I have been deeply impacted this morning by the news that Marinke (Wink) of A Creative Being succumbed to suicide. (See full post here.) And I feel like I need to do something. After re-reading her story in Crochet Saved My Life, mulling it over during meditative crochet and mindful walking, I’ve come up with the project. It’s called #MandalasForMarinke.
What is #MandalasForMarinke?
This is a collaborative crochet art project in which contributors from all over the world are invited to create a crochet mandala in honor of Wink. This project will be used to celebrate her life and creativity as well as to raise awareness about depression.
How to Contribute to #MandalasForMarinke
- Crochet one or more mandalas using a pattern by Wink. The more colorful the better but of course all mandalas will be accepted. NOTE: In an update I’ve added that in addition to seeking regular mandalas for wall display, I am also now seeking tiny mandalas, huge cozy rug mandalas and mandalas made out of alternative materials. See details here.
- Add a handwritten (or typewritten) note. It may include any or all of the following:
- What inspires you about Wink’s work
- Why you chose to contribute to the project
- Something you want people to know about depression and / or crafting to heal
- Your own story related to mental health/ depression/ suicide
- A message directly to Wink or Wink’s family about how her work touched you
- Note: If you don’t wish to include any of these things, feel free to draw a picture or just share a short message like “thinking about you Wink”.
- Additionally please include an index card with your name and email address as well as any of the following information that you would like published online. (Note that your email address will not be published; that’s for me to be able to contact you as needed to keep you updated on the project.) Include:
- Website/ blog
- 1-2 social media links
- 1-2 sentence bio about yourself
- Any additional brief information you want people to know.
- Note: It is totally fine not to include any of this. If you wish to be anonymous, just print your name on the card (so I know who sent it) and then write ANONYMOUS beneath it.
- Optional: Before mailing in your contribution, take a photo of it and share it on your own blog and / or social media channels. You can share your story there if you’d like. Use the #MandalasForMarinke hashtag so we all know where to find it!
- Optional: Share a photo of your photo with the tag #MandalasForWink. The Design Wars team (including ACCROchet) has set up this online project as a separate tribute to Wink but it dovetails nicely with mine. The more we celebrate Wink, the better.
- Mail your contribution. Contributions must be postmarked no later than
August 31, 2015. Deadline extended to October 15, 2015.
Mandalas for Marinke
c/o Kathryn Vercillo
1917 Fillmore St. #3
San Francisco, CA 94115
- NOTE: By sending in a contribution, you are agreeing that your crochet mandalas as well as your written message are allowed to be published online and in print and showcased in an art show to raise awareness about depression. There will be no monetary compensation for your contributions. Contributions will not be returned.
What Will Happen with Contributions to #MandalasForMarinke
Here is what I commit to for this project:
- Each contribution will be recorded and shared online here on Crochet Concupiscence with the #MandalasForMarinke tag. It will also be promoted through social media. Each post will include at least one fact about depression to help raise awareness about this issue as we celebrate Wink’s work.
- All of the crochet and written contributions will be curated into an art show here in San Francisco in late 2015/ early 2016. (Date and exact location TBD.) The show will include a pamphlet about depression awareness and how crochet can help with depression. It will also include a live reading from Crochet Saved My Life.
- The crochet and written contributions will be compiled into a book associated with the art show. It will be for sale online to reach everyone who can’t be present at the actual event. A portion of all sales from this art book will go to raising awareness about depression. (Exact organization and donation amount TBD. Careful research needs to go into this selection.)
- Update: I will also find a way to donate the mandalas after the art show. I’m not sure to who or where yet. It just occurred to me after reading a lovely comment from Christine on Facebook who said, “When I read your post, I was struck by the joy and creative flair of Wink’s designs -I am sure that anyone receiving one of her creations would have a smile on their face every time they looked at it.” This is so true and I want to find a way to share these mandalas with others.
I’ll post periodic updates about the project, specifically when I’ve got additional info for you about the date and location of the art show and the organizations that will receive proceeds and the mandalas.
Why I’m Doing This
When I read the news about Wink this morning, I felt like I’d been punched in the heart. She and I first connected online when she shared her story with me for Crochet Saved My Life so there’s this thread tying us together linking crochet and depression in both of our lives. I feel intertwined with her in this way. I knew that I needed to do something. Here’s why:
- Wink’s work means a lot to me. I don’t want it to be wasted. I want it to be celebrated. I want to honor her and the immense creativity she brought to the craft world. That’s the main reason for doing this. She is a beautiful soul with amazing talent and it should continue to be shared.
- Crochet saved my own life and the lives of many people I know. In the end, crochet couldn’t save Wink’s life forever. That’s tragic. But I know from our many online interactions that it did improve her life in many, many ways. It brought joy and creative expression to her world and to the many worlds that she touched through her work. Crochet is not a cure all and it can’t fix things but it does help us heal. I want people to know this.
- I know that many people will be affected by the news about Wink and won’t know what to do with the feelings that it brings up. Crocheting in the wake of tragedies can help us individually and collectively in so many ways. Crocheting mandalas, in particular, can be meditative and healing. I want to offer this project as a way for people in the online craft community to channel their grief or any other feelings that they are having.
- Finally, I’m doing this in part for myself. I am sad about this death. I am scared about the role depression has played in my own life and the knowledge that even doing all of the “right” things might not save me from it forever. I need to come together with my own community in this way to re-balance things for my own mental health.
Other Ways to Honor Wink
I would love it if you participated in this project, sending in at least one mandala and statement. But it’s okay if you don’t want to. Here are some other ways that you can honor Wink:
- Share this post on your own blog and social media accounts so people know about it.
- Visit and share on the memorial website her loved ones set up.
- Wear a flower in your hair on July 2nd and share a photo of it tagged #wearingflowersinmyhairforwink. This is an Instagram tribute that’s been set up because the last photo on Wink’s Instagram has her with flowers in her hair.
- Raise awareness about depression among your community in any way that feels right to you. It’s important to talk about this topic.