Oof

Since the last time I wrote, my life has changed completely. In my last chapter I kept saying to people, “I just want this to be over, I’m tired of it and I want new problems” – by this I meant that problems are unavoidable and if you cant escape them then I at least want new ones. Never has ‘Careful what you wish for’ been more apt.

The last post was about working towards finishing my graduation project. It was every bit as tough as I thought it would be and I was granted just about enough time to finish it. After I passed the final exam I got two days. Two days of grace, in which to feel the lifting of the old weight. Two days in which to revel in a new dawn and ponder possibility. And then I got the news – my mother in South Africa has been diagnosed with stage four cancer and we need to return home indefinitely to be there for her, of course.

My world crumbled and my very earth shook. It was like the biblical trumpets in the book of Revelations sounded through my existence, heralding the end of an era or the start of a gruelling journey with no light at it’s end. The clock suddenly seemed to tick louder and be only for her and everything else which had seemed so important receded way into the background and utterly paled in comparison to the existential tragedy washing over my remote family. My sister called from Berlin, we cried on the phone. I called my other sister who in Kimberly, we cried. Our scattered family united, for once, but in anguish as is sadly often the case with families who only squirm in each other’s presence. The broken pieces of this dysfunctional unit would have to come together for the first time in many years to usher not only my mother but each other through this pivotal time. We all knew it would be a tall order.

Three weeks later I was on a plane homeward bound. I thought I would still take part in the final exhibition at school, but I didn’t have the energy nor the finances for it – what with buying a plane ticket and all. Those last weeks were filled goodbyes to my friends and new found family. In the 6 years there I’d really become a part of it and had a lot to pack in, literally and figuratively. I’d been blessed beyond measure but I was uneasy there. I knew I was needed somewhere else and didn’t want to miss my mother’s journey.

I’ve been back in South Africa for a month and a half. It feels like so much longer. Things are hard. My mama is ill. My family is broke and broken and to be honest so is the entire country. Dan is here now, being the best husband he can be, and we’re definitely not on holiday like last time. He describes the difference as last time being an outsider looking in and this time being and insider desperately looking out. This is how I’ve been describing it to my friends:

It’s strange to be back in SA hey. Lovely as well because of all the familiar foods, faces, foute grappige cultuur dingen – like how ‘are you married and do you have children’ replaces ‘what do you do’ as the first thing people ask. There are so many more dance shows on TV and even in the supermarket, the music is kinda banging. I’ve noticed it’s not unusual to see people ‘dancing on the job’ whatever that may be – cashier, road worker, etc slows things the hell down but wel gezellig. People are generally kinda gezellig at heart.
On the flip side it’s struck me as never before how alive apartheid still is – not as prolifically by law, but in how people live day to day. For example, Dan is doing a house sitting in a predominantly white neighbourhood, and I’m taking care of my mother in a totally coloured neighborhood. So we go from one to the other and as we leave the coloured neighborhood the very air gets fresher, the access to nature and parks increases, supermarkets are better stocked, with healthier things because people can afford healthier lifestyles, healthcare and to pay fees for superior education. I feel blacker and Dan feels whiter, whereas in the relative utopia of Holland, we have more of a semblance of equality. Because of the major economic imbalance there’s crime. And we’re getting used to security gates, multiple alarms, liaising with the local security company and locks and things – in the white neighbourhood these measures are more sophisticated, sigh…
As for the current status of my mom. She has colon cancer, which has spread to both sides of her liver, her lymph nodes as well as her lungs. The part they’re most worried about is the liver – if it fails, you die. So what they’re suggesting is chemo therapy to shrink the large tumour to a point where it’s small enough to be operable. What’s nerve wracking about this is that chemo is quite aggressive and she needs a lot of it. In the end she might die of organ failure instead of cancer, officially. She’s lost an incredible amount of weight and at the moment is the picture of cancer. What further exacerbates matters is the fact that the state hospitals which my mom is subject to, are in the habit of treating their patients somewhat like un-autonomous cattle. So every time I ask them a question on behalf of my mother I’m seen as annoying for daring to challenge or ask for more information so that we can come to our own conclusions as to whether we want to put my mom through this in the first place. Making this worse is the fact that my aunt, who was diagnosed around the same time as my mom, has just passed away after a vigorous course of chemo. She died cancer free but with a weakened body. ¬†So when I ask them details about the kind of chemo they want to use its only to find out what the honest risks are and not to undermine anyone. This all depends on what kind of doctor you’re getting. And sadly in SOuth Afriica, with its thick racial tensions, sometimes it even rears its ugly head in the attitude of the doctor. Which is a whole other blog post. I’m going to log my observations here from now on, so that I can keep track of myself and hopefully process some of what is happening to us in this whirlpool of circumstance and consequence.
On Wednesday we have an appointment at Groote Schuur hospital. They want to start chemo that day without having given us any information about it all, even though we did ask. My mother has flu at the moment though – on top of everything else – so we’re hoping that this buys us some time until they actually start and that we can use this appointment to ask them our questions instead.

