Within the creatives’ mind. Visual Artist & Graphic Designer Caitlin Du animates the color symbolism and business philosophy of Creative Point-On in this suggestive comic inspired by the genius of Vincent Van Gogh and the meaning of the solar plexus and throat chakras. Featuring our founders, Business Strategist & Artistic Director Daniela Pavan and our Editor in Chief & Media Expert Tommaso Cartia. Ready, Set, Imagine!
About Caitlin Du
Caitlin Du is a visual artist specializing in illustrations and comics. Caitlin was born and raised in Beijing, China. In 2018, her work was exhibited in the Metamorphosis Charity Exhibition in the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in the 798 art district. Caitlin arrived in New York City in 2019 to study illustration at Parsons School of Design. During her time in the US, her art has been featured on the 12th Street Journal and the Collaborative Clarinet in Concert Exhibition between Mannes School of Music, New York Youth Symphony and Parsons School of Design.
“I work across mediums and specialize in illustration and comics. My work consists of many symbologies, inspired by the hazy style of the Chinese misty poetries. The subject of my art is usually myself, ranging from my stories, my emotions, to my identity and my culture.”
On the occasion of Pride Month 2021, we revisit the Special Pride Episode of #CreativityWillSaveUs, our series where prominent figures from the world of art, entertainment & business unite to reflect on the central value that creativity brings to humanity during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.
What does pride mean to you? The first image that is most likely to pop in your head is a rainbow flag. The pride parade is filled with individuals who both identify as queer or allies proudly waving the flags throughout the month to represent the proud visibility and ongoing resilience of the queer community. However it is integral to access, where does pride truly come from? How do queer individuals overcome self-hatred, imposter syndrome, ostracism, and quite often disapproval from their families? The answer lies in creative outlets.
But How When Why?
The first part of this episode of #CreativityWillSaveusis a segment taken from Slap & Tickle, a play written by Award-Winning Author David James Parr, telling a sweetly ill-fated love affair featuring a gay man and a transgender woman. The piece was recorded in quarantine and is part of thePride Plays Series 2020 co-produced by Actor Michael Urie. Actress Pooya Mohseniplays the character of a transgender woman who chronicled the first stages of coming out as a trans woman. Her monologue covers common questions such as how, when, and why? Instead of fixating too long on these empty questions, her side of the monologue ends with “the dress now fits.”
“I’m glad I almost fell in love with you.” The heart wants what it wants.
From Slap&Tickle by David James Parr
Actor Sebastian LeCause plays the part of a gay man who eventually romances Ms. Mohseni’s character. He comically recalls how he tried coming out to his Dad by saying he likes Han Solo and his father, not understanding what he meant. The play continues to play on themes of intimacy, courage, and love, things many queer people fear they will never experience. Their journeys have them star-crossed and by the end, they both share an equal sentiment: “I’m glad I almost fell in love with you.” The heart wants what it wants. To watch the full Pride Plays Series video, click HERE.
#CreativityWillSaveUs takes on a new rendition when it comes to discussing art not only created during a pandemic but also as a means of expression for queer artists. Many allies don’t consciously realize that growing up queer means losing a part of your childhood because you could not grow up fully expressing yourself. Creativity at an adult age however is a reclamation of that childhood, allowing full expression of the stories that need to be told. This and other urgent and timely topics for the LGBTQ+ community today we discussed through two-panel conversations with he protagonists of the #CreativityWillSaveUs Special Pride Episode, hosted by Creative Point-Oneditor-in-chief Tommaso Cartia, andartistic director and business strategist Daniela Pavan.
Quarantine granted everyone regardless of sexual orientation the unique freedom of boredom which singer-songwriter Erene Mastrangeli spoke about.
Creativity at an adult age however is reclamation of that childhood, allowing full expression of the stories that need to be told.
