Subscribe to Curious Tribe, a weeklyish email from the brain of Justin Shiels, designed to spread a little love.
In this email I’d like to introduce the Curious Mail, but first a little back story.
I had finished about 80% of the content for the first issue of the Curious Tribe digital magazine and plotted out the next 12 issues… then He Who Shall Not Be Named was elected President of the United States of America.
I was already reeling from a breakup with my longterm boyfriend and the reality of this massive step backward for our country threw me into a sadness unlike anything I had ever experienced.
I was on total autopilot for 3 full days. I flew to New Jersey for a Dear World photoshoot and listened to the stories of college students and faculty trying to process Hillary’s earth shattering loss. I smiled when I was supposed to and gave genuine hugs to people in pain, but ignored my own feelings for fear that they would leave me unequip to do my job.
When I finally got home, I crawled into bed and stayed there for 6 days, only getting up to find fast food and make cocktails. I deleted Facebook and Twitter from my phone and discovered Desperate Housewives, an ABC show on Hulu with 8 seasons chock full of drama and intrigue. The perfect distraction.
I slept. I cried. I mourned my losses.
And on the seventh day, I got up. There wasn’t a miraculous healing. I was absolutely not okay. I was actually genuinely depressed. But I needed to throw myself into a project. I needed to make something, so I could work through my feelings. So I built and launched the first issue of the Curious Tribe magazine online. I even built a fully functioning iphone app, but held off because I knew I wasn’t quite ready. The idea was close but not quite where I needed it to be.
While I was in bed those days, I kept coming back to the same question: How do we change the hearts and minds of people that make their decisions from fear and in the worst cases hate?
That question has haunted me for months and to this day I still don’t have a solution. But I discovered something that I knew to be true along the way. These are scary times and many of us are living our day to day lives feeling like zombies. For months, I was one of those zombies.
We have to stay engaged; we have to stay informed; and we have to continue to resist. But even in these troubling times, I decided that one valuable form of resistance is consistently spreading joy. People need to smile. People need to feel affirmed. People need to feel empowered to build their happiest life.
Curious Tribe started because I wanted to redefine the idea of a traditional magazine and that goal still remains. Over time, however, I’ve realized that the real mission is to inject a little joy into your everyday life.
In business, this is called a pivot, when you abandon the initial concept to work on Plan B. Initially, I wanted to create a digital experience that helped creative professionals grow their business. Right now, I think there’s more value in creating an offline experience that spreads some much-needed love in the world.
Curious Mail is designed to delight, encourage and intrigue.
Every month you’ll receive a surprise delivered to your doorstep:
- a beautiful art print
- 2-3 amusing cards
- our motivational newsletter
- and a small gift
The big thing for me personally is that I will be moving from curator to creative by designing and illustrating the majority of the content. (Below is a collection of work from the past few years.)
Every month we highlight creative people that you should know. Are you making waves in your local community or online? Get on the list.
Photographer Trevor Mark
New Orleans-based photographer Trevor Mark embodies what it means to be a freelancer. He specializes in beautiful wedding photography that reflects the emotion of the moment. Beyond that he’s built a portfolio of natural lifestyle photos that feel authentic and full of joy.
“Beauty can be seen in all things. Seeing and composing that beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.” – Trevor Mark Ekanger
Image via @sara_gabriellas
Curator Maceo Paisley
Maceo Paisley embodies the term “creative entrepreneur.” He’s a singer, a dancer, and a model. He also runs a print magazine. Most recently, he’s worked with Teresa Hu to launch Nous Tous, a gallery and retail space located in Old Chinatown, Los Angeles.
The duo has partnered to create products and experiences that invite patrons to think critically and familiarize themselves with their own intuitions in the hope of building empathy and finding creative identity.
Nous Tous is a retail gallery and cultural exchange that works to support emerging creative talent and serve as a stepping stone and creative think tank to explore new career paths in the fields of art and design.
Digital Entrepreneur Regina Anaejionu
The internet is full of it’s fair share of online entrepreneurs, but Regina Anaejionu is the real deal. She helps coaches, teachers, and digital nomads that want to profit from their knowledge + passions in a purposeful and authentic way. She creates epic content and hosts incredible workshops and online courses. She is also the queen of the hotel workation and most importantly is learning JiuJitsu.
Photo by: @rickyflorack
Musicians John Michael Rouchell and Alvin Ford, Jr. of Tysson
New Orleans duo Tysson creates effortless alternative pop music. Band members John Michael Rouchell and Alvin Ford, Jr. “are 20th century musicians living in the 21st century world.” Their new self-titled EP offers candid lyrics with vibrating electronic production that hits you square in the heart.
Coach and Business Strategist Cyndie Spiegel
Cyndie Spiegel is genuinely magnetic. She’s the type of person that will ask you a simple question that makes you feel like you could change the world. Following her instagram feed keeps you inspired and goal-focused. She created The Collective of Us as a business accelerator for women entrepreneurs.