 

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Progress

I write to you from the other side of having ventured where I’ve never managed to venture before! I passed the most important exam – the one which determines whether you get to go on and graduate or not. Last semester this is where the buck stopped – for only the truly good enough get through. This time, by my own power as well as Daniel’s, we gave the examiner no choice but to make it a pass. All the work was there, it made sense and looked good. Next week I sit the final exam, followed by an exhibition and then this chapter is finally done! Tremendous progress has been made and I’ll share the work here when it’s all shiny ūüôā

What did I learn? That big tasks need a big team – or at least more than 1 person. ‘Not being enough’ doesn’t need to be internalised. Its just a matter of fact and what you do have would be essential to a team. One where the other members have complementary skills.

I also learned – that I can learn. Not having certain skills do not have to stop at that. You just need to have time and energy to apply yourself to the learning of a new skill. The human brain is a highly flexible tool. Not knowing how to do something is not a dead end.

You don’t have to follow your feelings. They may lead you in directions which aren’t useful. Mostly one’s internal dialogue is counter-productive to what you want to achieve. It’s hard to change the programmed narrative, but it can also just be background music to conscious living. It helped to talk to myself out loud about what I’m doing, it helped me command myself.

The structuring of a project is just as important, if not more so, than the imagining. You have to imagine within parameters. If you are a professional creative – you have to have a handle on both. One validates the other. Structure and creativity are married, and through you – they having multiple weddings. Complete with teary guests and all night dancing. Creating something is a coming together of elements, the union of which warrants celebration.

These few pearls have been hard-learned. By observing myself go down the wrong path more than once, but also by having a witness standing by and being back-tracked together with me in our joint quest to get me to pass. That has been the advantage of working with someone who loves me. You don’t get fired. Instead they believe in your progress and ability to change. This is in turn motivating.. and embarrassing (!) when you inevitably slip up. So you get on with the business of doing better next time. It requires resilience and strength of character, which to my credit, I’m able to bring to the party.

Now a run-up to the finish line has begun. I get to finish my project, which is going to take some more Doing with a capital D. Applying what I’ve learned will be an on-going challenge, but I’m on the track and moving, which in itself is such a luxury.IMG_20170607_181337376

Picture from a ‘Focus Booth’ at our pimped out Amsterdam library.

Growing New Limbs

Since I last wrote, I’ve been on a little progress detour. I wanted to keep writing through it so that when I look back all the markers are present but demotivation doesn’t typically work like that. In a nutshell, I failed an assessment. It was a hard one to take because it was the first test after having failed the entire semester just two short months ago. It felt like the hole I was in revealed two extra layers of floor that could give out and bury me deeper. A dark state of mind to be in and it took a good few days of resignation and starting to make it homey down there in the pit, before I fought my way back out.

After having watched the whole of the internet, I booked a Crossfit group sesh with the muscled ladies. I knocked myself all the way out bringing up the rear of the amazonian ¬†paced class. The class is structured so that everyone does the same amount of exercises but within their own times. Not sure if this is ok when some people’s arm muscles are not quite ready for 50 push ups after 20min on the rowing machine. After class I spent some time in a toilet cubicle leaning my swirling head against the door while holding back the vomit. It did the trick though, and the regained fighting spirit launched me back into gear and out of the hole.

