Solutions: Living Matryoshkas ・ Universe as Fractal Octopus.
MUTANTU P&L: -29.8 (≃ -322 USD)
A comic story about CreativeEnergy inhabiting Human, so that a Human evolves to feel CoExistence while learning the spells of Living Systems.
The project promotes an idea that everything is connected.
It aims to shape cultural norms from "self-centric" to "togetherness" and inspire people to behave accordingly: in a deeper state of awareness and caring for the needs of true-self, others, universe.
The medium is a creative humorous short story with comics that showcases a character called "Mutantu" as a superhero who through funny adventures in a modern world raises its consciousness to understand that everything is connected and such uses its imagination to produce creative works as an example so that other humans follow and join "Mutantu" tribe.
The project explores topics as "life", "living systems", "universe as consciousness", "awareness", "imagination as energy", "energy and vibrations", "senses", "sacred", "effortless being", "chaos and order", "interbeing", and more.
⬜️ Website update based on a new plot of spirals
☑️ Imagined a new plot to be used in mutantu as a theatre play, art installation, website and a book structure ("the meat" where action happens):
Walking the "spiral maze" means balancing the creative energy that's both (destructive: the one that sucks everything into a black hole) and (constructive: the one that sparks new brainchildren that spiral new worlds)
☑️ Bought a new domain and setup redirects for url and emails (shorter is better and a new domain is cheaper!)
☑️ WordPress website auto-migration via host, GA and Search Console setup
☑️ All associated accounts url change
I attended a workshop with a book publisher & a book agent and created an elevator pitch that explains what my book is about in seconds
Feedback from neuroscientists, microbiologists, nutritionists and climate scientists on the link I propose between the health/balance of bacterias in the gut, human body and the climate on Earth.
Imagined using my physical location as a plot for the story: where biomimicry patterns (spirals, networks, etc - snail, fern, fungi, seed, ..) work like secret codes inviting a Human to enter a journey towards a higher consciousness
Visualising Inner Body
[Paused] Feedback from Microbiologists, Nutritionists, Neuroscientists about specific scenes in the book:
Understanding of Gut-Brain connection, so that we can translate it to comics. What specifically happens in the gut when sugar is consumed? Is dopamine produced in the gut or brain or both? How sugar influences human behaviour?
[Archived] Where to manufacture a hexagon shaped colouring comic book?
Create a script with narration for the 1st chapter.
[Archived] How to run a Kickstarter campaign successfully? Any best-practices?
I structured all scenes I had in Airtable into one text document with 6 chapters. Then I wrote the outline of the first chapter and a draft. After talking to illustrator, I edited the first chapter and also added explanations of the plot, characters, style to the document.
Consulted illustrator about clarity of the first chapter's draft, so that it can be translated to comics.
I hosted a focus group at Living Systems Collaboratory about a link between sciences and spirituality.
Converting Airtable storyboard into comics layout on Google Slides by stage in the hero's journey, so that I can see what goes into each page of comics and easier decide where one chapter finishes and next one starts
Added specific principles/ideas of Living Systems linked with specific thinkers and subjects to cover in the book as spells a character needs to learn to transform itself and feel co-existence.
Uploaded a video to Vimeo and updated Wordpress with a link to Vimeo and illustrators names, added small changes to spells.
Updated WordPress website with hexagon .png files that showcase how my book will look like.
Created a design of how my book will look like as 6 chapters, all shaped like hexagons, 1 empty chapter in the middle; comics divided into a hexagon shape too with space for reflection for a reader.
I'm so happy I found a way to prototype hexagons super-fast with Google Slides (downloading each slide as .png file) and Lunapic (making a transparent background for .png). :)
[Archived] How to showcase a hexagon shape on my website? CSS is a challenge for me. I use WordPress and Elementor page builder for my site.
Talked with Saydyy (illustrator), reviewed the main ideas, the video, current scenes, and agreed the book design (6 chapters, 1 chapter blank, 67 pages each, 90 g paper) and how all chapters will be showcasing the same characters in black/white comics+colouring book design.
