Author: Shiloh Sophia McCloud

musea shiloh sophia curator

MUSEA – Curator’s Update from Shiloh Sophia

Here at MUSEA, we’ve been busy in a great way! Our dedicated focus has been providing support for our community during COVID-19, Raven and Hummingbird Micro-Loans for women leaders in the community, the Re-Membering Circles for Mending Racialized Trauma, and at least 4 gifted programs in Intentional Creativity® for our communit – reaching thousands of women.

Here’s a little look at where we are…get a cuppa’ something good and feel PROUD that you are a part of a global movement honoring a diversity of women’s voices, stories, and art. YOU ARE PART OF THIS MOVEMENT MOVING! You might need to move your hips and paintbrush to get in the groove!

As for me, I am delighted, and yes a bit of an over-flowing cup with projects. I haven’t been able to turn towards the art shows specifically the way I had hoped this Summer – plus needing to be closed in our physical locations. Yet, onward! What a journey eh? We are working on it behind the scenes

I invite you to continue reading as I share a few exciting things for you to know! If you’d like to leave a comment, come on over to my post in the Red Thread Cafe.

Siempre Adelante


If you are not yet a Musea member, feel free to join to participate in our events and shows.

You can apply for a three month scholarship, or support Musea and know that your $10 a month is going directly towards the huge effort to finance bringing women’s voices to the front of the art scene. We aren’t waiting for them to come to us – we are defining the arena which represents less than 2% of women worldwide in museums. Our museum at present is 100% women artists. We will represent men in the future, in connection with women in our community.

The savings for courses and other benefits over the years will far outweigh your investment – and it is tax-deductible.

Imprensiva members are invited to our Salon next Thursday at 4pm PT, where Jonathan and I will talk about “Will art save us from irrelevance?” and will focus on the work of the Sapiens author, Yuval Noah Harari and his theory on uselessness and relevance for the future of humanity. What role do art and artists play?


UPCOMING SHOW AUGUST 26 at 4pm PT = Save the Date!

The next steps for the MUSEUM – we are working on our first online show for CODEX which will take place during our Red Thread Connect call for MUSEA members on August 26. Codex artists will be invited to share about their experience, then we will go into discussion groups to talk about – you guessed it – curating consciousness through Intentional Creativity. I will also offer a teaching on our philosophy about consciousness.

She Rides The Equal Sign: My 13 Moon Codex Painting

She Rides The Equal Sign: My 13 Moon Codex Painting



Our 3rd and 4th quarter line up of shows is exciting! For starters, We are over the moon that those who participate and complete our ARTIFACT Course will be invited to be part of an associated show focused on our work as the artifacts of this Age/Era/paradigm. What story will we tell? If our art was found 500 years from now, what would the archeologist discover about who we were as a people in the uprising and global pandemic of 2020? Truly relevant timing for women to claim their archetype! We just started this week – hop on to be a part of my only painting class this Summer and a chance to participate in the show. – Musea Members and Guild save $100 using code ‘paint’

ARTIFACT is also our first-ever experiment with having a Women of Color circle within a circle. We are doing culturally specific breakout groups and teachings for Black and Brown women to experience Intentional Creativity® on their terms. While we have had different diversity focuses within Intentional Creativity, we are proud to bring this template forward based on Resmaa Menakem’s work in the book, My Grandmother’s Hands.



Our Summer Show, the Un-finished Works of Sue Hoya Sellars 1936-2014 is on display at MUSEA in Sonoma and can be viewed by appointment. We plan to bring this show online towards the end of Summer. These were all the creations in her home when she walked on into the future.

Candlelit Painting



We aren’t just focused on our work within Intentional Creativity. Look at this woman’s art! Kine’ Awe is from Senegal in a very male-dominated art market. We are going to feature her and her work along with an interview. We are working with a French-speaking Guild member, for support with translation. This piece is called Offrande a Leuk Daour or Condition Feminine.

Kine says: “My work pays tribute to African contemporary and traditional women. Traveling constantly between continents (Africa, America and Europe), my art reflects my position as an insider and an outsider to a society that witnesses societal changes in which women have active roles. My work examines the agents of Westernization and globalization as seminal in defining and redefining the image of African women “at home”, on the continent. With the Curve Line or geometrical, I give the viewer my perspectives on women in Senegalese and African society living between tradition and modernity.”

