"People who go about seeking to change the world, to diminish suffering, to demonstrate any kind of enlightenment, are often as flawed as anybody else. Sometimes more so. But it is the awareness of having faults, I think, and the knowledge that this links us to everyone on Earth, that opens us to courage and compassion. It occurs to me often that many of those I deeply love are flawed. They might actually have said or done some of the mean things I’ve felt, heard, read about, or feared. But it is their struggle with the flaw, surprisingly endearing, and the going on anyhow, that is part of what I cherish in them." Alice Walker

14 April 2014

Support the Resale Royalty Scheme

Poster from Right Now Exhibition 2014
Last week when I was in Sydney, LisaB and I headed to the opening night of the RightNow exhibition at Boomalli, in Leichhardt.

Resale Royalties provide a a small royalty payment to individual artists when the artwork is re-sold. The amount of the royalty is only 5%. While for many artists it won't be a huge "payout", for others it will provide a small payment each year that will assist them to live and/or keep making artworks. In the case of deceased estates, will provide for the families of artists.

There are very few living visual artists who are well off. When you forgo a steady professional job to become a full-time practising artist, your life (ie. your bank balance) is full of peaks and troughs. This impacts on one's ability to pay a mortgage, provide for one's family and children, and plan for the future. It also makes things like superannuation a privilege that other people have. It's difficult to build the kind of generational wealth that capitalism thrives on, when you're sometimes earn barely $18,000 per annum.

That's why Resale Royalties are so important. They are also important for many Aboriginal artists. Many artworks by Aboriginal people increased ten fold in price when resold years later. Without resale royalties, any benefit derived from the resale goes to predominantly White Gallery Owners and their White Buyers.

Other types of artists receive royalty payments of some kind - songwriters, writers, costume and set designers etc.

Yet while many of us feel that Resale Royalties are important, the current government does not. They are proposing to do away with them, and some influential gallery owners agree with them.

What can you do to support the work of Australian visual artists?

24 March 2014

It's a mad, sad March

I hadn't posted in a while, due to being quite busy with work. And then mid-March we were hit with a death in the family. It was of a close family member and it was accidental, so therefore completely and utterly unexpected.

I don't really know how to write about it, nor even if want to write about it. Ever.

I'm still not 100% certain online is the space I want to share about it. And this has made me wonder about my relationship to my blog and online spaces, especially Facebook, where the whole thing was talked about over and over again.

I know there are some incredible bloggers out there who share their whole world with the whole world. As much as I share, it turns out I'm not one of them. Who knew hey?

Am gradually getting myself back into it. Maybe April will see me get past my sadness and back into the world again.

17 February 2014

#overwhelmed

What do you do when you're feeling completely overwhelmed? 

Sometimes, the constant thinking and planning and strategising about work, clients, family & kids, house-stuff, study, exercise, goals, budgets - is just is so overwhelming. Having my own stuff on my mind, as well as other people's stuff, is just ...... *sigh*

My current strategy is: breathe, and just take one step at a time.

I'm looking for tips. 
 

12 February 2014

Dark and Disturbing kinda up and running

Crazy week this week.

In between everything (life, etc. ), we finally uploaded a design to our Dark and Disturbing  catalogue. We've decided to have two streams of designs, or two separate catalogues, one on Redbubble and one with our own hand-printed stock.


It should be an exciting time, though perhaps a tad confusing as I have shirts selling all over the place under different "handles". There's my shirts (designs that are my own idea that I'm selling from my own personal Redbubble account) and then there are the Dark and Disturbing designs that are Vernon's designs (though there will be other artist designs in the future).

And of course, Iscariot Media also manages the proppaNOW shirts.

We still have a heap of work to do to get Dark and Disturbing up properly. We are still deciding on which design to print first. So many to choose from. Hopefully it will be ready by the end of March.

I think my head is going a bit womba - too many things going on and too many Twitter accounts.

