WordsArtFusion Blog

Magic Hat Update: One Week In

12 June, 2015   by Matthew Greene

Rhino Beetle by Nicole Christman

We're one week into Nicole's exhibit at the ArtSpace in Magic Hat's Artifactory. We've bid adieu to FIVE pieces already — and we wish them all the best in their new homes.

If you haven't made it over to the exhibit, what are you waiting for?!

If you're unable to check out the artwork in person (i.e. you're not one of the whopping 211,261 people in the Burlington metropolitan area), it's all good! Many of the new pieces are still for sale. Just contact us directly and we'll be in touch faster than you can recite the Gettysburg Address. Backwards.

And now...two plugs! (What else are blogs for?)

First, we launched a Kickstarter campaign last Friday to produce digital prints and stickers of Nicole's art. We're only 8% of the way to our $2500 goal, so please consider making a pledge. There are big rewards for doing so!

Second, Nicole's now on Twitter. Follow her @HybridPainting and stay up to date.


Nicole's Artwork at Magic Hat's Artifactory

26 April, 2015   by Matthew Greene

You're invited! Check out our short promo for Nicole's upcoming exhibit at Magic Hat's Artifactory. If you can't make it...

Posted by Chimera Creative Works on Sunday, April 26, 2015

Nicole's Design Graces Art Hop Ale Bottles

04 April, 2015   by Matthew Greene

Photo courtesy of Magic Hat Brewing Company.

12-ounce bottles of Art Hop Ale – a peppercorn pilsner – will be sold in Magic Hat's 'Summer Scene Variety 12-Pak' from April 1 through July 31, nationwide.

From May 1 through July 31, 22-ounce bombers will be sold individually, in Vermont only. For each bomber sold, $1 will be donated to SEABA (South End Arts and Business Association).

Keep an eye out for Art Hop Ale in a store near you! Cheers!

And the finalists for Magic Hat's "Labels for Libations" contest are...

01 September, 2014   by Matthew Greene

We're not entirely sure, but we know ONE of them...

We're back, and happy to announce that Nicole has been selected as one of five finalists for Magic Hat Brewing Company's "Labels for Libations" contest! The designs of the five finalists will be displayed during Art Hop 2014, September 5th and 6th.

Voting for the winning design will take place at the Magic Hat booth behind the Maltex Building, 431 Pine Street, Burlington, on the following dates:

  • Friday the 5th, 6-10pm
  • Saturday the 6th, noon-3 and 6-10:30pm 

Those interested in seeing (and voting for) the labels – which will be displayed at the awesome size of 4' x 4' – MUST COME BY THE BOOTH and VOTE LIVE. The design with the most votes will become the label for next year's Art Hop Ale. Don't miss it!

The Writer as Urchin (a lyric essay on writing for children)

03 April, 2014   by Matthew Greene

Escape and revelation. A relic unearthed. Sandbox quarry. Self-serving simultaneous with relinquishment, a keeping and letting go. To drain the mind to replenish it. Fiction writer writing fiction.


The writer stands on the corner under a flickering street lamp.

Road forking like ruptured vein, all paths promising.

The writer leads you down the back alley.

First frightened, you learn to love darkness and the unknown.

Footprints of forebears dirtied and bloodied and followed blindly.

There is light to be had.


If the writer is human, then what is the writing?

Certainly not.

The writer is not immortal, not capable of escaping death.

The writer is merely a character.

Life ends like the closing of a book, and in the final chapter, just before the close, a resolve. A denouement. Chopin’s Polonaise in A-flat major: a rapid ascending of chromatic perfect fourths and a terminal march of chords. Music in a moment.

Yet the world soldiers on. And so the writing does, too.

Unlike the writer, the literary work has no end. A piece of literature never stops working, never quits in its pursuit of truth, never dies. The writing itself is at once earthly and transcendental. It is a chorus of superhuman realities, a collective consciousness.


Sometimes the light is blinding.


I was introduced to poetry during my sophomore year in high school. As the years progressed, I became increasingly interested in the operation of words, their subtleties and hidden meanings. I began to manipulate them to create art.

I wrote poetry. I wrote song lyrics. I wrote fiction.

Pathetic, hopeless fiction.

But the attempts were not pointless. I was exercising.

A way to dream, a way to learn, a way to express. A way to feel.

In the turbulence of adolescence I looked inward. Now I look out.

As a writer, artist, thinker, and human, I explore imaginary caves, cutting and digging in pursuit of truth, and when those gold specks are found, I carefully extract them and bring them into the light.

