Art for Charity

What Do You Hold Dear?

This first appeared in China’s Ningbo Guide Magazine in January 2015 in a monthly column called Just Jinx.

Gestation is important to each of us, for we are repeatedly granted the process of developing new life and birthing it into the world. May each of you rebirth yourselves and may each of you ponder what it is that you hold dear. You are dear to me. – Jinx

 

 

Hold your vulnerability dear. Claim the invincible vulnerability of the human heart. Dismiss any teachings that vulnerability is weakness. Vulnerability is your strength. Everything will not go your way, nor should it do so. It is when life wrestles with you and tells us that we must learn a lesson that we mature, and seldom before. We cannot evolve into our potential when we remain frustrated and defensive. Connection is why we are here and in order to feel connected we must be excruciatingly vulnerable. Without claiming our vulnerability we cannot feel our own worthiness. Do not medicate your vulnerability. Researcher Dr. Brene Brown says that “vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper or meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.” Vulnerability is where courage and fear meet.

Hold engagement in life dear. Commit to sustaining your attention and effort to something, whether it is work, raising children, a creative endeavor, assisting the marginalized, or a relationship. Use your own personal skills, crafts, strengths, passion, and interests to lead the way. Commit to a relationship with someone or something. It is the engagement and continued effort to affirm, trust, problem solve, forgive and respect that enhances each of us and sustains our worthiness by allowing us to recognize our strengths and pursue our goals.

Hold a child dear. You do not have to be a parent, teacher, or coach. Children are everywhere. Learn to leap tall buildings for a child- any child, anywhere. Children are wise. They sense all that we deny. Offer them a sense of safety even in the midst of danger. They know the danger and are the first to experience human wrong. Commit to helping one child know that not all is wrong in the world. Help a child desire to understand and feel effective in the social world.

Hold laughter dear. Release the endorphins that make you feel better and change your body chemistry. Laughter spans all ages, cultures, and languages. Laugh with strangers, with lovers, with everyone. Laughter creates connection and fosters intimacy. Risk it. Risk it repeatedly.

Hold assisting someone dear. In many parts of the world, an 18-year-old can graduate from high school without ever having had to do a piece of work on which somebody else truly depended. There are too many of us who live without ever having cared for, or even held, a baby; without ever having looked after someone who was old, ill, or lonely; or without ever having comforted or assisted another human being who really needed help. No culture can long sustain itself unless its member has learned the sensitivities, motivations, and skills involved in assisting and caring for other human beings.

Hold leaky margins dear. As cultures are becoming more permeable, the deep culture of our own interior space is rising up to give us perhaps more access to the possibilities both within and without ourselves. Have leaky margins and honor a sense of connectedness and interdependence with others. Broaden your ego boundaries so that other people can be experienced as part of the self.

Hold responsibility dear. Responsibility is when you are aware of others and aware of their feelings. Responsibility is taking charge of yourself by looking at others around you and seeing what they need and seeing what you need…and taking the initiative. Responsibility is seeing one’s daily actions within a larger social context and owning that one’s actions have social and political implications. Live in ways that are consistent with your values.

Hold gratitude dear. Expressing gratitude for something or someone positive in our lives erodes the ability for us to take things for granted. Be aware and appreciate all that is valuable and meaningful in your life. To take food, shelter, love, friends, family, and work for granted simply means you walk with blinders. Take nothing and no one for granted. Learn to bow to all.

Hold the arts dear. The minutiae of existence, the micro-narrative, can drown out the voices of the past and future- the memories and echoes of what humans hold dear. The arts, culture, and the world of ideas allow us to hear those voices loudly again. They allow us to hear once more who it is we are and what we dream of doing and all that we have suffered through in our attempt to live. Make some form of the arts your pursuit and your favorite pastime. With every book, play, performance piece, sculpture or painting there is a conversation. Inviting the arts into your life takes you on a journey with others. Art is always made together.

Hold equality dear. “No person, I think, ever saw a herd of buffalo, of which a few were fat and the great majority lean. No person ever saw a flock of birds, of which two or three were swimming in grease and the others all skin and bone.” –Henry George, American political economist (1839-1897). We are different from each other and that is the way it should be. Yet the economic, civic, and health dangers are apparent with the world’s growing inequality. We pay a high price for massive inequality. The fundamental issue is whether we fight each other for access to basic necessities or whether we recognize each other’s needs and share access. Each day find some small way to find room at your table. Share.