06 February 2014

On "on the importance of the right to offend"

I commented tonight on a post, On the Importance of the Right to Offend, by Kenan Malik on his blog.
Thank you for you post, I come from Australia, so I am unaware of the incidents you write about, nor the people involved. But I am interested in your argument about the right to offend as a core tenant of Free Speech. In Australia we currently have the Commonwealth Government seeking to overturn Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act as they argue that Human Rights Commission has gone too far in inhibiting free speech. I, and many others do not agree with them, and are seeking to have this part of the Act preserved.

I am attempting to apply the arguments in your post to our situation here in Australia and I am unable to accept your thesis. Firstly, the assumption that we live in a pluralist society is surely mute, when, while I agree there are many competing interest groups, the structural inequality of those groups means that inevitably it is minority groups who are most disadvantaged by the free speech of the powerful. Secondly, I absolutely acknowledge your observation that "offence to a community" is "debate within a community". As I write, my head is nodding yes, yes, this is so right. But once again, in Australia, in particular Indigenous people and our issues are in many ways prey to the voyeristic gaze of the powerful mainstream media. It's their influence, particularly that of the Murdoch owned News Limited, which I would argue detrimentally influences government policy and shapes the opinion of the nation. There are very few opportunities, where minority groups can have free, frank and open discussion without the gaze from outside - the hinders our expression, we self-censor regularly or in the least, we wait until it's safe to discuss it within the community only. I understand the spirit of your argument, and it is valuable to read about similar debates in other jurisdictions, and in a perfect world, I could agree. However when you're only a small percentage of the population, Whiteness's Right To Offend, is truly not something that I, and many others can accept.
I've written before on the debate about 18C here and at The Critical Classroom. While I don't agree with the author, I think it's important to continue discussion on the topic, particularly with international perspectives.

02 February 2014

Un-synced

Just prior to Christmas, our phones were upgraded (all part of our standard package) to the latest model. During the upgrade, apps, contact details, passwords etc, successfully made the move across to the new phone. Not email though.

I have five email accounts that I need to check regularly, different accounts for different business interests and projects, and none of those now work on the new phone.

I half-heartedly tried to make them work, have gone through the settings and such. Still. Nothing.

The most amazing thing though is, I love it! I love that I've remain unsynced from my email.

For the first time in probably 5 years, I do not have my email notifications buzzing right next to me 24 hours per day. I now only check my email three or four times a day, and once a day on weekends. Turns out, the world has continued to keep turning, and business is still going. Who knew... ??

24 January 2014

Buy my shirt and help me get to WIPC:E

Here is the first shirt design I've added to Redbubble. It's called Racial Discrimination Act. As in 'act' don't react. My explanation of the design,
This work is in response to the proposed changes to Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act by the Abbott Government. The proposed changes seek to water down the Act and make it more difficult to fight Australian racism. We believe that we need to act when it comes to Racial Discrimination. We cannot wait until the RDA is changed. We must act now. 

I'm selling the shirt to raise the issue of the proposed changes to the RDA, but I'm also using it as a fundraising to get to the WIPC:E Conference in May. I have two papers to present - one with Sam Cook and Juliette Hubbard on Australian Blak History Month, and the other on Deadly Bloggers. I also want to get to WIPC:E so I can write a bunch of killer blog posts for the Critical Classroom. I want to capture voices from all over the globe researching and writing about Indigenous education and culture.

However, as I'm self-employed, I have to get there on my own steam. And I reckon selling shirts is deadlier than selling lamingtons.

If you like the shirt, head to my Redbubble Portfolio. I'll be adding up new designs soon.

Cheers, Leesa

Want more information about my letter writing campaign? https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Tb6T6FDmboPBTgM-c4pWbBEGtZoXLtDu73dydtCno1w/pub

17 January 2014

52 Week Challenge - Week 3 Caravan

Okay. This one was incredibly daunting. Having seen so many of the amazing illustrations that were coming from the group, all I can say is wow! I love how people come up with different interpretations of the theme, and they produce illustrations that are so surprising.

Anyway, this is my contribution for this week. Once again, I've done mine in Adobe Illustrator. I approached it by going to Google and looking through images and found this one.

I've basically used the pen tool. My pen tool skills aren't that strong, and if you look closely, you'll see the mistakes. But it's done.


