Hello everyone! Happy Autumn!
How are you all? It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted out a proper newsletter, and once again I would like to make it a more regular occurrence.
If you’ve followed me for a while you will be well aware of my tendency to fall down rabbit holes and go on a journey of discovery into a subject matter. By the end of a week that can mean 101 tabs open on my computer, as I work I listen to, research and add endless books to my to read list.
With that in mind I have begun to clean up my desktop every Friday afternoon, and make an effort to bookmark or file away some of this information for future reference. So I thought I could maybe share some of the things I’ve been thinking about, enjoying or found interesting. It probably won’t be every week, but as and when I have something interesting. Also it won’t always be ‘nature journal’ related, in fact it is most likely to not be, but it will have a connection with my art practice.
Here’s a selection of the things resonating with me this week.
1. Goblin.tools - An amazing simple resource for creating lists and a whole host of other tools.
‘ goblin.tools is a collection of small, simple, single-task tools, mostly designed to help neurodivergent people with tasks they find overwhelming or difficult.’
It is AI based, but this is the first time I’ve seen AI used in a way that isn’t just stealing
people’s work and has a good use. I love the little magic wand that cleverly breaks down a task into little sections for you.
2. This week I have been having a dilemma. Weighing up the need as an artist to be involved in exciting projects and create amazing things, and the need to make a living. Giving away ideas and inspiration for free, but needing to feed my family.
I wish I didn’t have to choose one over the other, and I want to find a way to make both of these things work together. To give away freely, but to also be compensated for my time and ideas. Is there an answer?
I have been watching lots of professional development webinars this week whilst working, one about ‘connection as practice’, and another about ‘presenting your creative practice’ in particular have been helpful (paid for so I am unable to link).
My main take away from these sessions were around the themes of authenticity, connection and generosity.
Which are values that are so important to me. Our Western Capitalist society has given ‘generosity’ a bad name, but how do we change that when ‘money’ makes the world go around, and there isn’t enough for everyone!. I love this essay ‘Generosity - by Neil Cummings’ that was mentioned in one of the sessions, and will try and refer to it often in my practise.
‘Generosity is our future, inhabit it. Give. Give generously, keep giving, and don’t stop. Don’t expect something in return, don’t calculate, quantify, and don’t financialize. Give and receive precious things, give the most precious things, and give them to strangers. Keep giving and receiving. Don’t stop.’
3. You may have seen that I have been involved in a project in my local community recently.
A 200 year old railway bridge where I live is being demolished soon. Not only is it a well used human bridge that connects local footpaths, it’s also a wildlife corridor. One of the only ways to cross the railway that doesn’t involve a road. This is where my heart is, this is where I want to spend my time. Advocating for nature and the land where I live.
A few local friends and I have been visiting the bridge and documenting what’s there. It feels like a positive thing to do.
I even managed to get my photos and work listed on the Historic England website , so at least there will be some record of it for the future.
I came across this interesting article which eloquently talks about using ‘Art for advocacy’ in schools.
“Isn’t this the purpose of education, to learn the nature of your own gifts and how to use them for good in the world” (Kimmerer, 2013, p. 239)
I also love this article which speaks about ways to be environmentally sustainable in our creative practice.
4. Lastly our current Book Club book on Patreon is ‘Finding the Mother Tree’ by Suzanne Simard. Which seems so serendipitous to me, a book I have had on my to read list for a few years.
Suzanne made a great Ted talk about it back in 2016., she struggled in the beginning to receive funding and to get her idea believed in the scientific world.
The book is about root networks, connections, reciprocity between trees and other natural beings. Sharing resources, thickening connections, not solitary upward growth.
A great analogy for how I would love to see my art practice grow. Can I give, share and advocate as well as feed my own family? Only time will tell.
Have a wonderful weekend.