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Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Shifting Seasons

"In the depth of winter. I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

- Albert Camus

So it has been a full season since I wrote on this blog. So much has transpired. Little things, like small crystal beads are slowly threading their way on a string to make up the life of dreams that I wish to live.

In between threading my dream beads via illustration and design, I have been seeking opportunities to be creative, get fit and healthy, earn a living, reconnect with nature and understand the meaning of life and happiness.
Yes. Just small things! I'm sure that they can be figured out in just one season? ;-)

The winter season brought many an adventure and many an opportunity. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to direct a primary school musical with a beautiful school. As my first year as an illustrator, the opportunity to work in any creative field in tandem with my freelance work is a bonus (and also helped pay the rent!). The last three months I worked every week at a primary school directing the tale of Pinocchio. 

Here is a doodle I created during a train trip to rehearsals:

I enjoyed using my acting coaching and directing skills as part of this contract. It was a lot of fun and I relished the chance to laugh and create with kids every week and finish with an end result that we were all proud of! 

On performance day I presented my co-director (the school music teacher) with this gift of a framed original water colour illustration. 
I wanted to embody her joy of music and the ideas that flowed so easily from her soul. There needs to be more passionate, open hearted and joyous children's educators in the world, and so I wanted to remind her that her path is mighty, adds colour and meaning to the lives of children and is highly important. I think she liked it! I was reminded of how much I love to give hand made presents - and how much I love working with water colour. I still have lots to learn with this medium, but every project is a lesson in itself.

I am also teaching for musical theatre school on weekends and after school. We are currently working on Disney's "The Little Mermaid". I'm directing three casts aged between 6 and 17years on this musical. My script is filled with doodles galore of course. Here's a doodle from the front page!

 I spent the winter season getting fit and healthy and added regular exercise to my week in the form of jogging, dancing and aerobics. I might have worn my 80s style leggings more than necessary and teamed them with shoes OTHER than my trainers…. 

Apart from exercising I decided to embark on a diet change (a peskatarian version of a low carb high fat diet) that has truly benefited my dream path. Apart from losing over 7 kilos in two months, the true perks of this new diet has included my mind becoming sharper, my mood more elevated and levelled, enjoying energy levels I have never felt before and my health and vitality increasing (including losing swelling and pain around a thumb that doctors had said was "incurable arthritits"). As an artist, this last point needless to say is life changing.

I decided in early July to take a surprise trip up to my family in Brisbane to reconnect with those I love and come back to  my roots. My parents were both in joyful tears with surprise when I showed up (complete with flowers for Mum and whiskey for Dad). I was reminded of the love that is always there for me in my family. I also got to spend time with my gorgeous niece (aged 3 and a half) and have a drawing session with her. One night we went out to a family restaurant. I bought her a "kids activity pack" at the restaurant which included a puzzle, stickers and a colouring-in sheet. I put it on the table as a surprise when she went with her Mum to the restroom. Impulsively I took the back of the order receipt and drew some pictures for her to copy and put it on the table next to the activity pack. When she came back she sat down and within one or two heartbeats contemplated both the activity pack and the paper with my markings and picked up a pen and went straight into copying my doodles. It amazes me how she just trusted herself and didn't let herself double think about what she chose to do or how she chose to do it. Absolute confidence and absolute attention to the joyous task at hand. She is indeed a teacher for me.

Illustration wise, as an emerging artist I have been busy trying to get my work "out there". My Redbubble Shop has seen quite a few sales with some pieces I put up earlier in the year, plus a few new additions as well. Redbubble - Lou Endicott portfolio

Here are a few happy customers who were kind enough to send me pics of happy people wearing my designs! 

I can barely express the joy and gratitude I feel when I see these happy people wearing my illustrations! There is something so tangible and so measurable to know that someone chooses to wear your art… It is truly humbling and makes my heart sing. 

And here I am last week exploring the natural wilderness here in Victoria in my own designed hoodie (it's so comfortable - I'm wearing it right now as I type this post!):

And here are a few new designs I have put up over the winter months:

Last weekend I was lucky enough to hear about a workshop with the legendary Oslo Davis - illustrator and cartoonist extraordinaire. His satire, gentle musings and blatant truths have been a wonderful antenna of our society and a new inspiration for me of late. I took part in a workshop at Third Drawer Down in Prahran just over a week ago and was reminded of the power and humour that illustration holds. My friend Bekky Halls (aka illustrator Saint Damascus) joined me to learn some insights on the world of funny and drawing. Check out Oslo's awesome work here: Oslo's Awesome Work

I have also been fortunate enough to be featured in a beautiful Australian magazine "Bespoke" issue 14  that promotes artists and makers. I received a copy of this gorgeous magazine in my mail today!  This issue focuses on Spring and embellishments and adornments. I make mention of two of my favourite handmade jewellery designers in this magazine Tess and Trix and Emiti Order your copy of Bespoke Magazine here: Bespoke Magazine Number 14 
Here is my copy:

And here are my featured pages (I squealed loud enough to startle my cat when I opened the mail today!!):

So what's coming up this new season for this little artist? I have two pieces of work featured in an artshow called Art 4 All which is hosted by Fairfield Primary School (which by literally COMPLETE COINCIDENCE was the school I directed the musical Pinocchio for!! I love how the universe works!) I will be selling prints in the art shop at this event as well. 

I will have two print on show at this event: Here is a snippet! (you may guess that I am celebrating Spring here….)

In other news I am happy to report that I have been contracted to work on my first children's book with Jet Black Publishing. The book entitled "The Day Jake Logan Robertson Ran Out of Hugs" by A.Nicky Hjort explores the importance and the magic of hugs. It's truly a heart warmer (and might give you and your little loved one a happy tear or two). I am honoured and privileged to work with this fantastic publisher (who donate 20% of profits to charities that assist children to read and write) and to work on such a beautiful manuscript.

Here is a sneak peak of a work in progress:

Apart from all this, I am remembering to find myself in nature every week. Last week I took a trip with my partner to Apollo Bay in South West Victoria. Cape Otway and it's natural surrounds are perhaps my favourite place on earth…. Here is Hopetoun Falls (just one of the divine places I hiked this week). Hope Town indeed. Heaven on Earth!

May this season of spring spring forth your most heart felt dreams

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