Don’t Be Afraid To Disappear
Da Vinci, derring-do, and disappearing…
Surprise, and the warmest Seasons Greetings to you!
*Maybe I should change my newsletters to align with the seasons, rather than attempt and fail to send them out monthly.*
All advice on the internet about sending newsletters lauds consistency above everything else, but I’m feeling an opposing pull against the algorithm-pleasing rules - be they a computer programme or how 'research' says our brains give merit to emails based on their regularity. I'm pretty certain my brain doesn't create that way. So, if I disappear for a while - fully absorbing the words of Micheala Coel (see below) - don't worry, I'm still here.
In The Studio
Autumn was the perfect time for me to focus inwards on my own development as an artist. I began a Life Drawing class at my local community art space, which has become really important to me - I feel so at home and happy in a real studio.
I was lucky enough to win a place on an online Art Residency with artist and storyteller, Deborah Stein and her Storycamp Disco studio. For three intensive weeks in October, I immersed myself in playful exploration and creative research, working on three projects that spun me out in so many new and exciting directions.
I then went straight onto Folktale Week, a 7 day illustration challenge hosted on instagram. It was maybe somewhat ambitious, as my process is quite slow and labour intense, but I finished 4 illustrations that I has happy enough to share.
My biggest takeaway from both experiences was a boost in my self-belief, I made so many great connections with fellow artists, and received many messages of support, and even requests to buy my art.
Which is how we got to me, somewhat abruptly, opening a shop to sell my art prints. The shop is closed for now, and stock is low, but I'm definitely planning to add more prints in the New Year.
As it's only 2 more sleeps until Christmas, I have to share with you this gorgeous little video for Ingrid Michaelson & Zooey Deschanel's 'Merry Christmas, Happy New Year' by the genius minds of Phoebe Wahl (one of my favourite instagram artists) and Andrea Love.
Our house is one of dual passions, and our attic/spare room/office a chaotic juxtaposition of music and visual arts. Despite having such a musical partner (and children) I struggle with auditory overwhelm, so my default preference is mainly silence. However, I can't deny that music - when i do indulge - resonates with us on a profoundly deep and personal level. I'm not convinced its the "greatest and noblest of all art forms", but if you want a deep dive into Schopenhauer's philosophy and his argument why it is, then this article is for you.
More music (what has become of me!) but this time with a huge side of art and queer feminism. This was the theme song for the second week of my art residency with Deborah Stein, and this article introduces all the people mentioned in the encyclopedic, pre-wikipedia song, whilst also unpicking the generational fault lines. I love it for the Kathleen Hanna quote, "But it's just a fucking song. And it's just a fucking snapshot. It doesn't have to be perfect."
If you don't have young children, then the joy of Bluey may have passed you by. "Bluey is a triumph of good-natured naturalism, a clarion understanding of what play really feels like and its importance in childhood". We are big fans in our house.
I love a real life story of derring-do, you don't get so much of them these days.
Printmaking is possible one of the very first art forms we experience as children, from fingers and hands, to foam shapes and leafs. This online exhibition of the history of nature printing - beginning with the earliest surviving leaf print on paper, by Leonardo da Vinci in 1508 - is a delight.
A surprisingly beautiful book of letters for our great-great-great-great-grandchildren, made entirely from recycled plastic.
If you only have time for one read, make it this portrait of Greta Thunberg.
Michaela Coel's Emmy acceptance speech - "don’t be afraid to disappear from it, from us, for a while and see what comes to you in the silence."
See: Júlia Sardà, Joohee Yoon, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Margaret Kilgallen, Miroco Machiko, the women of Soviet Art, Mori Yūzan's Hamonshū. Watch: Robin Robin, The King's Affection.
Thanks for reading. I'd love to hear what you thought, just hit reply and send me an email. And if you hear/see/read anything you think I'd love, please send it my way. Who knows, it might end up in my next newsletter.
Please share this with like minded souls.