Small acts of kindness, social networking and Selkies

Random title for a blog post hahaha! 

What I love about "social networking" is thats its great for building a brand up online, so many businesses use it to build a fanbase, network and promote their wares. But it is also full of other amazing opportunities, like meeting lovely people and learning new shizzle. 
I have been focusing on building mainly my Facebook and Twitter pages since the end of last year, and I've met some fabulous people, seen fabulous art and had some really important feedback. It can sometimes be very isolating being an artist and its very important and motivational to receive positive comments about your work. It makes you feel like your doing something good and people like it, and inspires you to make more! 

"Is this seagull head-dress a bit weird?" I ask Steve.
"Why are you making stuff you can't sell?" he replies, sceptically eyeing up the neon thread (Steve hates neon!) 

Feeling slightly deflated I post my image online and it gets lots of amazing comments and then I want to make more and more and more crazy neon seagull feather head-dresses! Point being a.) don't listen to men, especially men who don't like neon, and b.) social networking is great for getting feedback about your new ideas, whether good or bad. 

Anyway, as usual I'm getting off point again!

I love Seals! Started following loads of marine themed pages on Twitter, some of them post beautiful images, some are more harrowing. There are seals being culled in Scotland, which makes me sad. Don't know why you need to cull a seal. Its not the biggest crime in the world to eat fish. Its not like they can pop to Tesco's and go "actually I'll have a lasagne today." Seals eat fish. Get over it. You don't need to cull them so that humans can go out and mass fish even more fish. It just bamboozles me the way we always think nature is "in our way" so "get rid of them." It happens in Brighton, people hate seagulls. "How dare they eat our rubbish, the dirty scavengers." Whereas funnily enough there would be less seagulls around if we weren't such a lazy throwaway society. 

Flora Kennedy said that illegal shooting of seals was a theme in her book "The Wild Folk" and after enquiring where I could get the book she very kindly offered to send me a copy. A signed copy. My absolute favourite book in the world is set in Scotland and surrounds a musical seal living in a croft (Seal Morning by Rowenna Farre, think I've waffled many times on this blog about how much I love that book!) so I will be curling up with Bean on the sofa with a big pot of Earl Grey later and reading it. 

In this day and age strangers rarely do anything kind so it makes gestures like that all the more prominent. Its like a virtual hug! Even more strange to find it on Twitter! Made me so happy to receive it in the post. So social networking really is a great way to not just to blow your own trumpet about whats going on and collect fans, but to engage, inspire and interact with other people too. No one likes that person at a party who talks AT you! 

Another interesting thing that came out of talking to Flora was that she called me a "selkie" so in true me-style I had to google the word asap to look it up! Its basically a seal-woman! They are mythological creatures found in ScottishIrish, and Faroese folklore. Reminds me of similar Cornish Folklores, like the Droll of the Mermaid. Wikipedia sums it up far better than I can...

"Female selkies are said to make excellent wives, but because their true home is the sea, they will often be seen gazing longingly at the ocean. If she finds her skin she will immediately return to her true home, and sometimes to her selkie husband, in the sea. Sometimes, a selkie maiden is taken as a wife by a human man and she has several children by him. In these stories, it is one of her children who discovers her sealskin (often unwitting of its significance) and she soon returns to the sea. The selkie woman usually avoids seeing her human husband again but is sometimes shown visiting her children and playing with them in the waves. Stories concerning selkies are generally romantic tragedies. Sometimes the human will not know that their lover is a selkie, and wakes to find them gone. In other stories the human will hide the selkie's skin, thus preventing the selkie from returning to its seal form. A selkie can only make contact with one human for a short amount of time before the selkie must return to the sea. The selkie is unable to make contact with that human again for seven years, unless the human steals their selkie skin and hides it or burns it.

Theres an amazing illustrator online called Stressed Jenny who did loads of studies of Selkies like the one above. 

Anyhoo I know everytime I blog I say I won't leave it so long next time, hahaha, and then I leave it like a billion years, but if you do fancy a more up to date version of what I'm doing then follow me on Facebook or Twitter. I have loads of things I want to update on here, like my trip to Amsterdam and my feature in Oh Comely magazine where I went mud larking (like beachcombing but on a river). But I'll just leave you with some pretty leaves I saw earlier when I was walking the dog... one of them matches my shoe! Leafy bonus points :-)

Goodbye, untill next time


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