Wednesday, 31 December 2014

May the Farce be with you?

With 2014 nearly come and gone it seems an appropriate time to reflect on what has come and gone, what has been and what may be.

Yesterday's favorite word: Hoʻoponopono (ho-o-pono-pono) is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness.

Today's favorite word: Part of Hawaiian culture, ʻohana means family (in an extended sense of the term, including blood-related, adoptive or intentional).

As always, I am grateful for both; new and old.

Quote of the day : Once-a-pun a time a whole bunch of hominid's made-up a whole lot of shit and a lot of others believed in ~IT~ instead of themselves. The End. Q.E.D. Period." ~ Sincerely the Farce

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Head Talks?

A True Master Never Stops Learning?

Received an email from a friend recommending a TED Talk on Happiness, the following was my response.

Thank you! I love TEd Talks and can't imagine a better way for increasing smarts, happiness and perhaps even worldliness.

I've even been working on a new marketing angle, something along the lines of "Chainman Challenges". The concept is for participants to build a chain shirt while passively absorbing TED or other educational content. Such as VSauce (for the faster minds amongst us) or ever those neat RSA Animate white board talks.

Ultimately TED is like anything else; there will be ideas to cheer, ideas to jeer and a lot of stuff that simply blows your mind.

Some of the mind blowing ideas I've come across are:

The First 20 Hours - How To Learn Anything

Hack Schooling

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Philosophy for Happiness

An example Chainman challenge would be to knit a chain coif and passively absorb 20 hours of educational videos.

I only recently learnt about TED and discovered that there are over 900+ hours of TED material.

For the last couple of months I have been listening to as many random educational videos as possible each Saturday at Whytes on the second floor of the Gore Bay Harbour Centre. Where I mind the shop when my wife is unable.

It's been quiet on the island of late. As always this has led a great need to entertain ourselves. I don't know about you, but most modern movies and TV leave me with the same deja amnesia experience of having been there and done that all before.

Thank goodness I love learning! One of the most important things I have ever learnt is that statistically I know nothing. I consider this awesome because it means that's always something new to learn!

Enjoyed the article about Sir William Marshall, whom I had previously not come across. What a character! Thank you once again for expanding my knowledge base. Grace is something rather hard for an uncoordinated buffoon like myself to quantify.

When I was younger I can remember wishing that it were possible to know everything there was to know. Now I can't imagine any worse fate than knowing it all. As it would mean there was nothing new to learn.

Anyhow, I reckon that 900 hours is about as long as it would take a chain neophyte to knit themselves a nice chain work. Such as a hauberk;

By the end of the process not only should the reader have picked up a new skill (see The First 20 Hours) and lots of other ideas worth spreading by osmosis, but also have an chain garment of literal value. For example, I just listed the pictured XXL chain hauberk on Etsy. So at the very least there's a physical gain that can be passed on to friends, family or even customers.

Plus, if nothing else, anybody with the literal willpower to make a chain garment will undoubtedly pick up a modicum of patience. Which to my perspective is definitely virtue.

What do you think? Would there be interest in a Chainman Challenge Kit?

Instructions, materials and tools to make your own "real" chain armour?

What would you pay for such a novelty?

Quote of the Day : Bacon; because life is only black and white when developing negatives.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Know such thing?

Beardcember 17th, 2014 

(nü Icon Campaign Final Day)

Well, with the exception of an über generous 11-hour donation it seems that the nü Icon program wasn't form me, at least for the time being. The amount of learning and positive energy simply from participation was honestly overwhelming.

Not sure exactly which project I'm going to focus on next, other than regular Diary of a Chainman entries. 

Last night I dreamt of the most incredible chain shirt ever woven. Each link of the intricately fine mesh was microscopic in size and inscribed with a unique piece of wisdom.

The shirt was virtually weightless and magically imbued with the ability to perfectly counter any number of blows and neutralize any effects, granting the wearer effective immortality. As a bonus, the wearer was literally able to bend photons in such a way as to seamlessly render the wearer's avatar as anything imaginable. From invisible to resplendently flamboyant and everything in-between.

Mostly uneventful morning, did get a great beard self with some of the CMZ hairclips that we carry at the shop. Kind of a counter to all those beards I've seen woven with flowers or splendiferously adorned with Christmas ornaments.

