you need to go watch this beautiful kickstarter video. if that doesn’t inspire your afternoon or life, well then i just don’t know.
our dear dear friend, casey o’connell, just launched her kickstarter project today to help bridge the gap between creatives and so called “non creatives.” the project will allow her to open a storefront in san francisco for an entire year, with doors (both real and virtual) always open, welcoming anyone to come in and see and participate in her creative process.
josh and i chatted with casey on the phone last week about it and she shared her hope that by risking to share her creative process so openly with others, even strangers… something which has always been a very personal and private process, that by doing so, we all become a little bit braver. i love that.
“how many days of watching will it take you to hear your inner calling?
how many weeks of watching will it take for you to recognize who you were, and are, and can be?
how many months of watching before you pick up your brush?”
we are so proud of casey, and wish her all the luck with this project. you can watch the kickstarter video here and donate if you so feel inclined on the same page. congrats, friend!
due to some questions and comments i’ve received on the above post, i am writing to share a little bit more about why i shared this video.
from time to time on our Love Taza site, we have chosen to donate to a charity that we personally thought was a worthwhile cause (like this one from last christmas, and here and this one and others). we give personally and privately as well and don’t always share. frankly, we have been a little hesitant to share these on our site in the past because there are a lot of things to give to – and in the end giving is a completely personal thing – and people seem to always want to find faults with us and with the causes. but we did it anyway, in the hopes that others would benefit (both our readers from giving and the recipients of the charities for receiving.) this year, just like last year, we’re giving to another charity at christmas on Love Taza and will share in a blog post like we did last december the week of christmas.
i wanted to pass casey’s video on because i felt inspired by it. having performed as a dancer in the past, i know from my own experiences that letting people into your heart and sharing something you created from the deepest darkest corners of your mind can be the scariest thing in the world. conversing with casey about her own creative process and history reminds me of this and i hoped that if there was going to be at least one person who would feel the same way after seeing this video and then feel motivated to overcome some doubt or fear and find the courage to share their talent with another, then absolutely, I would share. this isn’t a charity. this isn’t a 501(c) organization. it’s an artist doing a kickstarter for an art project. i know casey is planning on updating her kickstarter page with more details on how she plans to make an impact and what the expenses would be for her project. in the end, give if you feel inspired, don’t give if you don’t.
some of the comments on this post are judgmental, presumptuous, and hurtful to casey. people need to be careful whenever they quickly pass judgement on something without knowing all the facts and before they accuse someone without knowing them personally. as for your other questions and feedback, i’ll let casey respond if she feels so inclined or if she thinks your suggestions are helpful. i know she is doing her best to share her talents and figure out how she might best inspire others to do the same. i hope my readers and i (and certain commenters here) can say the same about ourselves.
Awesome video! Thanks for sharing!
please see updated post above.
great video! thanks for sharing
What an incredible and inspiring video. She’s awfully brave to be sharing such a personal and sensitive thing. I’m impressed!
Great video…its a really cool idea…everyone is creative in their own unique way! ;)
“what if we all try proving our egos wrong?”!!! right?!
this is lovely! thank you for sharing!
Will definitely donate. Thanks for sharing :)
What a fantastic project! I love seeing creatives doing there thing. Very inspiring
Sam // samanthaheather.blogspot.com
Such a cool idea –Hanna Lei
This is quite possibly the most self-indulgent thing I’ve ever seen. Must be nice.
Your friend is talking about people who are labelled, by themselves or others, ‘non-creative’. It’s a wonderful project, as everyone is capable of creation, and everyone can be touched by the beauty of art in many different aspect.
However, an open-door shop, if limited to being ‘open’, free to access, will still fail to reach out to ALL the people who might think themselves ‘not capable’. People who will dare step in will be people who have a certain amount of self-confidence.
I know very poor people who have zero confidence in their abilities, who live quite isolate lives, and who’ve been told all their lives they were nothing.
Often when these people don’t take part in creative projects, or even all sort of community projects, it’s not because they aren’t given the information or the incentive. They do know, but either they’re too scared to go, because of the way other people might look at them, they think they will be rejected, or they think they will do so bad that it’s not even worth trying. Some other very poor people think that ‘art, is not for them’. They have more pressing matters.
