We have some actual art to show you today, but in order to introduce it properly, we needed to first tell you just a little bit of background. (Not that art has to make sense, but this story’s a little bit, well…awesome, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t share how it came to be.)
If you haven’t heard of the Brave Girls Club before, hie thee now to the website that Melody and Kathy have put together. It’s okay. We’ll wait.
(pause for Girl from Ipanema musak here)
Are you back? Are you not TOTALLY INSPIRED RIGHT NOW?
Just in case you didn’t go, and are waiting for us to explain before you make with the clickings:
What is this “Brave Girls” thing?
Brave Girls Club started out as Melody Ross’s vision for a retreat in the high north country (USA) mountains, where small gatherings of women could get together and have great food, make great and soul-changing art, and commune with one another in a comfortable setting. Brave Girl Camp started out with one such gathering a few years ago, and when it sold out AND had a waiting list, she added TWO for the next year. Both of them sold out. Right now, if you want to be a part of the camp, you have to plan a year in advance and cross your fingers that you’ll get in line…because spots in the camp are so sought-after and, truly, transformational that they’re nearly impossible to get into. (When something works…hey, people find out and want it, too.)
Because the retreats sold out and Melody could only reach a small number of the women who could be helped by her curriculum, she and Kathy set up the Brave Girls Club online. There are forums and galleries and a really fabulous daily newsletter called A Little Bird Told Me…, all for free, to give Brave Girls Camp alumni and those interested or inspired by the concept to get together and just be with other people who share the same inspirations.
Brave Girls Goes Global
This past January, the Brave Girls went a step further: In order to reach more women with the curriculum of the brave girls camps, Melody and Kathy developed an online class, called Soul Restoration, that takes six to eight weeks (there are extra weeks for finishing up) to go through. The first round of Soul Restoration was made up of nearly a thousand women, all of whom were able to make art and make very real changes in their lives, right from the comfort of home, for about a hundred bucks (versus travel costs and such for the camps themselves).
Check out the video promo for the class — it gives you a really great overview of what you do for six weeks, using a metaphor of a house:
So NOW are you inspired?
The Artist hovered over the signup page for the class for about a billion years before closing her eyes, taking a deep breath, and clicking the “enroll now” button. After all, there’s something kind of scary about getting in and mucking about your soul house, so to speak, not to mention having a thousand other women around to look at what you’re doing and possibly judge you pretty harshly. (Mind you, she has no problem uploading all that stuff here, for the general populace, which is odd and slightly contradictory…but who ever said fear was logical?)
We’re happy to report that the curriculum of Soul Restoration has been downright amazing thusfar. It’s only been a week, but there are videos and forum support and a TON of journaling and projects to do…not to mention a bit of that soul-mucking-about that looked kind of scary to start with. (It’s still scary. It’s just not AS scary as the Artist thought it might be.) One of the coolest parts about the class is (behind actually getting all that muck out of your house) a concept that Melody calls TruthCards. You make ATC-style cards (no size restrictions) based on truths that she sends out as part of the curriculum. Pages and pages of truths come with the class — you just pick which ones speak to you and make an image that also speaks to you. (There’s more to it, but you’ll have to take the class to find out more.)
These are a couple that the Artist has been doing this past week:
(They’re watercolor and collage and sharpie on some more of those Fabriano Maedevialis cards, but in a larger-than-ATC size.)
They remind us just a little bit of the SoulCollage cards that Serena Frost came up with about a billion years ago (in internet time), only not as regimented. (The Artist has a bunch of those, too. Maybe we’ll dig them out and talk about the differences in SoulCollage and these later on. And maybe even some of the Archetype Cards that she did about a billion years ago, too — similar concept, but different execution.)
So if you’re looking for some clarity, or if the Brave Girls concept speaks to you, we’d highly recommend heading over to the Brave Girls Club and taking a look around. Sign up for the newsletter. Get involved in the forums. Join the class the next time it’s offered. Kathy and Melody have created (and are constantly creating) a really amazing resource for women and artists, and it’s well-worth the time it takes to get involved.