Julia Reader

South Australian water colour and acrylic artist and art educator

S1 Ep21

Julia Reader

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Julia Reader is a watercolour and acrylic artist, an art educator from Mount Gambier South Australia, and a mum of one.

Coming from a background in graphic design, Julia is a firm believer in following your heart, being open to new opportunities and that everything happens at the right time.

We chat about how her perfectionist trait stifled her creativity, how she used her art as a therapy tool to work through her control issues, letting go of your expectations, not just in art but in life, and allowing mums feel all the feelings they are experiencing, good and bad, without judgement.

**This episode contains discussion around infertility, post natal depression and panic attacks**

Connect with Julia on her website and instagram

Julia's December Workshop details

Follow along with The Portrait Project here

Connect with the podcast here - https://www.instagram.com/artofbeingamum_podcast/

Music in this episode is used with permission from Alemjo - https://open.spotify.com/artist/4dZXIybyIhDog7c6Oahoc3?si=pTHGHD20TWe08KDHtSWFjg&nd=1

When chatting to my guests I greatly appreciate their openness and honestly in sharing their stories. If at any stage their information is found to be incorrect, the podcast bears no responsibility for guests' inaccuracies.

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Podcast transcript at the bottom of the page

Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of The Art of Being A Mum Podcast. I'm beyond honoured that you're here and would be grateful if you could take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review in iTunes or wherever you are listening. It really helps! This way together we can inspire, connect and bring in to the light even more stories from creative mums. Want to connect? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram tagging me in with @art_of_being_a_mum_podcast


I can't wait to connect. And remember if you or somebody you know would like to be a guest on the podcast, get in touch! I love meeting and chatting to mammas from all creative backgrounds, from all around the world!

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Thank you!

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Alison acknowledges this Land of the Berrin (Mount Gambier) Region as the Traditional Lands of the Bungandidj People and acknowledge these First Nations people as the custodians of the Region.

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Welcome to the Art of Being a mum, the podcast where we hear from mothers who are artists and creators sharing their joys and issues around trying to be a mother and continue to make art. Regular topics include mum guilt, identity, the day to day juggle mental health and how children manifest in their heart. My name is Alison Newman. I'm a singer songwriter, and a mother of two boys from regional South Australia. I have a passion for mental wellness and a background in early childhood education. You can find links to my guests and topics they discussed in the show notes, along with the music played, and a link to find the podcast on Instagram. Following music used on the podcast is done so with permission. The art of being a mom acknowledges the bone dig people as the traditional custodians of the land and water, which this podcast is recorded on and pays respects to the relationship that traditional owners have with the land and water, as well as acknowledging elder's past, present and emerging. Thank you for joining me. My guest today is Julia reader. Julia is a watercolor and acrylic artist, graphic designer and art educator from Mount Gambier, South Australia, and a mom of one. Julia is a firm believer in following your heart being open to new opportunities, and that everything happens at the right time. We chat today about how her perfectionist traits stifled her creativity, how she used her art as a therapy tool to work through her control issues. Letting go of your expectations, not just in art, but in life, and allowing mums to feel all the feelings they're experiencing good and bad without judgment. This episode contains discussions around infertility, postnatal depression and panic attacks. Today, I'd love to welcome to the podcast Julia reader. Thanks so much for coming on, Julia.

Thanks for having me, Allison.

Yeah, it's a pleasure. Another hometown assets, which I'm really excited to chat to you. You you're a painter, and do drawing as well. What what sort of mediums do you work with mainly?

So I primarily work with watercolor? I have been dabbling in a bit of acrylic. They're the main things that I use. Yeah. Obviously, watercolor for most, I think that's probably what I'm probably most known for. But yeah, like, I really love acrylic, too, because it's sort of like the polar opposite to watercolor, you can paint over things if you stuff them up. But with watercolor, it's not so much the same. So in that respect there, like almost two completely different ways of working. And I like to challenge myself sort of at both ends of the spectrum.

Yeah, right. So how did you first get into painting?

That's a really good question. I teach watercolor classes. And I say to people that I can never actually remember the first day, or the first time that I picked up a paintbrush with watercolor and started painting. Yeah, I do remember doing a like a little watercolor painting for an exhibition. And I was invited to be part of an exhibition for a local group called the soul sisters collective, which is actually a group that I'm now a part of. But I yeah, I remember doing this little watercolor painting, I remember thinking that it was absolutely terrible. But it was what I did. And I was willing to frame it and put it up on the wall. And then there was probably like, a few years after that, that I didn't touch anything watercolor related. And then yeah, somehow I fell back into it. And I really have no idea how it started. I'd like I can't even tell you whether I was at home or sitting at my office. But it was just something that really just evolved very naturally. You know, there was a lot of practicing a lot of watching YouTube, because I am self taught. So there was just really lots of watching videos, looking at how people used it. And then from there it was, I guess. Consistency is what I always say is like, it's the game changer for I think anything if we're consistent with something, then we will see the results. But yeah, it was just a case of yeah, just painting, you know, you might want to make just once a week and then as I started to sort of see an improvement and maybe had a little bit more time. I would paint a couple of times a week and then there was a couple of points where I was doing like a painting a day. And I think I think I started doing that when Jack was about Eating. No, he wasn't he, he was only 10 months old. And I looked back on it. And I just think like, that was just such a crazy thing for me to commit to. Actually, it was actually not a painting a day, it was a project called the 100 Day project. So it was 100 days of painting. And obviously, I didn't do it over 100 days, it probably went to like 150 days, I did 100 paintings. And I think I bombed out at about 75 with Jack, because it was just too much. And I was starting to get to a point where I was really not enjoying it as much. Because there was a lot of pressure for me to sort of put something out on my social media. But yeah, yeah, just a natural level of illusion, evolution sorry, where I just went from not really touching it to wanting to play paint with it all the time. Developing a really a real love for it. And I think that's just sort of where it's that love has led me to where I am today with watercolor in particular. Yeah.

So you said what's kind of happening at the moment with you with the acrylics, you sort of discovered this new thing? And you're sort of learning and similar kind of, sort of pricing?

