My reblog this week comes from writer Talin Orfali and brings up an important topic: the screens we have in front of us these days…
Feature: Beyond Meat
Do you like the flavour and texture of meat but feel conscious about the environmental impact, the ethical issues, or the health risks? Why not look beyond meat:
(note: this video is a year old, the company has since launched several more products)
Now, I haven’t had the fortune to try out any of the Beyond Meat products myself yet, but this is definitely something to keep an eye on. If we can make meat products that are more nutritious, better for the environment, without taking the detour via raising and feeding an actual animal, is there any reason not to?
The rate of animal consumption is still rising and humanity has never eaten so much meat and killed so many animals as we do today and to top it off, the meat industry treats animals horribly. Things need to change, for the sake of our whole existence.
There are several companies out there who are on the cutting edge of creating vegetable-based proteins that are nearly indistinguishable from actual meat products – check them out, and if you see them in your grocery store buy them and try them!
We owe it to ourselves and to the planet.
Check out these companies and initiatives and follow their progress:
From the Ashes
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
—Carl Gustav Jung
Another day, another year, another life.
Yesterday was the last day of my thirties. I have now spent forty years being me, growing into my skin and becoming myself.
But this past year has been truly life-changing.
It has easily been one of the most tumultuous, most significant, most rewarding years of my life – and that’s saying a lot. I’ve fallen, broken down, picked myself up, stumbled, crashed, torn myself apart, patched myself together, burned up, risen from the ashes…and here I stand, old and improved.
It’s been profound.
Now I face another year on this Earth, and it will no doubt be equally life-altering – albeit in different ways. Big things are happening and big things are being planned. The channges I’ve made within myself, in my life, and to my creative work was just the beginning.
I’m still working hard to build myself up again.
And I’m still struggling to find that balance – the balance between art, life, and sanity.
I suspect I always will.
The Enemy Inside
”Normal people think I’m insane.”
Have you ever waged a war against yourself?
Ten days remain of NaNoWriMo and the daily word count I need to make my goal has doubled. Since I’ve averaged about 600 words an hour so far this means I’d need six hours a day of pure writing.
I can do that. But I won’t.
There’s too much else I need to do, for one. Also, my brain is fighting me.
The project I’m working on is a three-part coming-of-age story inspired by events in my own life – a fictionalized auto-biography of sorts. It is the first part of a much larger project and it has been building up inside of me for a long time. It’s a story I’m quite passionate about. But now that it is finally coming together my brain refuses to co-operate.
As soon as I try to shape my writing, my brain suggests other projects.
There’s a list of things I want to write which can be grouped into three larger projects; three themes. It seems no matter which of these I pick, another demands my attention.
The harder I try to focus, the more my brain rebels against me.
Instead of fighting back, I’m trying to trick it. I give my mind a taste of what it wants: an idea to run with, a piece of information to research, an image to describe. Then, as that starts taking form I dive in and put pen to paper on the current project. Part of my brain keeps working on the problem I gave it, and another part starts trying to figure out how my current action ties into that other project.
In letting my mind veer of course I twist it to work for me as well as against me.
Having two different things at the forefront of my mind at the same time can get confusing sometimes, but luckily I’ve had a lot of practice. I’m not sure what diagnosis I should have, if any, but my mind has always done this. I’ve always had several trains of thought running parallel, on separate tracks. Sometimes it’s been a boon, sometimes a curse.
I’m finally learning how to make that into a creative advantage rather than a hindrance.
“The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.”
— Victor Hugo
Six months ago today, I started on a personal journey.
The ride since then has been wild and shaky and bumpy, but now things seems to have settled and I am back where I started – only stronger, wiser and better than ever before.
I have come full circle.
The track is laid out before me and I am sure of where I am going – both personally and professionally – for the first time in years.
Now the next stretch of this journey awaits.
Things will likely stay hectic and wild and bumpy. They always do, in life – nothing ever goes according to plan. But this time around at least there is a map of sorts to follow.
All of the major crossroads are behind me, for now.
That’s not to say the journey ahead is fully mapped out by any means – there will be choices and uncertainties, surprises and conundrums. But this train is going places! I’m back on track, full of motivation, stoking the engine.
‘Til the wheels come off, babe!
Hello Dear Reader, and welcome to my new portfolio!
I have restructured and expanded on my image gallery, but there isn’t much new material posted. Most works have appeared on here, on twitter or on facebook previously, but they have never been gathered in the same place before.
(The image on the left here links to the portfolio page – sadly it would have been too much work to do a collection of expandable thumbnails on here)
As i think I’ve mentioned before, I’m doing an overhaul of this site.
Last week I reduced the number of categories of my blog to six and restructured things a bit:
Life – posts about what is going on with me, be it personally, professionally, creatively or just randomly overthinking and contemplating something.
