Thursday, March 31, 2005

creative voyage's portobello

stitch & bitch

7pm Cameo Cinema Home St Edinburgh

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

the joy of part time work

This is from Keri Smith

"The new issue of Bust is out. In it you will find an article in which I was interviewed by the talented Michelle Goodman, entitled "Wage Slaves -Day job schemes for girls with arty dreams". I haven't read it yet, but we spoke at length about managing a part-time job (and in some cases full-time) and still finding time to create, free-lance or even run your own business. I got very excited about the subject, having done it myself quite a bit (I worked at a bookstore part-time for the first five years of my career). In many ways I still find myself in the position of balancing making a living with doing the work I really want to do. Some of my regular free-lance work can be at times trying, and lacking in personal meaning. Though I do my best to find ways to make it my enjoyable, (experimenting with new ideas, mediums, colors, etc). And in between I work incessantly on my personal projects, (books, products, etc.) I do find myself in new position of seemingly attracting free-lance work that I really enjoy, (products, and articles I respond to, natural healing, children's stuff, etc.), as opposed to the usual slew of computer articles, or business related imagery (which is admittedly not me).
One of the things I mentioned in the interview was the fact that in many ways having part-time work can actually fuel one's urge to create, (granted one needs to preserve the energy to do it, working in a job that is not entirely draining physically and emotionally). I can remember jotting down ideas while working at the bookstore and being so excited to run home to start a project. My days off became precious gifts, and I never took that time for granted. I believe it had the effect of taking some pressure off, you don't have time to think too much about what you want to create when you only have a few hours, you just do it. Sometimes too much time can be a hindrance.
An appropriate quote to this effect from "Reading Lolita in Tehran" by Azar Nafisi (which I'm loving by the way),
"It is amazing how, when all possibilities seem to be taken away from you, the minutest opening can become a great freedom."

What I think people crave more than anything else is time.

Also what I have observed is that once hated jobs become quite bearable when they are part time - instantaneously one is removed from the dreaded office politics. There is time to either pursue your own passions or creative projects. Many people are terrified to go part time and can't see a way of living on less money. But time and time again I've found that the money balances out. Less money is spent on convenience, take always, more stuff is cooked from scratch and the perpetual buying of expensive magazines, and other crap to treat oneself for a job sucking up ones life abates.

Other ways to gain time

Give up TV (all right then try it for a week)
Give up internet!
Give up automatically agreeing to social activities. Say you need to check your diary first and will get back to them. Decide whether it really would be a joy to spend time with that person or to spend time on a creative pursuit.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Ideas Factory - Edinburgh Film events

April 4th - 6th Channel 4's IDEASFACTORY is running three events over three days,all created to assist emerging filmmakers.These events mark the final stage of the hugely successful documentary filmmaking project IDEASFACTORY: REAL, supported by ScottishEnterprise, where four shorts were made by first-time directors with the assistance of distinguished industry players including Nick Broomfield and Mark Cousins, and produced by Edinburgh Mediabase.

The final events, supported by City of Edinburgh Council, kick off onMonday 4th April at 8.30pm with SHOW ME THE MONEY. This panel event is a guide to funding your short film through the numerous schemes that are opento new filmmakers.

The second event on Tuesday 5th at 6.30pm is HOW TO GET COMMISSIONED FOR TV. This event is designed to help get ideas commissioned for television broadcast, with a particular emphasis on documentary commissions for Channel 4. Exploring the types o fprogramme ideas that are currently being sought, how the Channel 4 online application system works and what opportunities are available for new directorslooking to gain their first broadcast commission, confirmed panellists include Stuart Cosgrove, Channel 4's Director of Nations and Regions and Maxyne Franklin, commissioner for Channel 4's 3 Minute Wonders. Events conclude on Wednesday 6th April, with IDEASFACTORY OUTPUT: EDINBURGH, a screening of new work from filmmakers who launched their careers via IDEASFACTORY: REAL.

Highlights include Bon Voyage - a poignant insight into the life of an immigrant worker - directed byKapwani Kawanga, and Trompe L'Oeil, which looks at the perception ofParis from a uniquely Edinburgh viewpoint.

Mon April 4 SHOW ME THE MONEY Cameo Cinema 8.30pm
Tue April 5 HOW TO GET COMMISSIONED FOR TV Cameo Cinema 6.30pm
Wed April 6 IDEASFACTORY:OUTPUT - EDINBURGH Cameo Cinema 6.30pm

All events are free to attend, and tickets are available from the Cameo Box Office on the day of each event.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Retreat II

Evelyn Rodriguez of Cross Roads Dispatches is on a retreat of sorts as well.

