For this first blog post at The Layered Onion, we want to begin by setting the tone for what we hope this community will become. How does one foster an ecosystem? We think that setting intentions is a good place to start.
We want this to be a community that supports, a community that encourages, a community that provides. There are countless challenges in place for artists, especially for folks with mental and emotional health challenges.
For example, for a poet writing their first collection may want to collaborate with an illustrator and find a publisher for the work. But what happens when you don’t have a network in place? How will the poet solicit an illustrator? How will the poet find a publisher? How do the artists ensure their work is copyright protected? What does fair payment look like? These represent but a few questions in the larger corpus generated from putting your artistic work out into the world. Furthermore, navigating these uncertainties compounds with addressing personal health challenges. In recognition of these situations, The Layered Onion seeks to create an accessible community that artists can turn to for support in answering these questions.
Why “The Layered Onion”? The name itself is in service to this goal. Folks that have watched the 2001 DreamWorks classic Shrek may remember the scene in which the protagonist compares himself to an onion. While some may brush aside the reference to the movie, it carries a critical and generalizable insight: each individual is a complex, layered person, much like, yes, an onion. Mental and emotional health challenges don’t define us in our entirety any more than Shrek’s appearance defined his character. To do so would be to collapse the layers of ourselves in two dimensions, loosing all the complexities that make each and every one of us unique human beings.
At the same time, the challenges that face us are complex and layered as well. The Layered Onion aims to support artists in peeling back and understanding those layers. Not only do we seek to answer questions like “How do I find a collaborator?” but also “Why is copyright important?” and the “why” is critical.
With these intentions, the team here at The Layered Onion embarks on a hopeful voyage and extends a warm welcome to all who join us.