FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Questions about the project  / Questions about submissions  / Questions about the music video

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROJECT

Q: What is this project about?

A:  A few years ago, life was hard and I was bitter and angry. As I was processing all that anger and bitterness, I wrote a song about forgiveness. I had the idea to do a community art project about forgiveness and spent a year planning and dreaming about the best way to accomplish it.

In Fall of 2013, I launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the project.  Now, I am accepting “forgiveness statement” submissions to be included in the music video and for a book that showcases submissions to the project. My goal is to create meaningful, quality art and inspire people to reflect, forgive, create, share and let go of the pain and bitterness of unforgiveness.

Q: I’m not an artist, but this is awesome. Can I still submit?

A: YES! The only qualifications for your submission are that they include mostly legible words with a forgiveness statement. That means you can write it on a piece of paper and hold it over your face and have a friend snap a photo of it. You can carve it in stone. You can sew it on your pillow. You can write it in sand or cookie dough. You can use a sharpie on a paper bag. Try to make the words readable. Mostly, be creative and honest.

Q: What is a “forgiveness statement”???

A: I’m using that phrase to refer to anything that has the basic structure of “I forgive _____ for _____.”  You can be as specific or vague as you want, but remember the goal here is NOT to shame anyone who has wronged you, so keep that in mind when you submit. Examples of forgiveness statements:

  • I forgive all the people who told me I was ugly.
  • I forgive my friend for stealing my idea.
  • I forgive myself for not taking that risk.
  • I forgive my mother for not paying attention.
  • I forgive the person who ________.

Obviously, everyone’s experience is different and there’s no wrong answer. Just try to keep the focus on your choice to forgive and let go of bitterness, not on blaming or shaming another person. 

Q: Can anyone submit art?

A: Yes. Anyone can submit and I want EVERYONE to submit!

Q: I’m not going to be submitting before March 15, but I still want to know when the music video is released. How can I be the first to get notified?

A: Sign up below and I will email you when the video is released. You won’t receive blog posts, you’ll just receive the big announcement about the video.

Q: Can you help me find a counselor to talk to about the process of forgiving?

I wish I could! And I definitely encourage you to seek out a counselor or therapist if you feel like you need some one-on-one help. I certainly have and am so thankful for it. Although I am passionate about this project, I can’t give you personal advice in this area. I encourage you to ask around and get some recommendations on good therapists in your area. It can take a few tries to connect with the right therapist/counselor, so don’t give up. It is really worth it when you find a safe professional to process with.

QUESTIONS ABOUT SUBMISSIONS

Q: What are you going to do with my art?

To be clear, if you submit something to this project, you still own the copyright for your submission. You will be giving me the right to use it in the video, the book and to promote this project, but I will not sell your art individually. I will be selling the book, and by submitting you agree to that. But, you can still do whatever you want with your art apart from this project.

Q: What sets apart Kickstarter backer submissions?

A: I am so thankful to the amazing people who supported my Kickstarter and believed in this project. Kickstarter backer’s submissions are guaranteed to be included in the video if they submit before March 10. And guaranteed to be included in the book if they submit before the book deadline (Summer 2014). And they did or will receive other various perks and pledge rewards.

Q: Do you have suggestions for taking photos that include a person with the submission?

A: Although you are welcome to simply upload a straight graphic file, I also like the idea of the vulnerable human element. And if you don’t consider yourself an artist, this is a great way to make a simple hand written statement still have a lot of impact.

If you don’t mind being recognized, you can stand and simple face the camera with your face showing like the below example.

face-the-camera

If you want to be anonymous, you can have the photo taken without showing your head, but showing your hands holding your Forgiveness statement.

holding-forgiveness-statement

Q: I don’t want to be in the photo, but I don’t have the option to scan my art. How should I take a photo that makes it easy for you to use it for this project?

There are two options. If your art is already digital, you can simply upload the graphic file directly. Then I will print it and include in the video in a creative way. (And then put in the book exactly as you made it.)

Or you can print it and photograph with a frame, or with an interesting background or other context. Or, if you painted, drew or wrote your Forgiveness Statement by hand, you can either scan it and send that file, or take a photo using the tips below.

Be sure to hold the camera far enough away from your art so that it can get good lighting and focus.

explain-how-to-photograph-art

Include all the edges of your art and I will crop if needed.

dont-crop-the-photo

Feel free to take a different angle and submit 2 photos and I’ll pick the one that works the best.

how to photograph your submissionsexplain-how-to-photograph2

Try putting your art in front of a simple or interesting background, maybe it has texture, maybe it’s all one color. Ideally, take the photo outside with natural light during the day. 

hold-camera-steady-interesting-background

Below is an example of a piece submitted that does something creative with the forgiveness statement words. It doesn’t have to just be one statement. Be creative!

forgiveness-statement-example-1

*Also, feel free to not follow any of these suggestions.

Q: My photo is a little blurry, is that okay?

A: Please don’t submit a burry photo.

Hold the camera steady while you take the photo and check to make sure it’s not blurry before you submit it.

art submission example of bad blurry photo

 

Don’t take a picture that only has part of your art/words in it. Make sure the whole piece is visible and readable.

The below is an example of BAD cropping.

dont-crop-photo-badly

The below is a GOOD example with all corners of the work visible in the photo.

dont-crop-the-photo

Q: What file formats are you accepting?

A: PNG, JPG, JEPG, and PDF.

Ideal submissions are 300dpi in JPG format. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry about it and just submit the highest quality image you can.

Q: Do I have to take a photo of my art?

A: Nope! You are welcome to upload any image file. For some, photos taken on their smart phone is just an easy way to be a part of the project that is hassle-free. You are welcome to scan your art or submit a 300dpi graphic file.

Q: Does someone else have to take the photos? Can I do a selfie?

I would prefer no selfies, simply because the quality is usually low and that will be hard to incorporate in the video and book. But, if you are deciding between not contributing and doing a selfie… well just take a selfie! I’d rather you be involved than worry too much about it. But, ideally, take the photo outside with natural light, not indoors at nigh with a flash.

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE MUSIC VIDEO

Q: When are you filming the video? I want to be in it!

A: As of Spring and Summer 2014, I am currently doing small individual shoots with people who supported the project. There will also be a public gathering in San Diego to get more footage.  Those dates are not confirmed yet, but I will be sure to spread the word when they are! If you are in San Diego or will be passing through anytime before September 2014 and are interested in being in the video, feel free to contact me and let’s see if we can make that work. I do have a full time job and a family, so please note that I may not be able to make it work. But, I’ll do my very best because I’d love to include everyone who is interested.

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