Of course, though, art frees people. Art makes you think, makes you express yourself, make you feel good, makes your life become more than ‘survive’.
It would be interesting to search how this open-door shop actually tries to reach out to the most excluded. ML.
so inspiring! thanks :)
pretty awesome! i will donate!
$100,000 to watch a chick paint…
Hey guys! My husband and I love casey! infact we have TWO of her original paintings – one of which we are needing to sell. If you happen to know anyone that is interested in buying on of her pieces please LMK! Casey is one of our favorite artists shes not only amazing and sweet, but oh so incredibly talented!!!!
It’s less than three weeks until Christmas. Donate to a gainfully employed artist or donate to needy families, disaster victims, the homeless, sick children, wounded veterans, abused animals, etc? My thoughts on this “project” aside (soliciting $ to do work she’s already compensated for, but with what, an open door?) for SO many people, donating during the holidays is a zero sum game. That is, the majority of your readers who donate to this cause will consequently not donate to another. Encouraging readers to give their money to your personal friend while there are so many more worthwhile causes going unsupported by your blog makes me really sad. I’m a longtime reader, but I can’t any longer. For a blog that tries to be relatable (albeit in a cutesy way), this is just SO out of touch with what is happening in this country and worldwide.
What an great video! Thank you for sharing!
So if that artist doesn’t get that insane amount of money by Christmas, The projet isnt funded And she gets to keep whatever amount she does get to herself? I agree with Meg. This seems totally selfish, considering all of the major needs in our country and overseas. Maybe she’s taking advantage of the whole “giving” season for herself.
This project is inspired.
It’s true that there are many people undergoing hardships throughout this country: from our veterans to the homeless, sick, and needy. But we each strive to give back in our own way. Casey’s way is through art. While she could simply paint at home and make a profit, she wants to introduce art to her local community. Knowing Casey personally, she will actually make FAR LESS than she would with her usual projects. And no, if the money is not raised, the project does not happen and the money is not collected. This is a new and interesting experiment, trying to allow people to put aside their internal boundaries and take a leap of faith on something they feel passionate about whether it be art or anything.
We can’t all solve the world’s problems in a day. But this is an attempt, by a wonderful person and a fabulous artist to make a contribution. Donating is optional. But I am inspired that we might all leave our comfort zone and make our world a little bit better, in the best way we know how.
Happy Holidays. We are all very blessed.
It’s incredibly inspiring to see the artist at work painting just in this video, and brave of her to open up a work space for all to explore. To expose herself, to allow anyone to watch and critique is not easy. Just look at the criticism on this chain. But what she is doing is inspiring.
Sure, she isn’t going to be able to touch everyone in the world, and no she isn’t going to solve hunger, but she’s already inspired me through this video to follow my passion- so that’s one person.
And I feel its worth point out, there are reward levels for different backing amounts- and the ultimate reward of getting to see the artist paint for a year! These aren’t just straight donations, so if you are going to criticize the campaign, you might as well critique all consumer spending over the holidays.
Thanks for sharing! I’m excited to see how this project evolves over the next year!
Longtime reader here — I’m cringing at the pretentiousness of this project and your backing of it. How about donating to an actually worthy cause; doesn’t even have to be an obvious one like feeding hungry children or supporting needy veterans. Anything that would build community and reach out to people where they’re at (in all senses), not where some privileged artist thinks they need to be, would be better than this boondoggle. “Hey, sad uncreative people of the world, come watch ME and be INSPIRED! But first, gimme some money pls ok thanks.” You’re making yourself look really bad by asking people to give money to a b.s. cause like this.
I think this is a wonderful project and I am backing it! However, I do contribute to other causes throughout the year and at Christmastime. Also, if the project isn’t backed, she doesn’t get any of the money. Someone just mentioned she gets to keep it which she doesn’t. Kickstarter does not work that way. Also, her goal is to inspire people and she has definitely inspired me! If they want to support their friend, let them. It is their blog. It’s Christmas, let’s be nice to each other! I’m excited to see how the project evolves over the year!
Awesome video, thanks for sharing!
Awesome video, thanks for sharing!
