A Letter from the Editor

the artist: a state of emergency

in the past ten years i have lost a total of three friends to suicide. what did they have in common?- all of them were artists. not just average artists; these three people were extraordinary, intelligent, deeply compassionate, artists. if you are one yourself, then you are already very aware of what i am about to say:

this is a state of emergency.

our society does not foster art. it does not take care of empathic people. our society, in fact, trains us to ignore our artistic side. ask yourself: did you have a hobby as a child (drawing, making up wild stories, putting on plays, dancing sans inhibitions) that you lost? where did this kid you used to be go?

you may have buried the creative child inside of you. those of us who have not, the rare spectacles of our species who fight tooth and nail to keep this child-like state, are giving up. it’s not just disappointing. it’s not selfish. it’s a real problem. we have stopped caring.

when i received the news earlier this week that my friend had taken his own life, i sat in front of the computer. i didn’t know what to say. i didn’t know what to do. i stood up after several minutes (felt much longer), and looked around my living room.

panic. sheer panic. i didn’t know what to do.

how did it get so bad? how did we, the friends, the keepers, miss it? how do we miss the pain that is right under our noses, deny it because it’s always there, shove it aside because we have our iPhones, and our tablets, our Facebook, wine, and iron-clad defense mechanisms?

this life is too fragile to be ignored.

after pacing for half of an hour (still seemed longer), i came to the conclusion that i refuse to be part of this epidemic.

donald trump is systematically attacking the arts and arts education within our public schools, and on a much larger scale. i can sign all the petitions i want, and i have been. i can send emails, “vote” on my little countable app, and be vocal as hell, but this isn’t enough action for me. it shouldn’t be for you either.

“make something,” i told myself, “that’s what artists do. that’s what i do.”

i told my deceased friend, told his spirit that is- i will never, ever, ask anyone anywhere to quell their artistic talent. i will, from this day forward, do everything i can to push our society to create art.

i don’t want to live in a society that fosters unfeeling robot syndrome. do you?

so, let’s make a promise to each other.

let’s promise that this art, what makes life worth living, will not be put under. if we’re defunded, let us keep going. if we’re made fun of, let us keep going. if we are asked to be quiet, let us raise our voices. if they take away our paper, let’s write on the wall.

you hate poor people, paul ryan? well, i hate politicians. i have more tools in my art box than you have in your rich white man office.

you don’t like illegal immigrants, trump? i love graffiti and masturbation- both of which are technically illegal. i love illegality because it begs to be challenged.

bring it on. i’ll rally for my lost friends.

 because not all of us artists are willing to give you the satisfaction of death.


The Future of Fiant Verbas

Keep the submissions coming! If you haven’t submitted for our Spring Edition, or have no clue what we’re talking about, then check out the submission guidelines.

This blog site is just the beginning. Fiant Verbas plans on expanding, but we need your help! Here is the link to our go fund me page. Or, you can send some cash to maggiehellwig@gmail.com via paypal. Either way, you’ll be signed up for our newsletter and receive a free lifetime subscription to our journal online.


Any money received will be used for curation of a new website, or for production of hard copies of Fiant Verbas.

Which leads us to the next piece of news: beginning with the first issue, all digital copies of Fiant Verbas will be published with issuu.com! In addition, we will be selling a limited amount of handmade copies.

Margaret Atwood’s Two Cents on The Handmaid’s Tale

At the dawn of the Hulu series adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood shares her thoughts. What does the book mean for us? What was it intended for? For whom was it intended?

“Why do we never learn the real name of the central character, I have often been asked. Because, I reply, so many people throughout history have had their names changed, or have simply disappeared from view…

handmaid's tale

Offred records her story as best she can; then she hides it, trusting that it may be discovered later, by someone who is free to understand it and share it. This is an act of hope: Every recorded story implies a future reader. Robinson Crusoe keeps a journal. So did Samuel Pepys, in which he chronicled the Great Fire of London. So did many who lived during the Black Death, although their accounts often stop abruptly. So did Roméo Dallaire, who chronicled both the Rwandan genocide and the world’s indifference to it. So did Anne Frank, hidden in her secret annex.”

To read the article in full, click here: “Margaret Atwood on What ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Means in the Age of Trump.”

Food for Thought (from the Thought Catalog)

Janne Robinson wrote an article for the Thought Catalog that had all of us on a “life high” for days, and why shouldn’t we spread the love?

Read “Bullshit, You Aren’t Living.”

You don’t need to write some fucking self help book with the intention it’s going to save people, or become Tony Robbins or go build 12 schools in Colombia (or do) to save our planet—you want to save our planet? Live your god damn truth.

Jack(ie) of all trades, Janne Robinson

Cement Factory into Mansion

Ricardo Bofill’s household, outside of Barcelona, is a very old Cement Factory. La fabrica is a beautiful creation of Bofill’s own architecture; it reminds us of countless possibilities in the most unlikely places. Read the article here: “Architect Turns Old Cement Factory Into His Home…”



Montano’s “14 Years of Living Art”

To extend the theme from yesterday’s posts, integration of art into life is becoming increasingly popular among performance artists and young individuals. Here’s half of an amazing project by Linda Montano called Fourteen Years of Living Art. The results are recorded on an extension of her main website: here.


“7 YEARS OF LIVING ART is a time-based, endurance/performance which focuses the mind in a directed way so that art becomes a vehicle for meditation. Wearing one color of clothing each year that corresponds to the color of a specific Chakra (Hindu energy system), I was able to stay attentive to my intention. That is, to train the mind not to wander, shop around, or buy into the millions of distractions that impinge minute-to-minute.”

If you haven’t already, make sure to submit to our Spring Edition of Fiant Verbas. The deadline is April 15th. We are a literary and artistic journal, dedicated to displaying new work throughout the United States and abroad.

Beth Cavener, Spirit Animals





Beth Cavener‘s sculpture, “Forgiveness”

Artists often integrate their work into their life. This can range in extremity, as Maria Abromavic seeks to do in her meditations and performance art; her work requires incredible preparation and strength of will. Others seek to integrate their life lessons and spirituality into their work. Beth Cavener believes that within each of us, there resides animal instincts and primitive roots.

How do you integrate life and art? Show us by submitting to our Spring Edition of Fiant Verbas.

The Curious Codex

While our editor attended graduate school at School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), she got a chance to view an early edition of Codex Seraphinianus in their special collection archives. Italian artist, Luigi Serafini, has created an illustrated Encyclopedia for an imaginary world, complete with an imaginary language. We’re certain that the world has never seen anything quite like it.

Read more in an interview with Wired & Serafini.


The book serves as living proof that you–the artist, the writer, the creator–can assemble an appendix of things, things that do not have to correspond directly to what you see around you. Feel free to explore the uncharted territory of your mind!

Make sure to submit to our Spring Edition of Fiant Verbas!