1986: the beginnings of Conscious World Art

by Alden Cole on January 15, 2017 · 0 comments

1986OriginalPosterWPIn June 1978 when I was in Santa Fe NM visiting friends Pasha Buck and Amelia Hartzel I first encountered the Creed of the Magi (quoted in full at the end of this posting) which immediately struck a responsive chord in me. Once back in NYC I was inspired to create a b&w poster incorporating the text
CreedMagiArtWPfor which I also penned the calligraphy, combining it with a 9″-square work of art done in ink using both a triple-0 Rapidograph pen and a brush. This early version of the poster is shown above; at left is the detail of the art. While in NYC I had a hundred copies of the poster printed in an 11″ x 14″ format on four different tones of off-white card-stock, as well as a reduced 8-1/2″ x 11″ version on bond paper which were used as envelope stuffers by one of my clients. However I didn’t market either version well, instead giving copies away primarily to friends. Soon after moving to Philadelphia in 1986, my teacher JMH recommended that I consider republishing the poster with more serious intent to sell, advice which I wisely chose to follow. But first I needed a name for this budding enterprise which I was being encouraged to start. After tossing around several possibilities, I came up with two variations using my initials AWC that expressed my aspirations as an artist – World Conscious Art or Conscious World Art. JMH choose the second; thus I was off on a new business venture of my own.

CreedMagiWPFor the initial run I printed 500 copies on 11″ x 14″ off-white card stock which I first marketed to my former employer Samuel Weiser Inc. who agreed to distribute copies to their book trade. Later in the fall of 1986 I started selling copies at the Garland of Letters on South Street in Philadelphia. It took almost eight years, but eventually all five hundred copies sold, so I decided to republish. This time however I wanted to improve the overall quality of the poster by typesetting the copy, rather than maintaining my calligraphy which was looking rather quaint by this time. The latter typeset version of the poster, published in 1994 is seen above. I still have copies available at $10 each; as well as a few copies at $20 each of the original poster, shown at the top of this posting, which incorporates my calligraphy, the naif charm of which increases the more I look at it these days.

2017Jan12-827pmWP“I who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon upon the mysteries of the waters, I call upon your soul to arise and come unto me. For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the
1987?OriginalPencilDrawingGSWPuniverse. From me all things proceed and unto me they must return. Let my worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And you who seek to know me, know that the seeking and
ChargeGoddessWPyearning will avail you not unless you know the Mystery: for it that which you seek you find not within yourself, you will never find it without. For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.”

ChargeOfTheGoddessWPIn the early 1980s I had first read The Charge of the Goddess on the back of Luna Press’s Lunar Calendar. Like The Creed of the Magi, I experienced an immediate resonance with the words of the invocation, which I carried with me to Philadelphia. I eventually shared them with JMH who encouraged me to turn them into a poster – my second for the evolving line of Conscious World Art publications. The pencil sketch at the top of this section was my first rough composition for the project, which I developed into the artwork beneath that, which was incorporated into the finished poster reproduced immediately above. Copies of this 14″ x 11″ poster are still available for $10 each from yours truly.

The Creed of the Magi

God is my Father
Nature is my Mother
The Universe is my Way
Eternity is my Kingdom
Immortality is my Life
Truth is my Worship
Love is my Law
The Mind is my House
Form is my Manifestation
Conscience is my Guide
Peace is my Shelter
Experience is my School
Obstacle is my Lesson
Difficulty is my Stimulant
Joy is my Hymn
Pain is my Warning
Work is my Blessing
Light is my Realization
Friend is my Companion
Adversary is my Instructor
Neighbor is my Brother
Struggle is my Opportunity
Future Time is my Promise
Equilibrium is my Balance
Order is my Path
Beauty is my Ideal
Perfection is my Destiny
and Unity with Omnipresent God is my Ultimate End

from the ancient Persian prayer to Ormazd, from the Zoroastrian tradition

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: