Friday, January 28, 2011

Community

Back in June, after a month on the couch with a broken ankle, I decided to start streaming my art journaling process live.  Over the past few weeks I've thought a lot about why I did this, why I devote over 3 hours a week streaming and a bit more for preparing.  The answer was easy, I love art journaling.  Art journaling has changed my life, and I want to share this love and gift with others.

This journey has went beyond all of my expectations.  I have shared a lot of laughs, learned many things from other artists, and made many wonderful friends.  We have built a community of some amazingly generous, loving and gifted artists.  I feel truly blessed to be a part of this growing family.  Yet, as with any community, there are a few kinks.

Over 80 recordings later (and a few that didn't record) I have been forced to take a stand.  I streamed a class on New Years Day.  At the beginning of this show I went over the new rules I felt was necessary to assure a positive, enjoyable show for everyone.  I had been getting feedback that viewers were being turned away from my show due to the behavior of others.  I could not let that trend continue.  It was causing extra stress in my life as well as hurt and stress in others.

Unfortunately, a few people did not want to respect my wish for a fun, positive experience.  A few decided to erode the community by spewing hateful, untrue statements on Twitter about myself, my show, my mods and my friends.  A few people continued to ignore my wish of no advertising, derogatory religious or political statements, or soliciting.  My wonderful moderators acted on my desires for my show.  Again, this has caused an outburst of hateful, untrue statements.

Throughout all of this "drama" I have tried very hard to take the "high road".  To ignore these irrational statements, to state the truth in all I do.  As I have said before, I have been an open book.  I post journal pages that have REAL journaling, I put myself out there live twice a week, I believe in showing my true self, with my true obstacles.  I am a real person with worries, stress, a 50 hour a week day job, a man, 2 cats and a bunch of love.

After having been attacked by trollz and having my friends be attacked by trollz, I have been thinking about whether all the effort of streaming is worth it.  Was I doing to much?  Have I been putting myself out there too much?  Have I let myself become too vulnerable?  It has taken a few days, and lots of written pages in my journal to come up with an answer.  It was a huge NO.  I will NOT let a few negative people ruin an entire community of WONDERFUL people.  I will NOT let these few people stop me from doing what I love, and assuring my vision is intact.  I will NOT allow these lies to affect me any longer.  

I truly appreciate all the love, support and emails from all of you.  YOU make this journey enjoyable and a true blessing in my life.  I look forward to growing this community of wonderful, supportive artists.  Thank you so much for enjoying the ride with me.

MUCH Love!!

PS, I have not named names or quoted the hateful, untrue remarks.  If you want to know the truth, my email is always open.


20 comments:

Julie D. said...

As always you are a kind, loving and extremely generous soul Ms. Paula. Thank you for continuing to put your REAL self out there for us. Your streams, our community... has changed my life so much for the better. Bless you my dear friend. Julie

Cynthia said...

Thank you for all that you do. Sorry your efforts are being maligned. I don't always catch your streams live but love to catch up with what you've done when I can. So glad you are not stopping what you love and what is important to us who care. Blessings...

Sharon said...

I am so glad you decided not to let a few mess up your fun and learning process. Thanx for being here for the one's that really want to learn from you. Thanx again, my friend.

page said...

paula, i am so sorry for what you and your mods have been going through. my heart goes out to you. i don't know you well but even before this happened i felt a worried twinge, i think you know when and why, and the reason i was worried is precisely what you mentioned in this blog--you really put yourself out there and that makes you vulnerable. in addition to being wonderfully talented i think you are exceptionally brave and courageous. you put it all out there, that's what attracted me to you and your art when i first stumbled upon you. there you were, on your couch, in so much pain, making art, and always keeping such a great sense of humor. someday perhaps i'll tell you a little bit of my story but i can say this now. making art is transforming my life. not an overstatement. i wouldn't be making art right now if it were not for you. not an overstatement. when i first found your blog and your videos you weren't yet ustreaming and i had absolutely no idea i would ever actually get to know you. of course, i don't really know you, but i feel like i do a little and i will tell you that it is a great honor. and through you i have met so many wonderful, creative, talented, warm, welcoming people. i can't tell you how blessed i feel. i mean that. you, your art, your friends and followers, have all enriched my life. you run a risk inviting all us strangers into your life the way you do, i'm truly sorry that trust was not held with honor by some, you do not deserve that nor do your mods. thank you so much for sharing your art and your life with all of us. you are loved and cherished by many.

Janelle said...

I am so glad that you have decided to continue to share your art with us. I have only found you on the web the last month or two but have gotten hooked. Your art is inspiring. I was just out today, at Michael's looking at art journals and paint :-) I intend to try it soon. Until then, I plan to keep watching and learning from you! Don't let those few that are unable to see your beauty and the beauty that you create stop you from displaying and sharing it with those who love to see it and really care and love you. I can tell that you have created a loving group of 'family' and friends. From a new friend in Minnesota - nell61

Andrea said...

I feel so incredibly lucky to have found this amazing community of generous souls! You have truly taken the high road in all of this, as have your mods, and even those who may not know what went down, will recognize this and admire and respect you even more for it!! I know I do! I happen to know, for the most part, what has occurred and I must say I don't know if I could have handled it nearly as professionally and well, stoic as you have. Always remember Paula how many more friends and supporters you have! Thank you so very much for continuing to share your art and yourself with those of us who really do appreciate you!

janet lomajan said...

