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dreamers manifesto

All men dream,


but not equally.
Those who dream by
night
In the dusty recesses
of their minds,
Wake in the day to
find that it was
vanity
But the dreamers of
the day are
dangerous men,
For they may act on
their dreams with
open eyes,
To make them
possible.
-T.E. Lawrence
A glimpse…

A note to you 3
The thunderous spell 4
Dust settles, and so it unfolds 5
Stumbles and slips 8
All a sham? 10
Nuggets from the family 11
Warm welcome 15

dreamers manifesto
A note to you
I often have trouble starting letters. I write and re-write, scratch
and scribble, crumple and toss, only to find my words a few
sentences down.

The creative process. What a messy thing. Confusing, too, isn’t


it? Particularly when you start to think of your work’s place in
the “real world.” Oh, then comes the frustration like icing on the
cake. You have a lot you want to make, want to do, want to say,
want to breathe into society, and yet…

How?

It can seem like the answer is “c’est pas possible,” or it’s


impossible. It feels like the world has seen what you have to say
and has decided to turn the other cheek. “You’re not good
enough,” you feel it’s screaming at you.

So you slink your head and question your abilities, your art, your
whole self.

Ever walked home after a long day feeling irrationally ill,


thinking, maybe, what you crave most, is simply not in the cards
for you? I have.

Voilà what we call a self-fulfilling prophecy. And you don’t have


to go there.

But, wait… ah, what if you do now and then? That’s more than
allowed. That’s expected and it’s for those moments of darkness
that I made this. So when you feel the black cloak descending
around your shoulders, you can pull this pocket book out, give it
a read, and promptly flick it off.

Okay, are you ready to see the alternative to giving up on your


dream?

Flip me over.
3

dreamers manifesto
The thunderous spell

It is “My head felt like it was


splitting in two. I could feel
so often the
the tears prickling behind my
thunderous spell eyes, threatening yet another
that clears the air and downpour…”
guides us to where -Adébayo’s thunderous spell

we need to go. “I woke up without my


wallet, bag, keys, or phone.
Let’s start here. The storm. How I’d gotten home, god
only know…”
Sleepless nights, lack-lustre days,
-Estelle’s thunderous spell
seemingly inexplicable sorrow.
Pounding skulls, drooping mouths, “I felt my life flash before my
eyes. Was this really how it
scrunched eyebrows.
would be from now on?”
-my thunderous spell
This is it. Your calling is singing to
you. Your body is begging your mind to
hear it; to understand no relationship, no
drink, nor no edible anything will solve
what’s pecking at you. What will? Only
this: listening to what you’re being told.

You don’t know? Listen harder. Listen


longer. Go into the quiet with just yourself,
and maybe a piece of paper.
Stay for a while.

Your tale is asking to begin.


It’s time to allow it.
4

dreamers manifesto
Dust settles
& so it unfolds…

Let’s say you listen.


Let’s say you take this slow.
You’ve thought about what
your heart is really calling out for.
What you were really meant to do.
Let’s say, for instance, it’s drawing.
So what to do?
To begin to draw.
Ah, but it’s been a while.
So…

“I took up drawing,” you find yourself confiding to your


friend. “But it did not amount to much.”

“It’s a hard and difficult struggle to draw well,” you think the
next night.

“If I can only succeed someday in learning to draw well what


I want to express…” you despair the night after that.

“What will come of it?” you ask, angrily throwing your pencil
down the following evening.

Frustration.
Doubt.
Fear.

5 5

dreamers manifesto
Have you uttered those words?
Have you felt that way?
You’re in good company.

Guess who’s pen inked


those words?

dreamers manifesto
Vincent van Gogh

7
Stumbles and slips
So it’s not going smoothly.

Does that mean it’s time to throw in the towel? How badly,
you have to ask yourself, do you want this? If you find
yourself throwing your hands in the air thinking “this isn’t
worth it,” take a moment to think about what you’re after. Is
this your dream? Maybe not. Maybe you need to go back to
the drawing board and think deeply. Maybe you will find you
are really longing for something else. And that’s perfectly fine.
It’s never too late to start over, to do what you truly want.

Now, if this is the thing, your task is this: you must honour it.
You must respect the process. You must learn to sit in the
discomfort. This is the creative journey. It’s filled with
exhilarating highs, and gut-wrenching lows.

Know that every step you’re taking is growing you to depths


more cavernous than you would’ve thought possible. Know
it’s feeding your soul. Know you can use precisely how you’re
feeling in these moments to create powerful, meaningful
work. Pain is what unites us as humans, and when we’re in it
we must as creators take a moment to sit back and observe it.
Draw from it. Extract it. Write stories about it. Connect to
our community over it. And ultimately? Ultimately, convert it
to fuel that pushes us forward.