Spent the afternoon working with Dad, we're ahead of schedule and our project is looking really good. Also got caught up on some other secret publisher business and learnt that one of my D.I.Y. titles is going into soft cover.

Rather reflective on the last time I visited New York City in 2000, can't believe it's been 14 years and that I haven't been back since 9/11.

Doing lots of reading this evening, trying to absorb as much information as possible. Keep meaning to absorb a speed reading course in order to increase reading speed and retention.

Apparently my mom's memory was excellent and so I've also had a life-long fascination with eidetic memory, also known as perfect recall.

One of my favorite books on the topic is Joshua Foer's Moonwalking with Einstein. Part of this title reminds me of an excellent Ted Talk entitled "The First 20 Hours - How To Learn Anything." The old paradigm was that it takes 10,000 hours to become a master at a particular craft. But new research suggests that the first 20 hours of learning constitutes 90% of the importance in picking up new skills.

This means that simply by dedicating oneself to a particular topic for 45 minutes a day, a new skill can be acquired every month. Not quite the blistering speed of a Matrix skill download, but still better than your average RPG grind.

The more I think about this the more I'm convinced that I'm better here, online, playing my favorite game of Internet fame. As opposed to any of the purile and unimaginative derivative remakes that have flooded the market.

Why? Because I'm convinced that real VR is just around the corner and by the time it becomes widely available I want to be an early "full-dive" adopter with my eyes on the prize of virtual world developer. Heck, virtual and augmented realities may be key to mutually assured survival.

Watched The Maze Runner, wasn't as impressed as I hoped I might be. Seriously, if you want a real twist-ending read 419! Definitely need to lay down some digital ink to real labyrinthine stories. After the number of dungeons I've crawled though, I just might have something more original to add to what has become yet another tired genera. 

Quote of the Day - "When I was a kid I used to think sponge taffy was made from real sea sponges and that's why it was salty."

What question would you preferred to have encountered in this space?

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Other Worlds?

Beardecember 16th, 2014

(nü Icon Campaign Day 7 of 8)

Well, the original plan was to blog daily updates for the duration of my campaign, but somehow life got in the way once again.

Just finished watching Sword Art Online, which may just be my new favorite anime! In case it's not obvious from the content of the majority of my spec fic stories; I've been obsessed with the potential of virtual and parallel realities for as long as I can remember. This of course means that SAO strikes very close to home. Not to mention being a beautiful, well-acted and damn interesting series of speculative fiction stories within a mostly believable VR story MacGuffin.
All this got me thinking back to some of my earliest memories. Such as typing spec fic on a portable typewriter borrowed from my Grandfather.

I couldn't have been very old (maybe 8) and it seemed like the biggest treat in the world to be allowed a sheet of paper and access to such a mysterious creative implement.

Pecking away, one key at a time I recall writing a couple paragraphs about a boy my age that could visit a parallel dimension.

The boy went to a school that was fancy in comparison to my own and even featured a full-size swimming pool. The story started with the boy jumping off the diving board and deciding to visit the other reality where time passed more slowly than in the real world. Here he visited with strange alien friends before returning to the real world just in time to hit the water.

I think that the boy also visited the other world a second time before surfacing from the dive and that's all I remember. Not sure where the idea came from. All I can imagine is that I simply absorbed a huge amount of sci-fi ideology from my parents via osmosis.

Something about storytelling had me hooked and my first publically performed work was a puppet play in Grade 2. All the students had a chance to write a story, but only 4 plays were selected for performance. I don't recall anything about the story. Except that I thought it was funny to give my puppet the empty tube from a roll of toilet paper to use as a faux leg cast.

Other than the usual schoolwork, I can't think of anything else interesting I wrote while in public school. Although, some old newspaper clippings indicate I was actually winning money for poetry contests run for special occasions, such as Remembrance Day,

Later (after I'd left the public school system to be home-schooled) I took a creative writing course from a local journalist and author who's still involved with the Manitoulin Writer's Circle.

At 12, I was the youngest participant in the course and enjoyed the various assignments. I recall that one of them was to record a dream. The dream I chose was about a very vivid encounter with a character named the "Bag Lady Kitty" on the mainstreet outside the Community Hall.

