Be The Change…

Yada Yada Yada.

I don’t want to discuss “politics” on my blog. I really don’t. I truly believe we need people of differing views in this country. We need compromise and working together. I’m a people pleaser and I want everyone to be happy and feel welcome.

I am a firm believer that compromise is not when “no one is happy,” but is actually when everyone gets just enough to make them happy. Compromise is when all parties sacrifice the “it would be perfect” wants for “it is necessary” to get the job done.

I know as a white woman, while I am not in the best position, I am in a better position than most. I am willing to give up some of my privileges (yes, I know I used that dreaded word, but you know they exist) to ensure people who have less privilege than I, are protected.

That is, in ironic fashion, my uncompromising position. I won’t be so terrified of ISIS that my LGBT friends and family may lose their equal rights. I won’t be so concerned with the amount of taxes I pay when people of a different faith are being harassed.  I won’t worry about factory jobs when the jobs that are available don’t pay a living wage and aren’t respected and people are dying because they don’t have health coverage.  I won’t be so concerned with my station in life when POC are still targets of profiling and privatized prisons. I will not tone it down or shut up because other people don’t like what I have to say.

In my opinion, all of the things I won’t worry about are privileges. Everything I am concerned with is protecting the humanness of people who have been deemed “others.”

I want to make it very clear. I’m not asking you to agree with me or support me or give me a virtual high-five. I’m just standing up to be counted. To say, I’m with us. I’m with the citizens of this country not the fear mongers, the CEOs, the politicians who think they run this place. I will not sit quietly when I am capable of making change.

I’ve spent a bit of every day since the election reading about activism. I was told earlier this year, by a very well-meaning person, that my activist art is a luxury. My series on domestic violence wasn’t a money-maker so I shouldn’t focus on it. While this made sense, it was also a blow to the whole motivation behind even my “money-maker” art. Eventually, I stopped looking for other ways to use my skills for activism as well. This goes against who I am to my very core.

Last week, it was brought to my attention that sometimes you shouldn’t hide your good deeds. You can’t always be the anonymous donor or the one behind the scenes. Not to impress others, but public support is necessary for causes you believe in. Leading by example is the most effective way to lead and too much modesty can hinder progress.

Between these two incidences, I’ve been reminded that using my art to help others is the most important thing I can do with it.

I had already been considering discussing what I’m learning about activism and how create art for activism. And I want to help everyone. Not just people I agree with. It breaks my heart more people don’t vote. Even those who would cancel my vote. It is our duty, not our privilege to make our voices heard. It is also our duty to listen and take others into consideration if we want this country to continue another 200 years.

With that said, I am putting my activist art on this site. I’m not hiding it on Patreon. I don’t want to trigger anyone with domestic violence images, but if I hide it away, that’s not going to help anything.

I hope you stick around and join the conversation.

I will also add activism books and sites and articles I come across in hopes that others will join me in learning how to get shit done with what we have.

If you have any recommendations, I’d love to hear them. Collaborations are more than welcome.

Here’s what I’m reading right now:

I just started Grassroots. I’m hoping it has practical steps one can take. I highly recommend Healing The Heart Of Democracy. No matter which way you lean.

About Elisha

Elisha Dasenbrock is an award winning, international watercolor artist. She paints with a limited palette on claybord. Dasenbrock graduated from the American Academy of Art in 2009 and has been painting professionally ever since.