Each year we sponsor an artist to attend San Diego Comic Con International, which unless you've only recently been decanted from a Carbonite slab you'll know as the most storied and sought-after convention of its kind in the known universe. The Foundation's program provides a Sponsored Artist with up to two (2) 4-day badges for access to the sold out convention along with an opportunity to showcase their portfolio, sell product, and network from the KWF booth. For more details, check out the Sponsored Artist Program overview, and be sure to read the FAQ. Keep your hailing frequencies open and join our mailing list to hear the latest. But most importantly:
If you're an artist, a fan of an artist, or friends and family of an artist, we want to hear from you! Go here to submit an application or nomination.
And as we pause here, in late November, to consider the approaching holidays, let's also be thankful. Let's be thankful for all the artists and their creations that have inspired us.
Look around, watch the news. Our planet is a big, sometimes rough, often chaotic place, where too few of us sit high enough on the rungs of Maslow's Hierarchy to regularly create and appreciate art. In too many places, the season is neither happy nor abundant with reasons to be thankful. With so many pressing needs, we might wonder, why focus on art? Well, to get that answer, we have to start at first principles.
When did you first feel inspiration?
Inspiration is what fuels us to action. Actions, large or small, are what change our world. Inspiration comes from art; we see it again and again. Even technological and scientific inspiration finds its origins in art. Einstein attributed his scientific insight and intuition mainly to music. The structure and cadence of poetry inspired Ada Lovelace, a 19th Century mathematician and champion of Babbage's Analytical Engines, to develop the concepts of algorithms and computer programming that would eventually underpin all of computer science. Inspiration for social and political change comes from art, often the pragmatic artistry of a photojournalist. A haunting photo shot by Steve McCurry for National Geographic Magazine in 1985 inspired a cynical Cold War world to shake off its torpor and consider the human cost of an ongoing war in Afghanistan. A heartbreaking photo shot by Daniel Etter in 2015 will inspire a war-weary world to stand up and address the legacies of Afghanistan throughout the region-- we hope.
And even where we might fail to act, the art remains, creating those moments of inspiration, those calls to action. These moments launch narratives, the stories of our lives, and what we'll do with them.
Joss Wedon, sci-fi poet laureate of the arcane language of Firefly Chinese Curses, said it best in a panel at Con this year:
The world is a random and meaningless terrifying place and then we all—spoiler alert—die. Most critters are designed not to know that. We are designed, uniquely, to transcend that, and to understand that—I can quote myself—a thing isn’t beautiful because it lasts.
...the main function of the human brain, the primary instinct, is storytelling. Memory is storytelling... My idea is that stories that we then hear and see and internalize—and wear hats from and come to conventions about... We all come here to celebrate only exactly that: storytelling, and the shared experience of what that gives us. The shared experience of storytelling gives us strength and peace.
So art is important. Artists are important. Be thankful for both, celebrate both. And if you're an aspiring artist, or know one, get in touch with us. And join our mailing list.
In the meantime, attack the holiday banquet trenchers with the sublime confidence of knowing that mass is neither created nor destroyed. Have an inspired Thanksgiving!