Create. Self-educate. Reach out. Share your journey. Make


new friends. Consider where your art meets the market.
Where you can be flexible. Can you teach? Speak? Partner
with brands? Create for clients?

Keep going. Learn to be different, not better. Have a


relationship with your craft, with your material. Think about
it for a long time.

Baby steps.

dreamers manifesto

What man
actually needs
is not a
tensionless state,
but rather the
striving
and struggling
for some goal
worthy of him.


-Viktor Frankl
All a sham?
-imposter syndrome-

“Sometimes I think someone is going to discover that I'm just


creating all this as I go and bust me out one day!”
-Hillary Butler

Ah, imposter syndrome. The little devil. Does it come to sit on


your shoulder too? If you’ve nodded I want to tell you a
secret. It sits on all of ours. At least, now and then. And
though its stay may become shorter and shorter over the
years, it will likely never cease to make an appearance. It likes
to come during moments of high stakes: when you’re about to
step on stage, show a piece in an exhibit, start your second
draft, host a talk…

The one thing I will say about it to offer you a slice of comfort
is this: it finding a space on your shoulder is a sign that you
are, in fact, an artist and not an imposter.

Why? Because love, an artist creates from the heart, and it is


out of our heart’s creations that this devil most often springs.
He loves vulnerability. He feasts on it.

So how about next time he appears you look him in the eye
and say, “In fact, you’re wrong.”

All of this, all of what you are, all of what you can be starts
here. In the mind. You have to believe you are capable.

Because you are.

10

dreamers manifesto
Nuggets
from your
fellow
dreamers

“Take a deep look at the things that make you truly happy;
the things that make you feel full of attitude, love and fire.”
-Hannah Guthman, recipe developer, @hannah.guthman

“Find your audience, “Being creative does not rule


your passion, and out being practical. Have a
align them. For me, plan, even better—write it
my goal was always down. It doesn’t have to be a
to do the work I want whole song and dance but
to do, not what sells, having a sense of direction
because I believe does help you actually move
you’ll find your in that direction.”
audience if you stick -Nicola Kloosterman, collage
with what you love.” artist and illustrator for select
-Tori Weyers, painter clients, @ohdecollage
and art teacher,
@drawriot

11

dreamers manifesto
“You should never be afraid of who you
really are. Don’t let society impose a fake
persona on you. Of course, it’s not
necessarily easy, for artists are by
definition non-conformists, a strange
assemblage of unusual qualities, and
people will always want to put you in
some kind of box.

“But if you can hold on to your passion


and your true self, they will save you in
the end.”
-Emmanuelle Ayrton, illustrator and
cartoonist for the MET Orchestra
Musicians, @emmanuelleayrton

“When faced with a decision, your gut


feelings can tell you a lot. Don’t ignore
them.”
-Heather Kirtland, artist and co-
founder of Carve Out Time for Art,
@heatherkirtland

dreamers manifesto
“Life is messy and
nuanced, filled with
contradiction… You
can have your ‘dream’
job, partner, home,
vacation, etc., and it
will not mean you
have a dream life with
no problems. The
expectation of
reaching a point where
that would happen is
what sets people up
for disappointment.”
-Marissa Huber, artist
and pattern designer,
co-founder of Carve
Out Time for Art,
@marissahuber

“A blank page
is potential.”
-Adébayo
Bolaji, artist
and founder of
ExNihilo
Theatre Group,
@adebayobolaji

dreamers manifesto
“You don’t step out when you’re
equipped. Stepping out equips you.”
-Joanna Waterfall, founder of Yellow
Co., @joannawaterfall

dreamers manifesto
Warm welcome

If you’re reading this, say thank you,


to you. You’re brightening my day,
knowing that you’re working on your
dreams.

I’m over the moon that I may get to


know you. And, if you’ll let me, share your “It’s absolutely stupid to
journey with the rest. spend your time doing
things you don’t like, in
order to go on spending
Not into that? Not even half a worry. things you don’t like,
I’d still love to hear from you. Please, send doing things you don’t
me an email and introduce yourself: like, and to teach our
children to follow the
mackbelcastro@gmail.com. This is about same track.”
support, friendship, and living our dreams.
-Alan Watts
Together.

Stories of your fellow dreamers of the


day live on the website, and on the
instagram page. And I encourage you to
reach out to anyone who resonates with
you. They’ll love to hear from you, too.

Ever grateful,

Mackenzie Belcastro
@mackbelcastro
mackenziebelcastro.com

15

dreamers manifesto
rêveurs

We’re all broken. That’s how the light gets in.


-Hemingway