Last week I had my first meetings with teachers and thank God for the papa bear that is Oscar. This is a teacher who has often had front row seats to the drama of my failings and has trouble hiding his level of investment in the storyline. Upon hearing that I didn’t make the assessment, his brow involuntarily furrowed and a peep of despair escaped his no longer neutral lips. I explained about¬†what I presented in the assessment that didn’t quite communicate and wonder of wonders, he understood the words coming from my mouth.¬†Kicking my own ass at the gym could never have given me what he did in that moment. Affirmation. Guidance. A plan. Now it was my turn to suppress affections and it was all I could do not to get out the grass skirt and offer a bare chested rain dance of gratitude. Teachers don’t seem to realise, but what students need most from them is a little bit of encouragement and some positive reinforcement that your idea is more than chicken scratchings.

*grabs another nutshell* So my previous idea was born out of weeks of genuine inspiration and meticulously distilling of all that into one mother idea, which linked what I believe to be my true strengths with the core functions of Fashion. It was real searching, but within the time constrained semester perhaps too far sought. Perhaps it also wasn’t the smartest approach to¬†present¬†this new idea and new job within the fashion industry for the first time at the assessment. It should have been done in the classes before so that by the check it would be more palatable. Anyhow, what cut me deep was the fact that I based the presentation on my strengths as an artist and to be unceremoniously told, ‘Its shallow’ and ‘well this just proves that you’re not good at that’ was debilitating and led to hopelessness.

Now¬†I have another plan, which I’m also excited about! I’ve gone in a more¬†formulaic direction but one that doesn’t require as much explaining. It still has an element of uniqueness because I’m the only one doing a digital installation. This also means I’m¬†doing a lot of work in new programs such as CLO and After Effects. Its also more in Daniel’s realm of expertise with his degree in Film, so we can collaborate when it comes to the motion graphics stage. I’m so glad to have found something to continue with. Paralysis be gone!

While I was in my dip, Dan suffered many a melancholic monologue. In one of them I compared my struggle to growing new limbs. My inheritance from growing up with a hustling mother, is that I’m not afraid to take risks. To throw myself in the deep end, knowing full well that I might not be sufficiently equipped. In many scenarios my mother became the god, and armed with faith and gumption, made a way where there seemed to be no way. I realise I carry that with me in my personal belief system and its gotten me this far. Now, at level 100, that’s as far as it¬†will take me. Ill equipped or not, here I am – swimming in the same lane as people for whom this pool was always a birthright. With my foot now free from its task of getting me in the door, it now needs to learn the kicking to keep me afloat.¬†Learning new moves, growing new limbs, either way developing ain’t for sissies. But there’s no development if you don’t keep swimming, and that in itself is all we need to be doing.

POA: Prepare Process Book for discussion with teacher. Go to school, make prints. Continue CLO tutorials.

 

 

 

In defense of Sock Sorting

Yesterday I lifted the lid of my pressure cooker brain and let out some steam. I didn’t plan it, but by the end of the day I hadn’t lifted so much as a finger in terms of ‘making it happen’¬†on my project. I went to an audio visual exhibition with the intention of ‘study’ but ended up having an essential chat with the lovely, hair twirling, coffee making, fellow creative creature at the door. She’d invited me to come visit her there after an impromptu Women’s Day gathering of Pizza and cigars on Dam square the evening before.

The exhibition was kind of lame. I took it as a moment gently signifying that I have exhausted that part of my process – outward research that is, and that it was time to apply what I’ve seen and crystalise my own idea. And in the act of not ‘doing anything’, I feel like the idea had time to cook, unstirred. Some meals need that, the fragrance of which showed up in my dreams last night. Its taking shape in my head, piece by piece. In my dream I was standing in front of the structure of my installation with my mother, explaining the content to be projected onto it. I got only halfway when she started singing and packing it up, with wild protests from me that I hadn’t finished. I woke up so annoyed. I think its because I was going to start bullshitting anyway. The rest of the idea is not there yet. So more cooking required.