Creative Retreat

I’ve been rushing about doing too much, sleeping too little and worrying and worrying, Final straw was loosing my purse yesterday, rushing home to look for it, a flurry of anxious phone calls about it, cancelling my cards… then finding my purse.

Classic stressed behaviour – I have a friend who loses her keys I lose my purse.

After my traumatic morning I went to the library and bank and followed it up by buying my Easter Egg for the year. I went home and had a wee lie down, then I dozed away the evening. Properly going to bed at 11pm and waking past 9 this morning. I’ve decided to go on an official retreat for the next two days.

I’m descheduling myself. I’ve got nothing planned outside the house until Sunday. I can go and be cutural or not. I can laze around the house or not. I’m hoping to use the time to get back in touch with myself and fill my inner well.

I’ve turned my radio to a classical station and I sit on the sofa contemplating my washing up in a very buddalike manner. I think about sorting out my blogging issues with uploading and images and realise that’s just trying to be productive and ‘get something achieved this weekend’. No the time would be better spent dipping my toe into the waters and walking along sand. I am determined to sleep excessive amounts of hours. Use my answermachine to screen calls. Admire the daffodils on my dining table. Sniff the spring air like a cat inspecting the garden and go slowly and even more slowly.

Monday, March 21, 2005

spoke too soon

picassa gone weird again on me so can't create albums. Will come back to this later in week.

compare and contrast

Alan Wilson's Portobello

Remember way back in February I posted a link to Alan's photographs and said how differently mine photographs of the same place were? And as soon as I did that my CD driver died and my image files mysteriously disappeared? Well in a more mysterious way my CD driver started to work again so I'm going to post up a selection of my Porty Lomos. This is Alan's photograph which started me off.

First Day of S P R I N G !

To celebrate this and the anniversary of this blog I'm going to buy some flowers on my way home.

Time to get a bit of luscious colour into life.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

I see myself

not so much a painter than a medium for accident and chance.

Francis Bacon

I watched the BBC 2 Arena documentary on Francis Bacon last night. Maddeningly missing the first 15 mins or so. Interestingly enough Francis Bacon formally had a very spotty 'art education' and drifted well past his 30's before setteling down and becoming one of the premier artists of the UK.

More info here.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

I thought

the market would be under cover but its outdoors with awnings over each stall. Rather optimistic for Scotland in Spring. Smaller as well than I expected. I bought a zulu tin mug (covered in beads). Head for Commercial street and turn in where Bar Sirius is and its behind there.All the publicity is remarkably reticent on the ACTUAL address of the market. Its on Sundays as well.

off to

Leith Market - grand opening.

Friday, March 18, 2005

The Spielberg of Hereford

Neil Oseman's debut feature includes a steam-train chase, several laser gunfights and an original score by a full symphony orchestra. Not bad considering his total budget was £20,000. More at The Guardian.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Random Acts of Gardening

I love this a report by 'Captain Hollyhock' on Guerilla Gardening campaigns in Ontario Canada.

I am Meme

following on from Michael's post I'll take up the meme baton...

I am

- tired
- temping
- torn between solitude and gregariousnes
- cinephile
- coffeephile
- notebookphile
- chronic pen loser
- Nip/Tuck fan
- chronically incapable of doing washing up as I go along
- bookhorder
- library fine collector
- magazineoholic (Bust, Bitch, Vogue, O, the shame the shame)
- sister
- daughter
- friend
- careoholic
- internet email dependent (just how many blogs does one need?)
- beach walking
- cafe loving
- budget scatty
- a cat conversationalist
- a person who knows the names of neighbourhood cats but not their owners
- public transport fundie
- non car owning non car driving
- a knitter
- a photographer
- a sometime documentarymaker
- a burned out activist who still wants to change the world
- a developing cynic who needs to rediscover her optimism
- a traveller by choice and circumstance
- an Archers fan (despite loathing 99% of the characters)
- jealous of my lodger who is kittensitting
- trying to do only what brings joy
- trying to avoid duty
- Scottish/South African/Hugenot/Russian
- a freesia lover
- a striped garden hut owner

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

An Incomplete Manifesto for (creative) growth

Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child).
Joy is the engine of growth.
Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors.
Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.
Capture accidents. The wrong answer is the right answer in search of a different question. Collect wrong answers as part of the process.
Ask different questions.
Drift. Allow yourself to wander aimlessly. Explore adjacencies.
Lack judgment.
Postpone criticism.
Begin anywhere. John Cage tells us that not knowing where to begin is a common form of paralysis. His advice: begin anywhere.
Don't be cool. Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort.
Stay up late. Strange things happen when you've gone too far, been up too long, worked too hard, and you're separated from the rest of the world.
Scat. When you forget the words, do what Ella did: make up something else ... but not words.Power to the people. Play can only happen when people feel they have control over their lives. We can't be free agents if we're not free.Thank heavens there are inspirations like Bruce Mau among us. From Bob Baker via Michael Nobbs

