Todays blog is inspired by a conversation that I had with my Dad a couple of weeks ago… I had told him that I was going to get tougher, so that people would take me more seriously in a business sense (and maybe stop asking me when my boss would be back.) You see, for my whole life, I have been a super creative, SUPER emotional being. And for some reason, I had convinced myself that crying or being so affected by things and people, was really showcasing my weakness.
Then I read this:
‘Don’t let someone steal your tenderness. Don’t allow the coldness and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart. Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to truly be affected by things.’
I think the ability to affect the world, and the people around you – and to be affected by them – is one of the greatest honours we have as members of this beautiful family called humanity, in art, as in life.
Dad’s response to my declaration: “The world needs emotional and feeling people darling.”
So, with these two fresh perspectives in mind, I spent days thinking about things and images that profoundly affect me.
I thought about the fact that people don’t necessarily make beautiful things for money, or for any purpose other than to expose their feelings in a tangible form. I feel as though my store is a space for these images and things to talk to people as they shop… and they certainly speak to and inspire me in the hours that I spend here each week.
This is me as a little ballerina, at which point, I had already decided that I was going to be some kind of artist. My parents spoke about me being a bowerbird, because I would collect and store anything sparkly in my creative nest. I also carried around a post-it note with some scribble on it, announcing to anybody who would listen “this is my best artwork yet.”
It seems that being an artist can look very easy and glamourous from a distance, then comes the logistics; the bills, the realisation that fabric doesn’t buy itself and that your products don’t market themselves. It’s not all barefoot swaying with a paintbrush and sewing needle…but sleepless nights, and appointments with accountants (wonderful beings blessed with a skill set so different from my own,) and anxious stressful energy, trying to create the perfect finished product, upon which you will happily rest your name.
Knowing that I wouldn’t have it any other way, I want to thank artists, those who I stock and those who I don’t, for feeling the need to create beauty; for not taking the safe route, but for ‘saying things with colour and shapes that couldn’t be said in any other way -things there are no words for.’ (paraphrased from Georgina O’Keeffe)
Here are a couple of works that have been on my eyes and my heart this week. Oh, and they are also on the walls of my shop and in my web store!
Beginning with the work of Sarah Morris, who launched her brand ‘Then the ink kissed the paper’ last week.
I stock art prints and cards from Sarah’s range ‘Little Pieces’ and this is my favourite image in the series (although this may change tomorrow, when I glance at one of her other works in a different light, or while a different song is playing in the background… I hear ‘You Make My Dreams’ by Hall and Oates when I look at this print:)
Secondly, the work of Nick Young from Two Ruffians. You can see his Big M prints in the window of my shop below. However long before this, and before I even had the shop, I had Nick’s work in my home. The Strawberry Big M print in particular reminded me of Sunday mornings spent with my Dad. It made me feel happy and nostalgic every time that I looked at it. Since then, I have sold prints to and had conversations with customers who had similar feelings evoked by these pieces.
As a side note, the first time that I met Nick he was at his pop up store at SO:ME space in the South Melbourne market. He was a lively and friendly sort, who I spoke about my brand with (which was only in its baby stages at this point.) I still remember the words of encouragement and advice that he gave me on that day, and it is a pleasure to have his work in the store as a reminder of this interaction.
Finally, (more so because I need some sleep, and less so because I have run out of work to talk about) I want to highlight Brooke Weeber, who creates mystical works like the one below. In her own words she “invites you to enter a dream world of Nordic adventure, where hair transforms into rivers and Scandinavian sweaters are abundant!” I don’t know about you, but that seems like a pretty magical world to me. Each piece has a new focal point every time that I take a moment to look at it… they are like a “Where’s Wally?” book, without Wally, but with some Oregon inspired hipsters and nature in his place.
In closing, as haters will hate, creators will create… and I for one am thankful for the loveliness and FEELING that artistic souls bring to this world. Bless their cotton socks, and their paintbrushes, and their sewing machines, and their bank accounts, and their tears.
Alady (another habit that was born around the time of the scribbled on post-it, a four year old feminists way of saying Amen.)