Kine Awe Painting



Join us July 6 for our next Re-Membering Circle for Mending Racialized Trauma. We are delighted to welcome Lauren Adorno-Weatherford and Semerit Strachan to our Musea Team as on-going leadership for Re-Membering. What started as one call has become a revolution in and of itself for women Leaders of Color in our community to educate all of us.

You can donate on the page if you want to contribute towards the speakers.



We are offering our second season of Intentional Creativity Coaching, the Motherboard Training. We are opening for interest today! This is our curriculum focused on how to use this work with coaching, healing, helping professional trades with visual thinking. Bringing image and language to media, marketplace, corporate and graphic recording fields.


Musea Motherboard Intentional Creativity Coach



  1. Congratulations to those who completed the Dance of the Critic and the Muse (which is a pre-requisite for Motherboard) GOOD WORK!
  2. We continue to host monthly Cosmic Cowgirls Happy Hours for our owner-members. Last night’s call was hosted by Mary MacDonald.
  3. We wish to celebrate that Amber Gould, Milagros Suriano-Rivera and Uma Mulnick led their first-ever collaborative offering for MERIDIAN – Pain and Paint with over 1000 women registered and over 350 live. The team will be joining together to bring you another session – coming soon!
  4. MUSEA is over three months into COVID-19 and we are very proud to say that during this time we have only increased our commitment to providing jobs for women in our community. Adding up to 7 new paid staff members to the projects we are working on.
  5. Our Red Thread Connect call yesterday had over 85 women attending live and we focused on three different processes for trauma and resiliency. You can watch the recording here.
  6. With gratitude to the Intentional Creativity Guild members for their curriculum and support at the start of the COVID-19 cycle. And much thanks to Uma Mulnick and Rosie Mac for tending our cafe so beautifully.
  7. I wish to welcome a member of my family Maia Lemann – Sue Hoya Sellars granddaughter, to our Musea team. She is working closely with us on many projects.
  8. We formed a Co-Curator’s Circle with the Guild to support us in bringing shows forward together.
  9. Motherboard Student’s graduated, and joined the GUILD!
  10. And finally. Without Sarah Mardell, Amber Gould, Jenafer Owen, Mary MacDonald, and my husband Jonathan, we could not do what we are doing here at Musea.

To create what we are creating isn’t reasonable. It isn’t logical, and it isn’t financially feasible – it just doesn’t make sense on paper in any way. But, we are making it so. With our heart, our head, and our hands, we are creating a future that is more just, equitable, and beautiful in the arts.

The poster above, Siempre Adelante, was commissioned for clinics that work with Spanish speaking women – to have in the patient rooms. The whole series in Spanish and English is here. When I was designing the posters, we asked the Spanish speaking women what phrases they wanted to see. Since that time I have loved the phrase…. always moving forward! And indeed, we are. What are you making to represent what matters to you?

Siempre Adelante! Always moving forward!

Shiloh Sophia Painting

Musea Intentional Creativity

We opened a Global Museum yesterday, Shiloh Sophia

REVEAL Community Call – Recording from 5/27

Support our Vision for a global women’s museum through MUSEA Membership  

Wow! Helloooooooo! We opened a global museum yesterday! It was so wonderful to gather for our REVEAL preview of the website The MUSEA website has been a six month labor of love for myself and my team, especially Sarah Mardell and Amber Gould. The museum has been in the works for 30+ years! Our physical location in Sonoma was purchased in 2016, yet I have been running art spaces for women since my mid-twenties.

I am so glad that close to 200 women showed up to celebrate the site’s beginning. I had an emotional day – because not having you there in person was hard for me. I felt so isolated suddenly in a big building filled with art and no one there to see it but me. I missed my teacher Sue, and my mom Caron, and Mary and Jena, my two closest colleagues in the adventure which is Intentional Creativity. While I am grateful for technology, I will also be grateful when I can have an official opening with our community there. The whole thing, while virtual is really very very real, as you will hear about in the recording if you weren’t able to attend live. The energy in the E=mc2 is just as real as the light filled matter.

We intend for the site to be a valuable resource in our community for years to come. Yep, we are 17 years into the 100 year plan that was started by our community of women owners, Cosmic Cowgirls, LLC. I will share more with you as the days unfold, as we move towards our external launch – which may be after we can open to the community to come in person for champagne and cake! In the meantime, we will continue to develop the site as well as the most optimal way to showcase art going forward.

