Sunday, 2 August 2009

response to artfuldodgerish & rhomany comment exchange

ok, writing this with a lot of sadness in my heart, but really wanting to respond and attempt to truly CONNECT over this.

as some of you know, rhomany will be running a course on my ning network soon and recently received the following comments on her video:

from: ArtfulDodgerish
LOL such a Tam wannabe even down to the gloves and fan paintbrush - don't tell me you've been using them for years. YAWN

reply from: RhomanysRealm
I'm not going to dignify that an answer other than to say I'm amazed that you think Tam would allow someone else teaching on her network who was merely copying her.
Think what you like dear. Other people, including Tam herself, know otherwise.
Thank you for taking the time to watch & comment.

from: ArtfulDodgerish
Tam is the sweetest person, she has no agenda unlike some of her followers (yes I mean you, amongst others). She is sweet and niave and unaware that you are just jumping on her bandwagon and riding her gravy train.

Most people who joined the willowing network joined to connect with Tam, to work with Tam and to learn from Tam, not to have to listen to your comments on everything and your point of view and how wonderful you are at everything. You haven't been at it for years as you profess.

Oh and perhaps you should get a wide screen camera too, real life video can be quite scary compared to those edited pictures you use on your blog and avatars!

Good Luck with your workshop, I think you will need it because it is quite weird to see you learning on a course yourself and then regurgitating and rebadging it as a course yourself (and quickly creating a youtube account to back up your creditials) a few weeks later.

Of course I may be wrong, Tam might be totally self aware and happy for you to join the gravy train and together fleece as many people as possible with the same content over and over. I'm sure she is in for a cut of proceeds.

Never done one of her courses myself but have been told they are little loose on structure and content.

Good Luck!

reply from: RhomanysRealm
I suppose my Flickr account set up in January 2007 with art journal pages and ATCs dated as far back as 2005, and my Elfwood account from 2003 are figments of my imagination then.

If you're going to try and put someone down at least do your research. You might start by asking Tam whether she asked if I wanted to teach a course.
For someone who dislikes what I do so intently you do seem to spend an inordinate amount of time fretting over it.

quite a few things come up for me when reading the above comment chain (having been accused of similar 'crimes' myself, this is painful to see happen to someone else) and i'm commenting back here in my blog as youtube has a 500 character limit - feel free to respond back here in the comment section.

first up, artfuldodgerish (gonna call you art for short if that's ok, how fitting! ;)), if i may try to connect with you!

what i'm hearing you say is that perhaps you're irritated or annoyed when you hear that rhomany will be running a course on my site as you'd like there to be integrity and authenticity in your world and you somehow hold the judgement that rhomany is copying some of my work or my "styles" which wouldn't be in line with being authentic. is that right?

something else you're bringing up sounds like you're irritated around the fact that people are wanting to connect with me on the willowing network but are now somehow being asked (or encouraged) to connect with someone else as well who they perhaps were not interested in connecting with in the first place. i'm guessing this is about being seen/ heard & acknowledged?

wondering what you're hearing me say when you read the above 2 paragraphs?

i would prefer to first hear your response to what i've said so far, but as we're not face to face and i don't know when you'll respond, i'd like to let you know what was going on for me when reading your comments. i'd like to explain beforehand to optimise a sense of connection with you rather than division/ polarisation that this does not come from a judgement paradigm, but from a; 'letting you know what is alive in me' type way of expressing. i'm hoping this can be heard without you seeing it as naive or an "on the fence" way of communicating, i am perfectly capable of being a 'right-wrong warrior' but i choose not to be in order to find a way to really create a deeper understanding between all of us. (hope that makes sense! :-))

ok, so when i read the comment thread between you and rhomany i was feeling pretty sad & deflated as i so very much value respect, care and consideration for people in general in life, which isn't something i could find in the comment exchange. i was also feeling frustrated around some of the statements made as i value clarity, understanding, for my intention to be seen, fairness and justice. when i read some of the statements made, the frustrations came from noticing many factual inaccuracies (justice/ fairness/ to be seen for who i am/ and who rhomany is).

so for clarity, i'd just like to respond to some of the statements you made, again, this is simply for clarity so that you (and others) can understand how the sequence of events have actually happened.

  • rhomany has from the start of my ning network been one of the most active users on the site, always responding to other people with helpful tips and advice, at some point, i asked her to become an administrator on the site to help with issues once i was going to be on 'maternity leave'.

  • administrators on my site get free access to all courses as a way of compensation and me saying 'hey thanks'. rhomany had not intended to follow my art journal course, but as it was free to her; she attended because she could and it was free [ie: she did not sign up to the course in order to re-run it (it was a take it or leave it option for her) and her course has a completely different focus to mine - the course works great as a follow up to my art journal course in fact]

  • there are quite a few other ning sites that have a team of artists running different art courses, and i liked the idea of having a few different people running courses on my site as well! as rhomany always seemed to have such a wealth of information in her head and as she was always so helpful on the my ning site, plus i was aware of her work as an art teacher with special needs kids, i thought of her to perhaps run a course on the site, she herself had also wanted to do so and we more or less sent each other an email on the same day suggesting the idea! [ps. i was aware that rhomany hadn't taught online and that she didn't have a youtube account yet, but i did not think that would sit in the way of her teaching online. rhomany does not claim to have online teaching experience as such, she claims to have taught children 'in real life'

  • because i've been so grateful for rhomany's support throughout my time on ning, i do not charge her for running the course on my site. it was -again- a way of saying 'thank you', and also, i enjoy helping out other artists and people who are just setting up or 'in need'! - i am intending on having more people run courses in the future on my site (and perhaps i will charge something in the future, but at this point, i just enjoy contributing to others this way!), and anyone who's interested in running a course is welcome to approach me! (not saying that i can give a spot to everyone, but i am totally open to seeing what people have to offer), i love the idea of having a team of artists all teaching a variety of courses - i have already offered another artist to run a course on the site as well). HOWEVER, i've just become aware due to your comment (art) that some people might not like having other artists teach on my site as well, so i'm planning on doing a poll about that, i obviously, value what people want from the site, and i would've perhaps liked to have done that earlier, but it just didn't occur to me that people might not like this idea! so gonna check up on that.

