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Making a Difference - Japanese Relief Effort - Justin Vining
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(Video - Stage One of Process)

So many life changes over the last year, I am still running a million miles per hour and have not had many opportunities to slow down and reflect.  However, last night I received a message and it hit hard.  Many who read this will not have the proper context as to my background, so I will just say, I have generated modest success with my art over the last few years and feel very lucky to have done so.

Last year I experienced one of the most surreal moments in my life.  After the earthquake hit Haiti, like many, I felt compelled to help, but did not know how.  So I did what I could, I created and sold a limited edition of linocut prints and subsequently donated all the proceeds to the American Red Crosses efforts.  In less than three days of taking on that project, the surreal moment came as I walked into the door at the Valparaiso American Red Cross carrying the single largest check I had ever written.  I vividly remember the feeling, I had never felt power like I did that day.  In short, it made me reassess the purpose of creating in my life.  I have never mentioned this publicly until now but I finished out 2010 donating more pieces to charitable causes than I sold, 70+ pieces, raising thousands for different causes.

Today, I am fortunate to have an incredible career here at Protis that allows me the flexibility, personally, professionally, and financially to use this creative ability to give back.  I have been moving so fast as of late that I had not slowed down enough to consider a large undertaking similar to my previous efforts.  However, last nights message came through loud and clear, I have the ability to contribute in a small way, and the responsibility to do so.  Lily, I thank you for the message. 

Over the coming weeks I am going to create two limited editions of 25 linocut block prints, both editions will come from the same block.   100% of all sales will be donated to the American Red Crosses relief efforts in Japan.

Watch the full process of creating the linocut at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8zM2TMUB-M

Prints are available for pre-order online at  http://www.etsy.com/shop/justinvining