This was so long ago that I remember nothing else, except for wondering about the contents of some of the more adult books at the library where we met weekly, such as Pet Cemetery.

Next time; how the virtual quest led directly to the discovery of Magic!

Quote of the Day : The deference between reality and virtuality is tenuous at best.

What's the first story you can remember making up?

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Ask me anything?

 Wanted to try some new avenues for promoting my crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, so for this weekend only check out my brand new Reddit AMA to ask this veteran chainman anything!

How DO YOU make a chain shirt?

One link at a time!

Q. No, seriously dude, how do you make a chainmail shirt?

A. I've always wanted to do a sequel for the Art of Chainmail that explains practical applications for the European patterns. In the meantime, here's a quick explanation of the process I use. For me, a lot of what I create is a process as opposed to a strict set of rules. Shaping garments for specifically for my clients is why as a couturier I love haute couture fashion.

Anyhow (assuming we're talking about the European 4-1 weave) I measure evenly around the chest (C on the illustration below) and then up from this point over the shoulders. Then from the top of the shoulder to total length; waist for a shirt, knees for a hauberk.

G is also an important measurement for sizes sleeves if desired.

For construction I start with three rows running around the chest at a length that is equal to the chest measurement. Because of row stretch (AOC - Page 9) I measure this distance with the European pattern "at rest." That is neither stretched nor collapsed, but just resting naturally on a flat surface.

I also make sure that the total number of links is divisible by four so that I can divide the whole pieces into four working quadrants with stitch markers.

From there knit columns up over the shoulders, joining the offset row ends in the middle (top of the shoulder) with a shoulder attachment (AOC - Page 21.) From there I generally fill in the neck, making sure it's left large enough for my head to pass through both ways. (Don't get this wrong, it can hurt!)

I also like to make my shirts with a V-Neck, as I have large collar bones (AOC - Page 11.)

I then build out over the shoulders. For a vest this isn't even really necessary, for a shirt the sleeves can come out square or angle forward a bit. For long sleeves I recommend an angled shoulder attachment (AOC - Page 19.)

Depending on body shape I generally build straight down and allow row stretch to wrap the pattern around the body inside. For a more tailored look links can either be added or removed in order to create subtle expansion and contraction.

For sleeves a hand width measurement (M) is nice, as a reduction along the inside of the sleeve saves a lot of sloppy chain flopping around at the wrist.

I constructed a XX size hauberk for myself last summer and covered the process on my social media network. If you do a search on my YellowSMG Tumblr for "Hauberk" sans quotation marks and scroll through the results you will see a neat reverse chronology of the process emerge.

The "Danny Steel" poster explains the motivation for creating this piece from split links as the unofficial greeter for the second floor of the Gore Bay Harbour Centre where our shop, Whytes, is located.

Any questions? Please feel free to post your best chain vest, byrnie, shirt, haurbergeon, hauberk, etc... techniques below.

Also, in the age of crowd-sourcing solutions, a simple Google Search also turns up lots of juicy chain making instructions.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Dirty Deeds?

Beardecember 12, 2014

(nü Icon Campaign Day 3 of 8)

Blogging early tonight with a secret conspiracy to take me out into the cold later this eve.

Last night I dreamt of water flowing over ice and freezing in. Later I was working with dad on a project that involved spaghetti and meatballs. Except that the noodles were made out chain and looked funny drenched in sauce and then wrapped around meatballs.

Buzzy morning, attempting to wake up and do a dillion other things at once is never a good combination. Emails fixed, documents updated, digital deliveries accomplished.

Spent the afternoon helping dad who's due for a chimney sweeping tomorrow morning.
Trying to work up ideas to spark interest in in my nu Icon quest, meanwhile catching up on other holiday based commitments.

Glad to see that we're up a dollar today on Indiegogo and understand the the midpoint can be "the hump" of any telethon. Glad to be learning along the way, there was a bit of a learning curve to the back-end campaign running which will definitely contribute to future projects.

Quote of the day: "There are no mistakes as long as you learn something along the way. Remember, no matter how epic every journey begins with a single step and ROM wasn't burnt in a day. The heart is an open highway which is why I'm doing ~IT~ my way."

What do you think Dylon should do to attract attention to his nü Icon campaign?