Next week is #selfie. REALLY, not looking forward to that one.

My Invasion Day hair will never be the same

So, each year I promise myself that I'll have a new deadly shirt for the Invasion Day march next year. But I never do because I don't think about it until a week out. And despite me having a brainwave and having THE BEST idea for a new shirt, I haven't got it finished. *sigh*

All this means is I'm not sure what I'm wearing yet. Because while I wanna look hot {not really}, I know I will also BE hot. So you have to wear clothes that do the job and don't cause you do feint while you're heading down George Street. 

Sometimes it's just sooooooo hot when you're marching, you actually dread the thought of it. But, you know, it's a small price to pay.


I was looking through old Invasion Day pics for a Critical Classroom post, and I found this one ..

Seriously though, how long was my hair!!!!?!?!?!?!?!?! I never realised it was that long…. 


And, Annie and Michael are almost my height now. Gee time flies. 

16 January 2014

52 Week Challenge - Week 2 - KIDS

I've had this concept in my head for at least a decade. Finally, I've done it tonight for the #illo52weeks challenge.


I'll be working towards getting this into a product for the Critical Classroom shop in the next month or so.

14 January 2014

What a week and it's only Wednesday

Just a quick post … can't even find a pic to go with it. (lucky I don't blog for the $. lol)

Well hasn't this week been full on. It's Wednesday and I'm quite stuffed. I wrote this post that ended up with me doing an interview on 612ABC. I decided against reading the comments. I shall do that later and probably end up writing a post about how Australians respond to "attacks" on their flag.

I also managed to finally finish two little products for The Critical Classroom and have added them to the Shop. They're only small resources (in the scheme of things), but they took such a long time. The bunting I created last July. I really have to thank my sister Kym for fixing up my dodgy Illustrator work, and my other sister Matrisse and sistah Lisa for reading countless versions of them and looking for typos etc. They're not perfect, and I'm sure there are things I've missed. But they're up and for the price of a large cappuccino with an extra shot, I think they're worth it.

I really want the Critical Classroom to generate a bit of revenue this year, hence the effort in getting the shop up. I'd like to get to the WIPC:E conference in Hawaii in May and I'm not sure I will get there without the extra bungoo. I have one paper accepted (as a group) and I've submitted another that I'm waiting to hear about.

The other achievement this week was getting all the marketing stuff completed for the Critical Classroom Product. When you have a product to sell, at a minimum you need to do
  1. A Facebook cover image
  2. A Google+ cover image
  3. A Facebook timeline image
  4. A Google+ timeline image
  5. An image for the blog post (that will later get added to Pinterest)
  6. A thumbnail for the shop
  7. A couple of example images (because they're downloadable products and kinda new-ish)
  8. An email for the Mailchimp newsletter
And that's at a minimum. Each one is a different size, and each is slightly different in purpose. I've finished all of the above, including an e-newsletter for The Critical Classroom over the past four hours. My understanding of just how much effort goes into building websites and graphic design has grown so much over the past few years. 

Note: I need a deadly name for the e-news. I think the "e" is redundant. But I can't think of a good name. If anyone suggests Message Stick, I'll punch them in the face. 

And I haven't even started on my #illo52Weeks for week 2 yet. 



06 January 2014

52 Week Illustration Challenge

I do love a challenge. I've been doing a 365 Pic-A-Day challenge (with varying degrees of success) for the past three years. And I created the 52 Week Deadly Bloggers Challenge, which I didn't complete, though it did spur me to be "postie" last year with 59 posts for 2013. When I was at uni, I had to do the 30 Days of Drawing Project which was FANTASTIC! It's amazing how you can improve your skills in just 30 days.

And, this afternoon, I came across author, Tania McCartney's 52 Weeks of Illustration Challenge. I'm completely in, though with a twist. Now that I finished my Certificate IV in Design, I really want to work on keeping up my Adobe Illustrator skills, so I'm going to do my #illo52weeks challenge using either Illustrator or Photoshop.

And here is my first week done ….