Yesterday that meant getting out the house, having chats about someone else’s creative endeavours, having a laugh and un-awkward chat with¬†someone I met at the gallery, being enthused by the addition of a new Dirk supermarket to the neighbourhood (so much friendlier than Albert Hein), and in celebration supporting the bakery section of the place and eating it on the tram home (something that I feel is a habit from the third world more. I rarely see people eating en route here, whereas at home the cracking open of a steamy fish parcel in a crowded train would get you at most a wrinkled nose, but there would be no prohibitionary sign to go with it). I was home at the time of day when the sun hits the bed at just the right angle and absolutely took it as a call for nap time as I escorted my Dirk van Den Broek belly to the natural VIP area. After naps i felt the need to get my shit together but couldn’t bring myself to work on my idea, so I turned my attention to productive procrastination instead. Enter the long ignored pile of mismatched socks! The sense of achievement attained from finally reuniting these star-crossed pairs, was all the purpose I needed for one day. The other useful thing I did was take my bum to yoga first thing that morning. Perhaps that’s what had set the tone for me to slow down. It having been a ritalin free day might also have had something to do with it.

So did I waste my time? Ultimately, no. When I get to the other side of this and am asked about how its done, a golden piece of advice will be to carve out a day just for farts. Especially if you’re a bit of a creative fart yourself. Its needed – a day of attention for the self, outside of achievement. And its not to say that I wasn’t still busy with it in my head, like all the time. It was just in the background as I cranked up the volume of my earphones and silent-discoed the¬†hell out of the private space of my bathroom.

POA: Spend half hour on follow up research online. Refine Answered questions on self made questionnaire. Move on to sketching idea on paper. Digitise Idea and contact people for collaboration. Revisit Planning and seek help for getting back on track if you’re out. Plan in realisation of Concept Check presentation. Go to work at cinema. Wake up on Saturday knowing what to do. Don’t drink alcoholic beverages.

Working it out

‘…so hard to be doing what you really meant for, beauty
Huh, but don’t I make it look easy
Don’t I make it look good?’ – Anderson .Paak, Come Down

Thanks again, Anderson. The luxury of the opportunity to even try is not lost on me. So without putting too much pressure on this isolated moment in time, I’m using the occasion of this second graduation to make a ‘trailer’ for what I’m really meant to be doing.¬†Explaining to others where I’m at in the process is like drawing water from a stone. I feel like it’s all there already, like a lump of clay, waiting for the grafting fingers of the sculptor (me (!) to reveal the form within. Form, which communicates a message. That’s what I’m after, and I think I’m struggling because I’m not clear on the message yet. In order to get to the message I need to find out what is imperative for me. What part of my story do I tell? Perhaps a way to find out, is to first look what the fashion industry needs to hear. And then have the mutual truths elevate each other.

Yesterday I found myself objectively watching a documentary clip on Kanye West¬†called, The Art of Staging. I’m still firmly in the anti-Kanye camp because I don’t suffer fools, but this particular clip was about the artistry and transcendent aspirations of his live performances. I’m finding myself increasingly inspired by set design and the creation of an atmosphere. More than presentation, its Immersion, that’s going to capture the much divided attention of a modern audience. For this I want to include the digital tools I have access to – ¬†like Dan’s 3D camera, my Adobe knowledge, and I’ve started to learn After Effects too. This last one, so that I can animate my fashion illustrations, replacing sewing with digital labour.
What is impressive about Kanye’s achievements and what I believe his talent to be, is his vision, the platform he’s created for himself and imperatively, the creation of an arena¬†for others. There’s a strain of noble intention that manages to pierce through the tightened sphincter¬†of the asshole through which he speaks. When you drown out the fart noises and just focus on that, his ability comes to the fore.
Another smart and definitively modern tactic is the alignment of his vision with like-minded creatives with dynamite expertise, such as set designer Es Devlin, my new found hero. In a talk to university students it becomes clear that she is the visual orchestrator of the psychology behind the evocative stage effects. This acknowledgement of the poetic backstory, and deep thinking behind something, which results in an impactful and resonant experience, is what gives me hope that I can apply what I have to the medium of fashion. It might even be indicative that a voice like mine is ripe for an airing. And that maybe its time that the fashion concept as it stands sheds some of its layers of vacuity, via my alienation at its ego driven nature.

