Poet and Author, Audrey Dimola is one of Queens' art and literary gems, and chances are you may have seen her live at a poetry open mic in Astoria or Long Island City, curate or host various literary events, read one or both of her poetry books, recognized her on NY1, seen her in action as Director of Public Programs at Socrates Sculpture Park, or come across her original prose via her guerrilla stickers all over New York City. The stickers are part of Dimola's Compass Project which she launched in 2012 as a way of releasing her work into the wild, as one of her stickers state Stay Wild, Stay Grateful.
The Compass Project stickers have gone far and wide since its 2012 release, starting in Dimola's backyard of Queens and spreading to other cities including Philadelphia, Atlanta, Baltimore, and abroad to Niagara Falls, London, and Seoul, South Korea. What makes Dimola's prose stickers so impactful are the honesty and empowerment in the words. Dimola is a proud self-published author who takes charge of her writing but has also felt the sting of being told "no" in prominent publications and other gatekeepers in the way of getting her works to the masses. Out of the experience of rejection, Dimola was inspired to execute the Compass Project:
This project was born from a few things I feel very strongly about, and from the great admiration I have for graffiti and street artists. Over the past few months, more than ever I have experienced the ephemerality of all things. It’s indescribably frightening and challenging but in the end – the secret is letting go. I wanted to release my words to the world all the while knowing they were impermanent – they could get torn off, blown away, destroyed by the elements – but what mattered is that they were there, for however long they’d stay, even if it was just for a day. It feels liberating to give your work to the world without expecting anything in return. It’s also a comment on gatekeepers and the subtle game they play with the creative psyche – it’s about taking the control back and not letting anyone else legitimize your art and what you do. We can get rejected from publications, festivals, galleries, anthologies, competitions, you name it, a thousand times over – but that doesn’t mean we’re not good enough. It doesn’t mean we should conform to what they are looking for. It doesn’t mean we should wait for someone else to say we’re a “REAL” writer, artist, filmmaker, singer... Just be it. Don’t wait. In this case, I put my words where I wanted them to be, on anything and everything – I didn’t ask for permission. It’s part of the thrill. It is also my hope that the words themselves will challenge or inspire anyone who comes across them. Sometimes you just need a sign, you need advice, you need to know that someone’s looking out for you – and in my experience, many of those moments have come from stumbling across words and quotes at the exact time I needed it – in books, online, in the street, even on the end of a teabag string... So these are my words, my compass – at this time when so much in my life is transitory, my words will be too. And I’m learning that – it’s okay. - Audrey Dimola on her Compass Project
Most recently, Dimola and her Compass Project prose were featured in MelimeL Digital Art Design's 5th Annual Women Empowerment Event promo video. Guests of the annual event also received the stickers in the gift bags (in 2015 and again this year 2017). It is with certainty that these beautiful stickers will continue to make appearances all over the world because The Magic Only Stops When You Say So.
To learn more about Audrey Dimola, the Compass Project, and much more, visit www.audreydimola.com