So yeah, I think I mean, look, I've still got a huge amount to learn with watercolor like, I would never like, yeah, I guess I know that I've got so much to develop as far as watercolor goes, it's such a technical medium. But yeah, I found acrylic and acrylics, almost like the sort of playful thing that I can do on the side that still creative. And if, if I don't do it very well, I can literally paint over it. And I can start again. And let me tell you, I have got canvases here that have got like about five or six paintings that have been painted over, you know, so many times, and like there's even paintings that people have purchased from me recently. And they would have no idea that there's actually three paintings that they've actually purchased. Maybe one day if I ever get rich and famous, which is really not the intention. Maybe maybe those people one day will discover that there's like all these hidden artworks underneath the one that they purchased maybe acrylic is I just find it like it's sort of like reversible. So like if I if I do something wrong, I can literally let it dry and come back and paint over that section. watercolors just not you can't do that. So yeah, it's a little bit strange, I guess that you've got like these two different mediums that that work in two completely different ways. Yeah, I'm drawn to how each of them work individually. And I think there's some days where I feel like I want that challenge of watercolor. And then there's days when I feel like I just need the ease of acrylic. So but yeah, look, acrylics, definitely something that I enjoy. So I can see that that's probably something that I'll continue to do. And for me, the moment is just working out how I bring the two together. So that my body of work looks, I guess cohesive, obviously, because they're two different things. They look different. I can achieve different things with each medium. So I can do things with perhaps acrylic that I couldn't do with watercolor. So they sort of take on a life of their own. Yeah, that mentally for me at the moment is just working out how I can sort of bring the three together. And when somebody sees that particular work, they can say, oh, yeah, that's Julia's work. Whereas at the moment, I feel like there's probably a bit of a divide. So I'm just going through that at the moment trying to work out how to sort of gel the two. So

yeah, when you say that, I think yeah, you've got definitely a recognizable watercolor style, like I think, certainly anyone local. And I mean, I'm not in the art world at all. So I'm not sure how, yeah, white things spread, but certainly anyone in the mound that would see that would go oh, that's Julius, which is really cool. Then quite a few of my walk can't quite get it around for it. So I've got my little collection of things. And then I've got my kids stuff behind me, which is, you know, a mishmash of stuff, but I love and don't look, I'm not showing you the other side because that's absolutely love because I can't draw I can't do that. I love having those sort of things around me. They sort of inspire me creatively create creatively and the other the other things that I do so yeah, thanks. You for being awesome at

supporting me

so going back to the beginning, you talked about the soul sisters collective when you created your first watercolor. So what sort of creating or work were you doing at that stage?

So back then, and I'm just going to pull a year out, I think that was about 2015. It could have been it could have been a year earlier or so. So back then, my creativity was my graphic design. Right, that was really all it was at that point. I wasn't painting. Like I wasn't, yeah, I just wasn't doing anything other than graphic design at that point. And I was actually quite at that point, I was really fulfilled in my graphic design career, which is something that I'm like, I'm still doing it today. It's still of my business. But I think, yeah, I was just in need of something else. And that's sort of when the painting started to happen. But yeah, back in 2015, it was just, I was a graphic designer, I was friends with a lot of the people that were in the soul sisters collective, which are all born at the time were all, like, sole traders working for themselves all female in, in our Gambia. So yeah, it was a real honor to be able to join their exhibition, because like, I was really quiet. sort of been aware of all of those people, because they were all sort of doing this business for themselves. And at that point in time, I never saw myself owning my own business. So yeah, it was really lovely to be able to join them. But like I was highly critical of the work that I put out. Obviously, I wasn't, I wouldn't have called myself a painter or anything at that point. I was literally just dabbling in this watercolor that I must have found somewhere because I can't even I don't even think I probably have the original watercolor that I was using on that particular painting. And yeah, just really highly critical of what I did. I've still got hanging on my wall here, so it can't be that bad. Yeah, at the time, I was just really honored to be a part of the exhibition. But I was also like, yeah, not not loving anything that I did at that point. So yeah.

Sort of reaching back in your graphic design, how did you get into that? Was that something you've did at school, or you've always been sort of into that sort of stuff?

Yeah, I've always been quite creative. Even as a child. I, I've always gravitated towards the arts. I remember having a science teacher who just used to tell me that I was not going to get anywhere with art. And I should just apply myself in his science lessons, because this is where it was at. I know, like, you know, as a kid, I think I when I say a kid, I was probably like, 1616 when he was saying this? Yeah, I always just, I just never wanted to apply myself in math, science or anything. And I really do believe that we've got like a brain for creativity. And we've got a brain for all those really sort of technical subjects. I really enjoyed English, I loved creative writing. So anything that had an element of creativity where I could explore, like, my ideas, and I could express myself in some way. Were the subjects that I was drawn to, in saying that I was never like, into drama or anything like that. But um, yeah, I was very much into art. I did art I did design, I had a very supportive design teacher. And when I first started design, like he really liked, fostered an interest in my work. And I think from there I think I always knew that I was going to be a graphic designer. I had a period where I thought I would be an architect. But yeah, I got into sort of my, my later years of secondary school and I knew that graphic design was where I was headed. I got to year 11 Sorry, year 12 And the workload was just like intense. And I decided to split my YouTube up over two years. So I could really focus on my design. And I can't remember what my final grade was in design that I think it was like nine out of 20 or something. There was some like, technical thing that stopped me from getting the 20. But anyway, doesn't really

got moderated down because the state wasn't good.

Yeah, that's right. And so from there, I actually studied through TAFE. And it was such a fantastic. It was such a fantastic way to learn because it was so hands on. And so I did my first year in Mount Gambia, I did my second year in Adelaide, and I lived with a couple of girls who one I'm still very good friends with today are actually friends with both of them today. But one, like our friendship has just continued on. And we both have very similar interests, even today. And we're all two of us are still graphic designers. The other isn't. But yeah, it was such a great experience. I lived with some people that were studying graphic design through university. And so I got to see how the two courses compared and I was just really happy with choosing that one. Because I think if I was sitting in a lecture theatre learning these things day in and day out, it would I would have lost interest I needed to like, see how it worked practically in a, like a specific setting. And I got to do that. So yeah, I still very much love graphic design. But I'm just understanding that there's so much more to what I can offer. Yeah, and yeah, I totally recommend graphic design to anyone out there is still I think it's still a fairly popular sort of choice for younger people. Yeah,

that especially today, this always social media, and everyone's creating images for promotion. And these little, little, what do they call tiles? You know, on the Instagram?

Oh, yeah. Like, it's Yeah, Canvas, definitely. Like, I think it's definitely got a place. And yeah, like just having the skills of graphic design is like really helpful for me, even in my art business, and being able to promote myself and keep sort of a consistent theme amongst my look and creating that brand. So there's like huge benefits to having that knowledge behind me. And I can see that it's probably something that I'll eat depending on, you know, how my career plays out. And, you know, I don't tie myself down to anything. I feel like my options are always open with what I could be. But I can see that that skill set that I've developed as a graphic designer will certainly carry through I think probably every job that I do.