Erene Mastrangeli spoke in this interview about refinding your gifts and creativity. “Our gifts are necessary to contribute to the evolution of humanity.” She dove into why, as a musician, “boredom” can somehow become a great resource for an artist, because she could play the piano or write a song simply to pass the time. From that moment of stasis, Erene was able to unexpectedly release a song called “Treasure”, which extends hope that all of us need to find the treasure within us to keep humanity going.
Producer & actor Robert Driemeyer spoke about Judy Garland and the history of bars in New York and how they often turned down queer patrons. In his segment he gave an important explanation regarding the 1969 Stonewall Riots, and why he decided to simply make a special rainbow cocktail for his Broadway Barfly – a weekly video-series that pairs theater lore with classic cocktails and historical context. “The rainbow cocktail is communal. What is better than sitting down and having a drink with someone?” Explains Robert during the conversation. It is such a simple pleasure that was denied to queer folks before our time, and this disconnect in community with social distancing in the covid era, is one that queer folks worldwide had to deal with unfairly. Queer liberation continues to charge on and now many are afforded the privilege to enjoy this pleasure and company.
“It’s wonderful that our stories can bridge together because none of us live on an island”
Actress and Trans Activist Pooya Mohseni spoke about her character in David James Parr’s play saying, “It’s wonderful that our stories can bridge together because none of us live on an island,” in regards to portraying a trans woman in a gay man’s story. She brought up how often trans people and their stories do not have a “traditional” place with queer stories as a whole and being part of this project was a step forward in bridging a gap between different people of the queer community.
The #CreativityWillSaveUs Special Pride Episode also featured: Photographer/Cinematographer and Digital Artist Claudio Napoli, who decided to fill the emptiness of the NYC’s streets that this year, for the first time since 1969, will not see their proud LGBTQ+ community marching for its rights, with an inspirational recollection of the last three Pride that he participated in; Photographer Thomas Cluderay who gives us an exclusive peek on the Washington D.C. quarantine, where he lives, through his collection“Stoop Sessions in the COVID Age” and from Fort Lauderdale, Miami, actor Larry Buzzeowho performs one of his favorites cheerful tunes, What a Wonderful World, part of his “Quarantine Karaoke”. The backdrop for the performance is a beautiful walk on the Fort Lauderdale beach that Larry recorded last summer, wishing for the world to safely reopen its wonders.
This pride month after a year long pandemic offers a unique time and perspective in creative expression. As things reopen and we adjust to a new normal, more inclusive and unique stories are finding a place at the forefront. Queerness continues to expand and evolve in its expression, and the fight for liberation is unstoppable. Queerness combined with creativity ultimately can and will save us.
Thirsty for more creativity? Point out our #CreativityWillSaveUs Series Phase 2 here below, with tons of conversations with prominent artists from all over the world. Ready, Set, Imagine!
Open this poem/love letter from our Editor in Chief Tommaso Cartia sent to all the lovers out there celebrating this St. Valentine’s Day 2021 in all of its love’s forms.
Me & You, A Sunday Morning of February 2021
It is not a Holiday Until Billie caresses this Sunday With the sweet roughness Of her “Body & Soul” Outside the window Winter solmizates A snow’s symphony A concert of ice and lights Embracing and salvific. The world is violently shaking Sneezing blood, death, and confusion We are prisoners of our hugging desire But today you are with me “Body & Soul” Suspended In this house of red brick walls Warming and fragrant Like freshly baked bread A house full of music and future Of candles lit up to our dreams. We are a reassuring parcel To be opened next Christmas A lovers’ music box That plays this fragmented present With new harmonies Audacious, adventurous, experimental. Visions of us getting out of the house Unmasked Hand in hand To go embrace of little wriggles of happiness Our friends tonight at dinner. A connection of loving sense Some wine, some laughs Some singing, some foolishness A melting of bodies, voices, sensations A glimpse into eternity And then the present, the ordinary The dreams of the trip we plan for next summer More dreams … “I can’t wait to go to her concert…” “…she is great, though she’ll never be like Billie…” “promise we’ll see each other next week, good night!” … Later the love, me and you at home The love Unmasked And the tomorrow gets trepidant with trivialities Once again The necessity of living as much as possible Before nothing will be, again, impossible. Me and you, Billie Holiday, and a Sunday morning of February 2021 Outside the window The pandemic is sour Flaking down Even more violently than this snow’s tempest But it will subside, will melt, and settle Flash up once again and for all And be swollen by the darkness of time. It will leave us dry, rested, rejuvenated Full of love for the days ahead.
