A few weeks back someone with an email address from a large corporation joined my site, AJ ning, I allowed her in but carefully watched to see what she was doing. I have a zero tolerance policy for advertising. As I watched, she did nothing, no interactions, no uploads of images, no content, nothing. She didn’t add one comment or idea to the community. I forgot about her until the other day.
She loaded an event for approval.
A big corporately funded shindig.
It set me off.
I don’t blame the marketer for doing what she did, that’s her job, but I’ll be damned if I allow corporations to advertise on my site for free.
These corporations think they can trample anywhere and they’ll be welcome.
Corporate entities are not welcome on my site.
I’ve worked too hard and long on art journaling and art journaling ning to allow these corporations to make a quick buck off the community that has been built by people who share willingly and for free their ideas, their art, and information with one another for the sheer love of what we do. No forget that, forget the corporations that want to blunder in, make some money while people are interested. After the co-opt and sell MY art form and turn it into something that its not, for a few dollars, and when they lose interest and the paycheck isn’t big enough for them, they’ll move on. I’ll still be here slopping paint into my journal, glueing in garbage, and torturing a page.
Because this isn’t about money for me, it’s about passion, authenticity, and life. Art journaling isn’t a job for me, it’s something I DO.
Why do I so dislike these corporate things?
One of the things I’ve been learning about through school is the true power of art for healing, in the right circumstances and with the right help. The right help could be a licensed art therapist, experienced healer, or self directed, depending on the needs of the person. What I’m trying to reconcile is this with the proliferation of people online selling “art heals” and fearless art exploration of the psyche. Some of it worries me. I’m frightened of the gurus selling something they don’t fully understand.
I’m frightened of artists who have healed themselves and teach that method without learning of the damage they can do to others.
I’m frightened of the massive amounts of money that exchange via the internet for these services.
In particular an online acquaintance has aligned themselves with someone I’ve personally known to be destructive, manipulative, and harmful to the well being of others; though this acquaintance knows these issues she has chosen to work with this person.
A great deal of money is on the line with online healing art classes.
I don’t know how to reconcile what I know of this online acquaintance and this new business partnership. Part of me wants to cry foul and sell out. Part of me is simply worried about the false help they will give to people, and perhaps the bad name they could give art therapy.
Find inner peace.
These damaging people do a disservice to real art therapy and art as therapy. They make a mockery of the statement “Art heals.” They further damage people through incompetence and money grubbing ignorance.
Don’t be deceived, when you are paying a premium price for an online service there are hundreds of other people also paying a premium price for that same service. Thousands of dollars are wrapped up in these online services.
This is part 1. Part 2 will be up when I figure out how to say it in a way that makes sense.