This is not painless. The process of extraction is trying and unending. The writer is sure to find treasure, but not all of it will be shared. Bits and pieces of knowledge are dropped, forced away from the writer’s hand by the necessities of story.

Let’s talk about that.


A child sits in silence in a sandbox.

He tells his hands to do the work, to give his mind a rest.

Between his fingers grains of sand grind scratching surface.

Nicks and cuts of learning.

Rain begins. Sand structure slips away. He persists.

What to do to make it stand. How deep to dig.

Sitting back, satisfied smiles.

A castle has been built.


One aspect of writing literature for young people is a sure thing: children want to be entertained. How interesting it is, then, for the children’s writer to realize the harsh, inescapable truth about writing in the genre: Unlike written works for adults, which are technically only for adults, works for children are for children and adults.

Children do not choose which books are “appropriate” for reading, or decide which books get published or win awards.

Parents, teachers, librarians, publishers—these are the first readers the writer must convince.

The children’s writer works large to small: First is the publisher, often the only factor in determining whether a book becomes a book at all. Then it’s on to the greater public—the parents and teachers and librarians who assess the publisher’s decision to publish. These are the most cautious readers of a children’s work. They pick apart every word and phrase, every sentence and idea, usually with the intention of eradicating any hint of obscenity. In this group there are lovers of children’s literature, but there are also censors.

For children, literature appeals to a different set of senses (we might call children the sensors), and it’s got nothing to do with innocence or purity. It’s about intuition. So when it finally comes time for the writer’s work to engage that intuitive, young mind, it does so on a level of understanding incapable of being achieved by adults. Conditioned by years of experience, as well as by the acquisition of both practical and impractical knowledge, we adults are deceived by logic and reason into thinking that a children’s narrative must serve some or another purpose, that a child must behave a certain way, learn certain things.

Write this way for children and any hope of artistic success is gone. Talk down to children, forget it.

Instead, care for them. Show them reality, but also fantasy. Take them on an adventure. Give them hope and something to fight for.

Be honest, for the eyes of a child are vast and sophisticated.


We sail tonight for Singapore, don't fall asleep while you're ashore

Cross your heart and hope to die, when you hear the children cry

Let marrow bone and cleaver choose, while making feet for children's shoes

Through the alley, back from Hell

When you hear that steeple bell

You must say goodbye to me.

                                                            ~Tom Waits, “Singapore”


The immortal creatures stories are. A bequest to the cutting edge. Salad days ahead. A keeping and letting go. The fiction writer writing fiction. Darkness and unknown, sandboxes and subversion. Lighthearted heaviness. The writer as urchin.

This essay was written by Matt in 2012 as a partner text
to our children's book, Mildred Viola's Melting Brain.

3 Respectable Ways to Fight Fire with Fire. . . When FIRE = TECHNOLOGY

19 March, 2014   by Matthew Greene

(click image to view in store)

In the years leading up to Chimera's birth, Nicole and I watched as digital technology transformed from a mere set of tools into a way of life. When e-mail, instant messaging, texting, and social media came into the picture, we entered the digital world as members of a generation who inherently knew how to use the tools at hand. Technology use is now pervasive, and many children move through the world as primarily digital selves.

But we aren't robots. Rather than countless electrical parts and programs, humans instead house a complex emotional and behavioral system, one characterized by wonder and innocence, but also by wildness and grotesqueness. In our children's book, in our conversations, in our daily life, we continually ask the question:

What happens when a person’s life shifts from the physical real to virtual reality?

Here are 3 respectable ways to fight technology with technology and become a more conscious user:

  1. Select a person from your Contacts list and meet him/her for coffee.

    During your conversation, pay attention to the person sitting in front of you, not the one inside the phone. We've all been victims of the Conversation Texter. Many of us have played the role ourselves. After spending five minutes telling you why you should quit your job, the Conversation Texter will wait for your response. But when it comes, when you finally begin to speak, the CT will check their phone for text messages. They might even reply to one. At this point, both parties are no longer interested in the conversation, which was basically dead on arrival, anyway. The great thing about text messages? Most aren't urgent. Devices allow us to communicate with our friends and loved ones, even colleagues and other professionals, but they really don't need much attention. Combat your own CT urges by making consistent eye contact and leaving the phone in your pocket (or in that death-grip you've got) for minutes at a time. The person with whom you're speaking will sincerely appreciate it.

    There's no substitute for undivided attention.