Photo By: @irajames
Over the past week I’ve been focused on developing incredible content for the first 4 issues of the Curious Tribe magazine.
I want this magazine to be more than just words and pictures.
It’s genuinely important to me for each issue to have interactivity that takes advantage of all the technology available to us. This means the addition of video, an incredible resource library, and audio slideshows.
But most importantly, I want this magazine to genuinely connect with our subscribers.
I need your feedback.
What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing in your day-to-day business life? Is there something specific you need help with? Does it feel like there’s something holding you back?
“Give light and people will find the way.” – Ella Baker
This week I wanted to specifically focus on spreading love, joy, and self care. Primarily, because if I hear one more thing about “he who shall not be named,” I might just explode.
Here’s an original illustration I created inspired by Afrofuturism.
Apparently your astrological sign can tell you exactly how you should cope with stress.
Janne Willems likes to play with societal rules and perspective. This former employee of Loesje started the international social art project Seize Your Moments in which she approaches strangers to draw a beautiful moment moment from last week. Her mission is to collect 1000 beautiful moments per continent. I love this Ted Talk.
Mother O has been spreading gems my entire life. Here are 5 Oprah Life Mantras That’ll Make You Content With Your Imperfect Present.
Why do humans often want to create a world of “us” vs. “them”? And what can we do about this unhelpful, often damaging, yet somehow reassuring instinct? Psychiatrist Robert Waldinger has some useful advice.
I’ve been spending the majority of my time trying to distract myself with good tv. I’m beyond excited about the Gilmore Girls reboot.
I’m really digging a Tshirt I’m seeing everywhere that reads “The Future is Female.” Here’s the story behind the phenomenon.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year and this meme makes me smile at least 3 times a day.
It’s surprisingly easy to book a quick, last-minute getaway without drawing up a new budget for your winter vacation plans. Let’s take a break.
Every great business first started as a simple idea. But as creative entrepreneurs, there is one truth we can all believe in: “Ideas are meaningless without action.”
I’ve developed a process that is surprisingly straight-forward for making a plan to get what you want. It’s also pretty practical. You set intentions and then plot out what it takes to make that intention a reality.
Here are 4 easy steps for a successful 2017.
I was looking for out of the box costume ideas for Halloween this year and these Bauhaus costume parties are the perfect inspiration.
I’ve been slowly updating the Curious Tribe website, and the new blog is looking pretty good.
The reason publishers are signing authors who have built their own platforms is the same reason YouTube sensations are appearing in car commercials. They aren’t waiting to be picked.
If you genuinely love to laugh and appreciate inappropriate humor from women and people of color, you will love the WNYC podcast, 2 Dope Queens. “Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams, along with their favorite comedians, for stories about sex, romance, race, hair journeys, living in New York, and Billy Joel. Plus a whole bunch of other s**t.” I love it!
Vacations are good for us and good for our employers. So why don’t we take them?
The easiest way to achieve your goals is to take a tiny step. Learn how.
Here are 10 simple adjustments to make to your morning routine that will have a huge impact on your day
Would you like to grow your Instagram following? First you have to curate your feed.
I decided to take some time during the month of October to recalibrate. This led me to doing 10 days of meditation through the app Headspace. The 10 minute exercises make meditation accessible right from your iPhone.
I’ll be honest, sitting still for that long is really difficult and managing my racing thoughts is incredibly challenging, but slowing down once a day has been so fulfilling.
If you’re feeling a little bit overwhelmed by the constant deluge of information we have to deal with on a daily basis and are the least bit interested in finding a little peace, I recommend you download the app. And for the record, this is totally not sponsored.
In our Facebook Group, Lesly posted:
“Hi y’all! I’m the ladypreneur of Tchoup Vintage and have been struggling lately, creatively. I haven’t been inspired to rebrand and expand Tchoup. I have a couple ideas of what I want to do next but just can’t get around to actually do it. I have a long list of things and ideas that I want to do for the shop but I just put it off to do other things, including the finishing touches of a new site, introducing new brands , and planning more social media content. I used to be in the groove for my shop for the last three years of sticking to a schedule but as of lately, i’ve been kind of la de da with it all and doing it when I feel like it. Any tips for dealing with a creative blocks and procrastination? ”
I’m a longtime fan of visual artist, Rebecca Rebouche. Over the upcoming months, she’s releasing 13 paintings surprisingly inspired by Ryan Adams’ cover of Taylor Swift’s 1989. I am head over heels for the first 4 pieces.
We’ve built up an image of what creativity is that is completely wrong.Creativity is showing up and doing the work. Even when you don’t feel like it.
I’m living out all of my childhood fantasies inspired by “Clue” with these bookshelves that hide a secret room. #lifegoals
Obviously we shouldn’t be sitting at a computer all day, but the solution isn’t standing. The solution is moving.
Along the path of starting a business, you will certainly face these roadblocks.
I’m really feeling this 2017 watercolor moon calendar.