Hold freedom dear. Life is a risk we’re incredibly fortunate to experience. Freedom without action does not exist. Freedom is the experience of a desire being acknowledged, chosen, and pursued. Desire concerns the changing of something. Desire is wanting. Freedom does not constitute the fulfillment of that wanting, but the acknowledgment of its supremacy. Choose what you want carefully and assist others in their pursuits.

How to Reframe Your Problems

Photography by Joshua Rawson-Harris

There are problems and then there are problems.

The big ones are fierce, ugly, life-threatening, and gut-wrenching. The rest are created (and nurtured) in our heads.

I know this personally. I have sat in the belly of the whale for years not working on skills I wanted to learn, books I wanted to write, damaging relationships that needed to end, ways to become financially independent, and dreams that yearned for attention. Ironically, I was successful at the really big problems that endangered my physical and mental survival and I was good at solving other people’s problems.

Yet I found dozens of reasons not to accomplish many things I held dear: I was unworthy, I was too old, I was a fake, there wasn’t enough time, no one would care, I lacked training, money, time, and connections. The list went on ad nauseam. 

Recently I have been complaining about the massive learning curve and budget required for website marketing and SEO of my new site JustJinx.com. I hadn’t owned the fact that it would take more time, energy, and skill than creating hundreds of art pieces. I whined and groaned inside. Oh, woe is me!

I thought I had solved a problem by creating an imaginative way to raise money to assist those in need of assistance and recognition.

I wanted to believe that I had created a website selling printable art as a rational decision. This was not true. I made an emotional decision and then created a rational explanation to justify it. Most of us do this. My goal is to learn to make decent art available at affordable prices and donate part of the proceeds to the Living Arts Corporation to assist those that I know who are truly struggling as a result of the pandemic.

If my goal was to help people, I had better create better feelings.

Finally, I had a chat with my lonesome self and owned the truth about my problems. 

We solve one problem only to exchange it for another problem.

And this, dear reader, is a good thing. 

All human activity boils down to this: we trade one set of problems for another. Problems are simply a component and attribute of life. Problems hold the promise of moving us forward.  There will always be problems, obstacles, complications, and struggles.

Each time we solve one we get to welcome a new direction with different problems. 

Our problems become our possibilities. 

May we all be pregnant with possibility.  

Jinx Davis is an actress, artist, and entrepreneur. During the Covid pandemic, she created hundreds of paintings that she turned into printable art to help support the Living Arts Corporation.

Just Jinx- Printable Art for Charity Press Release

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Just Jinx scales up efforts to help artists hit hard by the pandemic by offering original art as printable download

Just Jinx offers hope to artists wading through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic by offering original art as printable downloads at incredibly affordable prices. 

Just Jinx has scaled up efforts to help artists and communities hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic by offering original art as printable downloads.

The organization has already created more than 400 pieces aimed at extending a helping hand to the individuals and communities facing severe challenges.

 

“We offer original art as printable art downloads at incredibly affordable prices so that more of us can live with images that enrich our lives,” says Jinx Davis, founder of the organization. 

The site was recently launched, bannered by a new collection from Maja Soric, a renowned Croatian artist. Art enthusiasts could also choose from the hundreds of art pieces created by Jinx and guest artists during the pandemic. 

Printable art is an artwork people can purchase online and instantly receive as a downloadable digital file. 

Jinx says it is a bold way to buy art that democratizes owning art. Print shops are inexpensive in most parts of the world, and a large poster can be printed for under $10.  

 

Jinx herself has been an actress, artist, and entrepreneur for the last 50 years. She says the organization aims to sell unique original downloadable art prints to those who care about assisting individuals that are taking a big hit from the pandemic.

Five dollars from each selection goes to the Living Arts Corporation, a United States-based non-profit organization that supports arts and culture worldwide.

At a time of global uncertainty, Jinx says art has remained steadfast in “reassuring us by expanding our senses and feeding the hunger in our souls.”

“Art in all its written, performed, and visual forms remind us of our capacity for laughter, grief, joy, and contemplation. Art refuses to be utilitarian. Instead, it makes us human,” adds Jinx.

JustJinx.com - Printable Art for Charity Kids of All Ages

Jinx Davis, the Director of the Living Arts Corporation, says she has always been able to self-fund their own projects. 

However, she found herself unable to provide emergency funding and support for artists and communities during the onslaught of COVID-19.

Jinx knew she had to find another way and came up with Just Jinx – Art for Charity.

“In everything we do, we try to connect. The arts help shape personal and global culture. They provide clues to tackle challenges and engage in improving the state of the world, whether in a small neighborhood or on a grand scale,” Jinx says. “We trust in the potential of experience to elicit more empathy, birth new ideas, shift our perceptions, and lead to action. 