  • i'm wondering if you're feeling any different reading the above list?

    i'm also imagining that rhomany can't be feeling quite that happy after the comment exchange and i'm experiencing a concern for her. i imagine she'd like her intentions to be seen for what they are and that she'd like to be understood, respected and valued as well as you would probably like Art! (as all of us do).

    i'm wondering how you heard all this and am wondering if you're willing to share what comes up for you, my request would be to avoid (in your response) as many judgements and accusatory statements as poss if you're comfortable doing that.

    i'm fine with anyone jumping in on the comment chain but would again like to make the request of EVERYONE to attempt to express what is going on for you in such way that we avoid using moralistic judgements and/or accusatory statements (i know that isn't an easy request to make as most of all of us are not "trained" that way, but i think that that is the most fruitful/ effective and peaceful way to talk about painful stuff).

    thanks for reading/ listening/ connecting.

    willing & open to hearing what is going on for anyone/ everyone.


    1. I just think it's interesting that Artfuldodgerish is making a judgment about Rhomany's class, and Tam's class, yet she hasn't even taken a class with Tam! How can she know that Rhomany is "copying" Tam when she doesn't know how/what Tam teaches? Oh, yes, she HEARD something about something that someone else said. Good researching!

      This reminds me of the silliness that went on at another site, when someone was being attacked for "copying" someone else. The thing was, the teacher at that site didn't have a problem with the work she was doing. If the teacher didn't have a problem, why did other people? I think some people are taking their fangirl adulation a little too far. There's room for more than one person to teach art!

      I've been fortunate enough to take a lot of art classes, both online, and in person at small workshop at at large art retreats. The best teachers, the ones people follow again and again, all say "there's nothing new in art, it's all been done before." They know that they may have some currently unique technique to offer, but they know that it's all been done before in one way or another.

      So if you're not a teacher who's having her ideas stolen, why do you care so much? I'm wondering if there's a little jealousy about your own unfulfilled dreams of teaching or of just being the best you can at what you try to do. If you're doing the best you can, you don't feel jealousy or envy for someone else -- you learn from them and you grow because of it.

    2. I'm confused by all of this, by what has happened and why, its hard when neither side of the story is clear or complete. But I think I do understand a little of perhaps the reasoning behind it.

      Most online art workshops are run by men or women who have provided information, videos, content and such free for a number of months or years. Built up a following, a reputation and, for want of a better word, a fanbase of people who are interested in seeing or learning more from that person.

      These people give something of themselves first, for free, before being in a position to offer their knowledge for a charge and that doesnt seem to be the case here. Which to me, reading between the lines, could possibly be the issue here. Although I might be totally wrong!

      I'm sure your course will be great Rhomany - just wish I could afford to take it!

    3. Can I just ask why Rhomany's workshop is more expensive than yours Tam? Especially as Rhomany is new and unknown in the art/mixed media/you tube loop.

    4. @blaiz; thanks for your thoughts! hearing your confusion around some of art's statements used with respect to accurately knowing facts (if i'm understanding you correctly! :-).

      @anonymous 1: ah yes, i hear what you say about some people first building up a following and getting known on youtube for instance before offering classes. that seems to be the common way it has been happening, but i personally don't think it's necessary to do so, it just means that on your first courses you'll probably won't get as many students immediately. but everyone has got to start somewhere i guess! :) thanks for your thoughts!!

      @anonymous 2: she charges the same as i do. :0) (for my online classes i charge $65 and so is hers. (my dvds are cheaper as you don't get the tutoring and other student interaction with it). :)

    5. I'm sorry this happened! I think the internet has done SO MUCH for the art world, bringing people together that would never have met without it. That's so awesome. However when these things happen (and they appear to happen a lot lately!) it just sucks the fun out of everything it seems.

      You have such a wonderful way of dealing with these sort of issues. Bless you AND that gorgeous little baby that will be here soon! woohoo!

    6. Aweee.. I am so sorry to hear of this as well.
      Loving Willowing and respecting Rhomany as have seen in my past class, I would not understand why anyone would have any type of problamatics with this situation.
      Yes, the online ART community has helped me in my life soooooooo much, I would be lost without it.
      I guess it's time to "take the meat and leave the bones" so to speak! LOL
      Darla, You are so sweet to comment as well..
      We have become friends on thru classes now.. and I am most grateful!

      I just got an email from Tam regarding the baby, and I looked at the pictures in adoration and shared the videos with my daughter.
      We laughed and cried.. and now I found this sad scenario?
      Well.. I will take the meat!
      You too Darla?
      Hugs, Darlene

    7. That's a great way to put it Darlene! 'Take the meat'..... leave the bones :) I've never heard of that one! Thanks!

      Isn't Dylan a doll? Oh my, I think Tam will make the most awesome of mothers!!
      Congrats again Tam!!
      Love, Darla


    Thank you for connecting with me. I appreciate you! <3


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