If you feel called to support the work, as well as to stay in communication, the best way to stay connected to all things Musea is to sign up to become a Musea Member,the basic level is just $10 and goes 100% towards women’s work. It will likely be years before membership can be a big part of making this possible financially. Every single member who signed up yesterday to show support is wind beneath our wings and gives us courage. If $10 a month isn’t reasonable for you at this time, sign up for a scholarship to stay connected and be on monthly calls with our community. For a long term venture like this, the Intentional Creativity Foundation will be working closely with our sponsors, donors, community, and in time, grants we hope!

I can really feel in my body, heart and mind what a big shift this was in the body of work which is Intentional Creativity. I am still finding language, and grounding in the reality of all of it.

Oh, how I am holding on for dear life to my own piece of the red thread…and at the same time asking if your thread is woven with ours?

One of the personally exciting parts of this new venture is that I am moving into my desired position in life, to be a Curator of a Museum, and not just any museum…one that is defined by the voices and images of women. I know Sue would be so proud, and I am so happy my mom, Caron was on the call yesterday, she sent me this:

“Oh my dear God! Oh my dear Shiloh!!! I am in total awe”

Nice to have your mom be proud of you!

shiloh sophiaTo keep myself grounded over the past few days I have been in my studio painting each night, remembering who I am and what I am here to cause and create!

I have a new show I hope to reveal in the Fall of my current works, and as Sue Hoya Sellars was fond of saying, “Let’s Commit Art”.

See you at the drawing board!





musea shiloh sophia curator


Coaching with Intentional Creativity®

Introducing Intentional Creativity Method® Coaching: Curating Consciousness : Discover how you can Empower Yourself & Your Clients with Visual Knowledge

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Can 'Healing' Make Us Too Tame?

Does our version of healing, tame us into submission?

Is our desire for domesticity, over-riding our call to the wild?

How can maintaining originality help us
navigate the rough terrain of life with innovation?

Is our potential for pleasure, and even bliss,
being forced into the background in the name of moderation?

“Learning to See in the Light” 2010 by Shiloh Sophia

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What’s Happening in the SPRING and SUMMER of 2019


In Person with Shiloh Sophia

On-Line Offerings




To summon the inner outlaws
won’t take extraordinary measures
for they are always listening at the gates
waiting to break free, break in, break out
Once they hear your voice respond
to the cries from inside, they won’t stop asking
Give them a pen, a paintbrush, a bell, a drum
a slim volume of verse or an invitation to tea
Don’t expect niceties, though words will be said
Don’t expect apologies or exhortations
Give them some room to expand into being
They carry medicine for our too-tame-times
Those who have been accused before
Who clamor within for a position at the front
Will soon enough be enchanting you
Stories from the edge of time will be spoken
So if your inner outlaws are bending your ear…
Listen up…Listen in…

Shiloh Sophia

Dear Ones,

I am writing today to explore an idea about healing that has been on my mind and heart a lot lately. As you likely know, I work with a lot of women, so I hear a lot of stories. 25 years of stories. What I find is that so many of us need an invitation to get more free, more self expressed, less apologetic and have more access to our intuition.

I don’t find a lot of women who are too big for their britches, think they are ‘all that’, have ideas way too out of the box, or that are just too wild for words. I don’t see much of inflated egos actually. I see us becoming more and more conservative as we seek to survive in our current paradigm. Trimming the edges and the hedges to be more invisible, call less attention to ourselves, and to not invite further attack, the ‘you don’t see me’ posture. There are good reasons for that, and I too have an invisible cape as needed.

The challenge is, hiding has become habit. Even when we don’t need to hide anymore, like in our women’s circle or a place we feel safe, many of us still keep most of our colors under wraps. Or when we are at the canvas or at the drum or at the writing desk, we STILL don’t self express in our own personal space. We aren’t free in ourselves. Ouch. Not free in front of others is one thing, not free in our own soul space is what I am exploring here.

Let’s be clear, we have done a lot of healing to get our sh*t together and I applaud us for that. But something is bugging me… I wonder, if aspects of that healing have left us thinking that a good life means that nothing is out of place? Nothing wobbles, nothing worthwhile is in the shadows, and that novelty and curiosity are optional and occasional.

