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Veronica Varlow
  -  How To Tuesdays   -  How to Create Community – 7 Steps to Success

How do we create the creative communities that we long for?

I just woke up to a brilliant short film that my roommate Jim Batt and long time friend Molly Crabapple collaborated on together.

I loved the message and I wanted to share my own personal tips about how you can create a successful community wherever you are in the world:

  • You are Here.  Before you can even start a community, you need to understand where you are starting from.  Understand who you were in the past, who you are today, and the person you want to be in the future.  (Hint:  Past question -What did you want to grow up to be when you were little?   Future question – Think about what kind of ideal life you want to be living in three years.)
  • Know your strengths. What are your unique individual talents that you can bring to the world table?  (Hint:  These are the things that you do that make you feel 100% alive when you are doing them.  If you can’t think of anything off the top of your head, one way to figure this out might be to look back on what people have complimented you for in the past.  Getting feedback from friends you trust helps.)
  • Find Your Tribe.  Search for people in your local and online communities who inspire you and reach out to them.  If you are shy, the internet is a great way to take that bold step and reach out by just typing on a keyboard!
  • Get out there and do what you’re best at.  Make small steps every day to further your dream.
  • Show up and spread the word.  Go out and support people who you admire and do work that inspires you.  If you love what they are giving the world, tell everyone you know about it.
  • Identify Your Creative Cohorts!  Brainstorm of how you can take what unique talents you have and envision how you can mix them with the talents of others to create projects and art beyond anything you could have done alone!
  • Make Magic Beyond your Wildest Dreams.  When you are creating on your own, it’s hard.  But when you have your creative cohorts each putting work into a project, it can be easy and fun (and when it’s not easy, you can at least all commiserate over a good cinnamon latte together).  With a creative community, you and your Creative Cohorts can help propel each other beyond all of your wildest dreams.

Photographer: Marcelo Cantu, Makeup: Alyne Halvajian, Hair: Jenna Vrzal

This past week has been a huge naked lesson for me in all of these things.

Sunday night, I stripped off my clothes and wore nothing except for Raquel Reed’s kickass new makeup line, Inaz.  As you can see by the caption, it may just be me in the photo, but it takes a damn lot of people to make it look that good.  None of us could have made it without the team.

Director: Burke Heffner, Dir. of Photography: Marshall Rose, Head of Production & Set Design: Kara Blossom,
Makeup: No Guts, No Glamour – Jessica Padilla

Burke Heffner is days away from releasing Tora’s Drown music video, in which a team of about 16 talented people built, styled, shot and filmed a room slowly sinking under water.  I fetched people towels, made tea and tried not to gawk at the beautiful brilliance of this collaboration as it was happening in front of me.  It was inspiring to watch.

On Saturday and Sunday, I attended the very first Blogcademy ever in NYC.

The weekend was the gorgeous brainchild collaboration of Badass Bloggers: Gala Darling, Nubby Twiglet and Kat Williams. They all brought their own brand of genius to the table and fired up so much inspiration for me to really rock out the Danger Dame Diary.    What a sassy, fun weekend I had learning from the masters!   I blame them for my new blogging addiction.

As I type these words, my roommate Kim Boekbinder just received the art for her new space album made by our amazing mutual friend – artist Zelda Devon.   Kim is in the middle of a Kickstarter to fund her album and it has been so exhilarating to see the numbers go up with people helping t0 fund her dream all over the world.

Growing = Fun Collaboration with others.

PS – I am putting what I learned from Blogcademy in effect! This is my very first “How To Tuesday” post that I will regularly be blogging on Tuesdays. This is our chance to build community in the comments….

What would you like to see me write about in the “How To Tuesday” column next week?

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