“I have become a more confident, positive, and resilient person throughout working with Rewrite Beautiful.” – Natalie, Student, Cal State Long Beach
What is street art
Hey Beautiful Peeps!
Last Saturday we made some epic Rewrite Beautiful Street Art with a group of women called, Women’s Pride. Women’s Pride is a group of 9 women located in Los Angeles and Orange County, that have been together for over 15 years. They meet-up once a month for 5 hours and do a project that either enhances their lives or the lives of their community. Last Saturday they did BOTH because they brought Rewrite Beautiful in to do a Street Art Workshop with them!
Over the course of the workshop the women heard about the mission and vision of Rewrite Beatuiful from Creative Director + Founder, Irvina. They got to hear a touching and inspiring testimonial from Volunteer, Robyn, were led through a crazy-cool creative experience called Mind-Mapping by the uber talented teacher and Volunteer, Sunny and got to see one of their own, CT become the Paint-Master-V for Volunteer who gave the ladies some creative tools and skills with a sparkly, pink, not too magenta, less rosy paint on top!
Saturday, April 16th 2011
1pm to 5pm at the Santa Monica – 3rd Street Promenade
We don’t know where we’ll be exactly depending on who else is out on the Promenade, but here’s a hint *Be on the look out for two silhouettes, a green one, a black one, some balloons and some BEATUIFUL ladies!
Keepin’ it Beautiful!
For inspiration some artist visit gallery’s, museums, lectures, listen to live music… some even purchase little plastic baggies full of herbs and fungus on the corner of 5th and Martin Luther King Blvd…. Yes, all you ear-cutting Van Goghs out there buying drugs will quickly inspire your art work and will escalate you into “Starving Artist” Status real fast… HUGS! NOT DRUGS! HUGS!
For inspiration this D.A.R.E. graduate likes to go running. I was once on a morning run in San Francisco and was totally blown away by the variety of trees up North. Down here in So Cal we have two types of trees “Palm trees” and “Trees” ;) But, up North there is a variety that is represented quite similar to the variety of culture the city of San Francisco offers. From Chinese, Mexican, WASP, European, Atheist, Muslim and Christian… all walks of life are represented. While on my run I got an idea to write a children’s book about tree’s in different parts of the world. I wanted to also feature a person from that part of the world. I wanted to teach children about the beauty in diversity that comes in different packages (and trees.)
That was about 5 years ago. I haven’t gotten around to writing that little book, but besides the possibility of being a New York Times Best Selling Children’s Book Author, I have always valued that run in San Fran. I think because it was a pivotal time in my life. At that time I was starting to feel quite confident in myself as an artist and taking steps to honor the gifts I'd been given. I believe that being an artist is a privilege one doesn’t take lightly and when you are given visions to create something you can either use them for “good” or for “bad.” I haven’t written the “little tree book” eventually I will, but “WRITE” now I got Rewrite Beautiful on the books… and a couple of weeks ago we took a little bit of that vision and welcomed a Tree into our Rewrite Beautiful Street Art Gallery.
We were hosting “Urban Arts Week” at the Irvine Fine Arts Center and one of my fellow teachers, Miss. Ivy had a great idea… she suggested we bring Rewrite Beautiful to the Arts Center and have the kids tell each other and their families what makes them BEAUTIFUL and STRONG on a piece of paper and then hang that piece of paper from a tree. We took old Trader Joe’s bags (Go Green!), cut them into 3 x 9 rectangles, hole punched them and strung them with yarn and voila… Rewrite Beautiful hits a tree in Irvine, California!
I got the privilege of a front row seat to see the surprised smiles on the faces of the kids when they read what the other kids and teachers wrote about them. I don’t wanna get all emo on you (but I will….cause I can) but it was really bittersweet. Bitter, because I’m an adult ( Yes, it’s true… I was informed the other day by my mentee, a 13 year old that I am in fact an ADULT) and as an “adult” I have had a variety of 20 something plus years of life experience.
I have learned that from small to tall everyone wants to be (you think I’m gonna say “LOVED” huh…. You’re wrong! But, you’re still cool! Everyone wants to be…) ACCEPTED… not loved. Because we all know that LOVE comes from a few people who know us deeply and truly. But, ACCEPTANCE… why is it so hard to accept the little boy who dresses funny and has buck teeth? And why is it hard to be patient with the little girl who is overweight with frizzy hair and Autism? Exactly how do buck teeth get in the way of playing soccer? And exactly why can’t you be patient at the age of 8 with a little girl who stutters her words? Where exactly are you in a rush to go? Can’t you Tivo Miley? And why as ADULTS is it so hard to ACCEPT ourselves… buck teeth…stuttering… Autism and all? It’s funny how we let other people give us our worth isn’t it? Even as ADULTS… we’re supposed to know better, we’re supposed to act better, but we fall into those same ugly traps. We have bad goggles that need replacing.