A. Special Flash Sale T-Shirt?

B. Reddit AMA - Topic: Chain?

C. Memetic Onslaught?

D. Other?

Thursday, 11 December 2014

What is forty-two?

Beardecember 11th, 2014

(nü Icon campaign report - Day 2 of 8)
Woke this morning to discover that my total funds was equal to the meaning of life, the universe and everything.

Spent the afternoon with Dad working on a couple of different projects, one that's been over 20 years in the making and the other over 75! Results to be posted on Jack's Time in time.

Decided to go all out today and try several new avenues for promoting the Dylon Whyte - nü Icon campaign. So with a few of the dollars I had squirreled away from the five star spec fic writing gigs I did on Fiverr earlier in the year, I purchased 5 different kinds of promotion across multiple social media platforms.

For example, here are some posts I purchased from a lightning fast service:

Blogger -
Pinterest -
Google Plus -
Tumblr -
Twitter -

Will this be enough to spark a social media trend? I have no idea, but am as curious as hell to find out!

In the future I would love to offer similar services on my own social media networks and win or lose this entire exercise has been about learning. So why not learn as much about the snakes and ladders of crowdfunding as possible?

Also created the following tongue in cheek piece after receiving what feels like a robotic comment on my campaign that claimed to be a blogger. Figured this would be an excellent time to learn all the ins and outs of the digital seas.

What is The Why-King Way?

"If you wish to know why, ask why until you become why."

Often, it can be difficult to accept that we are the only ones who can answer certain questions for ourselves.

I love learning and sometimes it seems that there are more things that I would like to learn than it is possible to learn in a dillion lifetimes.

One of my many affirmations is "never stop learning" and one of the most important things I've ever learnt is that I know nothing. I love this fact as it means there is always something new to learn. Truly, I cannot imagine a fate more tragic than knowing it all, as it would mean that there is nothing new to learn.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

What's an FM Unit?

~IT~ Is Not What You Know ~IT~ Is What You Can Show

Beardecember 10th, 2014

(nü Icon campaign report - Day 1 of 8)

Freelance IT tech journal day 26 years and counting...

Had to see a Spring Bay client today and enjoyed a sunny drive to Mindemoya for smoothie supplies (nominally unavailable in Gore Bay) afterward.

Client was pleased and I finally got to see the renovations to the new building; which are stunning. With excellent light and acoustics, I kept thinking that it would make a delightful performance space.

This was the first time in ages that I could have just kept driving. Like I had been hibernating for so long that it was finally time to awaken from winter's shell. But as usual could not think of anywhere interesting to go and so returned home

Picked up wife from shop and stopped in to check on dad. We've been working on a new project and have been enjoying the opportunity to spend more time learning from each other.

There was a time I didn't appreciate his mentor-ship nearly as much as I have come to in the past couple of years. One of the many reasons I remain committed to Whytes and by extension our home town and the Island as a whole.

After discovering how many artists Laura Hollick interviewed over the years, I would love to arrange for a discussion style interview with her and my father. For this one I'd cast myself behind the camera in order to create a record of the conversation. Be one heck of a documentary!

It seems that no matter where I am or what I'm doing, the more I attempt to attract richness, the more I am either obligated to repair malfunctioning technology or discover trü gold in the form of some aphorism or wisdom.

As I drive, switching between the Moose and Q92 to avoid non-music, I think back to one of my many mentors and the many long drives to his central Manitoulin home/office nearly 45 minutes from my base of operations at the time.

He was a military technician going back to the 1950's. Honeywell in the 60's. CB Radios in the 70's and eventually PC's in the 1990's. One day he shared the best definition of a tech that I've ever come across;

"The trouble is that most people think that their technology contains an FM Unit." He said.

We stood examining some DOA technology. We were trying to figure out what message we were going to convey to the soon-to-be grieving client.

"What's an FM Unit?" I asked innocently.

"Fuckin' Magic!" He replied, "See, most people don't want to think about all the little details that go into making their technology work. They just want it to work when they want it to work or we get the call."

Pondering I asked, "Like the mathematicians, scientists, engineers, architects, etcetera, the ones that do the hard work?"

"Exactly." He said, "So relatively, what we do as technicians is translate what we know about the reality of how technology works to the (mostly delusional) user / end consumer."

"So, essentially we're translators?" I replied.