At the same time there is a danger of contradiction where a self righteousness threatens to pervade and defeat the purpose of the exercise. Striking the right tone will be key and ensure that the¬†end expression is¬†joyful and enlightening, not preachy and equally up itself. I’ve therefore done a quick dictionary search to investigate the whereabouts of the fine line.
One way of describing Ego is as follows:

‘The¬†‚ÄúI‚Ä̬†or¬†self¬†of¬†any¬†person;¬†a¬†person¬†as¬†thinking,¬†feeling,¬†and¬†willing,¬†and¬†distinguishing¬†itself¬†from¬†the¬†selves¬†of¬†others¬†and¬†from¬†objects¬†of¬†its¬†thought.’

To find the flip side of this, I popped ‘ego’ into the Thesaurus and found, Conceit:

‘An¬†excessively¬†favorable¬†opinion¬†of¬†one’s¬†own¬†ability,¬†importance,¬†wit,etc.’ or,
‘A¬†fancy,¬†purely¬†decorative¬†article.’

A fine line indeed. I think creativity needs the ego in order to be critical and come up with something new. If fashion reflects the times, then it has inflated alongside the human ego, which has curdled into conceit, souring the truly innovative function of fashion  and turning it into mass production.

When the consumer changes, so will the demand for superfluous, exploitative systems. So perhaps changing the way we consume, by offering alternatives, which add more depth¬†to people’s experience of fashion, will at the very least awaken people to value different things, and contribute towards¬†veering away from the throwaway habits¬†prevalent in today’s clothing culture.

Perhaps that is the imperative, which shapes the message. And now I have to find a way of creating an analogous, immersive experience, which will serve as a framework for¬†consuming fashion in a new way. Where the focus is more on the Seeing, than the ‘See and Be Seen’

My 2D teacher suggested that I find a big space and start experimenting; that I come to a few conclusions based on my research, assemble ingredients to play with and photograph them.

POA. Look for a space, book it. Seek the counsel of Mijs (studying set design) and Ionie (studied Man and Identity). Assemble materials (unfinished collection, mannequins, lights, etc. Experiment.

Catching Up

Hi! It’s been a full week since my last blog and I’m glad to be back in the consistency club. The past few days have been filled with doing what I’m supposed to be doing actually, being inspired, freaking out, falling off wagons, getting back up, etc. Do I have a clearer idea of what my project will be? Yes! But I haven’t gotten there without hiccup..

Last Friday, I did not post in here, but I did write a feverish entry in a coffeeshop, my journal jauntily perched on my knee while furiously scribbling my frustrations. I’m going to transcribe it here, so we’re all caught up:

Fri 17 Feb

I’ve just come from the most frustrating class I could have imagined. I’ve come to calm down in a local coffeeshop and am once again one of those solitary figures in a public place,¬†scribbling in a dog-eared notebook. I’m at watershed period of inquiry at the moment. Whatever I choose could lead to eventual job fulfilment and actual streams of revenue. So I feel the need to make the most of this opportunity.

I am currently exploring the 2D digital possibilities of approaching a fashion concept. I’m looking to see how my talents and experience can elevate the fashion beast and vice versa, really. Because I’ve done a semester of digital prototyping before this, I opted into a class with my old teacher from then. I’d forgotten why the class was largely ineffective for me in terms of learning. Besides my own responsibility, a big part of it was that the teacher lacked didactic skills, as so many do.¬†As a person she is naturally vague (though kind) and seems to not see this as an impediment to her ability to relay information clearly. This attribute does not gel well with the concrete nature of her subject, which she still seems to be figuring out as she goes along.

This is very frustrating for a student looking for help. So how to turn this around? People have succeeded before… I realised then, that its the pro-active students who take a lot of initiative with regards to self learning who manage to suck out what the lesson has to offer. I was hit with the feeling of ‘being on my own’, again, and the long tentacles of fear started to wind through my recent memories of failure and humiliation. My thoughts started tumbling down a spiral staircase¬†of hopelessness and I was boiling in my seat, seething toward the teacher whom my fear was elevating to the status of a roadblock.

After class I caught myself: I realise what’s happening and that it doesn’t mean its over. It just means that its up to me and thats ok because I have access to all the resources I could need. So I needn’t let dread set in. Just be mindful of the inevitable discomfort of the unknown. It’s ok. Yesterday, at the drinks with the girls, one of them confided that at the exam for her successful alternative graduation project, the teachers apologised for not having been able to guide her. It brought me comfort to realise that indeed, sometimes they simply don’t know what to make of you and are so into their ‘teacher’ routine that they cannot think outside of their box or the one they have for you.