Me, you, Billie Holiday, and a Sunday morning of February 2022.
ON-Editorial New Year’s 2020. A letter and a poem from our Editor in Chief Tommaso Cartia
I am the empire at the end of the decadence. Prophet of a world that has stopped being prophetical. Milan. Italy. Someday, some night, in 2002. I woke up in the middle of that night, with a virulent urgency, with a trepidatious feeling. With those words on my mind. I wrote them down, quickly, and they suddenly opened a breach into my consciousness. An engulfing stream derailed my perception of space and time and I traveled.
I traveled through a feeling, I traveled across the sentiment of a world in turmoil, of an entire collectivity languishing. Those sudden travels are little miracles; on rare occasions, benevolent muses grant writers access to extraordinary emotional vehicles. At that time, I was “growing pains” because I was an adolescent and there was plenty to be mad at in the world in my “roaring twenties”. But that night, those excruciating roars were not shouting out my insecurities in front of the mirror or the feeling of being perceived as an ambiguous character always somewhat on the outside, out of place everywhere. That night was the face of the world and its distortions, grotesquely staring at me from the pieces of a fragmented mirror.
Since September 2001, the world itself was feeling ambiguous, precarious, on the outside, out of place everywhere. The world was turning into a fearful adolescent, certain only of its paradoxical uncertainty. We are all familiar with that feeling because it happened to us. We are all familiar with that feeling because it is happening to us. It began when the first minuscule ember of those crumbling towers started filling the air and our consciousness with a vicious nebula of unclarity. And by the time those towers reached ground zero, we all reached ground zero. Our end, or our beginning? The people of my generation who didn’t experience apocalyptic disruptive events like wars, pestilences, or natural calamities, suddenly knew what it felt like to be a fragile ember in the vastity of an unknown universe.
So that night, something that was dormant, something that I was blocking from my mind in my naive attempt to believe that “everything will be alright,” erupted with the force of a world quivering to come to life. A new cycle was beginning, but we were stuck at our ground zero, a step behind the past, not yet a step ahead into the future. And yet a 0 looks like a circle, and the circle is an infinite perfect shape. Our end, or our beginning? And in between, what’s in between? It is maybe what the astrophysics tend to call liminal times, and the people of faith purgatory times? It is definitely a time of purges when all of the infections need to be spurted out of our systems, all of the wounds stitched and disinfected, all of our mental and spiritual clutter, dismantled.
If that was the beginning of a new cycle and that new cycle started with purgatory mode, are we at the end of this purgatory?. 2002/2020, looks like some sort of cryptic symbolism that could satisfy the many conspiracy theorists out there. This pandemic, the fragility of our ecosystems, the autarchic leaderships, the rampant inequities and iniquities all around the globe, the corruption, the violence, the constant danger, this indefatigable feeling of fatigue and tremendous uncertainty… and so on and so inescapably forth… is this the acme, the tip of the iceberg, the final act, the extreme ablution of all of the viral infections we need to free ourselves from?
