Sunday, 30 December 2012

Quote of the Week - Rumi

Inside this new love,


Your way begins on the other side.

Become the sky.

Take an axe to the prison wall.


Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.

Do it now.

You’re covered with a thick cloud.

Slide out the side.


and be quiet.

Quietness is the surest sign

that you’ve died.

Your old life was a frantic running from silence.

The speechless full moon comes out now.

- Rumi

I know!  Go ahead - be mad at me for too much Rumi!  But how could I resist this end of year/full moon quote posted by Daniel Stewart of Rising Lotus Yoga?  Could you?

Become the sky.

What better advice can there be?



Thursday, 27 December 2012


Sunset - Marrakech

I just wanted to give you a present!

Until the 31st, you can download my little Kindle Book 5:  Poems/Images from Morocco for FREE from Amazon!

Just click!

(You don't need a Kindle to read it - just the app or software, which is also FREE!)

Monday, 24 December 2012

Quote of the Week - Cooper

“As an actor, you want to feel like you have a partner. Someone who wants you to jump on your own, but they’re also falling with you. You can’t be coddled, but you want to feel safe enough to jump.”

- Bradley Cooper 

Same in life.  Cultivating safe partnerships and safe spaces gives a new kind of freedom.  We've been hard at work on this over at the Zestyverse and we've discovered a bold and sexy that grows right out of safety, comfort, and shared vision and doesn't require over exposure.

Expect new tings for 2013.  We are, we do, and we will be bringing them, too.

(Thanks to Judith Weston Studio's Facebook page for this from an LA Times article on Silver Linings Playbook.  Cooper is talking about his director, David O. Russell.)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Holiday Shopping Guide - IndieStyle!

Put your money where your conscious is!  It's the holidays and we all gotta drop some ducats on some shiny for the friends and fam.  How bout this year you put those dollars to work for your values?  You can support small businesses, green businesses, independent artists and visionaries.

Here are some ideas and my personal faves!

The Whole 9 (Culver City or online) - A gallery space (The Whole 9) and a not-for-profit (The Peace Project).  Gifts start at $20 with 25% of sales donated to The Peace Project which has been doing incredible healing work in Sierra Leone...Jewelry, gift items, cool things, and more.  Not to mention the great affordable art!

Brat (Santa Monica) - Okay, those little purses might be on my wish list!  Nancy is style maven, confidante, girl about town, and Brat is my favorite closet!  Gifts for guys and girls and kids and hipsters and cool cats!  A museum of LA Style!

A4DS - Last week's Practivists, Art for a Democratic Society have cool activist gifts!  Check out their Etsy!  Buttons (badges for you Brits), and more more more!  Great for activists on a budget!

Image of ▲▲▲'s . of . Neon . Shirt .

That Young Def Shop - Def Sound is a kind of a happening.  Music.  Life.  Awesome socks.  Check out the shop.  Check out the music.

Victorian cut steel charm necklace 'Dreamland Is Burning'

Millenial General Assembly - Great jewelry from found vintage and antique objects!  They are like stories hanging around your neck!

K. Anderson - The amazing singer/songwriter K. Anderson has put out a new EP just in time for the holidays!  The songs are haunting, beautiful, her voice is so sultry and nuanced.  Check it out!

Sheeluv - Designer Sheeluv makes great things!  From art prints to fab iPhone cases!  I kinda want one for my iPod...

Araceli Silva Jewelry - I love Araceli Silva's work.  Hand-crafted silver and gold pieces with gemstones.  Delicate beauty.

Reciprocity (online) - Body products, candles and more - organic, planet conscious and fun!  I met Lara while we were both working with youth - she has an amazing spirit!

Breathe Bodyworks - Who doesn't want some bodywork, healing, massage, yoga as a holiday gift?  Go ahead and get a gift certificate or book some recovery time for yourself or grab a yoga video!  You will not be disappointed - Jenn is an intuitive and well-trained healer.

Objects With Purpose - Non-toxic fragrant candles!  I met Ianthe in our Creativity Group - this is such a great and unexpected outcome of all of our visioning!

When you're done shopping, make sure to pop into Cafe Bolivar for a yummy drink and some arepas - treat yourself!

Tell them E. Amato sent you!  : )

(If you have a business like this - go ahead and give me a shout out and I will try to include you!)