You've got that understanding of it is yeah, yeah, for sure.

There's so much there's so much to it. It's such a broad, broad job. And every time people say to me, or what do you do? And it's like, oh, gosh, where do I start? Like, really

varied? Which I love so much. Like, there's someone like me that felt like I can't I always thought to be good at art, you had to be able to draw something that looked like the thing you were drawing. That was my thing in my head. And because I couldn't do that. I thought I can't do it. But then when I I knew nothing about mediums, different texts, different. Whatever's paints, when I did that watercolor, I was like, Oh, well, you can do whatever you want. Like it just I just I had no boundaries, no barriers. It just became this amazing. I don't know, just even the way you got us to practice doing circles and learning. Like you said before, it's so technical, how different like amounts of water on your brush, create different things and just completely opened my eyes. I'd never looked at things that way. I didn't understand things. So I highly recommend it to anybody that doesn't know anything. I say joy because it's amazing.

Yeah, yeah, it's, um, I think like, in most things in our lives, we probably like have a set of expectations on how we need to do that thing. and like, that includes everything from parenting down to like, I don't know how you hang your washing on the line. You know, like, we've got a set way we think things need to be done. And what I love about teaching watercolor is just giving people an opportunity to use creativity. And a lot of the times it's creativity that people didn't think they ever had. So I really believe that every person on this earth has got an element of creativity in them, I don't think we can survive if we don't. So, you know, it's just giving yourself permission to be able to, to use it. giving yourself time and also taking away the the expectation that you need to be good at it. Because it's unrealistic. So I think that if, if I had picked up watercolor on that first day that I did, and I expected to paint this amazing painting, and I didn't achieve it, I would never have picked it up again. But I gave myself some grace. And you know, whether I did that, I probably did it subconsciously, I probably didn't make the decision to go easy on yourself, Julia. But I just, I just went with almost like a childlike playful, you know, just go and see what it can do. And then, you know, I obviously enjoyed it. I didn't have I didn't feel like I failed. And then I could come back again and try again and then come back again and try again. And and then would you believe it? I've liked building this skill set, that's actually starting to make sense. And I'm getting a better understanding of the medium. So in the workshops, that's like, one of the first things I say is, and I had a workshop, like literally on Friday night, and I said to the girls there if if you have like any degree of OCD, like trying to like perfectionism control issues, watercolor watercolor will let you know, you'll, you'll get to a point where you just like the frustration will be there and it will test you. So like, you know what I was totally in that category. I was. Yeah, like, probably my, my need to control things was like, super highlighted when I when I had a newborn, because my control was, I couldn't control this little human. And, you know, it was months and months of me. You know, just trying to trying to get into trying to create a routine that fit in with me. And it all went terribly pear shaped like Christmas have must have been 2017 Duck was six months old. And like I literally had a meltdown on Christmas Day, because I think it was just I put such huge expectations on myself for that whole six months. And then Christmas day came and I knew that I had to be here and I had to be there and then had to fit in a sleep here. And I was very like, and I still I still am today. I'm still quite routine base. And like I think my son actually needs that sort of routine too. But certainly like that first six months was just a complete undoing. And I got to Christmas day and I just literally had actually call it a panic attack. When I look back now I really found it very hard to read. And my thoughts were like, I could not like line up. The first thing I should do the next thing to the next thing. And I just remember feeling like I was just losing my mind. And so Christmas Day was like a massive unraveling for me.

And it also was the biggest highlight of I actually have to surrender, like and surrender was like the biggest word. It's probably the biggest word that I've adopted or a principle that I've adopted through my whole parenthood so Jack's only for now. And I'm still learning how to surrender like, I still I think I've I think I was like, almost forced to do it back at that six month point on Christmas Day. But then I still have these moments where I'm like, surrender Juliet. Like you can't control everything. You know, everything will happen as it's meant to. It's a trust. It's just having faith that it's all you You know, evolving as it's meant to. But yeah, but just going back to the board call workshops, the control. Yeah, it's definitely something that watercolor will highlight did a couple of like painting a day for I think I've done it like two or three months now, where I've just picked a month, and then I've painted something like maybe one particular subject, or I've just painted anything I want one day each month. And I did a lot of that because, yeah, I had this like perfectionist trait, which really stifled my creativity. And it was just really good to be able to commit to something and like, let everybody know that this was this thing that I was going to do. So I was being held accountable by people, because I literally would have people message me and say, Oh, hi, I didn't see your painting today. Which is great, because like, this is what I this is what I needed. Painting every day meant that I didn't actually have time to be perfect. Sometimes I only had five minutes. Yep, some days, I might have had a couple of hours. And so it was a really great way of like breaking that that thought pattern of you have to get this right, because I could I could see that that was an issue. And I think just flicking right back to that day that I had a meltdown. It was you know, it was highlighted to me back then that I had this tendency to want to get everything right and have everything work perfectly in this certain way. And so then, as I was becoming more and more aware of that, as I parented as I painted, I was putting myself in positions that I could really like challenge that way of thinking. And so these these months that I would paint every day really sort of reversed my thinking around that. And so now when I go and teach watercolor, it's the probably the main thing that I try and get across is, like, let go of your expectations. And like this is not just painting, I think this can just go right across the board. We we really are super hard on ourselves. And I think let me know, I'm talking about my experience here. But I have spoken to so many other mothers and we all fall in this trap of you know, we've just got to get it right. And you know, we need to have control. And I just don't think it's fair on ourselves. I don't think it's reasonable. And it's not fair on our children either. Because they're their own little people. And they're not supposed to be controlled to the nth degree like, so. Yeah, what a journey it's been. Let me tell you, it's like you

created your own form of therapy. Like you worked out. Yeah, you needed to do you used your art as that, that tool? Yeah, that's quite incredible.

