I am truly in awe of and inspired by the powerful work being done globally by my friends at
Photos courtesy of Global Sorority and Passion Foundation:
I am truly in awe of and inspired by the powerful work being done globally by my friends at
MISSION: To awaken creative expression
VISION: To develop global art initiatives
Art Events, Street Art, Apparel, Curriculum Development, Workshops, Workbooks, Speaker Series, Craftivism, Illustration, Portraiture, Documentaries, Graphic Novels
for youth groups, schools and community organizations
Introductory Message from Katarina Thorsen:
In my role as art director at @bypoststreet, and as therapeutic art facilitator in the Lower Mainland, I am fulfilling my passion to awaken creative expression in everyone around me. I do this through visual art, art facilitation, art events, street art, blogging, journaling and craftivism. Especially sock monkeys.
Sock monkeys are a significant part of my work. Perhaps my life’s work!
I have been delivering sock monkey therapy and workshops for years and there is nothing quite as magical as witnessing the smiles on participants as they awaken to the healing power of the sock monkey. I use sock monkeys as part of my therapeutic art classes for at-risk youth and in my general art classes for all ages. The process is quite miraculous. The simple process of making a loveable creature allows for a moment of safety and caring. The socialization and resulting dialogue is part of the magic. Each stitch in a sock monkey contains thoughts, laughter, tears, dreams, horror, joy, secrets, trust etc. The natural instinct for many is to want to make more and to share them.
There are so many stories:
H. using a sock monkey to comfort her as she testified in court against an abusive boyfriend. T. making a sock monkey for his sick friend to take to treatment. M., struggling with mental health issues, making sock monkeys with worn socks and dental floss and couch stuffing, bringing them to me to send to Africa. C. using sock monkey making in her work with people living with Alzheimer’s. A. making a sock monkey for her hero, after his mom passed away. L. using sock monkeys to process trauma to face her abuser and to create dialogue and raise esteem in her peers. H. interpreting her favorite artist’s work through sock monkeys then connecting with the artist through her micro-industry online sales and social media. The entire school (Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary, North Vancouver) infused with sock monkey fever as we made 200 for Operation Sock Monkey.
Lindsey Hodgson and her Operation Sock Monkey team working GLOBALLY, delivering 1000’s of sock monkeys to children in South Africa, Nepal, India, Haiti, Northern Canada and more. Passion Foundation bringing sock monkeys as comfort for young victims at a rape relief crisis center in Cape Town. Families using sock monkeys to help comfort their terminally ill children and themselves. The use of sock monkeys in attachment therapy with Clowns Without Borders. Women in Woza Moya making an income through sock monkey making.
Little Maxx annually bringing smiles to children in a hospital in Philadelphia as he gathers sock monkey donations.
And the amount of people simply sewing a monkey to help them through emotional crises…
It’s endless. The feedback I get could fill a book and maybe it should. It’s hard to imagine the actual number of people who utilize the power of sock monkey to make the world a better place. And I am honored to be a small, albeit extremely passionate and vocal, member of that tribe.
I still make them on my own. All the time. I make them as my art. They help me calm down.
I make them as a volunteer operative of Operation Sock Monkey. I am passionate about spreading the word. I get countless requests to teach sock monkey making. But there is only one me, so my brother, filmmaker Fred Thorsen, created this wonderful video for me (originally offered as a class for Six Degrees of Creativity):
But there is a whole new level of sock monkey therapy that I want to explore.
I want to develop a life skills/entrepreneurship curriculum/workbook/workshop to increase the extraordinary powerful impact of sock monkey making– a replicable model that allows youth groups, schools, community organizations and Operation Sock Monkey to use sock monkey therapy to create healing opportunities and to teach business skills, business planning and mind-mapping, essential life skills and the power of entrepreneurship through a project-based learning model. I want to develop a powerful, easy to use tool to deliver the life skills, to awaken creativity, to increase the production of sock monkeys for income and for charity. The pilot project will involve seven local young women (graduates of my various youth-at-risk art programming) to test the curriculum and to help facilitate local workshops.
• Why now?
This is a critical time to begin the project as Christmas craft fairs are taking applications now for their 2014 tables, as schools are planning their 2014-2015 scheduling, as my team is ready to go, and as I have opened my life to this moment to dedicate my time to it.
I want to pay the fee to become a licensed Right Brain Business Plan facilitator to increase the power of the curriculum and to be able to expand the @bypoststreet curriculum event further.
I want the curriculum to be translatable and easy to deliver– locally and globally.
I am so tired of seeing cutbacks in programming, seeing schools and community programs have very little funding for workshop facilitators, yet desperate to bring them in. I want to create an easy means for these organizations to utilize the curriculum I have created on their own. I don’t want them to struggle financially to be able to deliver this powerful tool. And I don’t want to have to struggle financially anymore due to programming cutbacks!
As I wrote already, there is only one me, so I want to spread the curriculum by “training the trainers.”
I have dedicated my life to awakening creative expression in others, and now is the time for me to increase the scope of that teaching, to utilize all my knowledge and to build a new career for myself where I actually make a living through sustainable curriculum development around creative expression (from sock monkeys, to visual art, art events, journaling, business development, etc.).
I am the one to do this. I got this. You know I do!
I am looking to raise immediate funds to begin this critical phase to be able to focus on it fully in May and June. If you have been touched by the work that I do, and would like to see this project come to fruition, please donate.
a. Develop the curriculum covering:
Creative Expression, Therapeutic Groups, Art Techniques, Project-based Learning, Employment Skills, Life Skills, Entrepreneurship, Mindmapping, Business Plans, Community Outreach, Operation Sock Monkey, Social Media
b. Right Brain Business Plan Facilitator License- for @bypoststreet Art Director, Katarina Thorsen
c. Develop Pitch and Power Point Presentation
d. Christmas Craft Show application fees
e. Initial Team Development
f. Community Partnerships and Grant Applications
• Implement Pilot Project with group of seven local young women.
