CHUMP – Breaking Through Digital Isolation

If you’re an artist and you’ve taken to social media as a means of getting your work out there then you will know the digital isolation of a creative better than any one. Social media can be a constructive platform to express oneself artistically but it can also be a means of artistic breakdown due to a lack of real interaction and validation. Validation is the reason social media can be the downfall of nearly any artist, watching people of a similar craft exell and just waiting for the day you get the recognition you feel your art deserves can be demotivating and tiring.

But there’s another issue to this social media validation, it draws artists away from the love of creating and forces them into a position of ‘have to’ in order to keep up with a schedule or to keep the consumers happy as well as gets the idea into creatives heads that we need validation to create and keep creating. I hear so many stories from burnt out creatives giving up on their craft because they had to push out piece every few days – sometimes everyday. I have watched other creatives and myself fall prey to this need for validation: we create for the love of creating first and for ourselves. Validation and praise is just sometimes an added bonus.

This process is extremely taxing on the process of creatives and drys up the imagination wells very quickly. Leaving artists either not creating at all or producing work that is not even half as good as what they could be doing. It’s a vicous cycle and its causing lots of creatives to feel lost in the slum of the digital world. No matter how well they hide it.

by Caitlin Brown

It is one of the reasons I am so excited about this new project: CHUMP. A collection of creatives fed up with digital isolation, ready to break free and unleash themselves. The project was started by Bryce Charlie (right) and Ryan Thomas (left).

They used the creative platform Daisie in order to reach artists with a similar fed-up-ness with the digital creating platform and have managed to construct an astounding piece of art. This project is more than what the physical suggests. It’s an assault on the common way of creating today, showing that creatives will and can be heard. It’s breaking through isolation and finding those you can share with and create with.

In my experience in this project and mainly getting to know Bryce. I have gained an immense amount respect for the creators of CHUMP and their creative vision. They have so much to offer and they have the ability and the will to revolutionise the creative world for any creative they are involved with.

by Rick Leach

I sent them some questions about about CHUMP and the creative process and this is the response. In reading this, I believe that you too will develop a respect for Bryce and Ryan.

What initially drew you to the idea of ‘breaking through digital desolation’?
We were in a rut. Making art wasn’t bringing us joy anymore. We felt cut off. Alone. Without purpose.

Creating had turned into a meaningless hustle. A cheap trick meant to amass followers. It felt like everybody was turning into a crooked grin – slimy internet influencers all selling the same disposable, replaceable, pointless art. 

We felt isolated and wanted to escape. That’s what we’re doing with CHUMP – escaping. Breaking free from digital isolation. Finding other artists and helping to present their work in a physical manner. Trying to connect in a meaningful way.

by Tami Aftab

What did you find most interesting about the creative responses you’ve had towards the project?
How artists, worlds apart, were creating work that jammed together. The world is going through a transitional period. Turbulent times. What really stood out about this project is just how much in common people truly have amidst the turbulence. 

What do you hope the project will do for everyone who reads the publication?
Have a positive impact. Slow time down. Make them feel. Bring them together.

poem by Olivia O’Hara, image by Birgit Buchart

Could you describe the process of the project?
Get an idea
Chew on said idea
Make a promise to ourselves to bring the idea into reality
Present the idea to the world through Daisie
Get overwhelmed by the number of positive responses and submissions
Battle self-doubt
Reply to emails. So many emails.
Build a spreadsheet
Dig through submissions to find the artists that jam together
Design layouts
Lots of phone calls back and forth
Battle more self-doubt
Tweak layouts
Paint cover
Print and bind the book
Send it out into the world.
Hopefully, have people interact with it and pass it along 

by Joana Robriques

How would you explain CHUMP to a non-creative? 
I don’t think there is such a thing as a non-creative. Creativity is at the foundation of what makes us human.
However, I would describe CHUMP as:
A last-ditch effort to break free from digital isolation.
It’s a traveling art book. The only one of its kind. Slowly making its way around the world, being passed off from one person to the next.

illustration by Kayleigh Valentine, words by Daren Zomerman

Why do you think having only one printed copy felt most true to the project?
The art racket right now is too digital. It just seems to be about hustling. Doing more. Getting more. Scaling up. Anything and everything can be found on the internet. We wanted to create something that could exist outside the internet. Something that by its very nature can’t be scaled or grown. 

What can be expected from CHUMP in the future?
I haven’t thought too much about the future, but you can definitely expect more.
Outside of the fact that this CHUMP book will be sent out into the world on November 7, 2019
Thank you for putting in the work to make this happen and to those of you who are reading it
The best way to get in touch with us is to send an email to: chumpzine@gmail.com
You can also find us Instagram at: chump.mag

There is more to the creative path then what meets the eye and there is more to the creative world then social media. Breakthrough and allow yourself to create. Just create.

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