  2. Use Google to see how many people have the same phone you do.

    Despite what the cool kids told you, fitting in is overrated. In March 2014, at 25 years old, with a special knowledge of Internet marketing, I, Matt Greene, own a flip phone. Is it because I don't know how to use the new tech? Because I don't understand its capabilities? Because I'm trying to be hip, different, unique? Nay, nay, nay. It's about getting what I need from the device. Not what marketers tell me I need. When we launched our new web store, for example, and could use a mobile app to process purchases, we bought an iPhone, thereby increasing payment options for the customers who visit us at art shows.

    To figure out what you need, try to go an entire day using your device only for work or emergencies. WARNING: You'll likely feel that you've missed something, that the world has carried on without you. And that's just it – your presence in the digital world is welcomed, but not necessary. In the physical real, however, you are always needed. By your friends, by your colleagues, by your children.

    You want to be unique in today's world? Be a good listener.

  3. Take note of how much time your Facebook friends seem to have.

    Look at how many photos Sheila posted yesterday. Look at all the fish Dan caught at the lake. Then look in the mirror. Then, if you're not too tired, look at the clock. But don't fret over it. Simply think of the next hour as the rest of your life. As the minutes/years tick by, think about the preciousness of a single second. Think about your technology use, and how much of your time is spent clicking, swiping, and scrolling. Realize that the devices have control. And we gave it to them. So let's take control back. Not by ignoring our devices completely, but rather by being aware of how, and how frequently, we're using them. Think moderation.

Don't go on a diet. Just live a healthy life.

This article is the cornerstone of Chimera Creative Works' existence. By building meaningful relationships, being honest, and practicing empathy on a daily basis, we ensure satisfaction from our customers, and from ourselves.

Valentine's Day Art, Online and On-Site

04 February, 2014   by Matthew Greene




Join us this Friday the 7th at the opening reception for the Valentine's-inspired HeART Attack! exhibit at The S.P.A.C.E. Gallery in Burlington, where all the lovely works you see above will be on display and for sale. The show will run from February 7th through the 28th. Check out our latest collection, Valentine's Specials, which features five additional new works. Those displayed above, if not sold during the exhibit, will immediately be made available for purchase through our website.

♥ Show a little love, get some in return 

One of the best ways to do this is to sign up for our monthly e-mails.

You can also find us on Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.

Cozy Up For A Cause hits its mark

23 January, 2014   by Matthew Greene

    everything SOLD!

Providing support to local charities, Cozy Up For A Cause put on its first event last Saturday – an art auction to benefit Hunger Free Vermont. We're happy to say that the event raised over $1100 for the nonprofit organization, who fights to end the injustice of hunger and malnutrition in the Green Mountain state. Given the success of this first auction, Lizz Higdon of Cozy Up is looking to the future, planning to hold another auction sometime this fall.

Thanks to all who came out to ArtsRiot for the event!

Coming in February: HeART Attack! at the S.P.A.C.E. Gallery. More details to come.

Auction this Saturday at ArtsRiot

12 January, 2014   by Matthew Greene


This Saturday, January 18, ArtsRiot will be the host of Cozy Up For A Cause, a fundraising event for Hunger Free Vermont. Up for auction will be five of Nicole's original works, as well a number of works by other local artists. Come join us for us a nice, relaxing night, have a drink or three, and check out some art. We'd really appreciate you coming by, and would love to speak with you about our work and yours.



If you can't make it, you can still show your support by liking our Facebook and Google+ pages, and by subscribing to our monthly e-mail, where we'll be offering exclusive discounts on items in our web store. And if you really want to make a difference, donate to Hunger Free Vermont.

We're looking forward to a great turnout and hope to see you there!

New website, same great taste

04 January, 2014   by Matthew Greene

Happy 2014!

Whether you're visiting us for the first time or you've been here before, we want to welcome you to our new site, and thank you for checking us out. We'll be posting a lot of new projects – art, writing, musings –  in the weeks and months to come, and we invite you to check in regularly.

In our product catalog, you'll find:

art for $30 and under

freelance art and writing services

original paintings and prints

the latest chapbook, Patients

and previous works

We need your help to spread the word about Chimera Creative Works! You can do this by sharing your favorite products and posts on social media, or by telling your friends and family about the work we're doing. We're a bit old-fashioned, so we love meeting people in person, but if you can't make it to an event, or live so far away from Vermont that you're convinced it's in Canada, then engage us on our newly established pages at Facebook and Google+. And by subscribing to our monthly e-mails, you'll receive exclusive discount codes, product updates, and more.

We hope to talk to you soon,
Matt and Nicole