It’s hot here now. When I was struggling to learn Nepali in the early days*, I got confused between pasina ayo (I’m sweating-lit. sweat came) and asina ayo (snow came). Now I remember P for perspiration and P for pasina and boy, oh boy….pasina ayo! I realise this may be too much information here but I am not telling you the half of it. I could go into details about my eye…but I won’t. No selfies though.
Instead of doing Samunnat’s Eurosynergy activities (an inventory and preparing our presentation) I did some …research (sounds so much better than browsing online!). Productive procrastination. Mum encouraged it. You can always blame the mother. I found the website of Kat O’Sullivan who describes herself as a free spirited girl who makes funny patchwork coats out of old sweaters.
She is magnificent**! Kat lives in a wonderfully colourful house and travels the world, often in a psychedelic bus. In her blog she talks about a lot of things relating to creativity…the value of not following every whim; of working with constraints. She discovered how much style and whimsy you can spin on your business. I am looking forward to that!
She makes some fabulous observations about copying. People began to blatantly copy her and she felt very vulnerable. A friend talked to her about weaving her art into the narrative of her life. Her sweaters ceased to be just objects to wear and became little fragments of her charmed life…authentic manifestations of her whimsical world…souvenirs of this whole crazy life …[she has] been gifted with. She realised that her work was imbued with her magic- unique to her. She realised that by sharing more of her world, the sweaters became like bouquets from her garden. What a fabulous metaphor. I connected with this because I consciously try to imbue everything I make with a kind of generous, positive energy. We know that at Samunnat too, what we make is part of a much bigger and profoundly special story.
Infused through it all was her commitment to authenticity and living and creating wholeheartedly. She writes:
I never take myself too seriously – and I think that keeps my work flowing freely and my expression genuine. A lot of times when people are trying to make art a living they end up trying to meet others expectations, or getting so self-reflective that they lose perspective. I think I have a healthy sense of humor and detachment about what I do and the ability to embrace my many shortcomings as an artist. It is my hope that when people look at what I do they can feel that it came from a genuine place. I want the intentions I put into things to resonate with people, so they aren’t just buying an object, but a little chunk of happy energy.
Brighten your day by reading about Kat. She would LOVE it here at Birtamod where a riot of colour is almost a mundane everyday event!
*I eventually stopped struggling- my still pathetic Nepali is a source of great amusement here! I am pretty exceptional with colour, food and jewellery related terms and almost useless in daily conversation! I can tell you when I am sweating though.
**She even answers emails! All photos and quotes used with kind and personally emailed permission. Howzat!?