Weekend work in progress

I’ve been working on an animation for my documentary that involves some figures playing poker. Here’s a quick peek at one of the work in progress images.

I planned for the hands to be more of a mint green but didn’t have the right paper. But I think this shade works fine – I’m pretty happy with them.

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself. If you wanted to. Just saying.

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Objects with Meaning #18 – Birthday Pen

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This is a part of a series of photos of objects that have meaning to me. Want to know a little more about the origin of this project? Have a read here.

Fellow magpies, what objects have meaning for you? If you would like to join in and tell the story of your own objects with meaning have a read of this post, or post in the comments below.

 

 

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

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Weekend work in progress

Some bits and pieces from an animation I am working on that will go in the documentary.

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

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Lionel Shriver and her flawed imagination

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A friend of mine once called me a fag hag. She meant it as a complement, but later decided to upgrade me to a ‘diversity whore’, which was also, I think, meant as a complement. I am a fan of diversity. I like to hear about and speak with people who are quite different to me doing their own things. I think I was pretty complacent about being ‘on the right side of things’ with this view for quite a long time. I was a teenager in he 90’s, and things did feel like they were getting a bit ‘better’ then. Over the last year I have seen the onward march of racism and, well nazis, with mounting horror. Here’s the thing, we on the left bare some not insignificant responsibility for that. We were quite happy to ring our hands about the situation of people with less privilege or opportunity than us, and have lengthy intellectual conversations about the causes of such things. But I don’t think we ever tried to understand, at all, what these things felt like from the perspective of people actually living that disadvantage. Frankly we ignored it unless it made for good dinner time conversation, and smugly reassured each other that we knew the truth of things.

A lot can happen while you are busy drinking chardonay. I now feel rather more humble, and try much harder to understand the actual experiences of people who are different from me. I have left wing friends who are still content to smugly brand anyone who voted for Brexit a moron, and that isn’t helping anyone. Which brings me to Lionel Shriver. It surely speaks to my own prejudices that I still manage to be horribly disappointed when some one who has written at least one book that I liked (and I did very much like We need to talk about Kevin, although I couldn’t settle into her later books) turns out to be very comfortable saying bigoted things. First she took aim at ‘cultural appropriation’ without appearing to even try to understand what the issue there is because FREE SPEECH. This week she set her sights on the new diversity policy of Penguin (for some more intelligent comment on this see this article by Amrou Al-Kadhi). The publisher is, in a long over due but laudable overhaul of it’s employment policy, trying to enable people from more diverse back grounds to both work there and be published by them. I think this is great. Lionel Shriver, not so much. In fact she said this:

“Thus from now until 2025, literary excellence will be secondary to ticking all those ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual preference and crap-education boxes. We can safely infer from that email that if an agent submits a manuscript written by a gay transgender Caribbean who dropped out of school at seven and powers around town on a mobility scooter, it will be published, whether or not said manuscript is an incoherent, tedious, meandering and insensible pile of mixed-paper recycling. Good luck with that business model. Publishers may eschew standards, but readers will still have some.”

Racism, abilism, homophobia, classism. I mean she really packed those isms into this one didn’t she? It can be so enjoyable when you think of a witty put down. I get that. But this isn’t really that clever. Shriver here gives something away. She is so pleased with herself for her own nasty brand of verbose put downs that she fails to notice that she has also told us something about herself. Embedded in this statement that drips with isms, is an assumption that a ‘gay transgender Caribbean who dropped out of school at seven and powers around town on a mobility scooter’ could not possibly write a good book. If you didn’t go to university (and have all of the privileges that this frequently entails) how could you possibly write well? This shows a staggering lack of imagination. If you can’t even imagine that people very different to you are capable of amazing and brilliant things maybe you might want to spend some time reflecting on that. Frankly if you can’t do this then why be a novelist? Maybe she has indeed run out of ideas and so has done a ‘Martin Amis’ and just started spouting controversial retrograde stuff to stay in the news. They pay shock jocks well these days. I don’t know. But in the future I think I’ll be looking for an abundance of imagination in my novelists, where ever they may come from. I’ll be leaving Shriver on the shelf.

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Objects with Meaning #17 – Christmas Chocolate

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This is a part of a series of photos of objects that have meaning to me. I’m sure these don’t exist any more, I ate these shortly after this photo was taken! Want to know a little more about the origin of this project? Have a read here.

Fellow magpies, what objects have meaning for you? If you would like to join in and tell the story of your own objects with meaning have a read of this post, or post in the comments below.

 

 

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

Posted in gratitude, Inspiration, messy manifesto, minimalism, Objects with meaning, wellbeing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great North Swim – success!

I spent about six months trading for t, and this weekend it was finally time for the Great North Swim. My sister, myself and our partners took a trip up to the lake District this weekend to swim in lake Windermere. Again I am reminded of just how beautiful parts of the UK are, often just a train ride away from the city (if the trains run, which is another story). The event lasts all weekend but we got our swims done on Friday so have just been wandering around and relaxing since then.

The event itself felt really relaxed, there were lots of people hanging about with picnic blankets supporting friends and family, and some nice little stalls to get snacks from. I swam in the 5k event and my sister swam 2miles. The water was lovely and clear and a really nice template. The last lap was pretty hard going – I got hit quite hard by the wake of one of the ferry boats on the lake and spent a few minutes swimming but not moving. But all the training paid off and I made it in the end. My sister thinks this is my game face.

I’d not done that distance before so was pretty chuffed to squeeze all 5 Kms into just less than 2 hours. I think I can improve on that over time, and maybe have a crack at the 10k with enough training. So all in all a successful swim. And while here we’ve been treated to some wonderful views.

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Experiments with pattern

I’ve been experimenting with different materials recently to add some different texture to my paper designs. These spirals were cut from scraps of cloth I have been collecting. Cutting cloth ‘raw’ leads to lots of fraying, which isn’t really what I want here. I like shapes with quite clean silhouettes. So I’ve been trying out soaking the cloth in different types of glue. For these particular bits of cloth I used watered down PVA glue, (which is really cheep to get hold of so that’s a plus) and I think this has worked well. The cloth is still soft and flexible, but it doesn’t fray when I cut with scissors. Which is pretty much what I want.

Like what you see? I also make art. You can things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying.

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