But, then there is the “sweet side” of the “bitter side” … the sweet side always blows me away… You know this if you have ever bathed a sandy, dirty, sweaty gross kid… you’re removing sand from under their arm pits and you’re like, “Dude, Storm Trooper! Where was I during the sand avalanche?” And then half a bottle of Johnson & Johnson later your kid is back. It’s amazing what pure water and soap can do… It can wash away all the sand, dirt and sweat and beneath all of the grime and gunk is your kid… that kid is the same kid that went into the tub: a GOOD kid, just minus the mess. When I see kids Rewrite Beautiful I see them taking a bath (in a totally non-creepy way… I have been finger printed…. You can request copies on the contact page) Rewrite Beautiful cleans up these kids minds of what BEAUTIFUL and STRONG really are. They step away different. I can see it in their eyes, in their smiles and in their posture.
I think Rewrite Beautiful and the tree did a great deal of washing and cleaning during Urban Art Week and I must say… on the sweet side of things… things are lookin’ GOOD people…things are lookin’ really GOOD!
Here at Rewrite Beautiful I get the opportunity to meet some pretty amazing and passionate men and women. People who want to see BEAUTIFUL restored to it's true meaning of creativity, kindness and strength. But, in meeting those people I also hear their stories, stories about women experiencing heart failure from their Eating Disorder, but still going to the gym. Stories about men who feel their abs aren't ripped enough to pull a date. Anxiety and depression in teenage girls over their fear of not being “beautiful”so they lock themselves in their rooms all summer. I feel as if I am experiencing the terror of the Haiti Earthquake, but no body else is seeing it but me. I just want to make the pain stop, but the deeper I go into Rewrite Beautiful the more I realize how distorted BEAUTIFUL truly is...especially in the dating world.
So if you're trackin' with me, both of these girls think that they aren't BEAUTIFUL physically or even in their personality; which is kinda scary considering the classic, “Well he/she has a great personality!” I guess we're so warped that you're personality isn't even good enough to validate you as a human being? Call me crazy, (most people do) but I have a vision where we live in a world where girls don't gauge how BEAUTIFUL they are based on someone else's interpretation; they see themselves as BEAUTIFUL based on their creativity, kindness and strength.
The truth is I “get” these girls. I've been there. I know what it feels like to think “I'm too fat and I'm too strong” and the only “logical” answer I ever found to that was “Okay just starve and be quiet.” But, her the catch... I love food and my family will tell you that I was born with a good set of lungs and opinions. So basically I was miserable ACTING “beautiful”. Like the rest of the 99.9% of the girls in the world I would like to get married and according to statistics I most likely will. But, just for the fun of it lets just say there isn't a guy on the face of the earth who wants to take me home to meet his mama. How would you suggest I live the rest of my life?
Exhibit A: Should I go through life questioning myself, “Maybe I'm too fat, maybe I'm too strong, maybe if I change my hair, maybe I should buy that dress, THEN he will like me”
or should I...
Exhibit B: (As in Exhibit BEAUTIFUL) Step outside, look at the world around me and say, “Ya know what I was created for a reason. With this hair, these eyes, this butt, this waist, this brain, this mouth and this heart. Instead of arguing with the sky about how I turned out I am going to choose to call every aspect of me BEAUTIFUL, because I am.”
So how exactly do we get people to Exhibit: BEAUTIFUL? I think it's with hugs. Let me explain... I used to work at an Eating Disorder rehab. For those of you who don't know, girls very deep in their Eating Disorders are incredibly sensitive and at times...cruel. One moment they love you and you are their savior, the next moment they are calling their parents trying to get you fired for not allowing them their cell phone. The bottom line is, they aren't who they were created to be. It was my job as a staff member to remind them of who they are. How I did that was at the beginning and end of every shift I would give them a hug... if they made me a painting for my room they got a hug and if they cussed me out they still got a hug. On the days they cussed me out they would get confused and say, “Why do you want to give me a hug? Don't you hate me yet?” And I would reply, “No.. I don't hate you. Because it's not you who does mean things, it's your Eating Disorder. I know you're in there somewhere. I see glimpses of you and I love you.”
I think that there is someone YOU KNOW that could use a hug. They need you to hug them and tell them, “I know you don't see yourself accurately... But I see you and you're BEAUTIFUL... because you are creative, kind and strong.” The world is BEAUTIFUL and it's painful it's our choice to decide which side we play on. Tell her she's BEAUTIFUL! Go Team!
