Silent WitnessHow many times have you heard or seen a News story about an individual, a family, a town or even an entire country suffering simply because of circumstance and felt that burning need to do ease that suffering? And how many times have you also felt incredibly helpless and frustrated because you don't have the money or the skills needed to make a difference?

I know I have felt like that for a very long time. The devastation created by hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis; the look of desperation, hopelessness and failure in a mothers eyes as she endures the pain of her children created by starvation, illness and poverty; the fear on the faces of women trapped in a home being abused physically, mentally and emotionally with no-one to turn to for help; seeing and hearing about these and other unimaginable travesties has haunted me for years...along with my inability to do anything about it.

Since I can remember, I have had a dream; a dream that one day my circumstances would change; a door would open and I could finally do SOMETHING to REALLY make a difference. In February this year (2011), it did...

I cannot remember how I came into contact with The Artist In You! on Facebook. It may have been a suggestion from a friend or it may have been something I spotted on my Newsfeed. I do know that it took about 2 weeks before I realised The Artist In You! was NOT just another Facebook group for artists; NOT just another Facebook page for artists. However, when I first 'joined' I, like many other artists on Facebook, saw it as simply another place to 'show off my art'!

Yep, I had fallen victim to the "FANS" (Fine Art 'Napster' Syndrome) that was becoming fashionable on Facebook.

So, I posted some of my art to the The Artist In You! group and page and waited. Waited for the "ooooo's" and "aaahhhhh's" that I had grown to expect. I mean, seriously, looking pathetic was THAT? Here I was, painting pictures, uploading them all over Facebook and...what? I was going to be magically 'discovered'? People were going to be falling over themselves to buy my work? Who was I kidding? Yep...only me!

So...I waited...and then it came! My first comment and 'LIKE' from my upload to The Artist In You! page. I was SO excited! What did it say? Let me, embarassingly, try and remember...

"Love this would be really nice to know something about this painting though like why you painted it, what materials you used, what inspired you - that kind of stuff. Also, it's kind of a no-no to post links to your own galleries on here. The Artist In You! is not like any other page on Facebook...check out the info page to learn more about our objectives and mission. We hope you will continue to share your work with us - posting within the guidelines of course - and look forward to seeing more from you soon! Thanks for sharing!"

Boy, did I feel STUPID! I had become SO de-sensitised by the constant posting/linking whenever and wherever you can that had become the 'norm' for artists on Facebook, I hadn't even bothered to take the time to read the INFO page for this group or page - I ASS-U-ME-D I already KNEW!

It took me TWO WHOLE DAYS, to climb out of the pit of woe I had jumped into, before I could bring myself to go back, read the INFO and, from there, read the discussions to learn what it was that made The Artist In You! different to all the other Facebook groups and pages I had become so used to. In fact, I nearly didn't go back at all (such was my feeling of humiliation) but I am SO glad I did! What I discovered was an INCREDIBLE group of warm, caring, loving and sharing people who ADORED all forms of art and had set something in motion that was the very opportunity I had been looking for all these years.

Here's the thing, The Artist In You! is SO MUCH MORE than just another Facebook group or page.

We have The Artist In You! TV Channel! on YouTube where you will find a truly eclectic mix of all genres of art - music, films, visual art, poetry, sculpture, inspiration, fun, cuisine, horticulture and so much more! It is a place to share uplifting videos with your friends, discover something to enjoy in a quiet moment or maybe sit down with friends and enjoy a movie! Pure creative FUN...all in one place!

We also have our Art 4 Good page - sister page of The Artist In You! page - where you will find the most sumptous and exquisite art collection anywhere on the internet!

And now we have The Artist In You Blog! - of which I am proud and honoured to be Editor in Chief! Launched on 17th March 2011 and now sharing some 400+ blog posts created by a variety of Authors (and new Authors are always welcome!), it is quickly becoming a real hot-spot for those who LOVE to SEE and READ about ART and covers a huge range of subjects such as visual art, poetry, recipes, stories, events - in fact anything creative you can possibly think of!

But it doesn't stop there.

You see, The Artist In You! was created by a visionary - probably THE most remarkable person I will ever 'meet' in my lifetime. Someone who has spent their entire life DOING what I have always longed to do. Someone who has made it their life to learn, learn and continue to learn all they can about how to create success. The difference is, this person has also made it their life to create success FOR OTHERS!

The person I speak of is the founder of The Artist In You!, Wendie Busig-Kohn.

Wendie is a true Philanthropist. Her vision is to bring like-minded people from all over the world together and, by combining her knowledge, experience and natural intuition with the unbridled creativity that exists within ALL of us, channel the results in a way that CAN and WILL make a DIFFERENCE all around the globe! And, against odds that would have stopped most of us at the first hurdle, she has held true to her dream and vision and is MAKING IT A REALITY right here...right now.

However it happened, my discovering The Artist In You! was no accident. It was destiny. It would never have happened before because I wasn't ready before...but I am now. I have been unconditionally embraced by the most incredible group of people you could ever wish to 'meet' through The Artist In You! at a time in my own life when I have both the time and energy to embrace in take on board all there is on offer, relish it, get excited by it, have fun with it, grow with it and, ultimately, DO GOOD and GIVE BACK through it.

The support, encouragement, enthusiasm and integrity of the people here at The Artist In You! is unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life before. To be part of a community where the joy comes from the success of others...where the real pleasure is in sharing in someone else's achievement...well, you just can't put a price on that. I have learned that by working together as a team and supporting one another, we all grow...we all gain...WE ARE ALL WINNERS!

With the expertise and guidance Wendie freely shares with everyone, I have discovered a sense of purpose. Before meeting Wendie, I had no real aspirations for selling my art - if someone wanted something, fine...if not, it was no big deal. Now I WANT to sell...REALLY want to sell. Why? Because this is my opportunity to fulfill MY DREAM. I can use my art (something I enjoy creating more than I ever thought possible) to make a difference in the help people trapped by circumstances beyond their control ALL AROUND THE WORLD! I may never meet them, nor they me, but here in my heart I will know I have made a difference and that's what counts!

I believe in The Artist In You! and everything it stands for and I believe in the people who make it what it is - an amazing community filled with HUGE hearts, OPEN minds...and, most importantly, ONE LOVE!

I am always looking forward to meeting more and more like-minded, creative people every day through The Artist In You!...maybe I will be lucky enough to meet YOU!

Tracie Koziura
Editor in Chief
The Artist In You Blog!