The theme was #eggs. I do remember we drew an egg in our Illustrator class, but I thought I'd go and look for an online tutorial. Here is one I found and my submission (above) is my version of the tutorial. See what I mean? I need HEAPS of practice.

For some reason, I crashed Illustrator when trying to save, and all I have left is a .png version that I somehow managed to export. I'm happy enough with it.

Next week …. #kids …. [thinking cap on]

02 January 2014

No 1 blogging tip - BLOG

This is the first post I've read that sums up what I usually first tell people about blogging.

People have different kinds of barriers in front of them. For some people, it's the technology - they actually don't know how to start a blog. For others it's access - irregular internet connections etc. But for a lot of people, most of the people I meet, it's personal/psychological and usually in the "I don't want anyone to see me" vein. They want to blog, but they're nervous and scared about begin "exposed". And I have to agree. Blogging, like all other forms of public writing, is kinda scary. You really are naked. Everyone can see your flaws and scars as well as your "good side".

So, like the post above, my advice to people in this nervous space is - start blogging, just don't tell anyone what you're doing.

There are billions of websites out there, and new blogs are started each day. The chances that anyone is going to find your little blog are so staggeringly low, you don't have to be concerned about people looking at you. If you set your blog of private, there's is even less chance that anyone will know what you're doing. And the reality is, unless you're a power blogger, there will be so few people reading your blog anyway once it's public, you'll spend the majority of your blogging life writing for yourself. So get used to it.

I can't imagine not blogging now. I feel like more and more, it's a part of who I am and what I do. I know I don't truly get to the "nitty-gritty" of me yet, it will come one day. But with each post, I'm creating an archive. An archive of just one ordinary life.

31 December 2013

2013 - my year in images

1/3653/3653/3654/3654/36505/365
5/3656/3657/3658/3658/365
9/3659/36509/36610/36611/36611/366
11/36612/36612/36613/36615/36519/366
365/2013, a set on Flickr. {click through to see the full set}

This is my third 365 project - an image per day.

Of course, I didn't end up posting an image each day. Some days I posted more than one, but there were weeks this year when I didn't post anything at all. What I've learned from these projects is

  • I go through stages when I don't really want to share anything about my life. Sometimes these images are a bit cryptic or sometimes there are no images at all.
  • Because I share the images via the Instagram app, the location is not sent through to the Flickr post, so it means that the description is oftentimes only half done. I need to make sure I write a full description in the original post.
  • Interestingly, looking back, there are things I didn't post about that I thought I would have.
  • A 365 can capture mundane aspects of your life (your mind), like the weather or an interesting leaf, stuff that isn't necessarily captured in a "significant" diary. 
  • I usually end up keeping up with the organisation of 365 until around January, then I come back to it again in December. Just the way my life works I guess. 
A goal for the 2014 365, is to capture a more detailed year. Perhaps I will begin experimenting with sending images straight to Flickr. Though the benefit of sending via the one app, is that all the images are a consistent size and format. We'll see. 


See my 2012 and 2011 365 posts.


29 December 2013

Feminism and White Privilege - My comment

I posted* this comment on Feminism and White Privilege post by Robyn Oyeniyi

“There is something not quite right about the massive amount of time and effort devoted to the question of white privilege in relation to feminism: I’m not 100% sure what yet, but I’m working on it.” 

Hmm… perhaps there is a lot of time spent "talking about White Race Privilege, but in my experience (as an Indigenous Australian woman) there is definitely NOT a lot of time spent acting on or adjusting one’s behaviour.

White Supremacist Patriarchal thinking, being and doing, exists EVERYWHERE in this country – and it doesn’t matter what walk of life one is in. While there may not be as many people saying the a-, n-, and c- words out loud, racism permeates every part of this country.

I’m not sure whether all the talking (that you say is happening) is actually working or not working in the battle. I think the jury may still be out on that one.

* At time of this publication, post is awaiting moderation. 

25 December 2013

My new tee

"Santa" gave me this one for Christmas. I'm wearing it while cooking Coconut Curry Chicken, Junsee chicken and damper for Christmas dinner.