Have we put the great mystery out with the compost?

What’s up? What’s down? What’s coming through for you?

Certainly this silencing of the wild self is not in all cases, all the time. And it is not just my personal experience I am speaking to – but what I see and hear a lot. And certainly continued healing is needed, but after the initial healing journey, where is the invitation to dance with shoes off, hair flying, heart out and colors flying? I am suggesting that after the ‘return home’ from any quest and some cleaning up of our messes – there is something to be considered about our own authentic self expression and the role that plays in healing as a whole, in living out our healing in our day to day lives.

I am concerned that some of our healing practices may result in curbing our wildness too much. Our desire for the ‘ever illusive balance’ may be dimming the spectrum of our eccentricities. Clipping the wild wings that long for freedom. Trimming up our jagged edges where the magic resides. Dulling the colors of our inner landscape. Fogging out the vibrancy and calling it normalcy.

Originality lives within each of us, but is often only celebrated by those who are ‘talented’ in expressing their originality. The rest of us may be seeking conformity in a desire to fit in, be loved, and survive. We may be dumbing down our own original voice as an act of self preservation. Yet that original voice may soon insist on an audience. It may come out in ways you do not expect. This part of you, may turn on you (as the critic) or turn on someone else (blaming others for your being unhappy). If we are lucky or perhaps clever, the inner outlaws will arrive on our doorstep laden with possibilities we didn’t dare consider.

Each person must define for themselves what healing looks like. We know this. Yet authoring this awareness needs further curation. We don’t learn early enough that our journey is very unique to our own being, and that discovering it for ourselves may be essential. One size does not fit all. What if nurturing these untamable parts of ourselves is part of the key to staying alive? What if ‘staying weird’ is part of the medicine? Just how weird, may be the question…just how wild is allowable?

Our contexts demand the adjusting of wildness in children, almost from the beginning. We wonder if the child is ‘socializing well’ and define for them what we think that means. Meanwhile, the inner world of the child often goes neglected after ‘imagination’ turns to homework. Should the backpacks of children become so heavy so soon after the crayons are put away in the kitchen drawer and the art is removed from the fridge? Too often, this transition is NOT well narrated.

We lose access to the hidden domains too soon. It may be a long time before we get back “in”. Yet the desire to return will always be with us, because vivid imagination lives on in us, even if we aren’t making use of it, in the way that we could.

Our imagination can help us heal from trauma. As we know, the impact of trauma goes everywhere in us (mind, body, spirit, field, story), so trying to heal it through talking, energy work, or body work without those being somehow linked, is a long road. We do our best to link modalities, to find the thread. Imagination can help us link the modalities and create a context for the journey. The one who is capable of telling the healing story needs nurturing, and that one is often hidden from view and is connected with the wildest part of who we are.

I believe each soul has their own information. I know that access to that information is often hidden for much of our lives. I hold dear the experience that gaining access to that hidden, albeit often swampy terrain, can be life saving. I am also aware that some of us can get stuck there and not be able to come back out easily. Yet it is TIME for us to try harder and work smarter to link up the modalities in fresh ways AND invite the realm of imagination to play the key role. Trauma lands everywhere in us, but so does our imagination permeate everywhere in us. Yet we have to ‘ask and engage’ with that imagination for it to turn on.

How can we keep accessing the richness, the fertile darkness, the unexplored, the usefulness of the hard stories in the past, the light from the wound? I believe healing the imagination is one of the pure links to healing trauma that can keep the channel open to wildness. Yet this way of working with ourselves and others must be chosen. This awareness, to value the wild, is not a default and no longer obvious to many of our systems and structures. The Indigenous communities on earth have always known this, according to the mythologies we learn from them.

I feel like one of my essential and beloved invitations is the call to the wild that has gone dormant. The invitation is to come home to our innate creativity. The re-awakening of the edges that both cut and define. The summoning to the slumbering poet, artist, singer, storyteller, actor, chef, jeweler, potter, visionary. The makers I call! Yet all are makers.

Many of our mood drugs turn down the volume on the circumference of our deep seeing. Much of our ‘programming’ enhances the dream of ‘keeping up’ as primary. Some days, when the seeing of this paradigm weighs on my psyche, it all feels very enforced. This severing of our original voice, inner knowing and seeing. Is it a systematized, organized enforced reality? (This moving towards beige.)