"You are catching on. It's all geek to me; the technomancer's mantra." He revealed.

I paused, pondering some more. "It's all geek to me." I just let those words sink in.

Finally I said, "kind of like Arthur C. Clarke?"

His bushy white caterpillar eyebrows perked, "How's that?"

"Something like, any sufficiently sophisticated technology is indistinguishable from magic?"

We both had a good laugh over that one and got back to the work at hand. Like so many mentors I've crossed tracks with over the years I'm not sure what happened to my friend.

After we parted ways his Expertronics were responsible for the first two print editions of The Art of Chainmail.

Which were produced from his basement office that by that time had nearly fully evolved into an early DIY print-on-demand service. Plus early delving into early e-commerce with an online jam and jelly outlet that I helped build from the ground up.

Ironically like myself, this mentor was also an armchair spec fic author. We would often discuss his latest sci-fi tales during lunch breaks when away from the office setting up networks. Such as the original network configuration at what was the newly-constructed Wiki highschool. (Please don't ever ask me to tell tales of the days spent in their server closets attempting to install NT 3.5" from floppy disk. The tedium is simply too terrifying to recount.)

Since leaving the island for London, I never talked to him again. Once I thought that I may have spotted him and his wife zoom past on the main street. They looked at me, but didn't stop. So either it wasn't them or they didn't recognize my countenance at the time.

I have run into him a couple of times in my field of dreams. Once he was just a distant voice on the telephone explaining how he didn't like his current residence very much.

Later I visited him and his wife in their new home. A sunny affair with big glass windows and lovely  garden.

He had apparently gotten into cloning and created numerous (if somewhat flawed) clones of himself. This meant that the house was filled with all manner of strange aberrations. Including one dude who carried a Siamese clone of himself around in a wheel-barrow.

Back to reality this evening, sitting down like Deadwood's Al Swearengen to plot my next move; wondering if perhaps something more calculated is in order. Then received email with first contribution to the Dylon Whyte - nu Icon campaign on IndieGoGo! W00t!

Was quite shocked to receive $20! With only $5977 to go, that means that if everybody was part of my social media network or the nü Icon Movie Facebook group donated just $3 (enough for a cup of coffee) I would be able to cover the nü Icon tuition without a second thought!

In honour of this, let's have a double-double question of the day:

Do you think ~IT~ is possible?


If not the nü Icon Program, what kind of project would you like to see me engage in next?

Brand New Perk?


I put this collage (illustrating my life and entrepreneurial career) together at the very last moment. It took about 3 hours altogether. I didn't know what I was going to do before I started and then all of a sudden the ideas just started coming to me.

The thing I learned most from creating this reflection of myself is not only am I one handsome devil, but I also have a great story to go with each picture.

For a donation of $5 I will write and publish a short story based on one of the pictures that make up the Diary of a Chainman collage. In order to finish on time my limit was about 100 photos, so I'm limiting this perk to the 101 stories.

Each story will be posted publicly on Diary of a Chainman as I have time to write it and like a tasty burger is first come, first serve.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

For Every Door That Closes, Another Opens?

Well, I didn't win a nü Icon scholarship like I had hoped. But, I did get an amazing amount of positive feedback about my scholarship contest entry and a great boost of positive energy from just having followed through on something I really wanted to do.

Something else I've always wanted to do is run a successful crowd-source campaign and since there is still a chance that crowd-sourcing can save the day I decided to put my money where my mouth is.

The great news is that the nu Icon program is currently available at a contest sale price of $5997.

I'd also really like to see Laura Hollick's notes on my entry, but the only way to do that is by paying for the tuition! For tonight I would need only the first month's payment of $597 and then the whole $5997 by December 17th.

What do you think?

Visit to share, donate or participate.

Follow my story on Diary of Chainman at

Feel free to email me at and remember that sharing is more important than donating!

Thank you in advance,


P.S. Perks from previous works now available!


From the FAQ Department, a reader asks...

Q. "In your book Beaded Chain Mail Jewelry (which I own and is very good) you say to tumble dry and not with liquid. Can you explain this please?"

A. Thanks for your inquiry! Dry instructions refer to using rice as a tumbling medium to polish or clean. For other kinds of tumbling, such as with steal shot for taking off burrs, wet is the way to go. Dry, crushed walnut shell is also popular for finish polishing fresh cut jump links.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Lord of the Jungle?