The true challenge here is the self belief. Detaching from a need for affirmation ¬†:/ That was the real message¬†of this morning’s lesson.

POA: Stay open and continue with my inspiration trajectory. After the scheduled ‘Open’ time is over, come up with a few different directions to go into and consult with teachers then about which way to go. But don’t go to them expecting answers. Go to get feedback on your own conclusions – because they don’t know.

After this, I went to the Rijksmuseum where they have an exhibition on the relationship between South Africa and the Netherlands. From colonial beginnings, straight through to a photo essay on the ‘Born Free’ generation with post-apartheid states of mind. The material in between was as rich as it was varied and was very much appreciated by this remote African.

Positief

Thursday evening is here and the week has flown by. Its been jam packed with ¬†a whirlwind of inspiration¬†swirling thoughts. I still haven’t documented it all in a process book, which indicates that I need to schedule it in more reasonably.

I’ve just returned from an after school drinks date with some girls from school. Its been a full day, kicked off with class in the morning and museum visits in the afternoon. I’d never been to the Rijksmuseum before, so I was at first overwhelmed by the richness of skill that the Dutch masters had the luxury of developing. At the same time I couldn’t help but feel the latent tremors of oppressive undertones, which facilitated the extortionate golden age. Though done with admirable skill, canvas after canvas of red faced prancers in the finest of finery started to look more and more like modern day gangsters dripping in All Gold Everything. The sentiment of which, Lil Wayne so aptly summarised with the line, “Look at you… now look at us… all my niggas look rich as fuck”. Maar echt. Anyhow, tomorrow I’m going back there, since I actually went there today for a specific exhibition called, Goede Hoop, which will explore the centuries old relationship between South Africa and the Netherlands.

After that we had an evening of presentations organised by the school. Two¬†recent graduates as well as a successful collective of designers who graduated from a school in Den Haag. Having been at school for a while longer, I knew the two speakers and went for a drink with them after the presentation. They gave me so much hope regarding finding my own way through this graduation project. Of course they also asked about my plans of approach for graduation, and as I told them my yet unformed story, I registered their confusion and it was nice to notice in myself that I still believed regardless. I saw their doubt but managed to keep mine in check, which is leaps and bounds in terms of progress for me. Something about the talks with positive teachers in the last few days, as well as being around people who have had success despite struggling, is restoring my faith – which I’m going to need. Self belief is the barrier here, but in moments like these I’m able to realise how there’s not really much else in my way, and that no matter how steep my learning curve, I’m one of the lucky few to even have a shot. X

Filling that cup

Yes! I made it to my desk just in time for my credibility not to have left! I skipped a day of writing yesterday and am glad that the ‘gravity working against me’ did not win this time. Its weird how our beings, or rather mine, knows what’s good for it but there seems to be a malevolent force pulling you in the opposite, habitual direction of what’s not good for you Everyday adulting entails feeding yourself the medicine instead of the spoon full of sugar.

To be honest, another thing keeping me from writing about the day before yesterday was simply that there was nothing positive to report. I had one of those days where I’m absolutely riddled with self doubt and fluid melancholy seeps into every moment.¬†I suspect it has a lot to do with having to go back to my school building everyday. I’ve a brave and sensitive soul, which seems to really¬†absorb the ripples of antagonism when I’m physically there. I had to go for one class and got out as soon as I could, but even though I tried to shake it off, I found myself being glum – ALL DAY! With one’s feelings I really understand how the phrase, ‘Mind over Matter’ was called for, because when I zoom out I know that I’m exactly where I should be, not to mention one of the lucky ones. So I’m accosted on two levels – knowing that its ok, but really not feeling ok, and having to get shit done anyway. Man am I being trained.

The only progress made that day was a chat with Dan about what I want concretely want the message of my project to be. We used my criticism of the fashion industry to eke out a sentiment and tried to steer me in the direction of merging this with my strengths. He also didn’t get why I seeking inspiration is still important if I already know my theme. I got to explain to him and make clear to myself that its because I’m looking for a new way to present it and when I’m in galleries and museums, I’m also looking at the current ways of presentation. Speakers from the ceiling, projectors, etc.