Sunday, March 13, 2005

I like

great blog always has interesting links.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Lists & Living

I made a list last week of about twenty things to do. Some were life maintenance ‘find 0 percent credit card’, friendship maintenance ‘email Susan’, and biz project movement ‘email Iain’, creative project movement ‘find Norwegian Co-production partner’. Anyway I managed to do about 4 items on my to do list. Ordinarily this would plunge me into a gloom of self-beration about my unproductivity. However I’ve decided to take a different tack by treating myself kindly and instead give myself credit for what I have done ontop of a full time job.

So much of our lives are dismissed by ourselves as unproductive or worthless. So I want to honour making several evening meals from scratch, having birthday drinks with a friend who is depressed, finding a lodger and cleaning my flat, having a friend over for a cup of tea, chatting to neighbour in the street for 10 mins, changing library books, meeting a friend for lunch… Even the most ‘unproductive’ weeks contains a lot of ‘living’.


is the place to go to get all the links all the time on matters literary.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


is Edinburgh Grand Opera's current performance at the Festival Theatre in Clerk St. Every September this amateur Opera company starts rehearsals. By day they are receptionists, lawyers and accountants by night they sing, make costumes, and perfect their moves. By Spring they are up to three rehearsals a week. Their opening night was last night and I'm due to see my friend Alison make her annual debut in the chorus on Saturday. I've seen several of their previous performances and I'm always amazed at what they pull of with hard work, enthusiasm and love for singing. Tickets available from the Festival Theatre Box Office 0131 662 6000.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Film Showing

of my first documentary Ethel Moorhead
Film Screenings / Social for International Women's Day
SAT 12th March 7pm till lateRoundabout Centre4b Gayfield Place (top of Leith Walk)Women only/Trans friendly / kids welcome

7pm De Toda La Vida (Spain/France 1986) 52 min Anarchist women of Spain tell their life stories fom 1930's to their still active elderly years.

8pm Ethel Moorhead (Scotland) 15 mins Inspiring locally made tale ofnotorious suffragette who was force fed during her hunger strike inCalton Jail, Edinburgh

8.45 Voice of the Voiceless (chiapatas Mexico) Radio Insurgance ofindigenous peoples in Chipasts (12 mims)9pm The Forth World War (Uk 2000) Intense, immedate & exciting thisfilmhas footage of struggles around the globe.

10.45 Poem (10 mins)

11.00 Suzie Bright Sexpert (USA) (40mins)Rauncy DIY sextalk


is a blog by Ronnie Del Carmen

"I watched a lot of cartoons and movies. Sometime later I read books and drew more than I played sports or drive cars or party. I draw incessantly and carry a sketchbook everywhere. I work in animation and self-publish my books. There are monsters in the streets, don't wear red. Mad bulls and monsters hate that color. I still watch cartoons. "

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Judith Selby

AHN: What advise do you have for other artists who wish to use their creativity to effect positive change in the world?
Selby: Do something every day. It takes two things to be an artist; a good hand and a good seat. The hand is to craft and the seat is to sit still and remain present. It is a matter of developing the habit, the creative habit. Like flossing, you do it every day. It takes practice, it takes awareness, and then it develops its own momentum.The job of the artist is to attune to mumbllings and mispronunciations, to embrace the ambiguity of things glimpsed out of the corner of the eye. Artists must learn to trust what they think they donÕt see. And then, beyond the flash of insight or the thrill of that "first "vision, there is the hard work of bringing that vision into the world. Stamina and skill are required and an unfaltering belief in the vision.Sometimes it is luck, just being in the right place at the right timeÉto make yourself open... to be available to see... the see the baby bottle or the ballot box lid and then to have the wherewithal to bring it to the world.

Interview at Arts & Healing Network

Arts & Healing Network

A somewhat off putting title but their news section of the website has some interesting links.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Angry Chicken

is a fabric/quitling/knitting/felt blog I've just found.

Fantastic sky tonight inbetween snow flurries. I took a photo looking down Johnstone Terrace - which reminds me Scotland now has its own Lomo Ambassador.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Mexico in Kansas

go and see Reconstructed Mind's wonderful photos.

My CD driver

is stuck closed and it seems that it won't get unstuck before the weekend so no more pictures for now.