Art – posts that prominently feature my artwork, including Sketch of the Week, portraits, etc.
Commentary – posts offering my views on current events or specific topics.
Feature – posts that feature or promotes another artist, as well as posts on inspiring people in general.Reblog of the Week – my weekly (ahem…) sharing of other blogs.
Word of the Week – my ever popular delvings into the obscure, archaic or arcane nooks and crannies of the English language.
As usual, nothing is set in stone and these categories are subject to change, addition, division, fusion, deletion or transmutation without prior notice. I take little to no responsibility fpr the actions of my future self (you didn’t hear this from me, but that bloke is a madman)!
Also, i have a loose plan of where to go from here.
I am slowly putting my work out there again, testing the waters and throwing out hooks to see if anything will bite or stick or come angrily shambling from the depths looking to end mankind. It’s slow work, but no one else is going to do it!
Finally, a heart-felt Thank You, Dear Reader!
Since rekindling my efforts on here I’ve seen an increased response from You – likes, shares, feedback, views etc. Just over the weekend now I had over 400 views from nearly 100 people, in a single(!) day. I really appreciate it and you are very important to me!
Back in the Crowd
“Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.”
The ball is rolling again.
I had forgotten the amount of work needed besides the actual creative process – editing, formatting, finding places to submit to, planning, preparing, talking with clients, purchasing materials, etc, etc. The other day I just barely managed to make it on time to my day job because I got stuck preparing a commissioned work.
This week has finally seen a restart of my creative work, though – mostly, I’ve been organisingand picking up resting projects to see what I can make of them. I have been planning for future projects, restocked some supplies, and I made some connections.
That’s the good news.
The bad is that it seems my artistry is veering off my planned course, so that instead of finally kicking off the projects I have been looking forward to I find myself staring down a path filled with entirely new projects. Soul searching and restarting one’s inner life can have that effect, I guess.
Either way though, I’m back in the game.
My biggest challenge now is to manage my days so i can set aside the time i need to keep this ball rolling and still be able to work on myself.
Wish me luck, Dear Reader – or better yet: wish me discipline!
We are Legion
“If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”
―Adm. William H McRaven
Dear Reader – have you ever considered the impossible entity that is us?
The complex web of human interaction stretching across this globe in order to make the modern world go ’round? How every day, millions upon millions of humans are working toward one single goal; for one single purpose? From the ranch hand in Kansas to the miner in China to the broker in Tokyo – every one, connected.
We are interdependent yet truly replaceable cells in the neural network that makes up mankind.
We all have a purpose and a role to play – every uttered word, every shaken hand, every loving touch is a signal in the network, holding us together as one.
Now, imagine every person as a glowing point on the globe.
Imagine every interaction between those people as a lingering thread of light connecting them. Imagine the incomprehensible series of such threads – events and interactions – that created the device you read this on, the surface you sit on, the clothes on your back, you. How many lives have worked in concert to create everything within arm’s reach; to bring it you, here, now? Thousands? Millions?
Through your mere existence here and now you are connected to all of them, Dear Reader.
Some of those threads have gone unbroken through centuries, bringing you the music of Bach and the ideas of Aristotle. Others have been twisted and turned and spliced together over the years to create new things out of old ideas.
Take a moment now and visualize that web.
It spans not only the globe but the years: a living, moving, pulsating oneness connecting every living human being, now as well as then. And into the future. Ideas travel along the web, taking shape and multiplying, and bit by bit they are realized and created. A computer wouldn’t exist without the technicians, designers and manufacturers who create it; wouldn’t be created without the prospectors, miners, and refiners who gather and create the materials – and if not for the entrepreneurs, investors and businessmen who run the companies there would be no one to pay for it all. Then there’s the transporters, advertisers, sales people, and so on and so forth.
No single person in the web is more important than any other, really.
If one falls, another will take it’s place – or the chain will be broken – and every link on the chain is in turn supported by other people. Family, friends, co-workers, doctors, teachers, role models – they all connect to make us who we are and place us in our unique spot in the network.
We are Legion, for we are Many.
We all rest on the sum of all history and we all support the creation of the future. We all have power to connect, inspire, create, influence, instigate and change people around us – even if the effect is ever so small to begin with, it can end up determining the fate of the world. We can never know in advance what our tiny action today will lead to in the long run: a kind word, a helping hand, an inspiring art work, a comforting touch – that single action might start or re-start a chain of events that changes a life, and by extension the world. Every single thing we do or contribute to carries with it the weight of all that has led up to this moment. Every thing we do, every minute interaction with another, counts.
Think about the implications; the possibilities.
- Read – Slaughterhouse-Five; Kurt Vonnegut
- Watch – Dead Poets Society; Peter Weir
- Listen – Requiem; Johannes Ockeghem
Reblog: Mother Nature