The mornings first question regarded the state of the jungle which occupies the better portion of the southern section of our apartment. Apparently midweek watering had been overlooked and the result was a room full of very distressed plants silently crying for attention.

For a moment I felt brutal, then I'm grateful for plants lack of vocal cords.

The decision to market cuttings from the jungle at our shop means that it has evolved from a hobby with the side benefit of effective organic air filtration and beautification to monetization requiring more diligent attention.

A cursory examination of the situation leads to the decision to give the entire jungle a right proper autumnal cleaning before watering.

As I trim dry leaves and long dead vines I imagine that for this miniature ecosystem I am quite literally a god of the four classic elements.  Warmth from the southern exposure of the apartment and electric heater are fire.

Then as the embodiment of wind, I tear through the jungle like a cleansing hurricane. In the wild these plants would naturally shed dead matter to the weather. Today my embodiment of air-bending is more hands on. By the end of the day this has lead to a million itchy micro cuts, abrasions and more than a few fine cactus needles stubbornly embedded in my flesh.

Like shifting lands, with the strength of the earth I lift and carry jungle specimens to new locales. I wonder if the plants experience these relocations as catastrophic earthquakes?

The thirsty plant babies cry out for hydration, some bone dry with sad leaves that wilt at my touch. They'll have to wait until everything is inspected and cleaned before the watering can jet stream lifts moisture from our kitchen sink and finally sates their drought.

One of the best complements the jungle received was from a visitor a few years back who's son was examining our crop of kittens. She said "You have a nice jungle." I replied modestly. She reiterated, "You don't understand. I'm from Brazil. I grew up in the jungle. When I say you have a nice jungle I mean you have a nice jungle."

I also recall another jungle admirer who confided that it was easier to bend the will of plants than people and therefore found gardening to be a much more rewarding activity. Given the ease with which we clone our specimens, he may have been right.

For a time I imagine am alternate world where the people are like plants. So that every time somebody loses a finger to an industrial accident they are made liable for care of the clone which grows from their severed digit.

I feel like a plant doctor of sorts, or perhaps surgeon is a better term. A pair of kitchen shears and a small serrated paring knife are my instruments. No anesthetic required as I remove a troubled cable tie which once support for a stalk is now digging into bark and causing a series money tree blockage.

When cut, certain specimens emit very distinct odors (including an umbrella tree that's rather piney.) I recall watching a nature documentary on YouTube about how plants communicate via scent when injured. I start wonder if the jungle now fears my presence like some kind of titanic Grim Repear for the botanical set.

Quote of yesterday: "If I had more time I would have written less."

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Why is my blog called Diary of a Chainman?

Sorry for the lack of content laltely fellow bloggies, here's an update on my latest project, please support my effort by liking and sharing:

Hi Laura and fellow nü Icon hopefuls,

How do you do?

My name is Dylon Whyte and medical science has no explanation for my feet.

This may seem like a strange place to start a last minute entry for the 2015 nü Icon scholarship contest. However, much like any loop, link, ring or circle, there’s a reason epic oddities tend to begin where they end. Or is that the other way round?

In my hometown I operate as a freelance jack-of-all-trades IT technician. In my “spare time” I am also a respected author, actor and artist who has never quite figured out how to make a living by “just being themselves.” In particular, the last 26 years have been spent creating and teaching folks how to make their own chain jewelry and armour.

Then one day (about a five and a half years ago) something unquantifiable happened. The resulting discovery was a preference for the of linking words into poems and stories. A creative expression I came to enjoy more than the physical activity of linking metal rings together to create clothing and jewelry.

Not that I had any desire to quit teaching, quite the opposite as a matter of fact. I have always thought it better to teach folk how to fish, as opposed to selling them fish.

Yet some unexplainable part of myself burns for something more. So over the years, instead of continuing with my regular DIY titles, I toiled (amongst other things) on a string of remarkably unsuccessful eBooks. Each with it’s own unique humour and each failing to reach an audience.

In the meantime we opened a small family gallery last year featuring the work of my father, artist Jack Whyte, amongst other friends. Here we envision a future where it will be possible to acquire the work we love directly from artists for resale. It is hard to imagine a more organic method for supporting arts and artists.