I know it is not everywhere. Not all the time. But enough to make me wonder and ask. How do we maintain the wetlands of consciousness in the healing journey? How do we honor the badlands of our stories?

One of the hopes for recovery for the sleeping self, is to include all that has happened, to make it relevant and even useful to our current story. Not to make it go away, be dissolved or so transformed to the point we can no longer recognize the teachings. We need to honor the part of us which is resistant to domesticity and compliance. Note that I do not suggest that bad things ‘had’ to happen. Yet they just do happen, don’t they? We make what we will make of it.

Innovation, authenticity and resiliency are functions of a healthy imagination. I want to pay closer attention to the link between imagination and true well-being. Not a tamed version of ourselves that fits into societal structures. This means, that one of our collective assignments is to cultivate communities where there is enough space for the unplanned, imperfectly glorious spontaneous wild card.

When we first encounter this often hidden part of ourselves, crazy and messy and loud may be the most visible parts. Give us some time to see what may exist just beyond the initial outbursts. Give the wild ones a little more space within yourself and circles. There will be plenty of time for boundaries and protocol once the intelligence of rewilding has rejoined itself into the presence of being. Who knows how long this will take? No one. We just know without the wild ones, our circle of chairs soon ends up in squared, neat ordered rows.

True selves in hiding can become unruly. They do act out. Over time, we are taken out by them, and our addictions, or we stuff them down. We may even promise a return one day, but that day rarely comes.

Courage is called for. This is that call. From my heart to yours, creativity is the act that will forge the pathway to the inner world that waits. Maybe you have heard the cries from there before…Maybe you even answered and now you guide others to listen…

If you do not have a creative space in your home for you, your children or your grandchildren, please make one.

As for pleasure, and even bliss, engaging in one’s own creative flow can be one of the most satisfying experiences in our lives. For me, creating is pure presence, embodied access, when I feel the very most me. Feeling good can be a rare experience for many of us. So when transformation and feeling good are linked, that’s a really good thing.

When we become too tame, we naturally fear the wild self. When the wild self is too far underground or behind lock and key, we may find ourselves very disconnected. The wild self seeks consciousness at every crossroads. This is one of those crossroads collectively and individually. Let’s continue to do the work of waking up.

By wild self I mean the person who is sovereign. Who thinks for themselves, has cognitive awareness, is able to access their inner world, knows largely what they think and feel. A person who can break free of systems and is willing to not follow popular thought when it doesn’t feel right for them. You define your wild self for yourself, that is pretty wild right there.


Feel free to Share. Comment. Suggest. Inquire. Here

The most important part of this whole Red Thread Letter is right here – to ask you the questions….

  1. Has your healing journey made YOU too tame and in what ways?
    What about others you know? Children? Lovers?
  2. Where did this story resonate or dissonate? And do you know why?
  3. Is there an ‘inner outlaw’ trying to get out?
  4. Is there a form of self expression calling to your wild self?
  5. Do you have some wisdom or story to offer on this topic?

If you want to comment on my Artist FB page, I do read all the comments on posts like this 🙂 Comment here

Thinking of you. Truly. Lovingly. Holding you, and all of us, in my prayers.

P.S. Looking back I can see that this inquiry was a huge part of my choice to call women’s community as Cosmic Cowgirls – women who incorporate both/and.

From our research in the Intentional Creativity Foundation with over 500 participants about their experience with creativity:

93% experience creativity as a mindfulness practice

89% include creativity as a part of their spiritual practice

89% felt a sense of connection with the Divine

86% felt that their creative practice positively impacted those closest to them

92% feel that creativity influences their compassion for themselves

83% experienced compassion for others they did not know through stories they heard

80% said they would suggest creative process to others who experience depression

87% consider themselves self expressed as compared to before they were creating

86% said they have experienced breakthroughs and aha’s during creating

90% said they have experienced a shift in their default thinking

89% bring insights into their life discovered in creating

85% said they experienced an expanded sense of self

79% noticed an ease of physical symptoms while creating

93% experience creating as a relief/break that benefits their overall well being

90% have experienced a shift in recurring emotional pain through creative process

90% said that creativity helped them maintain a healthy outlook

“To live, we must daily break the body and shed the blood of Creation. When we do this knowingly, lovingly, skillfully, reverently, it is a sacrament. When we do it ignorantly, greedily, clumsily, destructively, it is a desecration. In such desecration we condemn ourselves to spiritual and moral loneliness, and others to want.”

— Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

Please note : My email is changing soon to, so if you can add that to your address book. We will also begin to communicate more as MUSEA : Intentional Creativity in the coming months. More on that soon…

My Teacher…this painting is astonishing…

“Paint like you have all the time in the world”

~ Sue Hoya Sellars

‘Centaur Becoming’ painted by Sue Hoya Sellars
for my sister, Shannon Cinnamon McCloud

This painting, to me, is astonishing. Just take a moment to pause and look at it. The expression on the horse’s face, the hills, the mist, the hands, the extension of the hair… the untold story of my sister and her red roan…

Dear Ones,

April 20 was the 83rd birthday of my teacher and the mother of my heart, Sue Hoya Sellars. She has been gone from this dimension since 2014, yet remains in my cosmic soul dimension as a constant presence.

I want to share her with you a bit today because Intentional Creativity, my sacred work in the world, is alive because of her and what she taught me. Sue and my mother were best friends, and shared the same week for their birthday. In the last Red Thread Letter I shared about my mom, and in this one I am sharing about Sue. I wish to honor them the best I can, as I honor the origin of their arrival on earth.

When I think about the gifts she gave me, it is beyond imagining. The grief appears unmovable, a part of who I am now. I used to want it to go away, but now I know this is what love really feels like. To love someone so profoundly, and to experience the loss of them from this known life, is the bittersweet gift. I feel she lives on in another place in the great mystery. If I believe she came to find me….then I can believe that one day I will go to find her again. Somehow.

What’s more, is that one person could have such a profound impact in the life of another, to the degree that without her I KNOW that I would not have chosen this life path. I KNOW I would not be teaching painting the way I do. I KNOW I would not have created Intentional Creativity. BECAUSE the information she gave me informed all of these choices so powerfully, that they are forged from her energy and intelligence. As if her ways of knowing built the matrix upon which I stretched my own awareness like a canvas ready for the brush. Sue built the frame, the container. My mother Caron wove the canvas, the context. I bring my own content, yet fully informed by the two of them. I am so grateful.

To try to speak to it, feels futile. Like trying to describe the magnificence of a forest. Impossible. I bow in great thanks to the Creator of all, for Sue coming into my family in the years before I was born…and staying so close to us for so long.

I give thanks to her teacher, Lenore Thomas Straus, who gave Sue what she gave to me, that I give to all of the women I serve with Intentional Creativity.

Happy Birthday my great teacher, American Master Painter, Sue Hoya Sellars 1936-2014.


A few quotes from Sue that I love…

“We are all cooling sacks of stars”

“Paint like you have all the time in the world”

“Pay attention to what is happening at the end of your brush”

“We are standing in the cosmos”

“Who lives in here?”

~ Sue Hoya Sellars

An invitation to give thanks…And so one of my reasons for writing to you today is with an invitation. An invitation to reach out to someone who has taught you…someone who has guided you…shown you the path…and to thank them. Living or not…who comes to mind?

How about a letter, phone, text, speaking to the stars. There are so many more things I wish I had gotten to say to her. I feel I speak to her, apologizing for certain things over and over…and giving thanks for certain things as they arise…a continual dialogue that is part of the grief journey – an ongoing reconciliation. If your teacher, guide or mentor is living…why not give a shout out or do a social media post.

This weekend I got to deliver a message, on Jesus and the Women in His life at Woodside Village Church. It was wonderful to be serving with my friend Rev. Pastor Ama Zenya again. For many years we worked together at the First Congregational Church of Oakland. We also hung an art show there of my paintings of Mama Mary and Jesus and the Magdalene. I got to see new and old friends, and meet women who work with me online that I might never get to meet otherwise. #showingup

So dear one….if you read this far, thank you for your care, for your listening time, and your presence in my life. The red thread of connection continues to weave us.

With great heart,

p.s. My email is changing soon to, so if you can add that to your address book. We will also begin to communicate more as MUSEA : Intentional Creativity in the coming months. More on that soon – I just like to give myself a long lead time on important projects…