I would hope a benevolent muse comes back to grant me access to a piece of prophetic truth. The French poet Paul Verlaine was definitely granted a grand truth when he wrote in his poem”Langueur” (Languishing) of 1883, “I am the Empire at the end of the Decadence,” a lyric that was inspired by the collapse of the Roman Empire addressing the collapse of his own era, and that later inspired my feeling of collapsing of our era in 2002. Three eras, the same languishing, decadent feeling; is this enough to satisfy the category of “prophetic truth”? If we dive into the recurrent liminal cycles of human history, do we find there an answer to our dangling present? Because after a liminal cycle, a golden era always arises and did arise. And maybe that benevolent muse came to me one time and for all during this 10 years of purgatory time in which we are living. And so envisioning the prescient beginning of our golden era, I let that adolescent of 2002 in his “roaring twenties” respond to my anxiety of this current 2020 and give me hope, and possibly give it to the reader, that purgatory mode is about to collapse. If this is ground zero all over again, let’s turn it into an infinite circle of enlightenment.
by Tommaso Cartia
KNOWLEDGE LEADS TO FREEDOM FREEDOM LEADS TO SOLITUDE.
There is just freedom of reprinted thoughts, of partisan words of non-debatable debates. There is a vile terrorism bombarding the unknown a wall of obscurantism feverishly patched up every day not to let a drop of truth shine through. It is there where from a crack on the wall a glimpse of light filters that I dive inebriated by the quench of Truth soaked up in a rainstorm of Mystery a sweet prisoner of Knowledge of Reason, of Love. I’m a researcher of liquefying principles archeologist and funambulist over the cut of this wall conceptual space I travel, I abandon. I try to escape this towering inferno this cold war’s flying arsenals these weapons of mass distractions this incessant restoration of walls of dogmatism.
I am the empire at the end of the decadence prophet of a world that has stopped being prophetical I know I can still burn my body can still be put at stake my words can be put at stake at the ground zero of our involution on disheartening altars where the web-masters preach the way and humiliate differences and sacrifice intellects. Can the freedom in my words sound like pain and punishment? Can I be extinguished Can I be banished and vanished inside of this mass that needs to be leaven bulked and fed and poisoned with apathetic resignation?
From the inside of this mass’ wall Let’s continue to conduct heat Let’s continue to conduct Knowledge Let’s continue to conduct Love Let’s push for a change of status Let us be
Free to say that we can’t change, choose, control, or recolor the skin we are born in, and the sexuality we are born with. That we can’t believe in imposed absolute dogmas that are in fact nothing but relative. Let us have the freedom to discover our own sense of the Absolute, instead of that being cut, edit, banalized, and repackaged for us on plastic bibles. And let us have access to all the books and grant back to the messiahs their historical sense. Let us overturn the hegemony of autarchic patriarchs and let’s land powers also in women’s and in multicolored hands. Let us rephrase this inaccurate paradox:
… we are all equals …
… let the different be equals to the equals and the equals to the different …
I pray, that the act of Love would be granted and permitted to everybody. I pray, for the end of racial and sexual crusades and of cultural exterminations. I pray, for the Truth, not to be hidden behind beautiful lies. I pray to Know, I pray to Love, I pray to Breathe, I pray to Live.
About the Author
THE STORYTELLER WHO CONNECTS THE DOTS OF ARTS & CULTURE
Tommaso Cartiais a NYC-based writer, journalist, published author, media specialist, and publicist with a decade of experience in media communications, publishing, and the entertainment business, in the US as well as in Italy. Co-Founder and Editor in Chief of Creative Pois-On, Tommaso is the mind and the pen behind Storytelier,the editorial project by Creative Pois-On. He has a successful track record in designing brilliant interviews that narrate beautiful stories. Among the celebrities, he had the chance to interview, Writer Erica Jong, Writer Michael Cunningham, Actress Gina Lollobrigida, and Valeria Golino, Director Michael Apted, to name a few. He is also the founder of the editorial project The Digital Poet – To Live Dreams, To Dream Of Lives and author of the lyrical memoirReincarnazione Sentimentale, Italy, 2014.
New York, May 20th, 2020, how long have you been locked down? A couple of months? Is it really just a couple of months, or have we been living in stages of lockdown, on and off, since our life’s journeys began? Have we escaped? Have we tried to escape? With our bodies, with our minds, with our souls? Have we experienced freedom or are we still excruciatingly mingling with self-imposed or super-imposed imprisonments? Do we know that is our Self who is Super and has Super-powers? Are we aware of the superpower of our creative minds? Do we know that the Creation is never completed until we co-create it and expand its marvels with the pyrotechnical visions of the worlds we wish to live?