And so we arrive at my self scheduled museum day in Rotterdam! It was so nice for this timid mouse to get out its little box. As much as I am sensitive to negative vibes, I am also highly susceptible to positive ones ūüėÄ Its amazing how much I got from just the train ride! Watching the bucolic platitudes of the Dutch landscape go by, and steadily¬†change¬†into the stern mural of steel and concrete which is Rotterdam, left my bleeping phone untouched in my pocket for the entire journey.

In rotterdam there’s simply more space. It doesn’t feel as squashed as Amsterdam. Yes, there are tourists too, but you catch wind of their foreign tones from a distance, as opposed to the centre of Amsterdam where it feels more like their tongue is in your ear.

I squeezed in about 4 separate museum/gallery experiences. I had moments of true inspiration and realised how important it is to find out what fills your cup and actually be busy with that.

Gotta run again! My POA is to go to a fitness class, come back and help clean the BnB, check in a guest go to school ūüė¶ And then work on my process book. If I manage all of this, I will have won today.

Weekend Progress

It’s Monday morning, I get to write my blog post, and to be honest I’ve missed you. I’m glad I’m getting into a habit of regular writing. This weekend I’ve also started practising another atrophying muscle – my drawing skills. Drawing, like writing, is one of the things that come naturally to me but when out of practise, it takes a while getting back to fluidity.

But lets start from where I left off – Friday. Friday was the day I was going to see my devil teacher for the first time after that fateful day of failing last semester. It was every bit as draining as I anticipated. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I felt in some way supported as a student by this teacher. But I have multiple reasons to not feel like support is on the menu with this guy. How to describe him? He is like a corrupt politician, in the way that he has a mask for the masses, is a charismatic liar, and has a self serving agenda behind it all. It took me a good chunk of the weekend to get rid of the bile under my tongue from his class.

An evening out with some friends went a long way to help with that. Cycling around a snowy Amsterdam, hopping from bar to bar, having my first snowball fight on the way home, was exactly what the doctor ordered. The next morning me and my hangover had a date with drawing at a live drawing class, which I got from a thoughtful friend for my birthday. Like I mentioned before, it took a while to get into to it since I never take the time to fit drawing into my schedule. And since I’m planning to make my handwriting a feature in my new project, this needed to happen. The teacher was surprised at my development from the first drawing to the last. The difference was like a misshapen embryo compared to a new born. I was surprised by how much it felt like work! Next time I will make sure to have had breakfast before I go.

I have to run! The rest of the day was spent meeting some girls from school and over coffee discussing the way forward for each of us. That Friday class left not only me in a bit of a tailspin. After which, a closing shift at he cinema delivered me into the early hours of Sunday morning. The rest of Sunday was a forced day of rest. Dan and I cooked a massive English breakfast and spent the rest of the day in a food coma and each other’s presence. For some underlying reason I had intense anxiety all through yesterday and even counting all my blessings didn’t vanquish it. An early night was the only real answer and look at me now! Finishing blog posts before 8:30!

POA: Go to Yoga, Got to school for meeting with process coach, plan museum visits for and rest of week, start on new process book.

Art boobs and moonlight

Good morning ūüôā Its a bit earlier than usual. I have my first class with demon teacher today – that means its the real first day of school! It hasn’t been the first day of Fashion school until you’ve had an encounter with the devil who wears Prada. Or in this case leather aprons with matching bibs #fashion. I’m ready for the day, with its warts and all.

Quick note about yesterday’s POA. The Bnb cleaning almost ruined us for the rest of the day. Everything needed doing and our guests were expected at the earliest opportunity. We made it right in the nick of time and all was well. After that I tried to go to a gallery where there might be a bare breasted photograph of yours truly (!). I did a topless shoot once, not in an erotic way, and the photographer invited me to the opening of a gallery where I assume one of the shots is hung. Was so excited! So I cycled all the way over there, but i was closed, info to the contrary online. I will try again. Since I’m now in the inspiration phase, there’ll be much more gallery tripping. I ended up going to a friend instead and later that evening joined Dan at the cinema to see Moonlight. It was absolutely worthwhile catching it on the big screen and I hope to do a review when next I have time. Maybe I’ll put it under ‘Inspiration in my new Process Book.

Gotta go, wish me luck ūüôā