A utopian 'wacky warehouse' for adults and children alike.

Once again I haven't posted in a while, on a positive note it means that I'm spending more time 'doing' art than I am just waffling on about it. 

So my last post left off just before the hang of the War Music exhibition and I was expecting all sorts of unforeseen issues...and while all my planning went completely out of the window almost immediately and trying to keep track of all the different items, their context to others and the information about each was mind boggling (huge respect to museum curators!) it went relatively smoothly. That is all expect for arriving to find the boards we were using as the 'walls' for the exhibition were covered in a grey/green fabric that clashed horribly with the information boards, and took weather-worn to a whole new level. Cue mild panic, lots of google searches for 'bulk hemp-quick' and 'batch fabric-midlands', neither of which were feasible or affordable and so I had a crazy idea and we just took all of the material off. Thankfully all of the glue underneath had perished, so with my Rolson blade and a lot of brute strength we ended up with walls that matched the aged aesthetic of the music sheets, and complimented the stone greys of the cathedral...not too bad for a happy little accident. 

For more images of the show: http://samanthawilliams-art.com/#/war-music/ 

For more images of the show: http://samanthawilliams-art.com/#/war-music/ 

Now on to new and bright and shiny things...during the week I was down in the midlands I also had a meeting with the Festival director of Longbridge Light Festival, an arts festival that takes place in the newly developed area of Birmingham (if you've read previous posts this is the one where I got the interview day wrong...idiot). So to cut a long story short, Claire Farrell (Director of LLF) has comissioned me to create a big interactive work as part of the festival. (!!!!!! I'm still so excited it's very difficult to form sentences!) During the meeting we discussed my work and she showed me 2 potential spaces that my work could be housed, the first of which was a communal student area of Bournvlle College (which has now moved to Longbridge into a purpose-built structure) and the second (immediately the one I wanted to use) the Art Foundation/degree students studio spaces, picture white wall gallery spaces with a series of little rooms built to look like a row of houses (instantly : A UTOPIAN COMMUNITY OF ACTIVITY AND PLAY) but there was one stipulation attached to the second option; I would have to work with students as part of a residency over Sept/Oct to create the piece (!!!!! seriously, somebody slap me - where do I sign?!) We briefly met with Amanda, one of the course directors at Bournville who was very open and enthusiastic to the idea of a resident artist working with students to produce something for the festival. And the wheels were set in motion for this wonderful, amazing opportunity - I am so, so excited! 

So I had to submit an initial proposal to outline the intended outcome, timeline, how it could be interpreted as part of the Foundation students first few projects, materials, budget etc. The project needs to loosely fit the theme of the festival, which is 'Shadow Factory' - this refers to the history of Longbridge and how a local automotive factory became part of the 'Shadow Scheme' during WW2. It is also a playful double entendre that ascribes to the nature of the 'light' festival. Initially I came up with a loose concept called 'The Play Factory', which the project will now be named. Over the last few weeks I've met with some of the staff from Bournville to discuss the scope and realities of the project, and have spent some time defining the context: 

tpf

The Play Factory: Work with students of Bournville College to create a series of interactive

games/activities that relate loosely to the history of Longbridge and Shadow factories in a wider

context. During the war effort toy factories were given over to shadow factory scheme, rendering

toys expensive. Many families could no longer afford to buy toys and so children would create

street games from what they could find, or would make games with adult family members from

cheap materials. My intention is use to board games/street games/toys from the period during

WW2 as inspiration for the activities contained within TPF.

The Play Factory seeks to subvert the idea of ‘war effort’ by creating a space that aims to be a

place of play and pure pleasure. Rather than producing ammunition and aeroplanes, our factory

will produce joy, interaction and participant relationships - a utopian ‘wacky warehouse’ for adults

and children alike.

So far it's just a loose narrative, which will be shaped and developed through the input of the students and myself over the course of the residency. It's going to be both exciting and difficult to collaborate with such a large group...I can't wait! 

