Introducing Artists & Their Stories: Jamin Still & Kyra Hinton

By Jamin Still

Today we are thrilled to introduce you to artists &—a project created to meet the need for community among visual artists. Because of the nature of our work (sitting alone in rooms, feeling feelings, figuring out how to share them with the world), artists often wrestle with deep loneliness or isolation. And as we discuss in this first installment of “artists & their stories,” there are so many pieces of wisdom we wish we had when we started, and we hope to offer them to you. We want to say, “Hey, we’ve been there, and you’re not alone. And that thing you think only you struggle with? Nope, we do too. Let’s talk about it.” There are so many beliefs and idealized expectations that are associated with being or identifying as a visual artist, and most of these continue the cycle of isolation, even separating artists from each other (looking at you, imposter syndrome). But we want to invite people into our lives and spaces and dismantle these isolating ideals, finding each other in the authenticity of our experiences.

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Hard Conversations and the Power of Belief

By Bailey McGee

These last weeks and months have been exhausting. All of us are experiencing strain from the year that was 2020, with what felt like a new crisis each week. For me, and so many other people of color in America, there has also been the undercurrent of constant racial tension. After one of the high profile racial outrages, a friend remarked to me “Man, I can’t wait for all this race stuff to be over so things can just go back to the way they were.” I couldn’t respond. This has been going on for my entire life, not a new thing that just popped up alongside COVID-19. But that isn’t what my friend wants to hear. She only knows the part that she is currently experiencing, and is just ready to have her evening news back to covering “normal” stuff again. For so many people I know, issues of race and justice are an unwelcome intrusion into their otherwise ordinary lives.

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Arguing with Success

By Rory Groves

It was explained to me early in my career: 100 leads, 10 calls, 1 sale. It is known as The Sales Funnel. Imagine an inverted triangle, with curious tire-kickers spilling out the top, followed by significantly fewer “qualified prospects” in the middle (most having absconded after discovering the price), and finally a few brave “clients” trickling out the bottom. “It’s a numbers game,” I was told. The more leads that were dumped into the top of the funnel, the more sales fell out of the bottom. One astute observer explains it this way: “Marketing is a multifaceted discipline that has one objective: to separate people from their money.” I wholeheartedly adopted the approach when I started my own software firm. After all, who was I to argue with success?

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Beginning a Long Work

By Adam Whipple

I have sympathy for suffering waters.

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The Green Place

By Hetty White

One of my favorite scenes from Mad Max: Fury Road is when Furiosa learns that “The Green Place” she’s been searching for has long since been destroyed. She drops to her knees and lets out a heartbreaking cry of pain. It’s reminiscent of the scene in Little Miss Sunshine when the teenage kid learns he is colorblind and he will never pilot a plane. He also drops to his knees and yells a slightly more colorful word. Or when Willow and his gang of unlikely heroes finally arrive to Tir Asleen where everything was supposed to be okay, and find that Tir Asleen is no more.

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Hutchmoot in the Time of COVID

By Pete Peterson

2020 is behind us and 2021 is looking up, but as we plan out the year ahead, there’s still a lot of uncertainty about travel restrictions and limits on gatherings. So rather than take a risk on a Hutchmoot that might run into problems as the year develops, we’re making the decision early on to switch gears again this year to Hutchmoot: Homebound.

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Hutchmoot Podcast & Video: Why We Need Fiction for Moral Formation

By The Rabbit Room

The Hutchmoot Podcast features some of our favorite sessions recorded at our annual conference which celebrates art, music, story, and faith in all their many intersections. Today, it is our pleasure to share Dr. Russell Moore’s session “Why We Need Fiction for Moral Formation” from 2020’s Hutchmoot: Homebound, in both video and audio form.

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A Habit of Friendship

By Jonathan Rogers

[Editor’s note: This post first appeared in Jonathan’s weekly Habit newsletter. To learn more and sign up, click the link at the end.]

I call this letter (and my podcast, and my membership site) The Habit because, to quote Flannery O’Connor, “I’m a full-time believer in writing habits.” To continue quoting Milledgeville’s favorite daughter…

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Tales of Hibaria: The Awakening by Jamin Still

By The Rabbit Room

Now available in The Rabbit Room Bookstore is Jamin Still’s latest work, a collection of deeply immersive stories and paintings called Tales of Hibaria: The Awakening. Click through to learn more about this beautiful project.

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Becoming Authentically Human is Hard. But Not Impossible.

By Carolyn Arends

When I was 21, I signed a Nashville publishing deal. As a shy teenager I had discovered songwriting as a form of prayer, therapy, and self-expression. Now, given the opportunity to turn my introspective hobby into a career writing material for other recording artists, I figured I’d better make my songs less intensely personal. I began writing lyrics on more generic topics, hoping any vocalist could relate to them.

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Fearfully and Wonderfully Mended

By Laura Trimble

I wasn’t planning to mend my son’s shorts. Goodness knows, the weekly battle to get him to surrender his favorite article of clothing to the laundry was bad enough. I hate to admit it, but a tiny part of me was looking forward to the day that scooting across concrete sidewalks on his bottom had its inevitable result.

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Stuff We Liked in 2020

By The Rabbit Room

“Okay,” you might be thinking, “Was there anything to like about 2020?” And you have a point. But amidst all the stuff we thoroughly disliked about 2020, there was some stuff that helped us get through 2020 as well—stuff like amazing albums, spellbinding movies, and cathartic books. So it is our great pleasure to share here today the vast ocean of recommendations from our blog contributors that is “Stuff We Liked in 2020.” We hope you discover something in here that you like, as well.

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