Art Matters, Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell, EartH, Hackney, Lauren Laverne, Handmade Haven

Art Matters – An Evening with Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell

Art Matters, Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell, EartH, Hackney, Lauren Laverne, Handmade Haven

Let the chat begin

On Wednesday evening my hubby and I went to the Art Matters evening at the newly opened EartH in Hackney.  Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors and Chris Riddell is one of my absolute favourite illustrators, so for us to be there felt incredibly special.  The talk was very informal but very inspiring, sometimes poignant and sometimes funny – Chris is very funny 😉  We had an amazing evening!

Edited to add the video, as they recorded it on the night 😀

I’ve always been creative in one way or another, whether it be sewing, knitting or making soaps.  I’d not considered it to be an art form, but I suppose being creative is artistic and vice versa.  I’d also never really thought about the business I have as creative until yesterday, but when I think about everything I do for it (I make everything from the products to the labels) then it is creative – just another form of it.  If you asked my hubby if he was creative then he would definitely say no!  but when you look at the hot rod he made (he designed it, designed parts for it, built it) then he is definitely creative too.   I don’t know what I would do without being able to be creative…I think I may go mad 😉

To all you people out there who think you aren’t artistic or creative…art comes in many forms…pick up a pencil, try new things, join a group, pop to the charity shop and find some knitting needles and wool, balance some stones on a river bed, draw pictures in the sand.  It doesn’t need to be expensive, or cost you anything at all – whatever you choose, your mind and body will thank you for it ♥

Art Matters, Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell, EartH, Hackney, Lauren Laverne, Handmade Haven
Waiting in line, Art Matters

Impossibly hard thing…Grief, depression

I was going to write something entirely different today, but then I read something on Tiffany Han’s Instagram page last week that stopped me in my tracks.  She said

There was a time in your life when you spoke a sentence that changed everything.

There was a time in your life when you did the impossibly hard thing and survived to tell about it.

Those two sentences are one and the same thing for me – I sat and cried.  I cried because I can remember the exact sentence – “do you know how many times I’ve thought about killing myself?!”  This was said to my husband, my best friend, whom I’d been pushing away while really wanting him closer, while I suffered with post-natal depression coupled with anxiety.  I didn’t realise at the time, that that’s what it was, but the argument, which brought that sentence from my mouth, was my impossibly hard thing.

Admitting something is wrong is always the hardest step, but it is also the first step to moving forwards.  My depression/anxiety was caused primarily through grief.  If you’ve read my about page you will know that my Mum died, aged 50.  She’d been ill for a few months, having multiple tests, but no cause was found.  My hubby and I had also been discussing having another baby, as I’d always thought we’d have three, but we had stopped at two.  We’d finally decided that we would try for another one, then the bomb hit…they did the right test and found it was in-operable lung cancer.  We decided we wouldn’t share our plans as it didn’t seem the right time and that she’d have more important things to be thinking about, then she died 5 days later, the day after our first son’s birthday, and 4 four days before Christmas.  Complete devastation.  Ten months later, after deciding we would go ahead as that’s definitely what my Mum would’ve wanted if she’d known, our third son was born.  Sods law dictates that we’d fall pregnant straight away right!?  All the grief I’d hidden away as I didn’t want to distress a babe growing in me, came to a head over the following months.  Awful, awful months.  A black hole with a ladder that never went anywhere when you climbed it.  Tears – though not as many as you would think weirdly.  Dark thoughts.  Really dark thoughts.  Suicidal thoughts.

People talk more about mental health now, although not nearly enough, but at least they are starting.  My period of depression, once I’d said that sentence, ended once I’d had some medication, then a bereavement counselling course.  That helped so much.  And talking to my husband, not bottling it up.  My Mum died in 2005.  2005!  I’m not the same person I was before my Mum died.  How can we go back when something so huge and life changing happens?  We just have to try and go forwards the best we can, and ask for help, or talk to someone… say that thing.