My next steps are to summarise existing 18 scenes into what goes to the first chapter ("who is protagonist? antagonist? dialogue script/narration?") and overall 6 chapters, so that Saydyy could sketch out what's possible to produce for March.
Talked to Malü (illustrator) about the idea of 6 chapters made with different illustrators who form a "tribe" through this collaboration. Reviewed the video, scenes. She suggested to launch Kickstarter in March with clear milestones, e.g. $x for illustrators, $x for production, $x for y and create a list of offers (what different contributors get). Also, suggested to sketch out what will be in each chapter and/or write a script, so that it's easier for illustrators to create comics.
Made visual slides on Canva that work like a video and tell the story what the book is about
[Archived] I have 23 scenes and 30 spells. How do I prioritise them into a storyboard?
I captured snippets of scenes and spells that form the core of the story
Wrote a short story draft where Plant, Bacteria, Body characters are interacting during Christmas dinner, sketched a comic draft and wrote description of the scene into Airtable
Based on feedback I got through 3 calls with potential readers, I updated my book's website:
Added a new homepage that explains the purpose of the book
Replaced testimonials with benefits (self-help jokes, basics of science, not facts but laughs, comics as colouring book, reflection prompts, fits any pocket)
New layout for book pages (anecdotes, cartoon for colouring area, reflection prompts)
Started to think what are the spells that a character needs to learn to friend the creative energy
Updated website to reflect what the book is about - personal transformation and living systems, not just biomimicry like I had on the website V1
Uploaded a book cover as a photo with desired testimonials
Listed characters and three quotes/fragments from the book
Wrote a sinopsis of what my book is about and created about/why section
Made an ebook cover with black/night sky background to communicate a sense of safety, rest, healing and included a funny headline "wild laughs, fantastic results" inspired by popular self-help books that my book will compete with :)
Made a basic WordPress website about my project.
Chosen black, white, red as key brand colours that communicate a depth of personal transformation and light that always gives hope in times of uncertainty.
Chosen Rufina font for headlines as it relates to Serif font used in books, and Roboto Slab font for paragraphs as it feels like a difficult font which reflects a journey of personal transformation that my project brand is about.
Now I wonder, what help/feedback I need for my project?
Advisor who is a comic book author and a creator of anecdotes
Advisor who can help decompose Systems Thinking and define which concepts from Living Systems are the most important for beginners
From the "Sneak peak", and the gist "for people who don't read," it seems like it's going to be a set of illustrative works to capture the coexistence, where others see not. If it's got to be funny, look for a comedian, or perhaps, a magician comedian as an advisor -- they've got to deal with both systems, and see humor. One interesting comedian I've recently watched and who falls under this category (combining humor with magic), is the Hannibal. :)
Mindey, yes, a magician-comedian-cartoonist as advisor would be cool!
Now, thinking what are the Spells a character (and the readers!) needs to learn to friend the creative energy? These spells would be the behaviours of Living Systems or interactions within Living Systems.
// a magician-comedian-cartoonist
[Ruta], I'll let you know if my mind comes across a person like that.
// Added new homepage, benefits, new layout for book pages (reflection prompts, anecdotes, cartoon for colouring area)
You may actually try using archive.org to save historical snapshots of your website as work in progress, instead of always entering the same website as a result. Here's how: video.
Thanks [Mindey]! I made my first link with Archive here, yay!
^__^ Interesting you're talking spells. Sounds intriguingly game-like, or movie-like. Thinking of spells reminds me "The Lord of the Rings".
I realised that mapping the concepts in Living Systems does not matter because systems are about interactions not objects. So I have "spells" for a character to learn so that they transform their identity and access a higher consciousness. :) Spells here are actions (inter-actions with other systems) to go through.
Should we have consultation meetings with demos, as people could perhaps give ideas to challenges during them?
[Mindey] great idea :) agree.
