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    From concept to reality - a social media project.
So here's a personal project that ate a big chunk of my summer and has finished in November 2012.

I'm not a huge TV person - in fact, we didn't even have cable until late this spring. Somehow, I got sucked into a show called Supernatural. I watched the first 6 seasons on netflix and liked it so much I began looking for less than legal ways to stream the live showings of season 7. (We were good, honorable citizens of society and then got cable box. How on earth do you even use it? The last time I had cable there were 50 channels and a clicker. Now there are what, 700 channels? And you can time travel, fast forward in real time - I don't even - oh, I'm off the subject.)

They were meant to be funny little things, and followed a loose narrative. What I did NOT expect was the massive attention they brought me - people really liked them!

So, I'm sitting on my deck one early summer evening in June, sipping my coffee and I start thinking. I could make something of this. I've got four months before the show resumes - what can I do with all this inspiration I have leaking out of my ears?

Well, I could write a story. I think the art has significance though - the comic. I could write a comic. Wow, that's a lot of work. It would have to be something worth the effort of a fan based work - not like I could sell it, you know?

But then I pondered deeper - how can I utilize this community? These people of all ages LOVE this show, and they thirst for things to get excited about.

How can I involve them? Excite them? Inspire them?

I hatched a plan. 
I began a graphic novel - little did I know it would end up over a hundred pages and take about 150 hours of my life. I wrote the entire thing out before hand, page by page and wrote them and released them in four page arcs to keep the suspense of the reader. 
As the summer passed, I spent my evenings blaring loud music in my home office, drawing page after page. My fanbase (of a fanbase... meta?) grew exponentially and I enjoyed more and more feedback and enthusiasm for the work. 

I deployed a variety of artistic concepts in the story - each character had a color for his speech bubbles - each area the characters visited had a different color pallet. The writing was as comparable as my artistic work - the pacing, the introduction of characters, the character arcs and suspense was as complex and well thought out as anything I've ever written. One of the highlights of the work and something I was constantly praised on was my ability to mix drama, suspense and humor as well as keep the protagonists in character.
As the story came to it's climax, I released twists and turns and ultimately ended the piece on what everyone hates to see - an ending, but also a cliffhanger. 
Boy, people were angry. I waited a good 12 hours before I entered "phase 2" of my plan.
Ever since it's conception - the comic was really, secretly, a platform for a think tank. Think of it like a rule book to a role playing game, or a setup to a chose your own adventure. I told everyone - 

The Lightborn Project is an idea. A construct. A platform.

From right this very moment, your eyes skimming over these words, it starts.

It ends when season 8 of Supernatural begins.

Did you want to see Gabriel, Balthazar and the angels saved?

Did you want to learn more about the Elder Souls - human beings of great power, perhaps moreso than angels and demons of old?

Did you want to find out how Sam can help his brother escape purgatory? - you know you’ll need these Elder Souls help to do it….

Well it’s gonna be up to you to do it.

All are welcome. There are a set of rules detailed in Lightborn -

-Dead Angels cannot maintain their memories for any length of time without an intense emotional experience. Even then, the remembrance is brief.
-Elder Souls are rarely what they appear to be - always shrouded in mystery.
-True forms are exposed in Purgatory. Sometimes they stay that way for days.
-Communication from purgatory to earth IS possible with intense concentration and steady mind - usually with one closest to the beacon. (the sender)
-Upset and discord prevents the mind from calming, and thus negates any contact outside of purgatory
-If you thought demons wanted the souls of purgatory for power, imagine when they learn the power of the Elder Souls
-Jesus, Gandhi, the Dali Lama were all Elder Souls… who else?
-Castiel and Dean cannot leave purgatory without exploring no less than three things that hinders their friendship up until the end of season 7.
-Sam cannot enter purgatory. He must figure everything out from earth (Or hell. Or heaven?)

Write. Draw. Photoshop. Make music. Make playlists. If you want to see what happens, you’re going to have to create their stories.

A board of judges will choose the most creative, intriguing project winner in October. That winner will receive a digital printed painting of their (perhaps new?) characters in a scene from their work, a 50$ gift card to Amazon, and a print poster from The Lightborn Project.

All participants will receive a print poster from The Lightborn Project.

You have 54 days, 9 hours and 15 minutes as of now.

Go get them out of purgatory.
Some people were absolutely enthralled. Others, not so much. (they wanted a sequel.) 

Really, all along, I just wanted to inspire people to be creative. I want people to make things - I want them to share it with a community. I wanted to create excitement and share it and have others take it and bring it to it's next level. One of my favorite feelings in life is collaborating on a project and getting that rush of - thisissocoolthisissocool. That is want I wanted to share. 

A friend of mine asked - "You spent all this time, LauraD. Hours and hours making this story line. Why on earth would you give it to someone else?"

To which I say - dude, and I stole it from a tv show. No one can take what I did away from me - it will always be there. I'm not possessive - they're ideas. Ideas work better when they are shared and polished!
To read Lightborn in it's entirety, visit my Deviant folder for it. To view the works people are submitting for the project, visit us at Deviant or on Tumblr. 

As of November, the project is complete. We had a total of 30 participants. Everyone seemed to genuinely enjoy the community we created with lots of inter-contender feedback. I created an 11x17 poster featuring all of the participants. They are being printed and will be shipped worldwide. 
The total cost of this project:

150 Hours and 300 USD.

I feel that the level of enjoyment, participation and excitement this project produced made it a resounding success. 

I plan on writing and illustrating a sequel in the very near future, simply for the enjoyment of the fans.