I think, um, I think, like, I'm such a believer in, you know, people come into our lives as they're supposed to experiences come in, I think children come into our lives when they're supposed to. And, like, I've always had a real trust that I would be given the things that I need to get me through at the time. And painting, especially watercolor is like highly therapeutic. And I had a girl sitting next to me on Friday night. And she said I would pay to just come here and watch you put the paint on the paper. Because it's like she said I'm mesmerized by it. As and I've heard this by so many people and I even do this when I watch other people painting. So it's not just the people who have never seen watercolor be used before get like in a trance. Yeah, watching being painted. It's me watching and I know I've painted enough now to like, yeah, if I watch somebody painting, I can get really just really sucked in and just watch it. There's a huge therapeutic benefit to I'll just say watercolor because that's what I know. And it's it's also just like sort of that flowing sort of medium. So I think, yeah, certainly something that I've considered is like, actually studying art therapy, because I think, yeah, we're gonna die in an age where I think it's probably needed. Like, don't don't probably think it's needed. It's needed. So,

yeah, yeah, you bring up about watching people, I love watching people on Instagram, I'll just watch people paint. Like, I love it so much. It's like, it started started off. I think it's an interesting to work out how people make things from not having any understanding of, of how people create art, and really, the processes. And then yeah, like, I love it, when people post their actual videos of them painting. It's like a, like a meditation, I suppose you just get lost in it. And it's just, it gives you something. It's just incredible. I don't quite know how to explain it. But I don't know. It's just a beautiful thing to witness. And then I'll like write a comment on someone's Oh, I love love watching you pay. And there'll be like, Oh, I wasn't sure if I should share it or not. You know, people feel that. I don't know that nervousness about putting it out there because I suppose they feel judged. I don't know if that's the right word. But there. Yeah, but that I don't think they realize how much people get out of it, you know, tiny, tiny little thing that they share, like 30 seconds or a minute or whatever. Yeah, it's awesome.

That's right. Yeah. Yeah, it's, it's definitely something that I've noticed anytime I paint, post anything live, like, on live, but you know, if I do like a time lapse of a painting or something, I can always guarantee that someone will say, I just loved watching that. And it might not be that they loved the actual painting or Yeah, the subject or whatever, they just love watching the paint go on the paper. So yeah, it's, it's, it's pretty special actually feel quite privileged to be able to one sort of have an understanding of watercolor, because it is something that takes me to time. And I'm also very privileged to be able to pass that on to people. And I just love the fact that I have people that come back, and come back and come back to these workshops. So if there was any sort of, if I needed any sign that I was sort of doing the right thing, it's just that people come back and they want to keep learning and, you know, putting themselves in a position where they can try this out so.

With your teaching, did you find any sort of challenges in that? Or did you sort of jump into it like yet? I'm really, I want to share I don't have any sort of hang ups about, you know, being in front of a crowd? Like, did it come to you really naturally? Or did you have any sort of challenges?

Um, I think like, probably just nervousness, but I think that would be pretty normal. Next, anyone? The actual teaching side of it was so just, I'll just take one step backwards. I'm an I'm one of these people that overthink everything. I am super analytical. So I can almost talk myself into something and out of something in the same flight thought, yeah, yeah. And so the way that the workshops came about was I think I might have put up a video of me planning something. And someone said, Oh, I'd love for you to teach me how to do that. And then I put up a story on Instagram that just said, is there anyone out there who would like to learn watercolor? And it was like one of those questions, yes or no? And then I got lots of yeses. Yeah. And literally, it all happened within like, a few hours. I think like, this is the beauty of like, when you when you when you sort of done something over and over again, like I've done, I can't count probably how many workshops I've done now. When you look back to like, what was the first like, when did you start doing this? And it's like, oh, it was this. It was just this really flippant decision to put up an Instagram story. And like, that's where it started. It wasn't over thought it wasn't something that I planned for months or years or anything like that. It was just this one really defining moment that was just very organic. Yep. And and it all started from there. And, like, yeah, I just love the fact that I'm here I am, like, a few years down the track still teaching these workshops, still getting people coming to my classes. And yeah, it was just this. Just this really, like, fleeting moment where I was almost like just this change in my direction. Yeah. Yeah. So grateful for that. Yeah.

It sort of links in what you were saying before about, you know, believing that things happen at the right time, things will happen. Yeah, you know, it's like, you made that decision. And instantly, it was all opened up for you, because it was like, it's almost like when you manifest something, you know, that. Obviously, you hadn't thought about that for a while. But it's like, it was like, you're ready. It's gonna happen. Now, you know what I mean? It just off it went, it's like, yeah, I love that,

too. And I think, you know, you just you follow the things that feel right and good. And I think a lot of that's intuition, which is something that I've, like, worked on for a long, long time. So like, I really do, try and listen to my gut. And I really do try and yeah, just just follow the things that really light me up. You know, I hopefully, like, whether I even listen back to this podcast, my own voice, I don't know. But if I do, I would love to be able to hear the excitement in my voice around watercolor. Because if I was talking about cooking, like it would be different, you wouldn't, you wouldn't pick it up. But I was like, really enjoying this thing. So I'm pretty sure if I could compare the two, you know, and it's that it's that excitement and that joy that comes through in the way you deliver something or the way you talk about it that? Like, they're the things that I want in my life. Yeah. And like I said to you at the start, I don't rule anything out. I don't know where I'll be in five or 10 years time, maybe I won't be teaching watercolor, but maybe I'll like, maybe I'll have an art school. Or maybe I'll be an art therapist, or I just always want to keep chasing the thing that lights me up. Because I think that's when you're really on path. That's when you're really doing the thing that you're supposed to be doing in this lifetime. So yeah, I'll just keep tracing.

I love that. It's like you're so open to whatever can come in. And yeah, listening to your intuition and going yeah, actually, I feel like doing that. I'm gonna do that, you know? Yeah, that's brilliant. Yeah,

yeah, don't get me wrong, there are days when my head definitely talked a lot and you still have to pay bills, Julio, and you can't do that. You know, it's a slow burn, I think if you just give yourself the the space to entertain the idea at least, then you've sort of like planted a seed and, and whether it grows into something or not, is probably just a matter of time so.

So let's talk about Jack. So Jack, please board now. And you mentioned that when he was 10 months old, you made the decision to do your your picture your painting your day. Yes. So how does Jack sort of fit in with your, with your art? Are you able to create while he's there or sort of how does that sort of look on a day to day basis?

