I’m sat in Laser World. My youngest is at a friend's birthday party. It’s dark, it’s noisy and there are UV lights. I’ve noticed the barn owls on my socks light up and I’ve taken a picture of them.
I’m sat on a shared table with people I don’t know. They are parents from another party. They seem pleasant enough, chatting about the traffic on the M1, humming to Despacito, blissfully unaware that I am writing about them while I rack my brains about things to write.
I’m back in full swing at work after a very busy Christmas. Thank you to everyone who bought, shared, liked, retweeted and generally cheered me on. Running a business is a two way exchange; without your support, feedback and custom I would have to shut shop. I don’t take that for granted.
Harry Styles ‘Sign Of The Times’ has just come on in Laser World. I’m resisting the urge to join in the falsetto part. What a charmingly simple song though. I’ve had a go at playing it on the piano. It’s fairly repetitive and hypnotic and I often don’t know how to end it. It feels like I am stuck in an infinite loop of chord progressions. Usually I just have to stop and walk away but I’m working on a more audience friendly ending. I’m fascinated by music and have recently enjoyed watching the series How Music Works by Howard Goodall. Highly recommended if you have an interest in music. It’s a few years old now so you’ll need to search for it but it’s great. I’m also reading Your Brain On Music by Daniel J Levitin. Again another intriguing insight into our brains and how music affects us.
Speaking of music, I’m currently working on a Northern Soul print. I’m hoping that will be out in the next few weeks. Needless to say it’s been thoroughly uplifting listening to all my old Northern Soul favourites. Totes Toasties ballet slippers and wooden floors make for a flamboyant way to spin and shuffle my way to the kettle. I would struggle to get away with this shizzle in an office.
I’ve done my first Irish print. It was suggested by a fellow designer as a gift for his lovely wife. It’s always a bit intense creating things for other designers. I can sometimes fall into the trap of second guessing everything I do. I have to remind myself that they are asking me to do it because they like what I do. But I guess many of us have that imposter syndrome thing going on at some level. I’m pleased to say though that I did manage to get over this and I really enjoyed doing this print of Wexford. For some reason I liked drawing the Bank of Ireland.
Podcasts can be good company if I am in the right mood. I’ve been enjoying Russell Brand's Under The Skin. If you need somewhere to start then I recommend the interview with Brian Cox. My husband also suggested I might like Richard Herring's Leicester Square Podcast. So far I’ve listened to the Richard Osman episode which was good. On a related note, I think I have finally got the hang of Pointless. I do have momentary lapses but on the whole, after years of having the rules explained to me, I think the penny has dropped.
Despite the above cognitive difficulties I was asked via the Neotists to be a mentor at a local secondary school. The ‘Meet the Professionals’ session was organised by Skills Share and it was a chance to talk to yr 9 students about employability skills and career paths to help them when considering GCSE options.
Sticking with education, I’m chuffed to have been asked back to my local school and do some art sessions with Key Stage 1. I have a huge amount of respect for teachers, it’s not a job I would want to do, especially in todays political climate but it is lovely to dip in and out of schools and share some of my enthusiasm for art. On a similar note I was contacted by a teacher who said she was using me as a key artist for her GCSE students. I’ll hopefully get to see some of their work at some point and if can share any of it I will. I do realise that this can just seem like a list of things I am bragging about but I genuinely don’t mean it to be. I’m trying to share with you the things that happen to me and help me progress.
Proper peeved that Star Gazing live is not on this year. What's that all about? We’ve really enjoyed that over the years. That was the inspiration for my Jodrell Bank print. I even put a teeny tiny International Space Station in it.
For our 10th wedding anniversary a few years back my husband bought me a telescope. I became quite emotional the first time I saw Jupiter and Saturn through it. I have fond memories of drawing the planets at school. Smudging pastels on black paper made me feel good. I made some Jupiter earrings with silver clay recently. A cursory search showed that there is not a massive selection of space inspired jewellery so I decided to make my own. They’re not the most refined things but it was fun playing around. If you fancy having a go at making jewellery from silver clay then Making Winter by Emma Mitchell is a great place to start plus it has lots of other crafty projects to get you through these cold and drab days. Please let the spring bulbs come out soon.Back in the autumn I enjoyed working with Jo Andrade of Fern Studios who used my artwork as part of the redesign of the Castle Courtyard in Knaresborough. I'll leave you with some prints I've done since the last time I blogged. Thanks for reading if you've got this far.