It's been a while I know. (maybe I am talking to the void, but I like talking so that's okay!) ;)
I am weathering the tidal wave of heat that's currently hit London town today (and yesterday), a reminder of the amazing holiday in France that most definitely replenished my busy-working batteries. I love French culture for it's good food, closeness to UK, style, art, laid back approach to life (or at least in the Summer on the Southern coast), and chic style. I simply have an affinity with France I can't quite explain....
And so some images to capture some of the adventures and with my trusty Canon Powershot camera. I took photos that weren't just instagram shots on my iPhone (although there are some on instagram too); a mini snap shot of moments to remember. I love trying to be creative with my camera if I don't necessarily have a working sketchbook with me... ;)
My thoughts on conscious business ideas....
And so this Summer (as I'm beginning to notice with many Summers) my creativity often bursts to the fore. An overwhelming desire to make with my hands, but also the urge to share it too. I know many of us 'creative types' simply want to 'get down and make' and as businesses grow, quite often the 'creative' side can get overshadowed by the other necessities of running a business. The various admin, promotion, marketing, uploading aspects of it. And so I spent my lazy mornings whilst on holiday, researching, thinking, plotting, planning, scheming, dreaming of how I would have it if I am to develop or grow my existing creative businesses and ideas.
As many of you may know (if you've read much of my blog), I enjoy a space where art, life, creativity and general lifestyle meet. I am also realising more and more I do not enjoy spending endless hours sitting working in front of a computer screen (one of the many reasons I joined NYRO too to 'get out there' socialising with people in real time and embrace a more fully organic lifestyle too).
I have looked in to a lifestyle shop that would have all my favourite things for home, studio, and individuals - objects, tools, and tips too that would fuel an all encompassing lifestyle brand/shop embracing ideas as much as objects. Maybe this is a work in progress? A new development along with my many other ideas :) Oh my, sometimes I wish there was 4 of me to get everything done!
But as I looked in to the practical side of fusing both my own creative work with beautiful objects I love and use, I have come across (this Summer) the conscious ethics of running a business. Is it just me or are most things made in China and imported across the globe at ridiculously low prices?
It has made me wonder who is producing/overseeing production of these objects that can be sold so very, very cheaply, so that we over here can charge a fair bit more?
I like eco, ethical trading as far as my own business would be concerned. I would like to make all my own stuff to sell, but am also acutely aware of how much time it takes and how much I can actually charge + so many products can be reproduced so cheaply elsewhere. Is this why it is harder for artisan's to make a seriously good living from what they do? (or maybe it isn't hard for those out there doing it?!) Is it time to for all of us to get more conscious about where things are coming from, who is making them and under what conditions?
Maybe you know more than me.... but as I searched for suppliers or manufacturers of certain things in the UK, it seemed minimal as so much is imported (okay so maybe I have skimmed the surface, but this is what keeps turning up). I started looking at the labels on many things I own and wonder how much I can do, and what my own stance is.
I know I want to be hand-made, ecologically aware (this planet houses us all and provides what we need if we don't deplete or abuse it) and being ethical when it comes to other human beings I don't know and will never meet, who provide the objects and tools I use in order to live a 'good' life.....
Many of the books I read talk about some of the greatest and most successful business people and stories within the western hemisphere, but then if I question some of those great businesses as well as being great financially, what else has had to take place in order for that greatness to occur?
When I was 16 I did a project on the Rainforests at school and spent a lot of time being deeply upset when I realised what was happening to it and which companies/corporations were culprits of its depletion. I wanted to save the entire forest and whilst we have got more conscious (I hope!) there is so much we don't know that we don't know! What is taking place where in order for us to have, be and do what we do?
Do you ever think about these things too?
I know it can be hard to escape from certain things, but it has made me realise that I will have to find a way to fuse what I believe in, my values, and if that means compromise (positive compromise I mean!) so be it, or else I enter the sea that makes me and my bid for 'success' like many others before me and I am aware of the ripple effect for the future and what is currently going on (that needs to change)...
I am so glad there is a growth in fair trade, in better relationships, an increase in crafting and home-made things, in a belief for a better world ('cos we really do need to change things up more!)
I am working on these notions above; reduced time on the computer - which I have been through before, doing work that is for the greater good, utilising/making and objects that I make with materials I can be more aware of where they come from.
So I will share more with you when the time comes, and as I develop ideas.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Do you look at how things are packaged? And where they come from? Think about who makes them?
Wandsworth Artists Open House 2016 at MINE!!!
In the mean time, I would like to let you know that I am busy making not just art, but some NEW product ideas too in time for the Wandsworth Artists Open House 2016 that I am taking part in this October - the first two weekends to be precise. Do put the date in your diary and there will most definitely be more to come on that..... :)