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The Tapestry of Life


by Lisa Burwell

Weaving together a collection of so many varied and talented artists, all employing different mediums and expressing different messages, has been an exhilarating experience. I love each new issue that we work on, but this may be one of my favorites. Materials, mediums, thoughts, concepts, and, of course, the artwork and artists themselves are intricately brought together in our first issue dedicated to showcasing the artist!

This issue is teeming with the creation of beautiful things: the daunting challenge of creating cast iron art; sculpted paint by Justin Gaffrey; encaustic art by Melissa Davis; art with a message by Justin Lyons; the captivating architecture of Maison de VIE; the lyrical art of talented musicians at the 30A Songwriters Festival; the stunning photography, engaging words, and creative design that capture the essence of our featured artists, and much more—so dig in!

During VIE’s coverage of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall 2013, I saw the Broadway production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof starring Scarlett Johansson. I was mesmerized by the stellar performances bringing Tennessee Williams’s brilliant play to life. This production became part of a personal awakening, encouraging me to celebrate life, to enjoy all the goodness it has to offer, and to embrace everything and every new experience with zest. I believe creativity is on the upswing with fresh work and a renewed appreciation for it.

To imagine. That is art. Before art can inspire or enchant their captor (the buyer), the artist must first create what he or she has imagined. Many people let their musings and inspired thoughts get trampled by life, duty, pressure, and even laziness—but not artists. The desire and need to create pushes them on until their imaginings become a reality. Many artists would likely continue working in their craft even if they were not making a living from it, but when it comes right down to it, artwork is work, and artists need to be––and should be––supported.

The delightful, eye-catching artwork on the cover—Audrey Hepburn’s iconic profile surrounded by butterflies, courtesy of featured artist Sarah Ashley Longshore—is a breath of fresh air. I met Ashley at her gallery in New Orleans this past November while our creative team interviewed, photographed, and filmed her for The Artist Issue (watch our storytelling exposé on viezine.com!). We are honored that she will be the celebrity guest at the me + vie = dg: Meet Me at the Red Carpet pre-party on Saturday, June 8, during Digital Graffiti in Alys Beach, Florida.

Marveling at Ashley’s success in a profession in which many others are not faring well, I asked her how it is that she is thriving. “After years of working at something you love day in and day out, perfecting your craft—isn’t that what is supposed to happen?” she boldly replied. Her words were sharp and simple yet so true. Success is not just happenstance or an overnight occurrence. In order to achieve perfection, you must keep doing it every day.

Our mission at VIE is to tell stories with heart and soul, and with each issue, we send a love letter to our community of readers. The artists featured in this issue amaze and inspire me, and I believe their prolific and varied work has collectively become VIE’s very first artistic tapestry. With deep respect and admiration, I thank these artists for sharing their lives and their work with us.

Now, dear readers, go out and support the world of art!

Life is beautiful!


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