In other news, I've finalised a date for the launch of the BSA booklet, this is going to take place on the 18th of August and will be part of a regular social event so hopefully there will be lots of the studio holders/members there to get involved. I've also been asked to step in and run 2 events whilst the regular staff are away, which will be fun to shake up my usual casual bar-working weekend. 

So, it's all systems go! As well as managing these various projects, we're also due to move back to the midlands within the next 6 weeks, ideally before I start at Bournville on the 5th of Sept, so we have the lovely added stress of trying to find a house and then doing the cross-country move! YAY! (not so yay, there is nothing yay about moving house). Also, the timescale and budget for TPF means that I need to find myself some part-time work which is flexible enough to fit around the residency...some not-so-easy times ahead! Fingers crossed something arts related comes up!

I keep saying that I'm going to start posting these regularly, and then doing the complete opposite so for the time being I'll just post up when big new things happen and then once I've started at Bournville I'll try and do something weekly to track the project's development. 

Fun times ahead!! 

Desolation and positivity.

It's been two weeks since I've posted, I actually managed to max out my time/brain capacity last weekend plus had the added obstacle of a delightful chest infection. 

A lot has happened since my last post, in my own little orbit and of course our decision to bow out of the EU - something which has left me with this horrible black hole of despair in my gut. I'm still reeling, and angry and frustrated and, and...words fail me. I had this moment when sat smoking on the doorstep yesterday where I realised that I just don't know how to 'carry on', or 'get on with it' because I can't even begin to redefine myself within everything thats happened. I once argued that one of the things that makes our country great is that we accept everyone. Oh how wrong I was. I understand that when it comes down to it that everything that happens now could end up having a positive effect on the UK in the long run. But I just can't see through the devision and hatred, the level of social engineering which has caused so many people in this country to vote leave out of fear and hatred, the lies perpetuated by the media and the establishment, the acts of violence being committed. And this attitude of 'we need to join hands and forge a new Britain' is just infuriating, I feel cheated and disgusted, I don't want to forget, or get on with it, I want to shout, I want to scream so much it hurts. More than anything what I really feel is empty, and what I need to do is find a way to renew my faith in humanity. 

ART. ART. ART.

On a positive note, during the last 2 weeks I've had a meeting with the centre manager of BSA, who has agreed that the booklet will be funded and has given me the go ahead for the launch event, hopefully sometime in August. He has also asked that the studio members page and the gallery info page be separate items of the same aesthetic, so the book is now in 3 parts: the original and mostly finished activity booklet, a a4/a5 studio holders slip in sheet, and A6 flyer with the gallery details on. All of which will hopefully be ready to go to print in the first week of July.  

I'm now in the final countdown to the War music exhibition, which will open on Friday 1st July. I have 2.5 days to implement the hours and hours of pre-emptive plans and turn it in to a balanced, informative and hopefully semi-interactive display. I'm heading over to Lichfield tomorrow afternoon to begin sorting through the material that has come up from RAM - and I'm keeping all of my fingers crossed that I've planned for every eventuality. With limited time to hang the show, I've had to put together a 2D mock-up of the space, which has the items labelled in the appropriate orders, fitted inside the array of size-varying display boards and cabinets. All of which may be useless depending on a series of variables that I just haven't been able to predict - whatever the obstacles, I'm sure I can make it work. I've also taken on the printing/mounting of all of the supporting text as items may have to be excluded/moves during the hang which will significantly affect these - so I'm doing that tues/weds night - it's going to be a busy few days! 

I also went to see The Brutalist Playground last weekend and I've written a review for The State of the Arts, you can read it here: 

http://www.thestateofthearts.co.uk/features/review-brutalist-playground-scotch-queen-parkhill/

 I really enjoyed our visit to the show, and I'll definitely be going back before it closes in September. It's so inspiring to see/touch/feel the kinds of projects that I would love to one day pull off myself. 

