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Learning

Close up of a white person in a denim jacket writing in a book while drinking a cup of coffee
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critical thinking

Teaching began last week, and I used the face-to-face time with my students to encourage some critical discussion of a fashion brand whose story focused on sustainability. At the end of the session, I asked students what they would take away from the discussion to apply to their own work. About 25% of them said: "To think more deeply about what I'm looking at",[...]

A golden orange sun in the distance is seen through a broken chain link fence
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Can starting your week on a Sunday make your work week better?

Lately, I've become interested in ideas about time and how we structure it. My new teaching role means I am spending three days a week on that, with two days a week on my creative practice and two days for a weekend. But as I've been transitioning into this new structure (from two days on teaching and three on creative practice) I've started to question ho[...]

Power

The concept of power - where it lives, who ‘owns’ it, what form it takes, where it is expressed or repressed - began to interest me during my post-grad degree. Before that I’d experienced power struggles, but didn’t have the words - or the personal power ‘muscle’ - to understand or participate in them. After my post-graduate education, where we read art a[...]

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Capturing life

When I was seventeen and studying art, I visited the school library for inspiration. During that difficult couple of late-teenage years, books, particularly art books, transported me elsewhere; somewhere where mundane requirements like time and maths lessons and trauma didn't exist. So I was searching for inspiration when I sat down that day. But I was also loo[...]

A question to help shift your negative self-talk

I was never someone who chastised themselves in front of others. I did it privately instead. I preferred to do that in the comfort of my own mind where I could use words like 'stupid', 'silly' and 'ungrateful' and no-one would tell me otherwise. But it's a continuous process to change my (silent) self-talk from something negative into something positive; from somethin[...]

Tips for creating a positive mindset as an artist

A few years back, at a similar time to when I began reading Brene Brown's work, I learnt about Carol Dweck. In 2006, psychology professor and researcher Carol Dweck published a book which outlined the culmination of research on our understanding of where intellectual and cognitive ability comes from. Dweck established that everyone was on a continuum of “implicit[...]

How I deal with criticism as a creative person

Here’s how hard I find it to deal with criticism: I went to therapy for it. Yep, in a classic bit of middle-class white privilege, significant portions of my therapeutic process have been about dealing with being criticised. A former therapist once reflected to me that “goody two shoes” was an identity I seemed to have inhabited (consciously or not). Being[...]

The importance of experimenting as a creative person

I spoke to one of my clients recently who is in the middle of a big potential switcheroo in her world. Lots of new information, life decisions and pivoting to make sure her business, her work, her life and everything else fit together well. And one of the things she said was feeling like she’s constantly chopping and changing what she does. Seeing something –[...]