Author Archives: Tom Jeram-West

September 2017 calendar

Metablog – September 2017

The other day, I had a(nother) kind of epiphany about my relationship with creativity and creative practice. I’d just finished MacGyver-ing a washing line in my living room, and was returning a ball of twine to a box I keep under my bed. The box also contains a load of old half-finished crochet projects, and I was suddenly struck by the realisation that I’d not worked on any of them because I’d wanted to; I had, in fact, worked on them because other people had put the ideas for them in my head and urged me to do something with them.

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August 2017 calendar

Metablog – August 2017

I thought August had brought with it a welcome return to being creative, as well as an overdue and very welcome spell of drier and hotter weather. You know, it was summer, after all. But, at the end of the month, I looked back on everything I’d done – primarily writing and sketching, and realised that I’d not, in fact, been creative. I’d not come up with anything new. I’d simply used these skills to describe, discuss and document various bits and pieces that had gone on around and to me.

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July 2017 calendar

Metablog – July 2017

With only a couple of weeks to until the end of August, it feels a little peculiar to write a metablog post talking about June and July – something I’ve felt before, when I used to write my metablog posts over on my personal blog, and used to get distracted or disillusioned, and left my writing until very late in the month. But, I’ll write – I’d feel worse than I do now if I didn’t get something down.

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May 2017 calendar

Metablog – May 2017

There comes a moment when you just have to recognise that things aren’t working out as you imagined they would. Typically, it’s a moment of awareness you experience ‘in the present’, to which you react and from which you move forward. I realised recently that I’d had such a moment back in late March/early April and that, due to various bits and pieces, I’d not been able to recognise it as such at the time. I experienced it ‘in the past’, as it were, and have found myself trying to ‘catch up with what this means for pretty much everything in terms of what I want to do creatively and professionally in my life’ for the last few weeks.

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A close-up photograph of sharpened colouring pencils

Celebrating the success of others takes away nothing from your own.

I originally published this post on the Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium‘s Website in May 2017 as part of the PortsConsort Postcard series.

When was the last time someone told you they really liked your work? What about the last time someone told someone else they really liked your work – are you able to think of that? And… What about the last time you told someone that you really liked someone else’s work – do you know when that was?

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A tree branch covered in pink blossom against a blue spring sky

We need diversity of creative practice in communities of sellers.

I originally published this post on the Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium‘s Website in April 2017 as part of the PortsConsort Postcard series.

We like to think that our creative communities – of whichever ones we become a part – are diverse; and that these celebrate and encourage this diversity… But, if they are, and they do, then shouldn’t this encompass diversity in all its forms? We don’t just mean, for example, diversity of gender identity, nationality and race, but also diversity of idea and emotion, of creative process and creative practice.

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March 2017 calendar

Metablog – March 2017

In February’s metablog post, I spoke about how I knew I was “capable of more than a ‘simple’ review of my previous month’s creative activities and ‘update’ posts for my collaborative efforts” and how I hoped I’d take “a step in the right direction in March”. Cutting a long story short, I didn’t manage it.

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A close-up of a jar full of knitting needles

Does competitiveness have a place in creative communities?

I originally published this post on the Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium‘s Website in March 2017 as part of the PortsConsort Postcard series.

To us, a creative community means a naturally diverse group of inter-, multi- and transdisciplinary practitioners, participating actively in collaboration and co-operation for mutual benefit, prioritising the exchange of advice, knowledge and support over competition, influence and status. This type of community-based and driven thinking and doing has brought us this far, to a point where the creative industries contribute significantly to cultural, societal and political development – not to mention local and national economies – so why does it feel as if we’re gently moving away from this?

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A selection of artist's materials on a shelf

It’s OK to mix your creativity with your politics

I originally published this post on the Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium‘s Website in February 2017 as part of the PortsConsort Postcard series.

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen a number of independent and small-to-medium business, encompassing artists, artisans, craftspeople, designers, makers and all manner of other categories of creative professional come under fire from colleagues, contemporaries and peers alike for using their professional platforms to express political sentiments. We just want to take a couple of minutes to reassure you that it’s OK for you to be political on your professional platforms, or via any other method of communication you have with your customers, partners or suppliers, for example.

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