I fully support creative concepts – but $100K for a year of painting one painting? I agree with those who think that this is self-indulgent – and perhaps not even creatively sustainable for the artist. Interesting idea – but perhaps the execution should be re-thought.
Boy she sure thinks a lot of herself, huh? Self indulgent sums this one up perfectly. I am all for supporting things to enrich the community, but I only see this as being enriching for the artist. Sorry, can’t get on board with this one!
This is incredibly self-indulgent, as others have said. As someone raised by a professional (though levelheaded) artist, I think it takes a special kind of arrogance for a person to think of her work as an artist as “universe changing.” It takes a special kind of brazenness to begin a Kick-Starter asking for money from strangers to be inspired by her “universe changing” work. And it takes a special kind of artlessness (pun intended) to think your readers would actually support this.
This is really poor judgement. It’s strange timing to ask people to give money to this during the Christmas season. I think you and your privileged friends need a major reality check. :(
Such an amazing idea, I hope this makes many people braver to risk being creative! Thank you so much for sharing and I wish Casey all the luck in the world!
It is one thing for you to hawk your clothes on Instagram (knowing full well your readers will eat them up and you’ll make a killing)–at least those readers will get a sweater or dress out of it–but encouraging your readers to donate to such a selfish and self-indulgent project seems rather manipulative.
If Casey would like to engage in this project, she can take the risk and pay for it herself. If you’d like your readers to donate to the arts, there are many, many, many other venues through which they can do so.
Naomi, I’m surprised that you’re asking readers to support this project. There are so many more worthwhile things to support…especially during the holiday season. I’m surprised your friend is even soliciting money for this. The arts are important…but there are many people who don’t have their basic needs met. Usually you are spot on, but this is really disappointing. Can you please explain why you are choosing to support this charitable cause? Is it just because she’s your friend? That seems really self-serving… :(
Josh and Naomi, I feel like this post is more telling about the two of you and your REAL LIFE than anything Naomi has posted in years. You try to put on this “Oh, jeez. We’re just regular ‘ole people” act but some of us see through that. And this post makes it even more clear. Get over yourselves.
@C Good luck getting a response from them, need to be politically correct on their blog after all :)
Naomi, I realize that you lead a very privileged life but the fact that you c can’t see how truly absurd this project is makes me feel very sorry for you.
I am truly disappointed by this post… I’m a long time reader but can’t be anymore. Your friends projects seems Totally selfish, self-indulgent, and manipulative. How about helping those without their basic needs met?… I don’t know, I don’t feel I can trust your post’s motives anymore… Sad day :/
I have to agree with the critiscm as someone involved in the art world, and one who knows many many artists earning over 100k per piece. This is one of the most narcissistic pieces of work I have seen.
It is NOT a new idea, heck many artists have open door policies and you know what they just literally open a door or rent a cheap store front. ( funded by themselves )
You will not reach the ‘ uncreatives’ ( those poor people! ) as it takes one wih confidence to enter a store front and watch someone paint.
Also, there are many street artists on city streets, what makes your friends painting so much more inspiring? Is it because she can somehow defy physics and change the universe with a brush stroke?
Why not help children learn art in schools? Why doesn’t she inspire prisoners with free art lessons?
Instead we are to pay her on top of what she already earns for the privilege of watching her paint.
Wrong time of year, and wrong tone.
please see updated post above.
I don’t think anything anyone has said above is judgmental or hurtful. Critical, maybe? Yes, in the sense of analysis. But rightfully so. And as a former dancer, you should be able to recognize the difference between criticality as a means for betterment versus criticality for the sake of being “mean.”
(Also, usually when people try to make intelligent and thought provoking counter arguments, proper capitalization helps. Not trying to be hateful! It’s just really hard to read something serious when all those poor, single, lowercase letter “I”s are glaring at you.)
Wow. Some of the comments.
I’m also a longtime reader (though sporadic commenter) and I feel like rushing to Naomi’s defense. Which is obviously unnecessary because she’s done so gracefully herself.
Aside from the fact that anyone donating is a grown person, and can therefore choose whether or not to donate to this and/or to donate to some other more “worthy” cause, this is a wonderful idea.