I've finally arranged to meet with the Festival Director from the interview I missed, the meetings tomorrow morning and I'm so excited and enthused to have a conversation with an arts professional that has shown a genuine interest in my practice (irrespective of the fact that I can't read a calendar properly) - so more on how that goes next week! 

Lauren (Heywood) and I have started working on document that explores the concept of Community Collective and what that could become, this gave me a great opportunity to start thinking about how the project could become a reality, it's intent and what we need to do get going. It' s difficult making any real progress when we live 2 hours apart and both have our own jobs/projects on the go, but hopefully we should have some time to catch-up whilst I'm in Coventry this weekend and we can get the ball-rolling. I think this particular projects aims of inclusivity and being a platform for community collaboration is now more even more important - given recent political events. The result of the referendum has left me feeling more than a little impotent, so it seems to me that this is the right way to channel that feeling into being a force of good in the world. 

I feel like this post is more of a brief catch-you-up than anything else, hopefully next week I'll have the time and inspiration to get my rant head back on and start delving deeper into current projects and their potential reach. And maybe I'll feel a little less desolate. 

Master of my own disasters, Author of my own fate...

So if there is one lesson I have learned this week, it's to read, and re-read (and read again) my emails properly! 

The week started off juggling trying to get the extra 2 pages of the BSA booklet finished and wrapping my head around the finite details of pulling of the War Music exhibition. Then late Tuesday evening whilst perusing through the various crap that gets filtered into my junk email I noticed something a little less 'Lola from Indonesia wants to meet you!' (Who knows what I've used my email for to insight that kind of crap being sent to me) and a little more '...we are delighted to invite you for an interview...'

!!!!! Interview?! ME?! 

And it wasn't just any job, it was one of the jobs that I definitely didn't think I had even the remotest chance of getting an interview for! In the midlands, as Festival Co-ordinator for a really incredible arts festival that combines community inclusivity with contemporary art. WOW. I was so excited I could have been sick. This was such an amazing opportunity, and I would woo them with my enthusiasm and passion that they would love me (hopefully) and if nothing else it would be such a fantastic experience to have an interview for this kind of job. 

The interview was midday on Friday and I already had a trip planned to go down to Lichfield on Wednesday so I fiddled a few things around and made arrangements to see a friend in Coventry Wednesday night and then I would spend all day at my moms on Thursday putting together my presentation for the interview. Early night at my moms Thurs, even bought a new dress that said 'I am really awesome but you should definitely take me seriously' (which is a lot of pressure to put on an item of clothing) and I would be fresh and ready to make an impact Friday. Boom! Organised!

Wednesday went as planned, the trip down could have gone a little smoother (Insert hilarious anecdote of me wrestling with a diesel pump at the petrol station in the sweltering heat and covering myself in fuel) but I spent a good couple of hours photographing and measuring all of the display boards and plinths that I'm going to be using for the WM exhib so now I'm all set to make a pre-emptive floor/wall plan. I had a fabulous time with my friend in Coventry who cooked me a lovely dinner and gave me outfit advice with the pressure-laden dress - to belt or not to belt? 

Thursday was even better, I met a friend from university who is interested in the same areas of art as me and turns out we've been working on and thinking up similar concepts. So a half hour catch up, turned into a 3 hour planning session on how we could create a platform for community projects to promote engagement in culture. It's an idea with so many strings and so much heart, I left feeling enthused and inspired and ready, oh so ready for my interview the next day!

I get to my moms and start putting together my presentation, excitedly telling my step-father all about how this was such a great opportunity and how it made me feel that leaving my corporate job was exactly the right thing to do...and then I checked my emails. I had an email from the organisation at 6am this morning saying that if I had difficulty finding the centre today to call this number...

TODAY. NO. nonononono. I couldn't have been so stupid, could I?! 

Yes, yes. I am that stupid. The interview had been at 12.05pm that day and it was now 4.10pm. 