Yeah. So first six months of, of Jack was pretty much like Groundhog Day. Like I'm not gonna lie, and I'm not gonna sugarcoat parenting. It was bloody hard. Yeah, and I'm very, very self aware person. I didn't go into parenting thinking that was going to be easy but like He literally cracked me open. And like, I'm grateful for that now, but back at the time, I think if I was going to really be completely honest, I probably had postnatal depression and found it very hard asking for help. And I've always been very proud and very independent sort of person. So I felt like I should be able to do this. And if I asked to help others be judged. So the first six months, not a lot, but about 10 months, I think he was probably getting into a routine of better sleep. And I'll just say here that he's like four years old, and still wakes up in the middle of the night. So I'm okay with that. Now, I'm totally okay with that now, because I've surrendered to it. But yeah, like, by 10 months, I think I felt like I needed to, I was trying to claim a piece of myself back. I felt like a given and given and given and it was, it was a real slog. And I wasn't getting a lot of sleep still at 10 months, not getting a lot of sleep. But I think I just needed to try, I knew that I needed to give myself something. But I didn't know. I think it was just the thing that I could see myself able to do at a kitchen table at nighttime. So it was still in my house, I didn't have to go anywhere to do it. And it was therapeutic, like I did enjoy the actual painting side of it. So I definitely, definitely tried it, I got all I did pretty well, I got to 75 days, and then decided I actually made it quite clear. I said to everyone on social media, I can't actually I just can't do this anymore. Like, I actually I'm really proud of the fact that I've got to 75 days, but I can't, like I just can't keep doing it. And it was great, I got a good response. It's like, you know, you've done amazing, we can't believe you've done that with a timer, or baby or whatever. So, after that point, like creating with Jack was just very, very intermittent. It was just, you know, most of the time, if I had a spare couple of hours while he was sleeping, you know, I was actually working like souls back doing my graphic design trying to work within sleep time. So I really wasn't creating a lot at all. Still, like biggest being creative with my, what I call my real job graphic design. But like I wasn't painting, I wasn't like I wasn't, yeah, doing it consistently by any means. Today, as well, I guess, you know, jumping to today's probably cutting out a huge portion of his life. But I think just as he got older, I was able to do a little bit more with him around. But generally now I try and carve out time when I haven't got him or when it might be a weekend and he can be out playing with his dad. And you know, I can sort of just get a mental run on. Like, it's quite hard to explain. I mean, I'm not sure whether it's the same fee, Allison, whether you're writing music, or like producing it or however you do it. But when you're in the zone, you're in the zone, and when you get snapped out like it's very hard to be pulled out of it and then come back in it like and that might just be even like him Jack sticking his head in the door and saying, Hey, Mom, I'm hungry. That can really like snap you out of your like your train of thought. And yeah, like I think that's probably been the trickiest part is when you've got that real creative urge that you just you know that you need to just go in and paint something and you can't do it. So you feeling you get very frustrated and feel a little bit creatively stifled when you can't use that creative energy. And then when you're able to use the creative energy, but you're getting into interrupted.

And yeah, and so I think the way that works best for us now is if I just on my own, and I can just do it, and I don't get bothered. And like this is not happening all the time, let me tell you like, but it's amazing. I think it's amazing what you can achieve in a short amount of time when you do have children. Something that might have taken me a few days to achieve like I can literally like do it in a couple like couple of hours. Yeah. So you Learn to use your time very wisely. And you learn to be very intentional with the time that you have. I think so. Yeah, look, it's very much I grab what I can get when I can get it at the moment. Yeah, the time that I can get to create, that's what that's how it works at the moment. But I know down the track, you know, two years time, or kindy, next year, and then school the year after. And I know that a lot of things will open up for me in that in that period of Jack's life. And I don't want to lose sight of like what I've got with him at the moment and the time that I have with him at the moment. So I don't wish I had more time. I'm just taking the time that I've got. Because I know that this is just, this is the season of my life at the moment, and it will change and then it will change again, and it'll all change again. So we'll just continue to do Yeah.

Yeah, and you're you're good with change you you like, you know, you're obviously sound like you're accepting that. Do you think that ties into your connection with nature that you, you spend a lot of time, you know, seeing things change? Seeing the leaves change? Seeing, you know? Yeah, I think that

that helps. Yeah, I think. I think by nature I like. Yeah, it's probably a little odd really like, because I do like, I do like to know, I do like to know what's in store for me? Yeah, actually, it's really interesting. Yeah, I guess I like an element of control. But for the most part, I'm happy to I'm happy to just move in the direction that feels right. So I think, yeah, yeah, it's a really interesting question. Because I feel like I've probably got a little bit of, like, I've still got an element of control. I think I've probably always had that. But yeah, I'm just, I'm just very trusting of, like, I'm trusting that I'm going to be, I'm going to end up doing the things that I'm supposed to be doing. Have a real fight around it. But yeah, I mean, like, I literally love being out amongst the natural world. Like, it's so grounding for me. And, yeah, I think that probably does play a part in that, like, I see. Like I even said before, it's the season of my life, like, you know, I think I can see that. Like, we're all not meant to be doing the same things. Like every day, I go through phases where I want to be really, really creative. And then I go through like, a social media hiatus where I do not post anything, and like, I'm sure the algorithm hates me for it. But you know, like, I was on holidays recently. And the last thing I wanted to do was even look at social media, let alone post something. So no one heard from me for like, probably 10 days. But yeah, I go, I go through ways of, you know, wanting to be seen and heard. Sometimes I go through phases where I really feel like the thing that I'm thinking about needs to be heard by someone. So I like to like, you know, put it into words or whatever. And then I go through phases where I just literally want to withdraw from it all. And I honor that, like I don't, I'm not going to post just because I want to see me, you know, because the algorithm won't like me I really couldn't care less about but yeah, I think I definitely like to just go with the flow. And I think you're right, probably tying that back into like the nature side of things is probably perfect.

Let's delve into the two topics that I particularly like to talk about. First one's mum guilt and put that in air quotes. How do you feel about mum guilt?

How do I feel about it? Okay, so if you were talking to me about an experience that you'd had, like, let's say, you were finding it hard, giving yourself time to do something. My advice to you would be, Alison, you're still the person you were before you had a baby. Get out there, you know, you need to spend some time on yourself. So I can give some great advice. But so I would like to say that I don't believe in mom guilt, but I've experienced it. So I think it's definitely it's there. I still have moments, even today, where I feel like I could be doing better, should be making a different decision. I think it's, I think it's incredibly real. I think it would be great if it wasn't, but I think we would be kidding ourselves if we said that it wasn't a real thing. Because yeah, I have felt it. I've probably even been in a category of martyrdom martyrdom? Is that what they call it? Where you? Yeah. Or you just really sacrifice yourself? For somebody else? And yeah, it's really interesting, because like, I've had an understanding prior to having jack of how important it is to look after yourself and to put yourself first and to know that that's actually not being it's not being selfish. It's like, probably the purest form of self love, is to be able to put yourself before somebody else. But then falling into motherhood. And, yeah, it's just a real, like, it just, it up ends that belief. And I think, for me, it probably just, it just happened. Like it was just, I think, a change of lifestyle, knowing that I had a little baby that was like, 100% reliant on me. And I felt like, I just sacrificed myself, I literally did. And I think when it came to that Christmas Day, when I, you know, everything fell apart. You know, it really highlighted to me that I needed to take better care of myself, like I was not eating well, I literally just ate the scraps. And that's not to say that I didn't have like, my partner, cooking me meals and stuff, like I still ate, you know, well, but you know, just just eating toast on the go. And, you know, not just making decision that actually had to look after myself. So, yeah, it took a while to get my head around that. But um, I think, yeah, just getting back to what you said, Mom, Gil is, it's alive. It's happening, it happens. And I think what we all we can do is really like support, especially new moms. To understand, uh, give, give them give them the the ability to be able to, you know, spend time on themselves, you know, going there helping them. But you know, it's not just new moms as well, it's, it's, I think it's mums in general. Yeah. Just yeah. All have kids of all ages. Yeah. Yeah. I