Dear, Sweet Paula! I am so glad I don't do Twitter!!I am so glad you are not going to give up something that you love and something that so many of us enjoy! Thank you for carving out time to share with us! Wish those trolls would put their effort in something productive, their life would have more happiness probably. Hugs and all the support I can give to you my friend! =D Janet

Andrea said...

Paula, one more thing - YOU ROCK!! :o)

Cynthea said...

I think perhaps only a few of your close friends know what is going on, I miss some shows due to work, but I watch them all. I have watched about 80% live, due to a lot of sick time and family emergencies since you started, and I have noticed very little. A few times a troll, or someone advertised, but it was dealt with immediately and I think most of us are unaware of anything else. I know only a little, but would know nothing if I had not added most of your followers to twitter. Please don't let this disrupt what you are doing. It may seem overwhelming , but I would be totally unaware if I didn't go back on twitter and had to search deliberately to get a clue. I did work this past Wed and Sat so missed everything. I am sorry you have this negativity to deal with, but remember it is a minority and you are much appreciated by a great and sometimes silent majority:) I started learning about art journaling just as you started to post on youtube and have been learning and following along since then. I know many who watch are accomplished crafters and artists, and there are also many newbies like me, and we all enjoy your shows. I have always felt the best way is to ignore the inappropriate behavior, commenting gives it power. Consider deleting this whole post, and just restate your goals for a positive supportive community and guidelines such as no advertising etc. love ya:) sending you positive healthy energy and thoughts :) Cindy

Effy said...

*hugs and support and encouragement*

Never let the bastards see you sweat. :)

WyldCat said...

Paula, I don't know what has happened, however, I am truly sorry you have to deal with the negativity and disruption of trollz.. I am a newbie to Ustream, but have, and hopefully will, truly enjoyed your show and hope to be a regular :) I have learned things from you, laughed with you. have met some nice people and enjoyed the opportunity to ask you questions. I only started art journaling a year ago (and at first only digitally) and then scoured YouTube and blogs and read and soaked things up. I have learned many things about myself through art journaling since I have begun this journey and I hope to continue to grow and share my love for art with others. Now I follow your show on YouTube and enjoy every moment of it. You are real, authentic, and a barrel of fun! Thank you for being you and I hope that whoever has been bothering you and your friends will just mature, become an adult and allow others to grow and enjoy the companionship of like minded people. Thank you for continuing to put yourself out there and thank you simply for being you! Bright Blessings and Love :) WyldCat aka Mandy

Anonymous said...

Paula You really need to get over your self, You ain't so special that you can act as self righteous as you do

Ketsia Elie said...

Paula, you are an inspiration. You so generously give of yourself to this community, and I appreciate you. Maintain your positive spirit and put this behind you.

Laurel DeViney said...

Much love back at ya! Very well written, and I am sorry it was ever necessary!

polkadotrentz said...

I just want to say, I haven't watched your videos, but I would love to. But I have read your blog and that's it. But from just reading your blog I get inspiration and I love it. I'm glad that these people that are being rude have not ruined it for you or the rest of your community. I hope I get the chance to go back and watch your videos and take part in the ones to come. Good wishes to you!

MaryBeth said...

Precious Paula,
Sadly I have seen the this happen to everyone who grows in success and size.
You, your wonderful videos , and Vibrant, welcoming community are Par None in my online creative Journey!
I am rejoicing in reading your determination to stay true to you and your process.
I have been out of the loop this week,due to the death of my beloved LapTop;so Ive missed the brunt of hatefulness ,you and your com padres have had to deal with;however, hate and ugliness look and act the same, no matter the arena.
Just know how much ,your public sharing is impacting my own creativity, in such wonderful ways, as I know it is so many others .
Keep Shining, Keep Smiling, knowing , that Love and Kindness Always Win .
With Much Gratitude & Love,
CreativeBZ aka MB

Eveline said...

YAYYY you for not getting those few trouble makers (and let's face it, there is not even a handfull of them) get in the way of something you love doing!

Dale Anne Potter said...

Am so HAPPY that you didn't give in to the negative side and let those poor jealous trolls ruin your growth & sharing personality...I am blessed to call you a friend & across the miles, I hope we can continue to be friends. MUCH LOVE!!!

TopazPearleGirl said...

We feel blessed to have you Paula!
Thank you so much for all of the sharing!

Eileen said...

OMG, Paula, I never had a clue anything was happening. Apparently staying out of chat is a good thing. (?) All I've ever seen is respect and friendship, and I hope that's all I see in the future. There will always be naysayers....my blog was slammed once and I was totally stunned...felt like shutting down and leaving the net forever. But I got over it, even went to the source and gave them a piece of my mind....(they were cowards hiding behind their screen names, but I used my own name so they would know it was me). So believe me when I say that I understand how you feel. You have a great program and for me, like so many others, I wouldn't be journaling if it hadn't been for that broken ankle of yours and the great videos you put on YouTube.

I'm glad you had a good weekend filled with love and friendship. You're a good influence on people, Paula. Keep it up!

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