• Provide honorariums to pilot project team.
• Test curriculum, document and evaluate.
• Develop community partnerships (including- Operation Sock Monkey, Passion Foundation, Global Sorority, Girls4Girls, Mountainside Secondary School, Byrne Creek Secondary School, North Shore Neighborhood House, Squamish Nation, Hawthorne Care Centre)
• Grant applications.
October 2014- January 2015
• Create a sustainable model and workbook.
• Create website.
• “Train the trainers” workshop series.
• School and community workshops, craft shows and online sales.
• Community outreach.
• Workshop and speakers series.
• Community collaboration.
• Evaluate sustainable model.
• Expand curriculum series to include visual art, street art initiatives, interactive art projects, journaling, intergenerational projects, and project based learning.
• Expand global outreach to South Africa (Woza Moya).
A beautiful week prepping monkeys culminated in an Operation Sock Monkey workshop today to create 46 sock monkeys (30 of which are ready for the April 24 trip!) as part of a Passion Foundation (Loretta Cella) and Global Sorority (Tia Kelly) project to provide leadership training to young girls and bring comfort to victims at the Patch Centre, South Africa.
Thank you’s to the sock monkey makers who helped me this week:
The bypoststreet limited edition Winter collection t-shirts now available at bypoststreet.com!
@bypoststreet features unisex luxury and sportswear inspired t-shirts designed by our creative director. Our eco-friendly luxurious bamboo/cotton cloth is milled in Canada and our t-shirts are designed and produced locally in Vancouver. Our collections feature limited edition portraits of fashion personalities by our in-house artist. All our t-shirts are produced in fixed number impressions and are individually examined and hand-marked by our creative director with impression number.
@bypoststreet celebrates influential fashion personalities, leading artistic talent and street culture, and rides the new collaborative wave that combines art, music, fashion and social media. Their customers feel the excitement of anticipating and collecting the limited edition printed apparel and gain a sense of satisfaction from purchasing a product that is produced and manufactured locally. They embrace the guerilla marketing philosophy of free and accessible to engage their customers who might never step foot in a gallery. @bypoststreet facilitates artistic expression through interactive art events and introduce new artistic talent to the customer.
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. - John C. Maxwell
An editor must have the heart and stomach of a monarch. An editor must be a team leader, ruthlessly curating editorial spreads and irreverently forecasting the future. The editor must epitomize style and blaze the trail while leading by example. @bypoststreet finds all these qualities and more in Emmanuelle Alt, the muse for The Editor t-shirt. 29 prints made, each t-shirt hand-marked with impression number.
“Fashion endures, but style changes.” - Coco Chanel
Supplying, curating, envisioning, accessorizing is all part of the job of a stylist, but styling means more than planning videos and photoshoots, pinning to fit and steaming the garment. Styling is to hone the craft and to live the art; it is to exude confidence and style in every walk of life. @bypoststreet pays homage to the exquisite Carine Roitfeld with The Stylist limited edition print. 29 prints made, each t-shirt hand-marked with impression number.
Taste every fruit of every tree in the garden at least once. It is an insult to creation not to experience it fully. Temperance is wickedness. – Stephen Fry
With @bypoststreet’s Collection 4 limited edition bamboo/cotton t-shirt, The Fashion Maniac, we throw out timidity by bowing to the trailblazers that change the face of fashion by breaking the rules. Take the cue, embrace your passion, try it all and thereby redefine yourself. 29 prints made, each t-shirt hand-marked with impression number featuring a portrait of the fashion maniac herself, Anna Dello Russo.
Clear your energy, honor your rhythm, live your vision. – George Denslow
We stand on the shoulders of giants that lead by example. With @bypoststreet’s Collection 4 limited edition bamboo/cotton t-shirt, The Fashion Icon, we embrace the elegance of our mentors and realize that their passion for free expression in turn inspires us to be our elegant selves. Miroslava Duma, president of Russua’s Buro247, is the portrait choice for the t-shirt. 29 prints made, each t-shirt hand-marked with impression number.
Commitment is an act, not a word. – Jean Paul Sartre
A full beard takes commitment and in turn our hearts have fully committed to this trendy tended, virile, bushy garden of masculinity. Add some tattoos and we are done. Done. Celebrate the “barba” with @bypoststreet’s Collection 3 limited edition bamboo/cotton t-shirt, The Beard featuring a portrait of bearded model Ricki Hall. 33 prints made, each t-shirt hand-marked with impression number.
Be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be. – Henry David Thoreau
The eyes may be the window to the soul, but our brows are the visual expression of our thoughts. A defiant angle, a raised surprise, a furrowed wrinkle, a reluctant horizon- our brows do not lie. Express your cocky self with @bypoststreet’s Collection 3 limited edition bamboo/cotton t-shirt, The Brows, featuring a portrait of model Cara Delevingne. 31 prints made, each t-shirt hand-marked with impression number.
I just fell in love with him. He’s about 3 inches tall and has a leather backpack and a pipe. It’s not just that I love little crafts like this. This fox reminds me of cross country skiing with my family in Northern BC in the early 70’s. Dad would have a leather backpack containing delicious sandwiches by Mom and the hot chocolate thermos. His pipe was a constant.
I am loving my new purchase from Muddy River Antiques on Etsy!
I am using the book in my graphic novel research as my main character came to Canada at age 5 in 1929
and just simply getting inspiration from going through the old pages…
MY FAVORITE PAGE:
Check out Muddy Rivers Antiques’ Etsy Shop! IT’S GREAT!