think that's a really important point. Because, I mean, I'm not obviously I'm not begrudging the newborn stage, because I know that it's hell, I've done it twice. And it's really hard. That's the thing like, it's, it's almost like, well, you're over this hard stage, you'll be fine. Now off you go. You know, it's like, the Thank you, right. Looking out for mums of, of children at any stage in any age

is really important. Oh, absolutely. Yeah, I mean, I can only speak of, you know, the first four years. But I know that it's like, it's still things that you know, an example is, you know, I've got work that I have to get done. I've got deadlines, I, I work well, at the moment, I'm not working from home, but I'll likely be back working from home soon. And you know, if there's a time that I need to jump on my computer and finish something off, and Jack comes up to me and says, Mom, can you come play with me? And I have to say, Nobody, I've got to get something done for work, you know, there's an element of guilt in that. But the reality is that that's life. You know, I do have to get this thing done. And so I can I can reflect on that and say, Well, you know, you did have to do the thing that you did earlier. But it doesn't mean that I don't have that moment where I think, you know, I should be playing with him, because this is what he wants. Yeah, so yeah, it's a tricky one, the whole manual situation, but I totally believe it's there. Yeah.

It's an endless thing isn't it's like, one day, you might feel like, yeah, you got it. Right. And then the next day, you feel like you're the worst moment? Absolutely. Yeah. It's a constant thing. You mentioned briefly their ties into my second point about identity, where you said, you're still the same person you were before you had children. Obviously, it's a belief that you hold.

So one of my friends had a baby, years before I had Jack. And I watched her go through. I watched her lose. I've watched her. I didn't watch her lose her identity. But I watched her. Talk about losing her identity, and then trying to reclaim it back. And I remember saying to her, you're still a person you were before you had your baby. Like, you're still my friend, I still remember you when I like, studied with you live with you. So like, that hasn't changed for me. But she had lost sight of that. And I couldn't quite get my head around it at the time. And I was really trying to explain it to her. And it wasn't until I had Jack that I understood what happens. And you do lose yourself. Like, I don't think it matters how? Well I don't know, I can't speak for everyone, but certainly for me. Like I totally lost myself. I didn't know who I was, I knew that I knew what I enjoyed doing before I had Jack. And I knew that I now had a baby. Obviously couldn't make them both work at the same time. So I felt like I was in this like limbo state. And it took, it took a while for me to work out. Actually, it was sort of like a process of rent reinventing myself. That's how I felt it. It played out. I started trying to paint again, it obviously didn't like go, how I planned. And it was still very hit and miss as far as when I could actually be creative and when I couldn't. But I think what it did was it made me realize what I actually wanted to do. I started to get really clear on the direction that I wanted to take. And I sort of think I had a friend say to me, I think Jack was only quite young, he might have been six months old. And I have a friend or she actually a client as well, who said to me, Julia, when you become a mom, she said you've only got a certain amount of like bullshit that you can tolerate in a day. So when you've reached your threshold, you know you're done. And I I always remember that because I just remember thinking like it. Like I just didn't have time for a lot of stuff that I didn't have any interest in. So I think I just I just I started to become really clear on the direction I wanted to take. I became very clear on the people that I wanted around me and the people I didn't need around me. A lot of things just started to To like very much very slowly, but over time, making more and more sense. Yeah. Yeah. And I feel like I started to reinvent myself. And yeah, I honestly believe that's why I'm where I am today, because I just didn't have I just didn't have the energy for meaningless things. And so I was just trying to follow the things that felt right and felt good. Yeah.

Yeah. And it's like this, this new perspective of, like, I only have this amount of time. And I'm not going to give this time to stuff that that doesn't feel good for me or is, you know, feels like it's being wasted on stuff. That's irrelevant. And, yeah,

I think naturally, you know, when your life changes that much, I think naturally, things just drop away. And like that, that goes for friendships, jobs, beliefs, I think just the things that don't serve you anymore, or perhaps were not really sustaining in the first place. You just don't have time for them. Or they don't have time for you anymore. So I think. Yeah, look, I think you get like, I think motherhood is just such a pivotal point in a woman's life, I don't think you can, you can ever expect that you're going to be the person that you were before. I think is so unrealistic. But you don't know that until you doing it. Yeah. Let's see, it's very much it's very much a learned and learned experience or a learning lesson. So

you have you have to experience it together. It's like that joke if you had to be there. When you said before about control with, with Jack, when I had Digby, sorry, when I had Alex, I was exactly the same. I just wanted everything to go, how I needed it to go. Like, I remember one day, I had a similar experience to you, but perhaps not on the same scale that I wanted to go and watch Ben, he was cycling at that stage. So what I'm watching, right, so I'd worked out the whole day of when he had to get out when he had to sleep all this stuff to say that I could go watch. And it didn't work. And I just lost it. I was like, I can't do anything anymore. Because I've got this kid and blah, blah. And I remember my mother in law said he's not going to be this young forever is going to change. And I was like, we're like, I didn't hear that. You know, it didn't mean anything at the time. And then when he did start to change as of this morning period of Oh, no, he's not a baby anymore. But you know, like, Mr. Graham said, we don't wish it away. Don't Don't wish him to be older. So yeah, when I had D, I was the complete opposite. And I think it helped because I had been working in childcare for quite a while. And I had to excite, I saw all the myriads of ways that children could be raised and how their routines could be. And I had this whole new outlook on on parenting. And also there were seven years between them, so I hadn't quite grown up as the two and eggs. I just let it happen as it happened. And I was just such a more relaxed mother. Yeah, just I could completely, completely relate to that. Your experience.

When you said, like, you know, you had this thing you wanted to be doing at the end of the day, so like, you will try and organize wake sleep. lunch late, you know, and I did the same thing. It was like, yeah, the pressure.