I might try to do some less-LA-centric ones, too, if I have time to update - but most of these businesses can do online sales!

Disclaimer:  Nobody here asked to be included and I even hope they don't mind!  I just like them a lot. I hope I'm not leaving anybody out.  I admit this is a pretty girl-y list.  Oops.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Quote of the Week - Amato (Me!)

"Poets are just ad-men of the soul." 
- E. Amato

Yeah, don't know.  It came to me.  One of those stray lines that might be a poem in itself, might be true, might have already been said.  

It's also a worry I secretly harbour...

IndieStyle Holiday Shopping Guide coming this week!  Promise!  Get your indie, local on this holiday season!  Stay tuned...come back...

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Other 50% - Agent Roundtable

Sharing the positive progressions of the Other 50% is the flip side of all the whining about it!

I really liked this Agent Roundtable from The Hollywood Reporter.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Quote of the Week - Rilke

"Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love."

- Rainer Maria Rilke

I so want this to be true.  I've thought it myself, or so I thought, but probably it came to me through Rilke.  But the idea that if you just meet, even gingerly, the forces opposing you, they will melt (like the Wicked Witch!), and become gentle, manageable, maybe even...helpful.  

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Pracitivists of the Week - A4DS!


How old are you, if you don’t mind?

Well there are 6 of us active right now, and we range in age from mid 20s to mid 30s.

What is the main focus of your practivism at this time and how does that manifest?

We focus on the junction between art and politics, so we approach political issues from a cultural perspective, while at the same time we organize an art collaboration in a democratic way and use some grassroots political organizing techniques in our artworks, such as talking to strangers on the street, tabling, and polling. We don't tend to focus on any one political issue, but create different projects based on what's piquing our interest at the time. Generally, we try to create work that opens a space for participation as we want to create an analog for greater political participation in society. And by political participation, we're not aiming to get out the vote, but to reach past that and encourage people to take greater power back into their own hands by organizing themselves. We believe strongly that people do care but feel they have no outlet for their concerns and become disillusioned. Political struggle has been at such an ebb until recently, especially union organizing and protest, that we have no models for how to fight back. We hope that we can provide some models and some encouragement in the struggle.

What route did you take to get here?

Steve (my husband) and I co-founded A4DS in April 2007. Steve has been an activist for many years, and also is a talented illustrator and writer. I had just graduated from art school in Jewelry/Metal Arts, but was being pulled towards conceptual art and social practice due to my frustration with the art world as I saw it at the time. We wanted to reach people that might not be exposed to art, and people who could not afford to collect art. We weren't interested in creating art objects, but in creating situations that encouraged open dialogue and debate. For several years, we created projects alone. In early 2011, we submitted a proposal for a show at Southern Exposure called The Cries of SF, in which people were taking on the personas of town criers and street vendors. Our proposal involved building a cart, and neither of us were experienced builders. A friend of ours, Francois, who creates sculpture, joined us to help build the project and we liked working together, so he became a part of the organization. We also enlisted the help of our friend Sean, who is a gifted poet and actor, to write our "cries" and perform with us, and he has continued to work with us. Through the course of the project, we met two other artists, Jesse and Ethan, who were interested in what we were doing and wanted to join as well. Jesse is a printmaker and Ethan is a photographer, though they had both stretched into performance art and interactive work previously and were interested in social practice. We went from just the two of us to 6 of us (and a couple of non-active members) in the space of a few months!

To find out more about A4DS CLICK HERE!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Art of Listening

I completely love this Ted Talk.

Because the more I delve into life, the more I realize that listening is the key.

Listening and being listened to are what create true bonds, community, what imbue people with self-esteem, and empower individuals and communities to transcend divisive issues and solve complex problems.

A lot of what I know about listening comes from performing and directing and working with performers.  A lot of that comes from Judith Weston.  When I'm on stage, talking a mile a minute, I consider it my actual job to deeply listen to the audience.  I create them as a partner in the process of unveiling the text.  Truly this is the only way I connect and the only way I get myself on the stage.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Quote of the Week - Hathaway

"I think women are starting to take more care of each other. I feel like we're moving into a place in the world where we're going to be able to apply it. At least that's my hope." 
Anne Hathaway

This made me happy.  No, that's not true.  It made me cry.  I'm like that.  I hope she's right.