Retrospectively I realise that after reading the email I must have checked the date after midnight and therefore thought that Friday was the 9th. Ironically, in my application I sold myself as 'meticulously organised'. I couldn't have been more cross and upset with myself! I got in touch with the organisation and waited for their response, the guy I spoke to was lovely, even apologised that they couldn't offer me another time as they had to make a decision based on who they had met today. 

The silver lining is that he has invited me to go across and meet him in the next few weeks as they are interested in my art practice after looking at my website. I am now just waiting to hear back on a date, so I guess not it's not all bad. And I finally feel like I'm stepping out in the right direction and that even though I didn't actually attend the interview, just getting invited is progress. 

So the moral of the this downright stupid story is...check the flaming calendar properly Samantha! 

BREAKTHROUGH ALERT! Too many fingers in too many pies...

It's been a little over a week since my last post, which has been mostly consumed by working late nights in the pub and helping sort out some of the rooms in my parents house - the life of an artist/non-artist is oh so glamourous...

But! Breakthrough! (Please excuse me while I jump around the house in glee, no gloating I promise, just pure - unadulterated joy!) So what I hinted at in my post from May 21, can now be confirmed - one of my applications paid off! The response I got for this particular application started with the usual 'Thank you for your application, unfortunately due to the high number of applicants we will not be inviting you for interview...' but then continued with '...however, we have a project that may be of some interest to you...' (HOWEVER - what a lovely little spark of hope held within that single word) So last week I went to meet the Director of Lichfield Festival (LF) who has invited me to curate a visual exhibition that supports the festivals activities which centre around the Centenary of WW1. 

The exhibition, simply entitled 'War Music' will be made up of archival material and items that were previously curated as an exhibition (under the same title) at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) - see photo. The exhibition aimed to give 'a broad look at the relationship between music and war against the background of radical musical change.' The themes within it vary from music as a tool for recruitment and propaganda, to the creation of new music and poetry as an outlet for soldiers in the trenches, and those waiting for them to come home. The 'new' exhibition which will open on the 1st of July in the Lichfield Cathedral will be a snap shot version of this. 

It's definitely something out of my nice, comfy contemporary zone and even the first task has been really challenging! I've been given almost free-reign to curate the material as I see fit, LF has requested that a few specific items be included, but other than that the selection of the material has been left up to me. So my task this week was to work through a huge list of the potential items that we could have on loan from the RAM exhibition and send this off to the Museum Curator so that all of the request paperwork, insurance, transportation could be set in motion. All the while the self-sabotaging side of my brain was screaming 'AHHHH, you have NO IDEA what you're doing!' After lots of research and pondering, I've made what I feel like is an informed selection, but I have also asked for them to send up a lot more than we will be able to fit into the exhibition - I want to have the option to select from a range of things when I'm actually curating it in the space. (So we'll see what they say about that!) 

Later this week I'm going into the LF office to work through the supporting info displays and the display options that have already been sent up from RAM - plinths, display cases etc, I'm a little concerned that by condensing it down, that it may all become a little disjointed and we'll possibly need to print new info sheets or cut down display boards - I won't really know this until I see what is there though - time to fret about that later. 

We've also discussed trying to find an innovative way of increasing engagement and feedback -right up my participative-obsessed street! Hopefully as I progress through the process of putting the show together something will present itself to me as a way of doing this, I initially had grand ideas of setting up a music hall type seating arrangement, complete with music sheets/feedback forms... but unfortunately I don't think the space will allow for this - we'll see... 

So, my ideas from last weeks post have been put on the shelf somewhat this week, I'm reading a personal critique of the social system from the 70's by a guy called Peter Laurie, after just the first chapter it's really interesting to see how certain shifts in that era have become unwritten rules of the social order today. The first chapter is on Education, in which he describes a 'dumbing down' of the lower and middle classes in order to create a system in which those confined by it are not taught the language to understand politics and government and are therefore incapable of in-sighting any significant changes . So far Mr Laurie and I are screaming from the same hymn sheet it seems - it will be interesting to see if he offers any pearls of wisdom that could inspire the community activities that I talked about in last weeks post. 