I presented my scenes (on Airtable) for six people at Living Systems Collaboratory. Some of the feedback was on "How can I showcase Bacterias as (a living system) living harmoniously within a Human and Human (as a living system) living harmoniously within Earth?"
// How can I showcase Bacterias //
Get a microscope, and get 'em into a photo-session?
I'm thinking about producing the book as musicians do singles and then the album. So, each chapter would be like a living system itself and have a different illustrator, and together all illustrators with me form a "MUTANTU tribe", this way showing that systems are all about interactions and nothing exists in vacuum.
(Also I got a suggestion to run a Kickstarter campaign for that)
// Get a microscope, and get 'em into a photo-session? //
Love this idea, [Mindey]! I was actually dreaming about it (microscope) for some time now lol. Any recommendations on cheap good ones? :)
Cheapest I can remember, is that that paper microscope. I think those were invented for detecting malaria. On the ones suitable for the said "photosession", I'd recommend to think of collaboration with a university, they've got equipment, and rent microscope time, as good scopes ain't cheap, unless you want to play with toys for kids (e.g., , ).
Thinking about a book design as hexagon published as 6 mini-stories featuring different heroes/heroines who discover their spells in their own way: music, seeds, etc. (Potentially thinking to feature a real project/creator as character.) Together these mini-stories fit into a giant hexagon like a puzzle. And each comic is illustrated within boxes of hexagons not the usual squares.
Each story is illustrated by a different illustrator (2/6 confirmed). I'm also considering one more mini-story as rectangular to showcase "old story" all humans live in. Then, the six hexagon books mark the transition from the old to the new, the personal transformation moment to living systems philosophy.
The challenge is about Prototype: How to make a paper notebook as a hexagon now and divide a page into hexagons nicely? And then, how to showcase a hexagon with hexagons inside on WordPress (website made with Elementor)? Reading online advices here...
Another challenge: How much I can produce as actual book with different collaborators for March?
Thinking, I'd like to produce a mini version of this project for March: One chapter based on the story shown in the video.
If people like it, then I could create a mailing list and ongoing Patreon fundraising. From there, I could expand into more collaborations and more chapters.
After presenting my progress to a friend, I was thinking about her questions on "Can you explain more what is a Superhero mentioned on your site?"
So the idea of the book is to serve as a "min effort in the personal transformation journey and evolving to feel co-existence". Then, I reviewed my spells captured on Airtable and realised that many are Body spells like walking, listening, dancing, gardening, etc.
So, I'd like to add some spells for the Mind not just the Body. What mental models align with living systems philosophy, i.e. help to navigate chaotic world of creativity?
Zoom out, Zoom in (like on Workflowy)
Solo, Together (like a wing that becomes a butterfly at times)
Like a heartbeat
Overall, through Spells that my book Superhero needs to learn, I'd like to show a harmony/dance between Body and Mind, irrational and rational, as a culmination of coexistence within a human being, which will shape coexistence on the planet Earth for all humans if they read my book!
// How to showcase a hexagon shape on my website? CSS is a challenge for me. //
You might want to take a look into Processing.org and ThreeJS.org -- those are the tools that have the potential to create impressions. Though, it all depends on what you are trying to achieve. CSS is also quite powerful, but wherever people are in need of impressive imagery, I'd recommend also thinking about other forms of media, like loading a repeating video over entire page as background, dynamic SVG, or something else.
Reading an interview with ecologist and writer D.Abram, I loved how he describes everything being alive (sensuous earth) and he talks about words as magic.
Then, a friend mentioned Japanese word "Kotodama" that means "soul of language" and "sacred sound".
I'm curious how I can infuse the magic into words with MUTANTU book..
Talked to a friend about senses. "How come my phone has more sensors than I have?" and "How does a bird see the worm? They see the light, urine." Hmm, I haven't thought about that before, how different animals sense. How can humans reveal this world of non-human senses? Is embodiment of non-human senses even possible for humans?