The sweet thing about Rewrite Beautiful Street Art is that anybody can do it! Yes, we do take the Rewrite Beautiful curriculum into schools for young girls to hear our message about what BEAUTIFUL truly is; but just as well any girl can simply take pictures of her friends and "Rewrite Beautiful" for them. We do encourage you to post your Rewrite Beautiful Street Art somewhere visible in your community, take a picture of it and then send it in to us via email. However, there are some super cute rule breakers out there who send us their Street Art via snail mail with no pics! Ha! No sweat, we love Rule Breakers! You girls and guys are our favs! We're just glad you stepped up and REWROTE BEAUTIFUL!I mean for real.... we're trying to REVOLUTIONIZE the word BEAUTIFUL.... we aren't exactly girls that run along with the pack. We're the messy black sheep with green and purple paint on our fur and we're proud of it!
So the point of this post.... gettin' there... So I get these two BEAUTIFUL pieces of Rewrite Beautiful Street Art in the mail from the BEAUTIFUL Street Artist: Kjerstin in Newport Beach, CA
I take a look at these BEAUTIFUL women, the BEAUTIFUL words and I'm taken back by them. They are BEAUTIFUL....I start to wonder "where am I going to put this Street Art where someone can see it? Coffee shop? Tree? High School? College?" All great places, but just none of them seem right. So I did what I always do when I can't figure things out (and I've tried 4 different options) I prayed....I said "God where do you think this Street Art should go? " Ya know what He said... God is so smart! He said, "Dudette! Irvina it's so obvious! Go to the drug store and paste it in the diet ailse! You know where the diet pills, fat burners, laxatives and girls who need Rewrite Beautiful hang out?" Then I said, "Dude! You're so good!"
And so that's exactlly what I did! Check it out!
Yeah, it's a little rebelious.... someone even asked, "Seriously? Can't you get arrested for that? " I said, "I don't think so... I didn't ruin property or anything. I just simply DROPPED some valuable art ;) And honestly if I was to get arrested and my dad had to come and break me out of jail...they will wish they would have let the cooky artist girl be with her crayons." ... Only my family will get that joke ;) Plain and simply this is where the girls who need to know that BEAUTY is not found in your face, your boobs or your butt... it's found through your creativity, your kindness and your strength.
I hope this post encouraged you guys and gals to Rewrite Beautiful and make some Street Art!
You're BEAUTIFUL! - Irvina
What happens when a mommy named “Art” and a daddy named “Political Activism” have a baby?
They name her, “Artivism!” ( Witty eh? I'm cute and you know it!)
Artivism is the expression of Political Activism through an artistic medium. My friend Jasmine is BEAUTIFUL because she uses Artivism to open young minds to the circumstances around the world. Jasmine and I work together as “People Sculptors” or in laymans terms “Teachers”. Something that I have always thought is BEAUTIFUL about Jasmine is that she cares deeply about getting to know the back story on ALL the people she works with. Whether or not it's the name of a 3 year old's dog or the details of what it's like building an igloo in Alaska. Jasmine treats everyone's story with value. I wonder if maybe it's because she has experienced a rather turbulent life so far herself?
The beauty of this story is that Jasmine has taken her traumatic experience and used it in an artistic way. Through her art she has told the story about the reinforcement of Child Soldiers in Iran, the oppression of Iranian women under the Burqa and the affects of a war zone on a child. Jasmine is BEAUTIFUL because she is BRAVE enough to talk about her experience, CREATIVE enough to give her art relevance and CONFIDENT enough to say, “You may not like what I have to say, but I deserve to be heard.”
I believe we ALL have something BEAUTIFUL to say. But, first we have to believe we are BEAUTIFUL before we can say it. I encourage anyone who reads this to notice the girls around you today/tonight.... look for the BEAUTIFUL attributes in them and say, “Dudette! You're bravery makes you BEAUTIFUL!” “You're CONFIDENCE makes you BEAUTIFUL!” You will be doing her (and the world) a lot of good...trust me.
To see more of Jasmine's Artivism visit Jasmine Khademi Art on Facebook.
Check this chick out, she's only 2 years old and she's already a Street Artist! For none other than the artsyest-radicalest-cause around REWRITE BEAUTIFUL! At 2 years old she's already a revolutionary...I mean what girl wears a WHITE v-neck to do messy art? I'll tell you which one's... The REWRITE BEAUTIFUL ones...We love a girl that can get down and dirty! And run around barefoot while doing it! She's like the next Katie Sokoler! I hope sweet little Ever from ever/after encourages all you beautiful mama's out there to do some REWRITE BEAUTIFUL Street Art with the little gal's in your life this weekend and tell them what makes them beautiful! (and of course don't forget to send us your pics ;) )
Happy Tuesday Beautiful People!
