A little make shift collage quickly whipped up with bits and pieces from a couple of playful paint sessions last year.
So, I'm on the autistic spectrum. Many of you may also be or know someone who is. Have you seen the jigsaw piece symbol that is widely used as shorthand for autism? For the record, many of us find it misleading and inappropriate. I won't say 'offensive' and not just because I'm pretty much with Stephen Fry on the concept of offence (i.e.: 'suck it up and stop whining' only he said it with a dash of profanity). More correctly, it is about a poorly considered image being used without question to describe people for whom it does not represent. There's no (good) excuse for bad design.
I don't know where the puzzle piece concept came from (was is Autism Speaks? I'm not linking to them but feel free to have a look around this.) but I will bet my last penny that it wasn't run by anyone who is #actuallyautistic. Sure, people with autism can be difficult to understand but then, people without autism can also be difficult to understand. Yes, life with autism is complicated sometimes as life without... oh, you get the idea. Of all the aspects of existence to choose from, why select a demoralising one that doesn't actually speak solely of us, the autists? In simple terms, not only is this not a kind or helpful way to describe a human being, neither is it a correct description of autism. I suspect it was chosen, and is still widely used, by so many non-autists who neither consider nor comprehend its connotations. Indeed, it's become so ubiquitous, many with an autism diagnosis now unquestionably associate themselves with it.
As an option, I wonder how many with autism can see themselves using a clean, geometric symbol instead?
When considering the differences between life with and without autism I often think about the phrase, 'fitting a square peg into a round hole". For me, that is a clear metaphor describing autistic life in a non-autistic-understanding society. (I'm going to assume you don't need that explaining as this is a blog post about a logo. Feel free to let me know if you do so I can elaborate.) I would rather use a representation of a positive, future paradigm rather than one that continues to portray a problem waiting to be solved, presumably by someone who doesn't consider themselves to ever be 'puzzling' to others. So this is my offering; a square fitting comfortably within a circle encased safely within a larger square, because that is a visual description of the future I envisage for all people on the spectrum; accommodation and acceptance for all.
Let's talk colour and demographics later :)
So, a few little extras have started to arrive for my Kickstarter parcels. First to arrive were the shiny, new white pens so no one has to wait to begin doodling. Just unwrap and go!
And here we have me, not realising just how heavy and cumbersome cardboard is until the camera is actually pointing at me. Awkward! I'll be decorating these boxes before they find their way through the Royal Mail system. Haven't decided what with yet though :)
My Kickstarter campaign successfully ended yesterday with 107% funding. *insert fist pump here* What a great way to celebrate my first Inktober!
Here it is, a sample copy of my book of illustrations - to be totally doodled with all over! The top page is printed with a facing page of matching, but blank red. I've continued the doodle with white pen as an example of what can be done with the book but many pages are lighter so take an ordinary black pen or even pencil on the lovely matt pages.
The original inspiration for this apparently random doodle is actually a beautiful wood burl over on @pocketsfullofsawdust feed on Instagram. Burls + macros = no-brainer inspo!
But now to the fun bit; getting all the parcels together ready to send around the world to the smart cookies that pledged their hard-earned cash. Development photos to follow :)
It's no coincidence that I haven't been blogging much over the summer. Although I have still tried to create something new everyday, parenting has taken centre stage. And what do I do once they're in bed? Try to recover, mostly!
But now, after a mini-trip to Manchester this week (photos to follow), an Art Party for the newly 9 year old tomorrow, and a meeting on Monday, I'm back in the game. The aforementioned trip included a little spree around Fred Aldous too so I'm all shades of ready for it. :D
Watercolour warm-up, 2015
That's how the true knotsman described this green, not my knotting ;)
This weekend brought us back to Woodfest for some wholesome, family fun. The kids wanted to watch the stunt bikes, the pole climbing, hold an owl and make some string (not necessarily in that order) which was a happy co-incidence as I just wanted to get back to the Wydon Crafts stall we found last year. I carry my key fob (made by Jeff Wydon) daily and, every day I marvel at the little globe knot wishing I could make one. He is keen to ensure the hands-on crafts are passed on so this year, I asked him politely (persistently!) to show me how.
He's a very patient man. Very. And the result? Yes, it's not perfect but it's alright for a first attempt, right? Plus, I had to loosen it all so I could transfer it to a bigger ball (because I wanted to test a polystyrene theory) which made so much more work of it. Jeff was very kind and left me with extra cord to practice with. I really needed it!
Wydon Crafts may not be attending Woodiest again and if that's the case, you will be sorely missed by us 3 at least :)
Other great goings-on at Woodfest 2015:
Who knew there was a tractor brand called "SAME"? Farmers probably. What a lovely graphic that no one else seems to appreciate (except maybe the 7 people on my Instagram who liked the photo).
These graphically decorated, wooden bowls caught my eye. So sorry I didn't manage to catch the maker's name (I totally blame the kids)!
Then there's these guys, chainsaw carving for much of 3 days. At the end of the weekend these massive sculptures are auctioned off and I usually miss this bit so have no idea how much they sell for. Feel free to let me know!
Even better, this year I won our tickets so we only had to spend out on the fun stuff. Namely Mama Zo's homemade-from-scratch raspberry lemonade. No photo sorry, it didn't last long enough :)
School's back so our half finished, Jon Burgerman, colour-it-yourself, wrapping paper/poster is going to have to get rolled up ready for next time. The kids (and by that I mean me) were thrilled when the man himself commented on their efforts seen in my Instagram image (below).
You might recognise the pattern from an earlier post about my shopping frenzy in Fred Aldous back in December last year :)
Follow me here for current news on finished work and works in progress. Feel free to get in touch!