The video was touching and moving. A lot of people see patching up symptoms of a problem. Which may be feeding someone for a day or donating a jacket or a toy. These are all valuable things. Sometimes these are also life-changing acts for people on the receiving end. Casey is pursuing a different track, whether or not that is explicitly stated. By encouraging people to bring out their inner artist, or boldly go where they haven’t gone before, or watch her – a “normal” person – adventurously create something beautiful, they will hopefully have the courage to do so themselves.
As a disclaimer – because apparently that is necessary – I live below the poverty level, I work for an organization which resettles and serves refugees, and I will not be donating to the cause because I cannot afford it. I will also not be donating to another cause, and all of these decisions were my own.
Thank you, Naomi, for sharing with us something which is personal to you and I hope would be touching to all of us. That video was incredibly moving and I wish I could donate, as I’ve loved Casey’s work for quite a while and believe she has something important to share.
What a brave woman, artist and person. Let us all be brave and encouraging.
also, lowercase letters are the best.
Many people have to work hard to get their businesses started. It’s great that she has an idea and wants to get things going, but perhaps a better option would be making more paintings and selling them so that she can fund her own business. I don’t know why kickstarter is an acceptable way to take the easy route by asking people for money through your well connected friends.
Naomi, I know that being a creative person is hard and being judged all the time for trying to be happy and positive is rough too, especially if you’re a sensitive person.
However, your response makes it seem like you don’t even understand the criticism or want to understand that not everyone lives in your bubble. You certainly don’t owe charity to anyone. Talking about how much you give is so off-putting and embarrassing. It doesn’t matter how much you give if you think that people should be giving money to your friend so she doesn’t have to work as hard as someone who’s not friends with a famous blogger.
I really admired your blog for a long time but once you started selling your children’s images for ad money etc, it was harder and harder to believe you were genuine.
You don’t have to change. You can keep living in your bubble. You’re extremely lucky. But don’t expect people to like it when you blatantly ask for their hard earned money.
It’s your site and you’re free to do as you please, but this seems very tacky and, yes, self-indulgent. Bridging the gap between the “creatives” and “non-creatives” as the presumably non-creatives fund her work and enable her to profit? Tacky. Very, very tacky. Unfortunately, this has done the opposite of inspire me. It has turned me off this artist and made me question who is your target audience. It may not be this particular middle class, married, mother, who’s apparently a non-creative. And what is the relevance of sharing your charity? How is that applicable to this artist’s business? That feels like obfuscation.
Your reply just made it worse. You didn’t really address any of our concerns. Don’t call your readers (who support you and help you make six figures off this blog) judgemental and greedy when they don’t fawn over something you did. Way disappointing. You just lost a reader and I’m sure others who don’t like you not appreciating your readership. I don’t think any of our comments were rude. It was genuine curiosity in seeing if you knew how you sound. Apparently you do know and don’t care?
I don’t see what the big deal is. Naomi, this is your blog and I’m glad that you put on it whatever you see fit. Don’t stop what you’re doing! I find you very inspirational :)
I think all art is self indulgent to some extent. I didn’t get much of an idea as to how the artist would interact with people or at all. Am i meant to be inspired just by watching somebody else undertake the creative process? But good luck to her, everybody has their level, this just isn’t mine…I think art is very important and if Taza’s audience can afford it…. There will always be something more worthy, eg go seek out a Kiva loan, for example. It doesn’t follow that not donating to this cause means that person donates to somebody else more important. There will always be something more important. My last random thought is that I dislike the labelling of ‘creative’ or ‘non creative’. I enjoyed seeing the painting come alive but could have done without the propositions at the end to ‘pick up a brush’ etc. lots of people are creative in so many ways, brush in hand or not. It sounded kind of patronising.
You put yourself out there and expect to make money off your readers but the minute they question anything you slap their wrists.
If you’d like us to donate to Casey or Casey would like us to donate to Casey then we have every right to ask questions and get our answers. Or should we just continue to compliment you and your family?
If you donate to other causes why don’t we hear of them more? They don’t inspire you enough? We seem to hear more of where you bought your shoes and clothes.
” i know casey is planning on updating her kickstarter page with more details on how she plans to make an impact and what the expenses would be for her project.”
