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This is my totem. 
A totem, in this respect, is an assemblage of items and symbols that represent an identity. In this case the identity is me. 
So I made this totem. I decided to use a bunch of natural materials kind of exploding out of a box, symbolizing my adoration for all things Earthy. The empty box represents the future and the path my art will take me down (woo, mystery)! 
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I went to an artist party community get-together on Saturday evening, and the theme of the meeting was to create a totem. The meetings are held in an old dance hall lake house. The dance hall is made of old, sturdy wood and has every kind of eclectic charm. Tiny wrap-around porches, views of the lake, whale vertebrae stacked in the corner, a hot tub that doubles as a natural rock fountain, tables painted with murals and not a single chair that matches another... That place is heaven. The air is concentrated inspiration. You walk in, breathe, and need to make art. NOW. 

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They gave us all sorts of tools and materials to work with and I went to town immediately. It was like magic. I had an idea, jotted down a sketch of it, and busily began assembling it. 
Other artists would come by to say hello, introduce themselves, share their art, and admire mine. I met a man who specializes in hand-made wearable suits of armor and a woman who makes large scale collages out of discarded cut-up Starbucks cards. The people there are so cool. 

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The hermit crab made of wire was basically a last-minute addition. And when my snake, Virgil, shed his skin, I wove that in as well. 

I plan on attending every one of these monthly artist parties. As many as I can. The people there are my people. My tribe. My culture. I feel at home there, which is rare, for me. Home is a very powerful word and a very powerful idea. Home is where you belong, and I belong at that wise old dance hall in the woods. :) 

 


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