Thoughts, Zines

Clearing The Decks

Clearing The Decks

clearng-the-decks

Alternative title: The day I deleted my portfolio, and decided it didn’t matter.

I’m not much of a one for resolutions. I’ve lived with my mind long enough to know that change happens in almost imperceptible increments, with continued effort, not by waking up one day and deciding to be different. Nonetheless, I get caught up with a feeling of shiny newness this time of year, and find unexpected energy to, well, attend to things.

When this happens, one of the very first things I want to attend to is my website, which seems to be perpetually two years behind what I’ve actually been doing. Does anyone else have this problem?! Who knows how it happens, but I certainly need to attend to it. And so I began, making subtle tweaks and changes to the look, and barely moments later I managed to delete my entire portfolio. Excellent start to the year!

I spent a few minutes days lamenting my idiocy, and then a wonderful feeling of clarity came over me. I don’t need to sort through those old images, figure out what stays and what goes. I don’t need to get my head around how exactly I tweaked the code two years ago or whenever it was to get it all aligning nicely. I have a blank slate, a fresh start, and it’s no bad thing.

So currently I’m an illustrator with a portfolio-less website. Hopefully I won’t let it sit that way for too long, but no promises. The accidental loss has opened up a lovely blank space in which to think about which piece of work I most like, have most enjoyed, and what I want to do more of. I am prepared to be surprised by what I pick.

Having this unexpected space and freedom to begin again got me thinking about other things that might benefit from a fresh start. In 2015 I so especially wanted to get my zine, The Green Bean, back up and running and I did not. I laboured over several pages because I felt I really ought to: over the course of the year I managed to gather together about three quarters of a new issue, but I could never bring myself to finish anything. There always seemed something more appealing to do.

And then this idiotic thing happened with my portfolio, and I got to thinking: I began The Green Bean almost six (SIX!) years ago in a burst of enthusiasm, and it was filled with energy and joy. Over the years it came to feel more of a obligation and a burden, and I had this sudden realisation that I’ve been trying to keep it the same. In six years I have grown, evolved, changed and so has my artistic practice: no wonder I don’t feel excited by trying to create work that belongs with who I was six years ago. It all seems so obvious.

So as well as deleting my portfolio (accidentally), I have ditched over twenty pages of drawings for a new Green Bean (intentionally). Just plonked them in the recycling. Just like that. I have cleared the decks and I feel relieved, liberated, and best of all excited to afford my dear little publication space to grow and evolve into something new.

Drawing, Zines

Thirty Favourites

The Green Bean Volume 4 Issue 5

I turned 30 last year, and instead of joining in the trend to fulfil a “30 before 30” list, I sat down and mulled over my favourite memories and experiences, picking 30 of them to illustrate for a new issue of The Green Bean. The kind of things that cropped up as especially memorable surprised me. I found I treasured many memories to do with animals, and many that took place outside. I realised how much I value my family, and reading, and live music. Hardly any had anything to do with grand achievements: most were tiny, spontaneous moments when I was fully absorbed.

The resulting zine is a collection of small moments that have stuck with me over time, the drawing of which taught me a lot about what’s really important and valuable, and perhaps what I might like to prioritise in the next 30 years. Subscriber copies of this new issue will be posted on Monday 31st March, and your copy too if you place an order here before this weekend.

Have you ever thought about your favourite memories? If you’ve done a similar exercise I’d love to hear how it affected you.

Baking with my Mum

Zines

A New Green Bean

Green Bean 4-4

It’s always a happy moment when a new Green Bean is ready to send out into the world. Even after twenty four (twenty four!!) issues, I haven’t tired of the feeling I get cropping those corners and colouring those beans.

This newest issue is all about my recent relocation from Bristol to Devon, adjusting to new surroundings and a different pace of life. There are comics, book reviews, a recipe for delicious pistachio and white chocolate macarons, deer, Dartmoor ponies, maps and lots more, all rendered in fine micron pen and delivered to you on lovely recycled paper. You can find the new Green Bean here, or subscribe to forthcoming issues here.

News

Closing Up Shop

Things have been a bit quiet here, and will continue to be over the coming couple of months. I am working flat out to finish illustrating The Crystal Mirror and Other Stories. I’m also moving to a different city and taking a holiday, all before the launch of Lighter Than My Shadow at the beginning of October.

I’ll still be blogging occasionally when I have news or things to share, but tomorrow I’m closing my Etsy shop until October, so if you’d like any Green Beans between now and then, this is your last chance!

Katie Green Etsy Shop