A select group of local
tech-savvy artists, music reviewers, comic enthusiasts and fantasy
storytellers, however, isn’t asking such questions. It’s organizing.
Consortium is a local collective: part writing workshop, culture review
and publisher; all network. One of its creators, Josh Unruh, currently
is looking for more visual artists to team with its authors. He’s also
writing his own book, while offering edits to his colleagues. The
ultimate aim of the nonprofit organization is to run a self-sufficient
publishing house with the Internet as the hub, and wages and health
benefits doled out to its contributors — all driven, he said, on a
network of communication.
you want to see how the sausage is made, we can show you. If you have
an interest in that,” Unruh said. “Art’s job is communicating with
people. The point is communication: I will tell you how to do it.”
artist and founding member Courtney Cantrell first linked Unruh with
co-founder and novelist Aaron Pogue, while Unruh was considering what to
do after leaving the advertising world, tinkering on his own projects.
Cantrell currently paints and writes, while taking Consortium’s blog
readers through the journey. The experience can replace the writer’s
workshop, as she talks books, offers writing tips and even more inward
topics, like what happens when a writer stops writing.
When Unruh met Pogue, the concept solidified. It seemed like such a simple, obvious idea to them.
I’m being naive,” Unruh said. “If we can get to deep or shallow or
middling pockets. I’m not saying it’s going to be a cakewalk. It is an
idea that’ll take care of itself. If we can find people that know about
us, they will be happy to help.”
consortiumokc.com, one of the most striking elements and what will
attract aspiring creatives are those blogs. In their collective, there’s
no great secret to their art.
“The only trick to writing is, if you do it, you get better,” Unruh said. “If you want to be better, do it every day.”
and artists discusses the form of the content they’re reviewing, or
they recount their own creative experience. Unruh said the first time he
reviewed a video game, he had overwritten the review. He found
firsthand the need for help, and he wanted the collective to be equal
parts writing and editing. While he said he has the passion and the
knowledge to produce 5,000 words, he knows readers only have time for
Consortium’s founders help provide order to other people’s passions.
the past, he’s found online communities in Seattle for help in
designing video games, but he wants that community here in Oklahoma
“We want people to be better,” Unruh said. “The Internet has made that doable. I have a word for it: e-quaintances.”
Photo Consortium member Julie Velez photographed the cover for Courtney Cantrell’s “Colors of Deception,” a novel the collective released last month.