Of the many collaborations within the One Million Masterpiece, Laura Dixon's Space Monkey invasion is the most popular by far. The simple, multi-coloured faces first drawn by Laura have appeared in a huge range of images and continue to multiply on a daily basis. Like many viral phenomenon, the reason the concept has taken off is complex, but perhaps it has something to do with the simplicity of the imagery and the fact that membership of a positive and fun group is in keeping with the goals of the overall project.
Thanks in part to the popularity of the Space Monkey, Laura's image has remained at the top of the member leaderboards. In this first interview with some of the more prominent project members, we ask Laura about the inception of the Space Monkey, and how she became involved in the project.
Are you involved in the arts outside the One Million Masterpiece project? If so what fields?
I have always loved being creative and have an Art and Design A-level. Interior design is my real passion and I have been lucky enough to be able to completely redecorate my current flat and we are about to move house so I can start all over again!
So how did you hear about the One Million Masterpiece?
I was on my daily commute and read about TOMM in a newspaper and knew I had to be involved. The next day I had to search the web to find the link as i'd forgotten to keep the paper and was hooked from the moment I logged on. I seem to remember that there was only about 800 people when I first joined and its been really exciting to watch the numbers grow.
Why did you decide to join?
I decided to join because I was interested to see what impact my little square could make to the project as a whole. My square took on a life of its own when I logged on one day to find that my neighbour to the right (Mike) had put a few of my Space Monkeys on this square. I wondered if I could convince anyone else to help me make the Monkeys escape so posted a blog on the community site and there was a good response from the start. Mike certainly helped to champion the cause. My husband has his own SM square now but it has not been well promoted yet so i'll have to get on to that soon and raise the profile. The blog has become one of the most popular on the community pages with new people joining the SM movement everyday.
Do you think you've benefited in any way from becoming involved?
Absolutely. In its little way it has restored my faith in humanity! In all seriousness it has been refreshing to find so many likeminded people who want to make a little difference to a big project. Most people only leave nice feedback which makes a pleasant change in life. It seems as though everyone wants to encourage each other rather than judge. Completely refreshing.
Why do you think your contribution to the project is so popular?
I think it's popular because everyone can get involved by putting a Space Monkey on their square. It's collaboration in action. My aim was to put a million smiles on the overall picture and with everyone's help we are well on the way! I decided to make all my SM's in exactly the same way but it has been really interesting to see how others have decided to portray them. People became more interested in my square when I morphed my SM's in to animals. Now we have a menagerie ranging from a hedgehog to a duckbilled platypus!
What, in your opinion, is the most important goal of the project? Do you think it will achieve this goal?
The most important thing to me is that everyone keeps working together to achieve the aim of a million masterpieces. I love to see the collaborations and it would be so cool to see even more people blurring the boundaries of their square by joining up with their neighbours. Even if the project stopped tomorrow then I think it is already a great success. Long may it continue!
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