In 1994, Living Arts Corporation started its mission to create art and performance and use it to assist others, whether they are marginalized families or other artists struggling to do their work.

In May 2019, the team went to Cambodia to listen and learn how the organization can be of service to emerging arts, organizations, and communities. The team has launched an online magazine to cover Cambodia’s contemporary art culture scene called Magical Cambodia – a cultural rebirth.

The Living Arts Corporation, says Jinx, supports artists in need and marginalized communities in personal and unobtrusive ways so they may keep their dignity as they face challenges. 

Those looking to shop art – from home decor to wall arts – can check out all original art for sale available on the Just Jinx website.

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Media Contact
Company Name: Just Jinx – Art for Charity
Contact Person: Jinx Davis
Email: Send Email
Country: United States
Website: https://www.justjinx.com/

Story – From Performance to Marketing

I was a professional storyteller for decades and performed in over 500 schools, civic centers, museums, and stages before using the art in my one-woman theater plays. I learned the importance of Story long before it was toted by every social media and business marketer around the world. 

Nonetheless, it is essential to communication, just as it is essential to building my audience for JustJinx – Art for Charity. I admit it was easier to perform than to market stories since I always had an audience. It is quite a task to build an audience online amidst the millions of voices on our computers and phones. We are all vying for your attention.

The great storytellers of the world are seldom narcissistic, sexy, or even rich. They don’t add to the silly chatter of social media. Instead, they speak their truths from a thinking heart and turn the ordinary into the extraordinary. They touch our hearts and offer us pathways to our imagination and out of our insecurities and fears. 

Story builds trust, inspires hope, and reminds us we are not alone. Elie Wiesel once said, “People become the stories they hear and the stories they tell.”  When we tell our stories, we give our struggles a name and a face and we invite the listeners into our lives.

Neil Gaiman, the popular English author of fiction, comic books, graphic novels, theatre, and films said it succinctly in his 2012 commencement address at the University of the Arts.

“The one thing you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can. The moment that you feel that just possibly you are walking down the street naked…that’s the moment you may be starting to get it right…And now go, and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. Make good art.”

Grab your story by the throat.  Shake it, rattle it and turn it inside out.  Claim your story, whoever you are and wherever you live.  Own it, and make the world more interesting for your being here.

I will continue to tell my stories. I am counting on you to start kicking me if they become noise. Promise?

Jinx Davis is an actress, artist, and entrepreneur. During the Covid pandemic, she created hundreds of paintings that she turned into printable art to help support the Living Arts Corporation. 

Sitting with Pain

Photo by Haley Kean

Most of us don’t know what to do with our own pain and rarely do me know how to support others in their pain and grief.  Pain is not to be ignored. It is not to be consoled with platitudes that somehow all will pass.

Pain is pain. It only asks that you sit with it.

There is a lot of pain out there in this nanosecond of earth’s history. Pandemics, starvations, genocides, climate change, conflicts, deaths, fear, inequality, oppression, and huge losses of income surround us. Uncertainty hangs in the air.

My inbox and social media messages are full of it. My mind wants to fix it and I know I cannot.  The coffers of my limited income or my non-profit charity cannot solve the life-threatening problems facing even the people I know, not to mention those that I will never know.

I try. Often, I fail. I create art in the hopes that it will be purchased and I will have money to feed the dire needs of those in my tiny sphere.  I listen to grief daily and balance it with laughter and cheer.  I say too much or I say the wrong thing.  I have to remind myself daily that my task is not to erase the pain of another but to sit with the pain with them.

Sitting with our personal pain or that of another is radical. It doesn’t allow us hackneyed sayings or the banality of sentimental Hallmark cards. It doesn’t give a damn about inspirational posters or Facebook posts. 

Yes. I will continue to do whatever I can to feed, shelter, and assist those that cross my path.  Yes. I will continue to work at partnering with others who recognize the pain and do not ignore it. And yes, I will continue to create whatever I can to balance the pain with art in all of its forms. 

Art remains a powerful tool to let us gaze at someone else’s mind and discover the places where we are the same and the even richer places where we are different.

Sit with pain. Create. Savor what others create. It allows pain to experience the comfort of a mate. We all need mates, even if we never know their names.

 

Jinx Davis is an actress, artist, and entrepreneur. During the Covid pandemic, she created hundreds of paintings that she turned into printable art to help support the Living Arts Corporation.

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