This made me laugh, LOUD. Why would someone even ask for the money without putting up all the details. Do you Naomi realize how shady that sounds? It sounds like someone woke up one morning without a plan of anything and decided to get a popular blog to fund an “idea”, not a plan.
I feel extremely sorry for your fans who have blindly donated to this project, just because you recommended it. Money that could have been used to help someone who really need it.
Just think about that for a second.
I have never commented here before, but as I saw the many “negative” comments against Naomi, I had to.
I really really can’t understand why everyone is making such a big deal of this. All of a sudden all of her “long-time readers” are turning against here for ONE single post.
You bring up things like her being “superficial” just for talking about clothing on her blog. She has made it clear several times that this is not a fashion blog, but she gets many emails asking where she got her clothes from. She is just being nice by answering them.
And also, criticizing her writing style now? And you claim yourself to be a long-time fan of her blog?
The negative answer has been very disproportionate, even after her update trying to explain things better. She clearly stated in her original post that you could donate IF you felt inclined to. In no moment did she ask you to do it. I find it wonderful that she is trying to help out a friend. If you didn’t feel inspired, then DON’T donate. Full stop. Don’t make a fuss over it. It’s as simple as that.
Also, it is none of our business how much or who they give charity to. As she said, everyone has their own idea of what the “best” cause is, and not everyone has the same one obviously. Isn’t helping out a good friend who wants to start a new project in which she believes a good cause? Just saying. This is her blog and she can post whatever she likes to.
And please someone explain to me how Naomi failed to appreciate her readership. If I recall correctly, she very often dedicates a paragraph in her posts to thank all of her wonderful readers.
It is perfectly fine to dislike this particular post for your own reasons and I respect that, but please don’t say you’ll never read one of her posts again. That is exagerating and being over-dramatic. You are taking Naomi’s words out of context. Naomi pours her heart out in this blog and you should appreciate that.
Disclaimer: This comment is in no way intended to disrespect anyone and I completely respect your points of view as long as you don’t disrespect Naomi.
All that being said, congratulations for your blog Naomi and keep on inspiring us.
Liebestar, Naomi is creative, and pretty, and thin and has cute kids, but how is she inspiring? This blog is like a magazine. Nice to look at but not much substance. I admired the importance that Naomi put on her relationship and family, but really it’s just a way to seem like there’s something to this blog other than making ad money. This family is very similar to the Kardashians. This blog is a reality show and a real life truman show for the kids.
Her poor unconsenting children have no choice that she is choosing to make money by selling their privacy. So sad.
I am a long time reader, but I’m not stopping because of one post, I have found the materialism and pimping of kids for canon cameras to be saddening for some time.
I’m truly sorry if this comes off as mean, Naomi. I can’t be the only one who thinks it. I truly wish the best for you and your family, I just wish you realized how offensive this is.
Wow!! What a load of bull! This is a blog (a beautiful blog) the whole point is personal opinions suddenly I don’t like something you do or oops your not relating to my life, even though you’ve never meet me, well let me, well really that makes sense. She’s lucky, I’m pretty sure she knows it, who can honestly expect her to share any perspective but her own, how can “long time readers” expect her to openen up her life and family to us, and then ask that she censor her opinions. Who doesn’t want to support a friend especially when you believe in what they are doing. Sometimes the Internet is ridiculous, these comments are such as someone who struggles week to week, this blog makes me smile (as did the video) I won’t be donating but how nice for her if she does well. Art is important and while sometimes I read this blog and day dream for my own family, sometimes I wonder at things or scoff a little here or there but at the end of the day in thankful for this blog I value Naomi’s opinions and advise and this cheerful corner of the Internet. If she profits from the blog well that’s great I would be disappointed if she didn’t post regularly I’m sure there are other things she could do. If you must be jealous and bitter please do it somewhere else, if you do t like a post skip by it, there’s no need to be nasty.