Got great feedback from a mentor on writing (creating blocks of time with no interruptions and inspiring objects), running Kickstarter with a spreadsheet and limiting the amounts of backers for sanity, potential illustrators from Africa and Asia, advice to explore Living Systems science and philosophy videos and chats, so that I could easier spot patterns that would become the spells in the book.
Essential question for this project: If creators create (already), why they still don't feel coexistence (peace within)? What principles of Living Systems (spells) would help welcome a deep sense of coexistence into creators lives?
Questions on my mind:
How to showcase Chaos and Order as a spell?
What real-life comic example would showcase Mind and Heart in sync?
// Why creators don't feel coexistence (peace within)? What principles of Living Systems (spells) would help welcome a deep sense of coexistence into creators lives? //
So far, I think it's a "0oo Questioning" part missing in creator's lives: jumping into a project is not the same without deeply exploring one's motivation.
Also, without exploring the main idea of Living Systems such as -- human body is a system the same way as a bacteria is, as Earth is, as Universe is -- without such reflection, there's no sense of coherence (?), some sort of connection with all life which instantly gives meaning to one's live, because life simply is.
In the book, an example of this principle could be showcased as a scene of digging deeply into one's heart (a "story" exercise as mentioned in my previous book "Banana Break") and also some scene I did not discover yet that explains the idea of human as a system the same way as bacteria, Earth, Universe is.
That's what's on my mind now. This is not a finished thought yet, though.
Now thinking about spells, what's common (about living systems) between sciences and spirituality?
How to decide on a timeline of the book completion? I feel a need to spend time researching topics, and creating an ecosystem around the topic(s) before fundraising...
I got overview of how Kickstarter works from a friend, so sharing here:
" Having an Audience. Kickstarter is a compressed activity that creates intensity. Kickstarter works the best if a campaign is run for 30 days. How it works is: usually there's a peak at the beginning when loads of people jump in, then a drop in the middle and a peak again at the end of the campaign. (You can lower that middle drop by contacting media outside of Kickstarter.) The first backers ("ambassadors") are essential, because if a campaign is reaching its funding targets fast, Kickstarter's algorithm will promote it as a "featured project" on their platform, and thus more of Kickstarter's audience will see the project. Kickstarter pushes you up based on % of your goal raised."
" Networking. Approaching various groups of people that could be somehow related to your project is essential, so that you find the backers and reach your funding goals. It's like a 3-4 months preparation, interacting with various groups about a shared interest before the campaign."
" Promo Materials. Launch page on Kickstarter is essential. It has to have video, graphics, enough of samples of your work [comics in my case]. What are people investing in? Also a good idea is to release stuff like graphics during the campaign to keep the fans engaged and to encourage them to share on social media."
" Timelines. If you aim to launch on X day, bear in mind that Kickstarter will take 7 days to review your campaign."
" Terms. Kickstarter won't give you the money you raised, if you don't reach your goal. Indiegogo has a different setup."
" Budget. Setting calculated funding goals is key. Because if you fundraise for less than you need to produce and print the book, and if your Kickstarter campaign succeeds, you will have to still produce the work and ship it to backers, and so cover the additional costs yourself. Into budget, you should include printing, but also payments for illustrators and yourself, intellectual property costs. [What if I go creative commons route?] You can have some downloadable graphics for free and then a paid version of the full book."
" Packages. How are you going to offer different options for backing your project? You can have options like a book plus a poster, a chat with the creator and signed book, an early bird price, limited edition, -20% off the final product, and so on. Get creative there."
" Benefactors. Who else could promote your book? Would it suit sustainability organisations as a resource? Museums? Schools? Science educators? To make your Kickstarter successful, can you find one donor that would come at the end of the campaign and back your project with the missing amount, so that you campaign achieves its targets?"
" Manufacturing. Are you going to self-publish? (Pay a printing company to print say 3000 copies of your book?) Or will you use just-in-time publishing? (print on demand based on each order you get) Having a publisher is tricky. How do you prove to a publisher that they will want to publish and market your book? If it's your first book, they will likely would like to see that you got some books sold on your own before you approach them."
