Tuesday, November 28, 2006


I’ve been thinking a lot about electrical appliances lately … and why it is they dislike me so much. I’ve known for a long time that computers hate me … and that’s fair enough I hate them too (though I’m not as mean and nasty about it as they are). But my cooker blew up the other day … and that was completely unnecessary. Granted I spilled a saucepan of water over it, but I’d have thought that’s an occupational hazard if you’re a cooker. But to go BANG and scare me half to death was just harsh. (And it gave off a funny smell … at least I think it was the cooker … I was quite scared).

Not knowing quite what to do, I asked some friends on-line. The clever one suggested I switch the cooker off at the mains (I hadn’t thought of that) and then take the fuse out. That was another disaster because I was standing on a box in the cupboard in the hall when I flicked the wrong switch and everything went pitch black. I fell off the box (obviously) and then I had to climb back up in the dark and try to switch it all back on again. I swear I could hear the circuit board laughing.

Next morning I realised I couldn’t even have a cup of tea! I’d been boiling water in a saucepan on the cooker because the other week my kettle broke (can you see the pattern yet?). I know

I could have bought another kettle but I haven’t seen one I like (at least if I start off liking my appliances they may like me back. Not holding my breath though).

All I need now if for my microwave and fridge to go and I’m finished … they will have won.

But what REALLY scared me today was the thought that all these individual appliances are connected together into one Big Wire that comes into my flat from … who knows where? And who controls the Big Wire? The thought there is someone or something malevolent at the end of it … randomly flicking switches to torment me … was just too much for me to bear.

So I’m sticking blindly to the idea that each individual electrical appliance hates me personally and for very particular reasons. I can deal with that … just so long as they don’t all gang up on me and attack me in my bed.

(hmmm … now I’m having doubts about my bedside lamp …)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Some of my 'Water' photos ...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Calling all zealots!!!

The word "studio" is derived from the Latin word, studere, meaning to study with zeal, eagerness, application. The French term for studio, atelier, in addition to designating an artist's studio is used to characterize the studio of a fashion designer. Atelier also has the connotation of being the home of an alchemist or wizard.

But in medieval times the studio was not the province of one individual but home to a large collective or workshop filled with artists and craftspeople working with energy and ambition, but often in anonymity.

A studio is a laboratory for creativity.

What would I do if I won the lottery? Set up studios all over the place, and let them be a gathering place for the artists, the mystics, the prophets, the outcasts, the renegades.

Oh, and there’d be a kitchen so we could all eat together, share stories, help each other and have a laugh.

These are some photos Jo took of my studio here in Cardiff.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Though I'd post some of my recent drawings.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Interesting where the word freelancer came from. In medieval times, an independent knight that didn’t serve the king offered his services for hire. The term was first coined by Sir Walter Scott in his well-known historical romance Ivanhoe to describe a "medieval mercenary warrior." (Another good illustration of how it worked in medieval times is in the Arthur Conan Doyle book, “The White Company”). You could hire his lance, thus he was a freelancer (or a Ronin in Japan). A freelancer is a person who pursues a profession without a long-term commitment to any one employer. When the job, project, assignment is over, the freelancer is free again.

However, this suggest that freelancers are only in it for the money … that they’re just mercenaries … guns for hire.

But, more positively, it also means that they can work for causes, projects, people they believe in … that they want to support … and want to help to be successful. It means doing work that matters … that makes a difference.

Freelancers want the relative freedom and control of managing their own work and business, and the opportunity to do work they love and believe in … and getting paid for it! It also means freedom in how they structure and use their time and space. Without having to keep regular contracted hours, a freelancer can start their day at 2.00pm and work late into the night. Or they may work intensively on a project for 6 months and take 6 months off.

But there are particular skills and characteristics that are required. Some keys ones seem to include (with thanks to Tom Peters and many others for some of these ideas):

Do work that matters
Look for and accept particular assignments (that you believe in and really want to help with). Would you do the work for nothing if you had to, just because it gets your juices flowing? There's nothing wrong with doing any work you can get as long as it pays the bills, but it would be a shame if that's all it ever was.

Be committed to your craft
Continually look for ways to learn and develop. If someone calls in a ‘contractor’ they expect an expert (whether its an electrician, a cabinet maker or a film producer). The ‘lance’ you bring to a cause has to be worth something. Be prepared to do low-paid or voluntary projects to develop your skills, experience and portfolio … and because lots of them are simply worth it.

Get out there
Roam the countryside on your trusty steed! Meet people, go to events, go to the library, have coffee, lunch … whatever … with others. Make connections and have conversations. Write to people telling them what you do and how much you’d love to help them. And so on, (this is a whole topic in itself – maybe we’ll come back to it).

Finally … (and irrelevantly)

Why do adults ask children what they want to be when they grow up? They’re looking for ideas.

Some references I find helpful and inspiring:



Friday, November 03, 2006

getting delirious

Lately I've been finding the album "The Mission Bell" by Delirious particularly inspiring and motivational ... guess I just need some of that good 'ol religion!!!

Anyway, as is my wont, I started thinking visually about it and that has led on to another set of pictures that I want to produce (and am doing). Here are some details from the first few.

Hopefully going to be showing these pictures in the near future, as well as my Water series (which I will post about soon).

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