Sorry one more thing I had to add, even if you don’t agree with the project, the “rewards” for backing are pretty nice, I think my little boy would look lovely in the sweatshirt. Have a look you might really like them it’s not really a charitable donation if your getting something back. :)
this is the most pretentious thing I’ve ever seen… I am a ‘creative’ working in a creative industry and I know no one who would be this self indulgent. the whole premise of ‘creatives’ vs ‘non-creatives’ is ridiculous and condescending. the people here were just asking honest questions and if Casey can’t handle that, she should get out of a ‘creative’ industry. trust me, it just gets worse and that’s without asking for ridiculous sums of money from strangers to watch you paint. and taza, your response just made it worse. you wouldn’t be who you are without your readership and from what I see, a lot of people are beginning to catch onto your games. I won’t be visiting this site anymore
The references to this being Naomi’s little ole blog and cheerful spot on the Internets are incredibly naive. This blog is a lucrative business: Naomi and Josh make money with every page view and every time you click one of their links so your kid can have the same $40 hat as Eleanor. Let’s stop making it seem like this is just some sweet little mommy blog. Every post, every picture, every non-capitalized letter is a calculated business decision, and Naomi and Josh’s choice to promote this “art project” speaks volumes about their ability to manipulate their readers–like someone else said above, you cross the line when you even insinuate that someone should give his or her hard-earned money to this art project. You could have simply shown Casey’s video and let us draw our own conclusions about “inspiration.”
An artist opening their studio to the general public is hardly s unique concept. Many artists do this to share their creative process and involve the community.
They usually don’t ask for a ludicris amount of money from strangers to do so.
THIS: JEN / DECEMBER 8TH 2013 @ 3:27 AM
“This family is very similar to the Kardashians. I’m truly sorry if this comes off as mean, Naomi. I can’t be the only one who thinks it. I truly wish the best for you and your family, I just wish you realized how offensive this is”
Naomi, your reply is an interesting (read: concerning) insight into your psyche. I thought as a dancer you’d handle feedback like an adult. Wow. How rich and out of touch are you? Seriously disappointed in your judgement of your readers (who pay your wages) – how very Christian of you. Bravo.
Oh, my. This is possibly the most narcissistic load of utter crap I’ve ever seen. Any semblance of “respect” I might have had for this artist (had I ever heard of her prior to this) would have been completely ruined by her preposterous suggestion that she be given $100,000 to continue making art off of which she was already profiting.
Your blog post for her is, at the very best, misguided.
And your update is pathetically condescending. I am embarrassed for you and for this “cause.”
Hi I’ve never made a comment on any blog before-but this is disgusting to just watch happen.
People, seriously? This is a blog about her life-she owes it to no one (including you) to write about what you want to hear or not. Kardashians? Really? Pimping them out? I literally laughed out loud. Questioning her life as Christian? Right, she shouldn’t support people she believes in because Jesus would never do that. I think we can all deduce that Naomi isn’t here to make money-if she was, she would have taken down this post because it’s losing “fanship”.
Stop finding time to ridicule other peoples lives, because if you have time to do that I worry about everything else you are neglecting to do. So instead of posting hurtful comments about her not donating her money correctly (ummm wow its her money not yours if you’re upset she has the ability to support-thats a personal problem) go help the world instead of hurting it.
Always a supporter of Naomi and previously felt criticism was mean spirited / from a place of envy but her petulant response that she added to the above post is so jarring… for a long-time reader it’s made me feel totally taken in by her ‘oh I’m just a cheerful little housewife who always looks on the bright side and loves everything’ shtick. I can only guess what her PR agency is thinking right now. Panic stations! The stepford wife has lashed out and insulted her readers! Eeek.
Such an embarrassing project! So self indugent.
Thank you for sharing this video along with your thoughts. I’m also sorry for the nasty comments from some of your readers but this is your blog and you can share – and keep to yourself – whatever you think is best for you and your family.
If I had the $ to do so, I’d donate to Casey’s project for the fact that she’s inspired me to get off my butt and work on what I find passionate. Unfortunately, at this time I have many other things to take care of but I would seriously be one to fly to San Francisco and see her work. She is an amazingly talented woman, therefore has the potential to inspire many people out there. I wish her the best with this project.
I admire your efforts to give back to the community. Especially at times like these, during the holidays. I also like that you’re not one to publicly share what you donate. That is personal and something between you , the person receiving and God. He knows our hearts.
I have and will continue to admire your family.