I've also done a little more work on the BSA booklet, which I should be tying up into another final draft by the end of this week...at least it's what I plan on doing this evening (too many fingers in too many pies at the moment!) 

It's been a joyous one, less proverbial head-banging and much more giddy-breakthrough dancing to come, please?  

I had an idea and now I've said it out loud, so it must be real.

It's been a constant see-saw of stop-start this week, I'm feeling a little like I've spent more time psyching myself up to do work, than actually doing any...

Practice: A few shards of ideas have been swirling around in my head for the last few weeks, and it seems they are finally finding away to mash themselves together. The following is a half-formed idea that I have about something I think could be quite big and have lots of tendrils that branch out of it, but I haven't yet done enough research (or said a lot of this out loud), so it might be a load of rubbish. 

Democracy

Community

Participation

Individual Activation

Utopia 

Voice

Belonging

Board games, arcade games, childhood games

These are a selection of keywords that sum up the ideas that have been pinging around my mind. My notebook looks like the scrawlings of a militant communist who has an incessant obsession with board games. (maybe a little over exaggerated, maybe not) (sidenote: there's a joke in here somewhere about Debord's 'Game of War' but I'm not even sure I get it so I won't bore you...)

Anyway so I had a bit of a brain wave earlier in the week about something that happened when I was in primary school; I was in year 6 so this would be about 1999/2000. The school had our year take part in something called 'The Make it Real Game', which I understood at the time to be teaching us about the roles of adults in the 'adult world' of work and responsibility. The only real memories I have are:

1.  Finding the role (which defined your part within the MIRG system) we were assigned in our school trays - I'm guessing the teachers pre-selected based on academic prowess and personality because even as a child I could see that all the smart kids had one role and all the 'naughty' kids had another.   

2. The roles were: Office Co-ordinator (This was me...), Writing Co-ordinator, Marketing Co-ordinator, Creative Co-ordinator...there was at least 1 other that I don't recall.

3. Groups were made up of one personal from each role and we were asked to take part in a series of tasks in the mindset of the fictitious 'company' that we made up.

On more recent further reading it seems that the MIRG was created in the mid 90's by an American man after his 12 yr old daughter complained that the subjects she was being taught at school had no real relation to life as an adult. The MIRG and other similar models that Bill Barry created intended to give young people a practice run at being an adult while they’re still in school. 

Now while I wholly agree with the sentiments, (more so I feel that what most primary-secondary schools are lacking is an unbiased education of the political and social order they live within, which would allow them to become informed voters and active citizens) I feel that the model Barry designed does no more than implant the idea in young children that they must conform to a pre-existing role within the capitalist system.

So this got me thinking about creating a platform for participants to re-imagine the system, to activate the individual into thinking about (and voicing) what he feels are important parts of society and community. Initially I thought about creating the space, and tools to create a 3D relief of community and then invite participants to change it based on their wants and needs. This could be a work that evolved in a space with each participants interaction, something that could be transported from site to site and have a new outcome dependent of the community it interacts with. A series of utopian communities created by existing communities. (And then I got a little ahead of myself and started thinking about creating an archive of all the different kinds of community that exist within the UK - I think their may even be potential in there somewhere for a PhD...one day).

So after this small epiphany I started researching artists that work with communities and act as a initiator to give communities a voice and a creative freedom. And the idea began to develop into a series of activities that ask a participant to think about the idea of community and their existence within it. Over the next few weeks I'm going to continue researching and develop a few different activities that could be placed within a community setting. This hopefully will then develop into the over-arching idea that I have, which I'm currently referring to as 'Community Collective', which would see these activities go on a tour of various different 'places of community' and become an open forum for artists (and activists) to cross-collaborate and essentially just 'join-in' on creating an open conversation about alternative (and hopefully more positive) living models. 

