonymous answers. Whether about love or loss, joy or fear, what they all have in common is an honest voice of the human experience. These stories offer a brief glimpse into the intimacies of everyday lives, bridging meaningful connections between strangers. By creating a place for stories, we create space to understand each other and ourselves.


We’re living in a time where the differences between us are magnified. I believe that what starts as a simple act of living can be a profoundly transformative experience. Exploring the lives of the people we share space with every day shows us how wonderfully human we all are. These stories engage strangers of all ages and backgrounds to reflect, rejoice, heal and connect through words.


Image Via Photo: Edis Rune


Brandon Doman explains it further:


The Strangers Project is a celebration of the stories we’re surrounded with every day—both from the strangers we share our space with every day, and our own stories we carry. It’s about a connection with ourselves, with people around us, and something greater than ourselves.


I create spaces where people can discover stories, and if they choose, share their own. None of the stories in the project are submitted online or through the mail—each is from a passerby I met that took a moment to share with me. The stories come from all ages, all walks of life.


I share stories from the collection daily and continue to collect new stories across the country.


Every story is collected in person—stories are not mailed in or submitted online. The Strangers Project is based in NYC, but I also take the Strangers Project to as many cities as I can stories are shared from all ages and all walks of life.


In 2015, Damos published a collection of handwritten stories, What’s Your Story?: True Experiences from Complete Strangers (The Strangers Project).


Image Via Amazon


After going through all of this, what comes to mind when you ask yourself, ‘What’s it like being you?’ Answer that question at the exhibition while you can! If you want to support the non-profit, then donate here! You don’t even have to share a story about yourself, there are so many stories you can just read!


Image Via Strangersproject.com


Image Via Facebook



Featured Image Via Facebook

This Slytherin-Themed Wedding Is Ssseriously Stunning

If you’re a member of the Harry Potter fandom but you’re not quite sure how to incorporate it into your wedding, then have no fear! Thanks to an innovative project by two artists, Harry Potter fans now have an illustrative guideline to throwing their Hogwarts house-themed wedding! 



Image Via Brianne Hardwick Photography/ Swish n Click Photography


When photographers Brianne Hardcastle and Christine Wright became aquaiantaed they bonded over their shared love for the Harry Potter. They both noted the lack of Slytherin-themed weddings and decided to design one from scratch, they said in an interview with Scary Mommy.  


A lot of couples out there don’t quite know how to make their wedding nerdy or themed without it feeling tacky and we wanted to show them little things you can do to make your wedding unique but still have your nerdiness shine!



Image Via Brianne Hardwick Photography/ Swish n Click Photography 


The duo partnered with local venue 5226 West Elm Events in addition to other vendors and volunteers who helped to bring magic to this spellbinding event. 


“We wanted to make this Slytherin wedding inspirational, to appeal to all Harry Potter fans, for them to see elements and dream to incorporate them into their own wedding day,” Wright wrote on her blog. “Of course we know that the house colors are green and silver, but we decided to include more gold in there to warm it up a bit. Plus I love the look of gold with green for wedding elegance.”


Though the Slytherin theme was reflected off the bat in the green accents (and green sequined wedding dress), it was the little details that truly echoed Harry Potter.



Image Via Brianne Hardwick Photography/ Swish n Click Photography


Such details include embossed plates displaying the Slytherin house crest, ornate snake details gracing the sides of the 3-tiered wedding cake, adorable yet intimidating Death Eater cookies, green misty drinks that look like they were cooked up in Professor Horace Slughorn’s potions class, and many many more.


“This wedding theme is perfect for all of the Slytherin and Harry Potter fans out there who want to bring an elegant, classy, touch to their wedding,” Hardcastle said.



Image Via Brianne Hardwick Photography/ Swish n Click Photography


“My true hope, when couples see these images, is that they are inspired to make their Harry Potter wedding dreams come true!” Wright said.


“Being able to photograph, plan, and execute this shoot was a dream come true and I honestly couldn’t have done it without my team,” Harcastle said.


Check out more unbelievable photographs of this magical wedding here, and let us know what you think of this themed wedding! 



Featured Image Via Brianne Hardwick Photography/ Swish n Click Photography

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The Library of Congress Changed Its Logo and It Isn’t Going Over Well

The Library of Congress just unveiled their new logo to replace their eight-year-old one and it isn’t exactly going over too well with the public. 


The largest library in the world revamped their logo in order to reflect their concept of the library as a “treasure chest, filled with limitless information and services, ready to explore and amaze if you open it up.”


“A fresh visual identity is intended to signal that something new is happening here, and we want you to be a part of it,” wrote Library of Congress Librarian Carla Hayden.


Designed by Pentagram, the logo is a simplified version of their previous logo with the exception of its blue book icon and with the addition of the word ‘library’.



Former Logo Compared to New Logo



Though the simple change in design may seem like no big deal, it has in fact been the very reason many people don’t seem to like it. The double ‘library’ in the logo also has people scratching their heads with the question of why it was needed in the first place.


On the Library of Congress’ blog, where they unveiled their new logo, one user named Ryan wrote in the comments section, “‘Library Library of Congress’ Seriously?”


Other members of the public felt that the new logo design didn’t reflect the passionate vision that the library spoke of.


One user named ‘Bitter Betty’ wrote:

Lovely concept but that new logo. A generic bold font spelling out “LIBRARY” has so little visual identity, it might as well not even exist. You speak about a treasure chest full of endless possibility, but where is the magic and personality? The new logo feels like an after thought and doesn’t express your mission at all. 


Brand New, a branch of website Under Consideration which reports on corporate and brand logos, published an in-depth analysis of the Library of Congress’ logo and commentators were much more vocal about their dislike of it.  


Here are just some of the comments:








Though there were a few commentators who were more receptive to the new logo, they certainly did not outweigh those who strongly disliked it.


In the same article Brand New published a poll asking users their opinions of the new logo. A whopping 70 percent of voters had a ‘bad’ opinion of the new logo compared to 23 percent who said it was ‘fine’ and just 6 percent who said it was ‘great’. 


Let us know your thoughts on the new logo in the Facebook comments!


Featured Image Via NBC