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Bread and Roses

Bread & Roses

by Tyler Sweek

In 1912, textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts (mostly immigrant women) led a successful strike, carrying banners that demanded “bread for all, and roses too.”   In other words, these brave workers were not merely asking for living wages, but the dignity and freedom necessary to endow their lives with beauty and purpose.
 

We have chosen this slogan, “Bread & Roses,”  to serve as the theme for our inaugural publication, because it concisely captures this website’s reason for being.

 

The Creative Spark’s mission is to serve as a sanctuary for artists, to empower creative types of all stripes to earn a living pursing their passion. 

 

Our   Mission   Is   To   Make   Life   Art

How many millions of people today, and billions of folks throughout the ages, resign themselves to circumstance in order to survive, burying their talents instead of being allowed to let them bloom? At what price do we deprive the world of the beauty of what might have been? What would happen if we struggled towards a far more holistic view of community  and made arts education a priority over the blind manufacture of more strip malls? What would a society look like that valued beauty and creativity as much as profit?  

Women’s suffrage activist Helen Todd, who coined the phrase “bread and roses” a couple of years before the Lawrence strike (and less than a decade before women  obtained the right to vote in the United States), outlined her visionary goal:

“Woman is the mothering element in the world and her vote will go toward helping forward the time when life's Bread, which is home, shelter and security, and the Roses of life, music, education, nature and books, shall be the heritage of every child that is born in the country, in the government of which she has a voice.”

Until every child and person on the planet has unfettered access to bread and roses, work and play, physical and spiritual nourishment, and the sense of purpose provided by meaningful creative expression, there is still work to be done.  Until that day, we will be tirelessly striving to transform this kingdom of necessity into a kingdom of creativity, to make this world as beautiful and just as it can possibly be.

 

Bread & Roses

Jen Del Sol

Inspired by the ancient prayer, as well as the Helen Todd quote, “bread for all, and roses too.” This digital illustration created by  Jen Del Sol captures The Creative Spark’s mission statement to celebrate and support creatives of all paths, in the form of bread and roses.

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One Week At A Time - Food in Quarantine

Arren Yan

Summary: My lockdown began before the state’s did, with my partner and myself getting sick, and then sicker. Abruptly, all conventional markers of progress were scattered, leaving only a survival mode - where it all came down to getting myself to the next marker of time. Day by day, a week at a time, in whatever form of effort it took. This is the first part of a continuing “snapshot” series of hand-drawn meals, marking the weekly passage of time.

Medium: black ink and marker on sketch paper

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Piecing It Together Through Creativity

Lorraine Albert

Summary: 2019 was the most challenging year of my life. When the world fell apart in 2020, I felt like I’d been sent to my room to try to piece it all back together. As I struggled to find joy, the only thing that made me feel sane was writing. Through each short story, comic, and journal entry, I slowly started to come alive again. The more I allowed myself to create, the more I realized that there was no going back to who I used to be. Through all the pain and uncertainty, somehow I’d found my way home.


Medium: Comic art/writing

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“Life is Dreamed on a Bed that is Too Hard.”
by Tyler Sweek

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I start each day
the same way, like a ritual.

 

I curse the light of the sun
and electricity for awakening me.

 

“Not again,” I mutter, blinking.

Despite myself, I am awake.

The reason for
my reflexive pessimism
is simple: I have work today.

 

And the same job that physically
sustains me is spiritually
asphyxiating me.

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Morning Prayer
of the Dueling Minarets

by Tyler Sweek

Terrifying beauty rends the sleep
of the just & unjust alike.

Wake up and face the music,
a new day is dawning: Slumber
is an unacceptable response to life.

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The imams try to outdo
each other in lyrical majesty,
and more problematically for
the somnolent soul, in volume.

Imagine a world
in which you are no longer
allowed to simply drift through

life, where you must awaken

and live with purpose:
 

Oh the humanity!

Meet The Publications Team

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Lorraine Albert

One day, she decided to post a silly drawing on Instagram, and has been creating and sharing comics ever since. Lorraine also loves to write fiction and non-fiction, and is currently working on a novel. 

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Jen Del Sol

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Jen is a multifaceted artist 

with a passion for storytelling. Her background is in design and film studies and she also enjoys working with traditional and digital art forms. 

When she's not writing or creating content for

The Creative Spark,

you can find her exploring the intersections between these mediums.

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Monkwave

Monkwave is inner peace, self-awareness, and oneness with the divine intelligence from which all emanates. 

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Tyler Sweek

Tyler Sweek teaches
high school English.
He is a writer and editor
for the Creative Spark.

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Arren Yan

Arren’s background is in animation and storyboarding. From paper and pencil to digital illustration, their work focuses on storytelling through hand-drawn graphic media.