greetings NxLevelers

welcome past, present and future NxLevelers. you've found your way to the blue13satellite - a blog created for a growing creative community in denver and beyond interested in creative enterprise.

my name is matthew colella, creative director at blue13creative and one of the fortunate creatives who received a scholarship from the denver small business development center and colorado creative industries to attend the inaugural 2010 NxLevel Business Education course for Creative Entrepreneurs. designed specifically for people like you and i, NxLevel is a 10-week crash course in business plan development and strategic planning for creative professionals looking to take their talents, for lack of a better term, to the next level.

are you considering enrolling in the class? not sure if it's for you? here's a few things i learned... NxLevel is perfect for the freelance writer/photographer/designer who's tired of working for someone else and wants to start their own company. it's for the budding/established/veteran artist who wants to develop their talents into a primary income source. and it's for any creative entrepreneur who wants to transform their creative skills and passions into a viable business model.

one of the conditions of my scholarship was an agreement to blog through the class. (i'm a professional writer and editor with years of experience in several creative industries including print media, radio, film, television and the arts.) so choosing me for the role of class crier recorder was a natural fit, i suppose. each week i posted a little write-up detailing the topics, lessons and guest speakers (and goodies they often brought to class -- hello free cupcakes!) we heard in class.

so take a moment to click around the satellite's posts tagged 'NxLevel' if you're interested in getting a feel for what the course is like. i recommend starting with week #1 and working your way back, but whatever. you're creative; you'll figure it out. these blog entries don't nearly do the class and its vast amounts of information justice but you can definitely get a feel for what kind of education is offered.

and, if you care to stick around and read some of the other things our creative peers are doing in the mile high city, that would be great, too.

thanks for reading -- and good luck on your creative journey.



the quantum t-shirt debut (part 2)

we're back from the four corners and our debut quantum t-shirt show in durango. here's a quick recap and update from all that went down during the weekend.

first, thank you so much to all the fine folks at the lost dog bar & lounge on main street in durango. i have some close pals that tend bar and keep an eye on things there, but the owner ann is an amazingly kind and generous host. she was extremely helpful in assisting blue13 with whatever we needed all weekend long. ann and many of her staff are now quantum t-shirt wearers and doing their part to contribute quantum positivity toward our collective consciousness. ha!

also, many thanks to ted holteen, the durango herald's arts & entertainment editor for getting a great little write-up about our show in friday's edition. if you're interested in reading some cool press about the quantum t-shirt project, check it out HERE and drop ted a note. he'll like that.

and, of course, thank you to all the amazing people who came to the show -- especially those who purchased shirts. this project has been such a long time coming that i hadn't even really imagined what it would be like to see someone actually wearing my designs (see photo above). it's simultaneously satisfying and humbling to know that there are people who enjoy your art and appreciate a project like this. i've said this before, but positivity is a good commodity - even if it's delivered via a goofy (sweatshop-free) t-shirt. so, in the interest of recycling gratitude, thanks.

here's a few photos from the show (you can check out a small album of pics on our facebook page, too). might as well "like" us while you're there. :) most of the shots are of the lost dog's gallery space after setting up the shirts. i stopped taking pics once the show was going and i had settled into a few tasty local beers from the durango brewing company.

so what's next? well, as great as this show was, i feel like it was the precursor to even bigger and better events in the near future. we are currently working on securing a gallery space across the street from blue13's work studio on the amazing tennyson street art district in denver. nothing is set in stone as of yet, but we REALLY want to knock a huge first friday event out of the park in june.

that date is right around the corner, so keep your eyes open for an email invite to the event in the very near future. if anyone is interested in getting involved (as volunteers are welcome and needed), it would be great to hear from you. and, if anyone wants to help spread the word, we think that would be really great. we'll let everyone know as soon as possible.

that is, IF you think spreading good vibes is a profitable venture.

thanks for reading.



the quantum t-shirts have landed

it's an exciting week for us here at blue13creative preparing to celebrate the launch of our very own quantum t-shirts! during the past several months we've been busy working on this clothing line and we're thankful that it's finally coming to life. and our debut show, scheduled for friday, may 6th at the lost dog lounge in durango, colorado, is just a few short days away.

we've been going back and forth on where and when to have this launch party. and while blue13 is undoubtedly super excited to have an official event here in denver in the very near future (first friday in june, likely), we decided to take the show on the road for a few reasons.

first and foremost, we LOVE durango. i graduated from fort lewis college in '99 (has it been that long?) and simply refused to leave after receiving my degree. i had an amazing group of friends and was working in the wine industry during the day and as an editor for the durango herald at night. life was (and is) good.

and, as many of you know, ski-town living in colorado is incomparable. the sense of community in our state's mountain towns is unlike anything i've experienced before or since.

back then, i was heavily involved in several community media outlets and organizations. these days, two really good friends of mine are 1) the station manager at KDUR, durango's community radio station and, 2) the arts & entertainment editor at the herald. good friends to have when you're in need of some local press, indeed. along with the handful of pals i have in the wholesale/retail/service beverage industries, it just made sense to make our shirt debut in the four corners.

this week has been consumed with show preparations by a guy (yours truly) who knows very little about assembling a successful art show. i always assumed there wasn't much beyond hanging art and offering free booze. ha! and while those concepts will be the pillars of our event friday night, i'm learning on the fly that there's more to pulling off a knockout event.

i've been able to recruit a couple friends to volunteer at the show to help with sales and stuff. other friends of mine are helping with the set up at the gallery and making sure everyone stays well greased (i.e. glasses stay full).

the quantum t-shirt project has been about a year in the making. the results to our event this weekend are relatively important for the success of blue13 moving forward. we hope the designs are received as well as their concept has been since we've been talking about them last summer.

considering many of the shirts have an eastern philosophical theme, i'm genuinely trying to put into practice some of the ideals that inspired the project to begin with. i've blogged about some cool contemporary takes on taoism in the past, but for the upcoming weekend i'm focusing on the taoist principal of detachment. it is important, according to taoist teachings, to detach ourselves from expectations of any kind.

taoist detachment, also expressed as non-attachment, is a state in which a person overcomes his attachment to desire for results and thus attains a heightened perspective. it is a vehicle to help release an individual from desire and ultimately from self-created suffering.

lao tzu, the ancient philosopher widely recognized as the founder of taoism, expressed the concept of detachment in the world-renowned tao te ching text as such:

"self or wealth: which is more precious? gain or loss: which is more painful? he who is attached to things will suffer much. he who saves will suffer heavy loss. a contented man is rarely disappointed."

so... in the end, the quantum t-shirt project is really just a bunch of shirts. would i like for the designs to be a grand success? sure. but if the trip ends up being nothing more than an opportunity to catch up with old friends and show them what i've been up to for the past year, that sounds pretty good, too.

besides, i hear they have a damn fine brewery in that little town i love so much.

here's to abundant prosperity for all of us. thanks for reading.