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Beginning Again

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Although the wind
Blows terribly here
The moonlight also leaks
Between the roof planks
Of this ruined house

~ Izumi Shikibu

When Brian and I met at a dinner in 2015, it never occurred to either one of us that we would begin a life together. I had no inclination to step away from the world of academia I’d dedicated myself to for 20 years, and he was the artist of StoryPeople, already three years in to a contentious divorce that lasted until just yesterday...

Yet here we are. Beginning again. From scratch… here at Flying Edna. Creating a new company together. 

This morning I think of a dear friend from South Africa… She and I met in a stairwell in 1999 at a conference in NYC, and have been like sisters ever since. Two years ago her car was burgled in a grocery store parking lot while she was inside buying milk. She lost irreplaceable intellectual property she’d spent years creating and didn’t have the money to replace the lost digital equipment. When she calmly told me the details, I asked her if she was ok, and she said something like, “I’m fine. This is South Africa. What happens to one of us happens to all of us. Why would I expect to be spared of the violence of spirit that is happening in my country to so many people…” This was her response. No anger, no blame, only compassion and understanding for the larger whole.

That Brian would lose the company he built and fed, is one thing. But to lose 19 years of copyrights to someone who had nothing to do with their creation is quite another. To separate the work from the living artist... to lose control of how your name goes out into the world... As a fellow artist, this seems improbable.

But, blatant lies are passed off as truth not only in our legal system, but all over the country right now. 

He is fighting this, but currently this is the way things stand, and this is why we are taking the time to clearly state that Brian no longer has any personal or financial relationship with StoryPeople, with his sons who are currently copying his style, or with his own art as they mix and match his stories and illustrations as they please. 

As I think of my friend, I summon her grace and expanded heart.

This is my country. What happens to one of us happens to all of us.

Each of us gets to choose the stories we believe about any given moment in time. And while we may be surprised by something in life, the shock can be an opportunity to reframe something in an entirely new way, one that leads towards a life you love... 

always in motion,


p.s.  Always attribute – never claim another’s words as your own. Even if you change just a few, the thought and heart, philosophy and insight is not yours. It is the original artist that was so accurate in a moment to inspire something so familiar, you thought it came from you. It didn’t. Attribute. Demand it of others… it will help people speak more freely if they know their words will not be taken.

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  • I was so saddened to read this and was only tipped off that something may have happened when I saw a post on Story People on FB. I have so many pieces of your work and was excited to see your son was doing some as well. Now – well now – I will have to leave Story People behind and find my way to Flying Edna.

    Carla on
  • I am touched by this story and by your clear & clean telling of it. May you both be blessed with abundant health, wealth, joy and creativity! All my love, Claire in charlotte nc

    Claire on
  • Just catching up on he great divide…drats…drats to those who would steal Brian’s work. Brian, please continue your sweet, deeply touching thoughts and art to match. I will sign up for emails from Flying Edna.

    Linda Rudick on
  • Mind blown! I am so very sorry to hear this news. Divorce is one thing and there are no winners except the attorneys otherwise, it is simply degrees of loss. However, this loss leaves me without words. How could someone win another person’s art and creativity? We own several of Brians SP works and they have always been the perfect sentiment at the perfect moment. I was looking for one found this story. Thank you for the heads up, I do not contribute to criminal activity by supporting someone else through Brian’sn craft.

    Shez on
  • WOW. Well. Call it what you will, the artist on my wall is Brian Andreas. As an artist, I will honor Brian: his stories, his art. Thank you for continuing your journey and sharing it with the rest of us who have grown to love your work. BTW “Flying Edna” what could possibly be better.

    Tammy Vitale on

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