Friday, June 11, 2010

Creating Community Thru the Web

When I started my blog last year, and then decided to launch my first e-course in January, I never in a million years imagined that I would connect to such amazing, talented, special, compassionate, beautiful, creative, vibrant souls across the entire world!  
I started my blog as a celebration of embracing my true self, and I found that documenting parts and pieces of my life in this way, not only helped me remember and archive my past, but it kept me more accountable for the things I wanted to accomplish in the future.  

Sure, I can reduce clutter on my own, but if I hadn't have started the 2010 challenge and had 60 other people join me, then I probably would have failed to complete many of the tasks I've set out to do.  (I'll share next week how my "digital de-cluttering" is going for June.)
I started my e-course because I had to.  I really didn't have a choice.  It basically created itself and the timing couldn't have been more perfect.  I was longing to stay home with my son and keep him out of daycare. I wanted an opportunity to work from home, around his schedule, and I got the added bonus of traveling across the globe without ever leaving my Kansas art studio.  Explorers from my class have been from all over the US and amazing places like The Netherlands, India, Italy, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Canada, Sweden and Portugal!  The fact that like-interests and the Internet have brought us all together continues to blow me away.
And, this past week has been especially amazing because I've finally gotten to meet a few of my favorite "virtual" friends in person!  @HipMountainMama, also known as Suzy, is a cool, down-to-earth mother and business woman and I find her very inspiring.  I got the opportunity to meet her in Colorado where we enjoyed a cup of coffee and good conversation.  (I can't believe we didn't get a photo of our visit!)  Suzy and I met on Twitter and she took my e-course in January, and will be joining us again this summer.  Here's a recent interview she shared on her blog.
This week, @MeganMonique, drove to my hometown, and is spending a long weekend with my family.  She is sweet as can be and this doesn't feel like our first visit.  She's very laid back and after just one evening of conversation I can tell she has great wisdom to share.  I'm extremely excited to enjoy the next several days with her.  Follow her here as she travels to meet what Owning Pink calls "pinkies" across America.  I also met Megan on Twitter and we developed a friendship through Inside Out.

And although I have yet to meet the wonderful Amelia in person, (as I know we would sit for hours upon hours chatting about our common interests,) please take a look at the interview she shared with me on her blog.  This gives you some background info as to why I created Inside Out, what creativity means to me, and how I try to balance my personal art with being a mom.

Your Personal Reflection:  What special connections are you making in your life?


  1. I know, it's amazing what a blog brings to one's life. It cannot even be fully described in one post..I feel the same's one of the best things that ever happened to me...
    I love this post, and I love these images whre your happiness is so got a few of them throughout your blog....action photos...Here is for another fabulous blog year Shannon...

  2. Hi shannon,

    As I was reading this I was thinking I want to come and meet you too, and then saw me mentioned at the end, and yes, I know we could natter on and I wish I lived in the states sometimes as that's where so much is happening! (although I know the states is huge compared to UK!) Loads of people on the new experimental art course are from USA and it's fab to think such creativity is going on across the globe!

    It;s funny because I spent many childhood summers out in Colorado because my dad runs/ran summer school retreat courses out there - maybe this is something to think about and we could organise an art retreat sometime and gather our creative tribe together to share and create art and I could follow in his footsteps too - he he! :)

    Your interview went down a treat on my blog and some-one from the the Spring experimental is doing your coming course - small, virtual world . . . .


  3. I'm so glad you started your blog and e-course too! As a stay at home mom, it's very difficult to meet other like-minded people and form new friendships. What would I do without the internet. Those who claim that internet friends are not real have never tried it for themselves.

  4. That was definitly a special connection for opportunity I am so glad we didn't let slip by.

  5. this is one of the most satisfying parts about meeting art pals... making those connections into real friendships. and fortunately we are in a portable era, so we can actually make it happen. i've been amazed how the people i've met in living color are exactly like i imagined them. including YOU! and i want to see you soon! wanna make a road trip to lawrence?

    enjoy the rest of the weekend with megan... and p.s. who made that INSIDE IS DELIGHTFUL page? it is delightful!!

  6. I must admit that I was quite frightened in the beginning of my steps into the virtual world but that disapeared in the lovely friendly athmosphere created in Shannon`s e-course in January 2010. Yesterday I created a Twitter-account and guess who is my first person to Follow - even though I don´t know how to tweet? I´m learning because and I know how to be bold!;)
    An art-retreat in reality is a great idea! Perhaps you pop up in Stockholm one day!!?

  7. How fun! Lucky girl! Friendships are such blessings, it is amazing to me where they begin to grow from sometimes!


Thanks for sharing!