I gotta tell you about another Beautiful cause out there that is about Changing the Story....For those of you who are still buying you're V-necks at American Apparel...you need to stop ;) Cause theres a new kid in town with a cause!!! ever/after is a beautiful, California casual clothing brand right here in Newport Beach, CA. Besides having simply awesome baby v-necks for the kiddo's and 'rents the foundation of ever/after is "Change The Story". They donate 25% of every item you purchase to the cause of your choice. With the purchase of some basic kids clothes you can "Change the Story" in a childs life in Santa Ana, Africa or Mexico. Cool deal eh? They have kicked off a campaign asking "How do YOU change the story" and they featured REWRITE BEAUTIFUL! It's so rad that so many people are stepping up to redefine "Beautiful" and what "ever/after" looks like... Check out our story on their blog here (and send in your own BEAUTIFUL story!)
I about choked on my scalding hot latte from Kean when my friend said to me, “Why should I care about those girls with Eating Disorders? That’s not my problem. That’s their parents problem. I adore you Irvina and I will always support everything you do, but I could care less. Don't get me wrong, I think what you're doing is cool, but it’s just not relevant to me.”
I rebutted, (and sort of shrieked) “But, how can you say that?!?! You have a wife and a mom and a sister?”
He said, “Yeah, but their healthy. This doesn’t effect them or me.”
I sighed and out of the corner of my eye I saw my friends beautiful wife in the distance a confident, beautiful woman that knows she has value in all the many facets that make her “beautiful”. And then I sat up in my barstool and said,
“And THAT is exactly why you should care.”
With a smirk he said, “You have the floor my friend.”
I explained, “Imagine if your beautiful wife didn’t think she was so beautiful? What if she was constantly talking about how much she needs to lose weight, asking you to confirm her beauty and was so insecure about her physical appearance that she feared food? What if she wouldn’t eat out at restaurant with all of our friends? What if instead of spending her day rehabilitating people to health she instead obsessed about her waist line and bra size? How would that affect YOUR marriage? How would that affect YOUR life? What if your mom avoided you by constantly making excuses that she had to go to the gym and never shared some chocolate chip cookies with you? How would that affect YOU? And what if growing up one of your sisters refused to eat her breakfast, lunch and dinner? How would that have affected YOUR childhood?”
I have had a handful of people ask if REWRITE BEAUTIFUL is a religious organization I say, “Well, yes and no.” We did not file as a church or religious organization because we want to first and foremost be inclusive not exclusive. We know that Eating Disorders are universal and we want the ability to REWRITE BEAUTIFUL to be pen to everyone and anyone. But, the yes comes in where we believe that every human being is a unique creation. Every woman on this earth is someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s mommy, someone’s aunt and someone’s friend and REWRITE BEAUTIFUL knows that a girl with an Eating Disorder can’t be the unique girl she was created to be while she has a gnarly diseases taking her down.
So if you wonder, “Why should I care about THOSE GIRLS?” I ask that you think about a girl you absolutely adore...A girl who makes you smile....whose laugh is contagious... and imagine that girl present in body, but dead in spirit and I think you’ll have your answer. This is the girl I think about...
Her name is Ever. Ever played a huge part in establishing REWRITE BEAUTIFUL in that she helped the vision for it to actually take place...I used to rock her to bed when she was a newborn baby. I would look at her, this tiny person who was happy, serene and playing with my hair (when she was supposed to be falling asleep) and I just knew that I didn't want her to ever believe that she was anything less than beautiful. It's because of Ever, that I care about THOSE GIRLS? How about you? Who do you want to REWRITE BEAUTIFUL for? I look forward to hearing...
Kiss, Paint, Create!
REWRITE BEAUTIFUL LOVES this! Little girls aren't born believing their awesome and "Can do anything" they are taught it. Obviously someone has taken the time to show Jessica what matters and what doesn't. What if Jessica continues to love herself through her teenage and adult years? How different will her choices be? How different will her life be? How different will her impact on society be? What if she lived her whole life believing in herself and never questioned if she should look like someone else? This gets us so amped to teach REWRITE BEAUTIFUL in schools to girls who haven't had the opportunity to hear "You're Awesome! Just the way you are!" Thank you sweet Rebecca one of our favorite REWRITE BEAUTIFUL supporters from
Sleepy Dreamer Designs who emailed me this video!