Unicorns are a hot topic at 4721. Our own troupe Unicorn Warpath is a little obsessed with them, and our friends Bob and Jessica Marquis have been bringing unicorns to the forefront with their current project, Unicorn-Art-Mix. Bob is an instructor and improvisor at The Torch and an active member of the Phoenix film community. We asked Jessica to tell us how she became such a unicorn expert and what the current project is about:
There are several accounts of how I came to be Chief Unicornomicist at Unicornomics. I will share here the most awesome version.
I met Farmer McGlitter on an afternoon when rainbows sliced through the sky, leaving cornflower ribbons in their wake. He was a veteran unicorn farmer with a knack for social media, I an aspiring cryptid researcher who was winding down my dinosaur fighting days. McGlitter saw in me something I could not yet: The ability to quantify and analyze whimsy.
And so we trained. Every day, every hour, from the moment the sun left the horizon to the last glimpse of it as the earth gobbled it up for the night. I ran, ate, and laughed with the unicorns. I discovered this was the majority of what they did, although they also enjoyed playing Rock Band and granting wishes. By day, I was always with pen and calculator in hand, and by night I was poring over the age-old annals of unicorn research.
One evening, McGlitter and I sat upon the lavender-infused banks of the sparkling stream that ran through his farm. We began dreaming aloud, exploring the possibility of franchising operations, of helping the world realize the marketability of unicorns.
I rushed home to tell my husband, Bob Marquis, a brilliant filmmaker and teacher who was indifferent to unicorns but still appreciated my passion for them. And from that conversation, Unicornomics, a multi-zillion-dollar unicorn farm and research-and-development firm arose, with satellite farms around the globe.
And now Unicornomics is donating the proceeds of the book I have written, Raising Unicorns: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Starting and Running a Successful – and Magical! – Unicorn Farm (Adams Media, 2011), to establish Sailbear Labs, a Phoenix-based nonprofit that encourages youth to use their imaginations to tell creative stories in writing and through film. Yes, the unicorns are helping kids, as it has been, and as it should be.
Founded by the aforementioned brilliant filmmaker, as well as myself and our favorite Community Enthusiast, Ms. Tonia M. Bartz, Sailbear Labs is already gathering a following on Facebook of students who have participated in various writing and film-related workshops and projects led by Bob.
Raising Unicorns will be released at the beginning of August, and I and my fellow Phoenician and illustrator, Kevin Hedgpeth, are already lining up book-signing dates throughout the Valley.
In addition, to celebrate the book’s release, Unicornomics is hosting Unicorn-Art-Mix, a unicorn-themed family-friendly charity art show at Co+Hoots on North 7th Street, South of Roosevelt in Phoenix, to benefit Sailbear Labs. Farmer McGlitter may make an appearance, although his well-documented agoraphobia will likely keep him at home tending to the unicorns and Twitter.
For more info on the book (and to watch the book trailer): http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-S.-Marquis/e/B005CADOH4
For more info on Sailbear Labs: http://sailbearlabs.org
For more info on Unicorn-Art-Mix: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=164225696978406
For the official Unicornomics blog: http://unicornomics.com
Sparkle on, 4721 & friends!
–Jessica S. Marquis