(Like I say its half-formed and thats the first time I've tried to string it together all in one place...if you have any ideas that relate I would love to here about them) 

Applications have slowed up this week, mostly because I haven't seen anything new that I really want to apply for. I did, however, write up a proposal for the BSA scavenger hunt launch which I've handed over to them this week (hopefully will be able to get the ball rolling on this soon) and I've had feedback on the booklet...a few changes to make and 2 more pages to add which will be based on the studio holders at BSA which has given me an opportunity to meet some of the lovely people that hide away in the rabbit warrens of studios around the centre. 

I've barely had chance to to catch my breath this week, and I know that the next few days are going to be a little hectic so fingers crossed I get some time to sit my butt down and do some serious ART-THINKING...

Thanks for reading!! 

Adventures into the Twitterverse...and a good old rant.

This week started out with a pretty catastrophic hangover that has slowly developed into a stinking summer cold. But it's ok because I have kicked ass this week - namely my own! Not only have I started AND kept up a daily work out routine but I'm now also 6 days completely cig free! I will however be dragging my e-cig along with me to work in the pub later, I'm not entirely fooled by my all of my new found will power...

And while I'm all power and positivity this week, this weeks blog is currently flowing out of me as a massive, somewhat nonsensical rant...

Practicing - not practicing: What are you when you're an artist who's not making any art?

My least favourite thing about going back into the world of bar work is the question that rears it ugly-intrusive head on a nightly basis - 'So, what ELSE do you do?' Now I'm all for friendly conversation, I mean I couldn't work in a bar if I wasn't, but the frequency in which I get asked this question, in this manner leaves me trotting out the same over-rehearsed epigraph about my existence as a creative individual. Using words like 'emerging' and 'practitioner' because secretly you don't feel like you can call yourself an artist - at this point in your career the only person who ever paid you for making art is, well, you. (Apart from that one time I bullied my brother into buying one of my paintings, cheers for that week's food bro!)

But more importantly, what do you say if you're an artist - a 'practitioner' and you're not currently practicing? Explaining to someone that you like to make things that people can interact with always leads to the follow up 'So what are you working on right now?'...Well right now, Dave, I'm trying desperately to think of an idea that explores the relationship between participatory art and community, democracy and emancipation from a totalitarian system in which we do not understand the language used to define the world in which we live. All the while applying for projects that will develop my career and learn how to use social media as a tool to expand my reach. And no, there's not much money in that, Dave. 'So how is THAT art?' Just fuck off, Dave.

Once again it comes back to other peoples perception of success, every time we meet someone we subconsciously weigh them against your own internal scale, and peg them appropriately - measured and neatly categorised. But you're not so easily defined if your heart lies within the creative sphere: you don't care about money? stuff? fancy job titles? Let me bash all of the enthusiasm out of you so you conform to my perfect pigeon-hole sized boxes.

It's a frustrating bi-product of the disparity between the lives of people that have an active interest in art and that those whose is passive or non-existent. Art's not for everyone and some people just don't get it, or don't want to... which is totally acceptable. Each to our own and all that...but if I had a penny for every time someone asks me 'So what do you paint?', well I'd be a lot less poor than I am now. Maybe - I'd probably just spend it all on art anyway.

AND BREATHE...I guess thats been rattling around in my head for a while now. I'll move on to this weeks adventure update...

Twiiterverse

Twitterverse...one of the few things that you're actually 'taught' when you do an Art/Design degree is to essentially ram yourself down the throat of as many people as possible via social media. I shied away from putting my work on Facebook throughout uni, I wanted to wait and put together a website (which I did eventually get round to). But they also wanted a regular blog, tumblr, twitter, linked in...ram, ram, ram, ram. So I set up Twitter in 2011, immediately hated the concept (because I'm clearly never going to keep anything to 140 characters), linked it to my instagram and then pretty much haven't looked at it since. So I've spent this week spending about an hour a day initiating a #socialmediamakeover and perusing the zillions of creative organisations that use it. It's an incredible tool, I'm a total granny when it comes to hashtags and a bit nervous of airing my views and tagging people, but can already say I'm a convert. Now I just need to tweet lots of interesting things so the hundreds of pictures of my cats and my ex disappear into the bowels of the internet. 