" Alternatives. You can also run a crowdfunding campaign on your website, with a set target for orders that you need to use a printing company. When you reach x orders, you will provide an estimate of delivery for your backers."
[My reaction is like "Oh, LOL."]
Hello, World! So I'm back with my project :)
This came out of realisation that ideas/projects shape me, and there's some sort of symbiosis there between a project as a living being and me.. and how diving deep into this phase of the project shapes me! (I borrow thoughts on 'everything as alive' from David Abram here.)
And I borrow inspiration on inner body visualisation from short 3D videos I see on Instagram about neurons, cells and so on. I wonder, how could I learn to create such videos? And so, create/play with the story plot by doing/making videos first.
Other thoughts in my mind lately that go into a moral of the story:
(Also, it seems that some things I thought about like Kickstarter or printing may not be relevant now anymore, as they were someone's thoughts not mine anyway.)
Welcome back, [Ruta]. Just thought of weekly updates to the world, like the ones that space travellers in sci-fi movies tend to do for record, - living life like on a mission ;) I'll make my update some time soon as well, as there is definitely new things lately. :)
Thanks [Mindey] :) Weekly updates to the world, yes! Like recordings from Missions, love that! Creative explorations are indeed like Missions :) Deep dives, life changing, sometimes. So curious about your update!!
"We are all Moms". The book ends when a character realises they are a Mom, when they raise brainchildren through the symbiosis with Life, and thus a character becomes the Universe*.
*Symbiosis with life as exploration input and creation output.
**Observer and observed .. creating reality
Every moment we birth life (no matter genders or other boxes) when a constructive thought leads to life, while destructive - to death as decay, compost. And so, there is a dance of life and death! Regeneration as a micro habit of how we think and where thinking leads us.
So the storyline goes from escape, solo to togetherness to realise that we are her (as a metaphor for creativity as a value).
■ ■ ■
P.S. I enjoy using my project space as a Twitter feed, sharing puzzles, which will eventually become a final product. I'd like to see other creators puzzles too! That -- interacting with puzzles -- sparks cocreation.
I was co-writing a writing piece in a small group on Living Systems with Water as a metaphor these days and it changed me. I/we were going through Chaos (experiencing and being the Storm) and by tuning into a creative metaphorical language, I came out with a different skin, cleaner, attachment evaporated, a moment of water flowing. Like my skin is soaked in water.
I'd like to include this moment into MUTANTU story, at the end, as a conclusion how tuning into creative thinking sparks observation and freedom, and a peace of mind, a natural rhythm, a vaccine for overload, it's never overloading, because water flows, so there's no need to try to put it [information] into a box with judgmental thinking, but instead to let information to flow and a creative thinking will play with water drops to spark a whole bigger than its parts.
so, a scene for the end of the book: storm [rational mind] hears a bird [creative mind] song and has a dance [whole brain]
Hello, World! I'm reconnecting with MUTANTU after some time of silence. So, what is new? Reflecting on the question I shared awhile back:
"Essential question for this project: If creators create (already), why they still don't feel coexistence (peace within)? What principles of Living Systems (spells) would help welcome a deep sense of coexistence into creators lives?"
Chaos, obviously! Embracing the chaotic process that leads to an emergence to a whole that's bigger than its parts. I have been experiencing this since summer and getting more comfortable with chaos, randomness, transformations that are always fluxing, dynamism that is life.
How to show a "Chaos Spell" scene in the book? I'll get to that.
Also I'm in a systems thinking course with F.Capra now. A thought I'd like to include into the book is:
"molecules traveling through bodies"
It could be bacteria character traveling through bodies, actually. "Body Holiday Travels" scene!
Reflecting on a story how a friend creator feels in nature ("svaigstu"), I imagine a scene of a creative energy hacking minds in nature - will humans survive the turbulence?