{Posting from phone so links to follow when at desktop.}


22 December 2013

A busy weekend - new friends and family

A quick Sunday round up of the weekend.

Saturday
Saturday Mum and I went to an afternoon tea with some people from our local neighbourhood, Everton Park. Many of the people there I'd never met before. It all happened because last month, a local person, JM, started a petition to save some old trees in danger of being removed due to Brisbane City Council regulations on a new development. But because of JM's activation, it appears a smallish sense of community is slowly growing. I'm not hopeful that the trees will be saved, but I would like to think that this sense of community will survive.

I was pleasantly surprised to find people in my local area who have similar ideas about the world. The politics of the current Australia is so uninspiring* right now. In my opinion, John Howard swung the pendulum so far to the right that it was impossible to the ALP to bring it back to any kind of equilibrium. And now with the Coalition back in, the country is moving even further to the right. On Saturday we had a great discussion about how/whether, from an absolute ground level, it possible to work for the community and to make a difference. Is it more effective to work within a political party (ie. become a member), or is better to stay outside the formal party system? I don't 100% know the answer to that question, but it was great to find other people who ask similar questions. 

Sunday
Today, we spent the day with our extended family at the annual "Christmas Tree" where we all get together, bringing a present for our own children, and our picnic. For the past few years my dad has been Santa, and it was the same this year. Incredibly, though maybe not so, the number of children has increased dramatically over the years, and of course I knew hardly any of them. But it went very well with all the kids getting a present. Aunty Celia also bought along a few gifts of lollypops and bags for the little ones beginning school.

I also had a great conversation with my cousin Karina. The conversation, about family history stuff, probably raised more questions than answers. But it was excellent to connect and I'm sure we'll have a much longer yarn as the years move forward.

I have no images for this post yet. I will have to steal one of the pics one of my cousins post on Facebook.

The year is drawing to a close. Where has it gone?

*uninspiring is an under-statement. I'm being polite.

18 December 2013

Google isn't helping me today: Struggling to pay my bill

So about a year ago this month, I finally decided on a name for the blog. I had been just leesawatego.blogspot.com for years, and had been to-ing and fro-ing trying to come up with a name. I'm not sure where my train of thought was in coming up with Not Quite Cooked. But I do like it and I think it works.

I also decided to experiment in using the domain purchasing option through Google. I usually buy my domains through NetRegistry, an Australian company with no drama at all. But I wanted to see how easy the process of buying and having all my NQC blog business in the one spot.

Well I can say the process has been dead simple. And I'd highly recommend it, until today.

My domain is up for renewal in a few days, and do you think I can work out how to make sure Google gets their twenty bucks from me? Nup. Nope. Never. No Way.

They've sent me reminder emails with "Follow these instructions", but I have no idea how to understand the instructions at all. I don't know if notequitecooked.com is its own Google Apps log-in, and if it does, how to access it. It keeps taking me back to my iscariotmedia.com Google Apps account. And when they say "Go To Billing" and then "Go to Access Billing Account".... that option isn't there at all.

This is incredibly frustrating. I want to pay Google. I want them to take my money. But I have NO idea how to get it to them.

So if notquitecooked.com disappears for a while, don't worry, it's all still here at leesawatego.blogspot.com.


11 December 2013

I see Zoolander ...often

Zoolander wasn't a huge hit.

But I often see things in real life that remind me of it, phrases, images, (he's so hot right now, blue steel, magnum, eugugoly etc). An unintended reminder though is Jurlique.

Whenever I see Jurlique, I think of Deralique and accompanying insult (if you don't know it, watch the movie).

So childish of me... I know ... so childish ....

09 December 2013

They're marshmallows. No, it's Romeo and Juliet

A random story from my coalface. This actually happened….

Teen 2 (16) is arguing with Teen 3 (14).

They're supposed to be putting the groceries away.

T2 is grabbing the two bags of marshmallows and putting them together on the shelf.

But T3 is screaming (ish) at him saying, "What are you doing? Why are they together? Don't you know it's Romeo and Juliet?" He grabs the marshmallows and separates them and puts them on different shelves.

I think T2 is going to strangle T3.

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