Applications... I have absolutely smashed it on the applications front this week. I think I'm up to about 6, which is a bloody lot considering that no two are remotely the same and my CV is part illustration so it's not just like chopping up a few sentences in word. I finally feel like I have a workable CV, and have found it quite surprising that I've drawn out quite a few practical strengths from my time as Office Manager, maybe it wasn't a complete waste of my life after all. Anyway so I heard back from an internship that I applied for at the start of the week, which once again was a 'we will not be inviting you for interview this time...' BUT 'we do have a project you might be interested in...'!! Cue me jumping around the house with excitement for a good 10 minutes. 

I'm not going to give too much away because I want to find out more and get it confirmed, so there will hopefully be more on that in a few weeks time! Either way, its positive and exciting an a baby step in the right direction. 

I've waffled on far too long this time so thanks for reading, I'll continue to bang my head against the proverbial brick wall (ooooh performance piece?) next week and hopefully, possibly, maybe, have more exciting news soon...

@pixiewilliams (RAM, RAM, RAM!) 

Here's to bar jobs and blue, wait no, green/purple/silver hair...

I recently quit my full-time corporate job in order to pursue...things a little more 'me'. I've decided to document my adventure into life as an 'emerging artist' (whatever that is!), and so this blog will reflect upon my successes and more often, perhaps even more importantly, my failures. I want to create a discussion about 'What it's really like...', because lets face it, we fail more often than we succeed, and quite often we're running around in circles wondering which way is up and which direction we should be heading in...or maybe that's just me! 

Print Day

SO, here goes...I've been volunteering at Bank Street Arts in Sheffield for about 3 months now, shortly after I started, the Project Co-ordinator asked me to work on what I've been calling an 'engagement project' in the shape of a Scavenger hunt that seeks to highlight the centre's permanent works collection. Since finishing working full-time in an office last week, I've finally managed to put a final draft together which is now printed and in the 'Tell me what you love/hate stage', I'm hoping that sometime in the near future the gallery are going to let me organise a launch event...but more on that when it's not just a thought I have floating around in my head. 

I started working in a pub again this week, because bills still need paying and its WAY more fun than being an Office Manager! The decision to quit my reasonably well paid job to go back into bar work was really difficult and had been a long time coming, but in the end I decided that it was the best decision for my sanity and this last week has been a lot brighter than the last few months. I've been having difficulty navigating my way through other people's perspective on success, and I've finally come to the point where I'm going to be the 'me' that I am, rather than the 'me' I think I'm supposed to be - which began with dying my hair seven different shades of ridiculous (still not entirely sure whether this falls under failures or successes column but its definitely an interesting shade of something).

Applications - I'm going to talk about these a fair bit in the blog as it's what I seem to spend most of my time doing - looking at art jobs/commissions, starting applications for art jobs, talking myself out of applying for them because I don't quite fit person specification or have a trillion years experience, giving it a bash anyway and endlessly clicking refresh on my email in the hope that the 17th version of my CV is bang on this time... Last week I applied for a commission project which I heard back from on Monday - not successful this time, 'but if we had one more slot it would have been you. All the best for the future...'. It might just be lip service but at least it wasn't a flat NO. A few months ago any unsuccessful response hit me really personally and made me shy away from applying for anything else, now it's still as gut-wrenching but I realise that the point is to keep trying, and keep trying and keep trying. 

So that's been the first week, its been swift and smiley...hopefully next week will hold more success, maybe, probably not - but that's ok...in the words of my sorely missed partner in crime '...it's ok, we're going to be famous by Friday.'