How Long Have IBeen Locked Down?
That was one of my first thoughts when the surreal and yet super-real atmosphere of this global pandemic started clouding our vision and super-impose itself on our daily lives. Why was this atmosphere so familiar to me, where and when did I experience it? If I detected the origin of this feeling, could I have recollected how I dealt with it before, and what helped me to escape? The brutal desolation and isolation, the sorrow and the despair, with which this sneaky and virulent virus is paralyzing and polluting both our bodies and consciences, brought back virulent paralyzing and polluting memories.
Masking – An Old Habit This is certainly not the first mask I’m wearing, and masking is a fashion that really never went out of style. How many times was I forced to wear a mask; a mask on my eyes for the worlds I wasn’t allowed to see or reach, a mask on my mouth for the words I wasn’t allowed to say, a mask on my heart for the feelings I was not allowed to express. How many days and nights, locked-down in a room wishing on lives, wishing on far-away lands and emotional landscapes I so wanted to walk in, fear-free, mask-free.
Art & Creativity – Compass of Our Lives What helped me survive that isolation? What helped me expand my vision, my senses, and bring reality closer, shaped exactly how I envisioned it? It was Art, always, there were the artists, the mentors, the writers, the muses, injecting my mind with their purposeful creations. Art and Creativity are the compass of our lives, the sails unfurled navigating towards the ends of any horizon, transporting us through dimensions, unlocking all locks, unmasking all masks.
With the same instinct that brought me to cling on to the artists to survive my many lockdowns and experiencing the life I’m leading today, we at Creative Pois-Onfelt that we needed to cling on to the artists to understand this very challenging time that we are facing, find in them guidance and find with them the time to rediscover how our own creativity can lead us to phase 2, 3, 4… of our future. As we are finding new measures to contain the spreading of this virus, and we are looking for effective treatments, the testimony of the artists of our times living through this pandemic, can give us creative measures to contain the spreading of our fears and treat our minds and souls to re-design the more sustainable world of tomorrow, humanly, ethically, economically.
A video/podcast series and social media campaign – nominated for the prestigious United Nations SDG Impact Awards – where prominent figures from the international world of art, culture,and entertainment come together to reflect on the central value that art brings to all humanity during these challenging quarantine times of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative is also designed to support the global community of artists who are seeing all of their venues temporarily shut down to safely prevent the spreading of the Corona Virus.
Listen to the Podcast Series Here below:
Creative Pois-On thinks that this is the time to go back to basics, to the essential DNA of its mission: “More than 7 billion people are living on Planet Earth. Every single one of us is like an isolated island, a polka-dot (Pois, in French), seemingly disconnected from one another. Laptops, smartphones, and social media provide technological bridges, but the storylines we channel are the real threads for all of the living polka-dots around the world to truly connect in this infinite maze.”
These words sound so incredibly current and important in this climate of fear and transformation. So Creative Pois-On thought to channel the extraordinary, talented voices of some of the artists whose stories and creations have been enriching the pages of the platform, both on the Creative Pois-On Podcast show, the editorial project – Storytelier – and the Creative Pois-On Official Youtube Channel. The reach extends beyond these outlets, enlarging CP’s tentacular maze to embrace a constellation of a different variety of artistic expressions and artists. All together they raise a voice that can break through these walls of isolation sending everybody a positive message that #CreativityWillSaveUs and that we can spend this time making the most out of our creative powers.
Follow us on this journey with the goal to find ourselves renewed and ready to soon unlock not only the doors of our houses but also the ones of our intuition, when this virus will dissipate and we will be asked to co-create the world of tomorrow, mask-free, fear-free.
Ready, Set, Imagine!
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