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

I didn't really touch too much on the spiritual side of things. But like, yeah, like, it's, maybe it's not the same for everyone. But for me, it was like a very, very, like it was it was an awakening of sorts, it was sort of like, you know, you you can't control everything. Like, you're not meant to control everything. So I just feel like I've been cracked open multiple times through this parenting experience. And it's been, it's been like, I would never ever trade it for anything in the world. But I'm also not going to gloss over it and pretend that it was easy because I think we say so much of that. And I feel like people go into parenting with this like me, you don't want to make them feel like it's going to be doom and gloom otherwise You know, the Human Rights Code at the end? You know, like, but you want to give them some honest, like, give them some honest accounts of what you've been through. Because then it also validates the people that are in it doing it, thinking that life is just like, yeah, it is hard and to have people come along and say, like, even when you're in your depths, and someone comes along and says, this won't last forever, don't wish this away. It's like, no, but can you just like, can you just sit with me in this place that I'm in at the moment and actually validate that I'm, it's okay for me to be thinking this thing at the moment. Like, yeah, yeah,

it's valid. Yeah, yeah. I don't think enough of that goes on, that you're actually you're allowed to feel what you're feeling. It's okay to fear feeling. And let yourself feel that way. You know,

when one comes along and says, you know, Julia, this might be forever, and then you get that element of guilt. You know, like I should be, I should be more thankful and grateful. Yeah, like, I went through an infertility journey leading up to having Jack and that was four years. And then when I had him to have all these feelings of like, you know, like my life, I remember feeling trapped. I remember sitting on the toilet one day, just thinking, I'm just trapped. And like, I'm just, I can't get out of this. Yep. I remember having thoughts of blackjack not being able to sleep. So. So when when I was trying to put him to bed because this was bedtime, trying to get him to sleep, persisting, persisting, persisting, almost going insane. When really, I should have just got him up. Got Back Up. He's not ready to sleep yet. Put him back down later, but no, in my head. This was bedtime. Yeah. And I so I drove myself like, crazy. And I remember thinking, I wish he had a reset button that I could like, I remember having those thoughts of like, I wish I could literally just press a button that turned him off. And he went to sleep.

Yeah. So like,

I look back on my sports now. And I'm like, God, that was crazy. But you're in the depths of it like, and when you're having that little thought to yourself in that dark room, and no one else is seeing or hearing it. You know, you nobody knows what you're going through. Do that. Like nobody. Nobody hears that little thought that you have? No. Yeah. So yeah. All right, it was bloody hard. You didn't know any better. And I think that's where you need to give yourself grace. You just you didn't know any better. And if you did it all again, and you have you do it differently, because you've learned and you're easier on yourself. And, you know, I hope that I get to do it again. But I know that if I do it would be totally different. I'll have a different perspective. And you know, Jack's four years old, maybe I'll have a seven year gap to you know, like, and I'm actually okay with that. Because I think I don't think I could have done it any other way. Oh, yeah, I don't think but I don't think I could back up children like you know, and I'm not no disrespect to anyone who like wants the two year gap or the whatever. But I don't personally think that I could have ever achieved it. If I had a fallen pregnant when Jack was two years old, I would have cried myself to sleep every night like I just don't believe that I was meant to have you know, yeah, so Oh, you know, the beauty of hindsight Hey, sort of look back and yeah, but it is what it is. And you know, we just did the best we could really so which wasn't really that bad?

So you've recently set up a space outside your home for your work? Yeah, yeah. Is that going going good? No, it's going really well.

I'm I'm probably there for a little bit longer as in maybe a month to six weeks, something like that. But I yeah, I was offered a Be the back section of a coffee shop in Mount Gambia called confession. Who does delicious coffee by the way? That's been the downfall. So much caffeine. But yeah, look, I got to a point where I needed a I just wanted a space that wasn't at home. I could see that. Like, I wasn't getting a lot done here. So I felt like I needed like some way that I could actually go to work. I've been working from home for I think, eight years, actually not nine years. And for the most part, it's been fantastic. But yeah, I actually put something up on Instagram one day. And it was just like, does anybody have a place? I'm sort of in need of a space to work from can be, can be formal, it can be informal, I'm not going to rule out what it is where it is. Yeah, so I just sort of, you know, put it out to the universe and. And then, like, I was probably buying copies everyday from confession at that point. Yeah. And then I got a message from Don on on a Thursday night to say, you know, we've got this space, businesses moved out of it, and they've found their own short brand. Do you have any interest in maybe working from there for a few months, and really, just to fill a hole? So it was going to be just an empty room? And they didn't want that? So without even thinking? I just thought, yeah, absolutely. Like, what is the worst that can come of this, I am either incredibly unproductive there. And I can work, I can just bring my stuff home and work from here if I need to. But I had this whole room that I could hang up my artwork, which has been leaning up against walls in my office for ages. So I just really saw it as an opportunity and a bit of an experiment. I still see it as an experiment. Yeah, I just couldn't see any negatives to it. So it's been fantastic. I have spoken to people that call, like it's a bit of a thoroughfare the room that I'm in. But like I get to chat to people that I've never met before, I've had some amazing encounters and conversations with people that have like, furthered me in some way, whether it's the way I think about something or, you know, just conversations with people who are trying to create art groups or other artists, or yeah, I've had the ability to work with alongside a couple of artists, and it's just fabulous being in that really sort of creative space with other people.

Oh, yeah,

I've had my artwork up on walls, I've been able to sell a couple of paintings, just expose myself to a group of people that I wouldn't normally come across. And it's been absolutely fantastic. And what I've learned from it is, as much as I classify myself as an introvert, I do need interaction with people. But I need it, I sort of need it on my terms, too. So I get a lot from working with other creative people. Just it doesn't, I don't have to be working on a project with them. But just being in their creative space is very important. And that I get a lot more done working from somewhere than working from home. Like it's amazing. How many times I probably catch myself underneath my clothesline hanging out washing. How did I even get here? You know, it's just like, I think you hear the washing machine go off. And before you know it, you you're hanging up the washing and it's like, Joey, you're working like so, yeah, I'm realizing now that there is a benefit to me not working from home. And I love the fact that I can go to work. And I come home and I feel like there's a division between the tote. Yep. And I feel like when I'm home, I'm home and I'm present. And these are just all things that I have haven't. I just haven't noticed because I haven't been able to work away from my office that is in my house. And now that I've had that opportunity on I think like from here and I'll be looking for somewhere that I can actually call my work space or my studio where I can be I just productive and have my own my own area. And I also know that I want to be able to work amongst other people. So, yeah, it's been fantastic. It's been so good for that. Yeah, absolutely. It's

given you these, like, like we said before you don't you don't know. I guess you don't know what you don't know. So by experiencing things you've gone, yeah, this is good. Yeah. I think it's great to for people that, like, follow you on social media, they can actually go and meet you face to face to, which is, like, so important, I think to like, it's great that people build relationships online, but it's, I think it's, it's, especially with art, like you actually want to see and I don't want to say touch the person, but you want to be more of the the person that's making this. So yeah, to you know, you get the energy and pick up on the vibes and that sort of stuff, too. So, definitely, definitely the benefits that way as well. And for people to be able to, you know, touch and feel and you know, see work and yeah, it's great I'll just check ever get involved with you just say do painting or anything like that? Do you do it together?