You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to start an all-original art gallery here!

The best way I can think of describing our region is as a locale which has been between a rock and a hard place for so long that the rat race evolved into a dog-eat-dog struggle for survival.

Although, I’m convinced that if you can survive here, you can survive anywhere. Also with the rise of crowd funding, virtual goods and everything in-between, the digital economy offers renewed hope for remote regions such as ours. If not our world as a whole.

I had to think long and hard about what to create for this scholarship entry. Being homeschooled and auto-didactic means that this kind of contest is an avenue which I hadn’t previously explored.
On some level I must like working under pressure or I simply wouldn’t always be leaving things like this to the last minute (literally 23 minutes to go as I edit this for the final time.) At first the plan was to create a video introduction to myself and career.

Then (as usual) my schedule was constipated by the regular chores of survival here on Manitoulin Island. The Island’s east end is literally the penultimate conclusion to Ontario’s Hwy 6. Which I believe starts somewhere down your way.

Finally I settled on a medium with which I’ve become accustomed since my rickety attempt at awakening nearly 5.5 years ago. In case it isn’t obvious, I’ve chosen storytelling with an accompanying picture collage as the medium for my contest entry.

The truth is that I’m a lover of art in all its forms. Often I find myself wishing that I could absorb every single artistic ability I stumble across. Currently, above all things, I have come to love evoking images and emotions in the imaginations of my audience.

My own strange tale is a combination of ups and downs with a persistent creative talent that at one time often seemed as much bane as boon.

However, for the sake of brevity already exceeded, I will now restrain my pen to the matter at hand and a tale which began last May with International Soul Day.

Although often dubbed “spiritual” by others, I’m actually not sure what a soul is and was immediately attracted learning more from this interactive online event. A discovery I would not have made if not for scanning targeted advertisements over my wife’s shoulder as she surfed a popular social media venue.

Interestingly enough, male vs. female audiences often receive radically different advertising and I was therefore enjoying an alternate perspective with insight into potential target audiences.

I don’t recall the exact content of the International Soul Day advertisement, but I was immediately drawn in and recall thinking “this is somebody I really need to learn from.”

Immediately I joined the Pure Inspiration mailing list and have followed your story for the past 9 months or so.

I particularly enjoyed the tales of your serpentine jungle encounter and your courage in overcoming art school critics. Above all else I have been completely blown away by the nü Icon material. As mentioned, my belief in the ability of a digital economy to reinvigorate the world is wholehearted and I simply love opportunities for distance education.

This means the nü Icon program is exactly the kind of learning I both desire to tap into and eventually share. With an eye toward someday awaking others to their potential, much as you do.

To me arts and culture are a vital component of mutually assured survival. This means the concept of joining the nü Icon program and mastermind are precisely the kind of collective connections I dream of fostering.

It may seem like a non-sequitur, but did you know that the average Northerner’s debt is akin to life with an angry Kodiak bear continually lurking over your shoulder?

Neither did I, until recently researching online advertising opportunities. I honestly thought I was alone in the feeling of being consumed by financial insecurity.

I remain convinced that it is this fact that lead my heart to literally skip a beat when I received the email announcing the scholarship contest for the 2015 nü Icon program.

Over the years I’ve been told that it is who and not what you know in life that makes a difference. Well, if there is one guide whom I would like to receive mentoring from in the new year, it is you, Laura Hollick. Or any of my assorted friends, family, fans, followers and yes, even foes who may happen to bee reading this.

There’s an old adage that states when a student is ready, the master will open the door.

So, if nothing else, I would like to thank you personally for your time, this opportunity and for all that you do in service to the arts.

Journey On,


P.S. Still wondering what the heck my feet have to do with it? Well, despite medical science’s lack of conviction on the matter, being attached to the rest of my person via my ankles is enough of an explanation for my feet as I’m ever likely to require. Of course, this doesn’t mean that it’s easy to find any (let alone good) winter boots for a person of my podiatric stature.

Please find attached some pics introducing myself and my latest wearable art project.

The same way each link that makes up a chains inevitably circles back on itself, chains themselves are especially symbolic for someone (such as myself) who is determined to make their own way in this world.

Thank you for Reading Diary of a Chainman