Greetings, my sweet, sweet Patronusssss Posse!
I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe during these strange days of social distancing, self-quarantine and preventive isolation.
Despite this chaos and madness, the Spring Equinox is upon us, and in this time of new beginnings, I’m planting the first seeds of a quarterly newsletter so you can watch your investment in my work bloom and thrive. (Corny wordplay? Yes. But, as my longtime Patrons, you had to be expecting this by now. Unless you’re not a Patron, in which case, please join my Posse! Membership tiers start at one dollar a month, but my dad jokes are always free!)
Since January, we’ve created many magical things together, and as always, I’m deeply grateful for your love and support.
One for Sorrow, my first project of the year, and my first-ever series entirely funded by YOU, my glorious Patrons, completed its 10-week run in your inboxes earlier this month. You helped me acquire all the props I needed to create the crow-filled storybook world that had been gnawing at my brain for quite some time. Thank you for making my vision a reality, and for all your lovely feedback; I’m thrilled that you enjoyed both the series and its weekly format, as well as the behind-the-scenes shenanigans in the Clubhouse at the back of the garden tier. The handmade booklets for the Snapshots in time tier came out so much better than I had hoped, and, thanks to my entire Patreon Posse, I’ve reached 41% of my funding goal towards making future booklets, as well as 8x10 prints, available to the public.
My second major undertaking of the year: Writing a new album. In terms of progress, I’m slowly getting reacquainted with my piano, and I have two songs in the works. I’ve posted four biweekly video diaries in the Peeping through the windows tier, including some snippets of the first song. (Update! Since posting my last video, I've added a few new parts to it; I should have a nearly-fully-formed song for you next time. EXCITING!) At this point, I’m not sure if this will be another solo album or, possibly, a First of June reboot. My bandmate is on standby, just in case. Meanwhile, he’s working on a mysterious new musical venture of his own, which involves me learning to play bass. WHUT!
1- My helper assisting me in a ridiculous behind-the-scenes outtake from the set of Five for Silver.
2- Editing the series in my 100%-Patron-funded software. 🖤
3- The spectacularrrrrrrrr printed booklet.
4- The crows returning to roost for the new album announcement.
I experienced an unfortunate setback a few weeks ago, when Old Man Winter flattened my shed/outdoor photo studio, in which I stored most of my Queens of Desolation props, and where I was about to start shooting the rest of that series, as well as a trippy new project for this spring/summer. This means that my nine remaining Queens and the other project are on hiatus until I can find the funds to rebuild, because hauling bins of yard waste into my home is not an option.
(An amusing anecdote if you share my musical tastes: the shed was put up last summer, meaning that it was a relatively new building, and as such, I have my very own Einstürzende Neubauten in my backyard right now. Call me Blixa, if you will.)
In the interim, as I’m holed up in my coronavirus-averting cocoon, a completely spontaneous series, The Tender Parts, materialized by means of wilted flowers, houseplant clippings and assorted curios from within my home. This series will be hitting your inboxes as weekly single images in April and May in lieu of what I had planned before the shed debacle. Since I didn’t need new props for this, some of your dollars went towards a continuous-shutter-release doodad that makes shooting sooooooo much easier while I’m covered in fragile materials. Working with this hands-free piece of wizardry will allow me to conjure up more elaborate makeups and ever-weirder concepts in the future, and I thank you in the present while looking back at the past and wondering why the heck I never thought of this before. But I digress.
I’ve also started shooting the series that I had scheduled for this autumn, Celestial Bodies. I'm again drawing on my lyrics catalogue for inspiration, only this time, while also drawing down the Moon. It will be a collection of multipart photosets, two of which I’ve completed so far. They have a definite between-the-veils feel and will be posted in September/October, as planned. And once again, your monthly pledges are funding this work. You, my darlings, are truly stellar beings.
1- Ye Olde Collapsed Shed, March 2020.
2- Behind-the-scenes outtake from the last thing I shot in there: Queens of Desolation 4, a jawbone-and-yard-waste extravaganza, June 2019.
3- Some props for The Tender Parts: Recently wilted chrysanthemums and long-dead bumblebee.
4- Fabulous post-wig hair on one of the sets of Celestial Bodies.
Both The Tender Parts and Celestial Bodies, as well as any forthcoming work, will include behind-the-scenes posts, bonus content and printed booklets, for those of you in those respective tiers. Regardless of your tier level, your eyeballs will continue to be well-fed with wonders and weirdness this year!
And, finally, for any non-Patrons reading this: If you'd like to join my Patronussss Posse but can't participate financially, you can always become my Honourary Patronusssss by sharing my links, reacting to my social media posts, and helping to get the word out about my work. All forms of support are very much appreciated!
You can find a full list of all my social media and shop links at https://linktr.ee/vanessalaurin.
Thank you for being part of this joyride through the Underworld. Please stay safe and healthy, my dear ones.
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