Yeah, definitely does. And Jack is like, he's he hasn't shown a huge interest in like art and stuff at the moment. There's also an element of me like, not wanting him to get pain everywhere. I was gonna I would definitely had died outside where he's unleashed his creative, his creative desires. But yeah, he's, yeah, like, he's definitely got creative creativity in him. But at the moment, he's just very much into anything with wheels. That makes noise. Yeah. He was funny, he was playing in doing some coloring in only a couple of days ago. And like, he colored outside of the line, okay, so He's four years old, colored outside of the line, and he colored over the top of the yellow headlight on the car. And he was he hated it. He told me, he was never going to pick up another colored pencil. And here I am, like, deciding going, you have done an amazing job Jack, like, you know, you're practicing, you're not you can't coloring in the lines, you know, you're not going to be able to do it properly for a little while. So I'm encouraging you, meanwhile, really saying a portion of myself inside of him, like, you know, trying to control things. But yeah, he, I don't think he doesn't really influence my work. The way that he does influence, I guess the way that he does influence my creativity in some way is that, you know, I want I want him to do the things that he loves to do. And I want him to explore the things that he loves to do. And I think, like, I can only lead by example, in that, in that respect. So I want him to know that, you know, I've had a lot of people say to me, Oh, you're you're the rd type. And, oh, what does it mean? Like I like to, I'd like to just get you to explain that to me. But um, you know, a lot of a lot of a lot of people think artists can't make money. But artists can make money. There's plenty of artists that make money there. us in this town making a lot of money by selling their stuff online. And yeah, to not sort of pigeonhole anything into you know, just give, give, just entertain the idea that you could be, you know, good at this thing. If it's not today, it could be, you know, in a month's time, or maybe it'll be 10 years time, but like, just persistence is the key. So, he influences me in that respect, but he doesn't necessarily influenced the things that I paint. That's very much a personal thing for me, so Yeah, but he's certainly part of the process. I guess. You can't he can't not be Yeah,

yeah, that's the that's the Yeah.

So I've got one more workshop left for the year. And that is on the fourth of December, that's a Saturday at the apple farm. That's a two hour workshop. And it includes sexually over three hours, there's a two hour workshop. And then there's an hour for lunch. And there'll be a delicious pizza and sort of shared platter lunch. And that's a very festive theme. So there'll be the opportunity to paint some, you know, gift tags and cards and stuff like that. It's quite a social, a social sort of afternoon. So it's not so much about learning a lot about how to paint watercolor is just giving you sort of the tools, the materials to be able to just have a bit of fun. And I'm sort of really like envisioning, you know, especially moms, I'm very, very feminine audience. And I just sort of want people to be able to say, oh, you know, we haven't worked with our friends for ages. Why don't we do this thing that's like our little Christmas catch up? Because we all know what sort of December looks like in most people's calendars. Yeah. Well, like a staff show or something like that. So it's such a beautiful venue, and I'm hoping that the weather is amazing. And, you know, good food, good company. You know, a bit of like, creativity, I think it's perfect. So yeah, that's, that's the workshop that I've got coming up. I've just launched my website.

Congratulation one.

Now, there's still a lot to go on there. But like, once again, something is better than nothing. And it's, it's an evolution at all, like, it'll just continue to evolve. But yeah, so I've got my website up. So my web address is Julia Rita creates.com. And I'm just about to kick off on a project run by April Hague, and Jane Van Eaton. So to like amazing artists in our Gambia, who were doing like fabulous things with regard to, like art education. And they, they just recently won a grant. And they've launching a project called The Portrait Project. And it's, I believe, it's 10 artists, we all have our photo taken. And then we all paint a portrait of either ourself or one other person in the group based on the portrait photo that was taken of us. And it's a project that will span over six months, and we get to spend time with like these 10 artists, and we get to sort of collaborate and discuss and just learn different techniques and styles. And I think it's just fantastic to sort of submerge yourself in a group of women that all have like a similar interest. And so yeah, I was so thrilled to be invited to do that. And it was, again, like one of those no brainer moment moments where I knew this was sort of like another experience that would like enhance the direction that I'm going in. And so eventually, once that project is tied up, our portraits will be printed on a large scale and actually put up in a public space. So yeah, like really confronting, because portraits are obviously not something that I paint, and let's face it, like I think everyone a, whether you're artistically minded, or not, like painting a face is actually quite, you know, stretching the skill set.

And you guys to having your face out there, like that something to, you know, consider if there's any sort of, you know, well, I've got a big chin or you know, that sort of stuff, you know,

it's Yeah, that's me. I've, I've I have fast forwarded my thoughts to that moment. But no, look, it's it's gonna be fantastic. Yeah. So it's, it's, it's only really just kicking off at the moment. But I think if you were interested in more on that particular project, you could go to if you look up April Hague haitch ag UAE on Instagram. She's got some information on there. But yeah, perhaps if they If I do set up a specific social media page, I'll let you know Alison so you can

be on it to the specific Yes, Lily kids. Yeah, I'd love to keep keep her eye on that. And I'm sure a lot of people would be really interested in that too. Yeah. Seeing the progression of that. Oh, that sounds so great. Julie. A good one. Yeah. Lots of cool stuff happening. Yeah. Oh, yeah.

I should also say that I am going to be at a market on the 10th of December. Yeah, at the city hall and that Gambia there's an artisans market there. So yeah, it was quite popular last time. So hopefully this time as well.

If you or someone you know, would like to be a guest on the podcast, please contact me at the link in the bio. Or send me an email. Alison Newman dotnet. Edge to Ellis Cafe is a fortnightly ish, long form interview based podcast featuring conversations about politics, environment and mental health in a world on edge with Ben heavy. Ben is an international relations researcher, environmental educator, mental health advocate and longtime friend of mine who enjoys having a yarn over a hot coffee. The podcast tries to make sense of the different kinds of edges that define us, divide us and shape how we interact with each other. In a world that's gone a little bonkers, and what it means to be a little different. Check it out at pod bean.com or wherever you get your podcasts