“Go get a job!”

My friend and I were in central London, enjoying our ice creams. We turned to a road leading to Tottenham court road,  at which point I saw a BIG ISSUE seller already approaching a woman eating outside the restaurant. If you’re a Londoner, you almost always see a Big Issue representative outside stations, tourist attractions, public facilities. I see one at my local train station. I’ve even started conversations with one more mature lady to find out why she was there and given money. And most of the time you know why they’re there. Even if you’re not  from London, the person usually doesn’t look well groomed so you can assume their begging for money (the Big Issue foundation is a homelessness organisation giving jobs to homeless people selling Big Issue magazines on the streets, as well as other things)

“GO GET A JOB!” she screams, angrily and annoyed at this young BIG issue man trying to sell her a magazine.

He’s shocked. And so am I.

He walks off muttering to himself in amazement at how rude this woman is. “Go get a job, pfff!’

…How can she say that? That’s my first reaction. I mean she’s sitting there eating her gourmet food, telling him to go find a job. RAS CLAAAATT. REALLY???? He’s got a job selling magazines! It may not be her ideal job but it’s honest hard graft- he’s making a positive step to reclaiming his life, regardless of what happened to him, whether he became addicted to drugs, or stole or whatever would make you homeless. He’s seeking steps to help himself. And no one should knock a person down for that. NO ONE. Woman need to check herself.

Even if he was being persistent and being annoying, there’s no need to speak to a human being like that. Just keep saying no. Ignore him even if you have to. I was vexed to be honest, and I had afterthoughts of how I would have gone up to that lady and given her a piece of my mind. Told her how ugly her attitude is. How she shouldn’t be angry at him, she should be angry at the government for not doing more to support homeless, unemployed people. For not doing more to help people with mental health concerns, young people with low self esteem as well as other issues. The government has let us down with its dodgy political, social and financial infrastructure. A person can abuse the welfare system so easily, and live like a king or queen by not working and claiming benefits, but then you have people struggling for their lives not getting a penny or a pound in welfare. The system is screwed. Shouting at homeless people to get a job does not help that person. We don’t know what that person is going through, emotionally, socially, psychologically, physically. So how are you gunna just shout at this person! Serious!

I walked off before the aftermath (or maybe there wasn’t?), but I hope she can think about her actions. And I hope the seller doesn’t get too disheartened by her words, but gives him more of a desire to succeed. Life isn’t easy no matter what background you come from, so we need to help each other. So please, be mindful of other and mind the gap.

Rant over.

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Detours can be productive…

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‘Blended’ 2010, Mixed Media

A delightful discovery whilst roaming the social media fields, a detour actually.

Introducing April Harrison
I really like the energy that she’s used in this painting- peaceful, solemn, warm and humble. What looks like a  mother almost falling asleep due to the hardships of raising two children, is comforting her children as they are enrapped in their mother’s love in her arms. To me she’s using the term ‘blended’ in the way she has used pattern and texture and the relationship between all of them:intimate. They all seem to have their eyes closed as in the way a person would meditate or pray or just embrace the moment for a few seconds. Or it could be they’re all tired. Either way for me, it’s really humbling to see.

 

 

 

L.A. inspiration

The Californian African American Museum (CAAM) recently had an exhibition called Hard Edged: Geometrical Abstraction and Beyond, which was quite successful in my opinion and probably not highly advertised.  There was a mixed media piece by April Bey which used hair relaxer as part of the narrative closely related to Chris Rock’s ‘Good Hair’ Documentary, which I thought was clever and controversial.

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But some of the artists and art work that I took with me (metaphorically speaking) is that by MICHELLE ROBINSON.

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‘Moon Guardian 2’, 2015, Acrylic & Gold leaf on Canvas by Michelle Robinson

I love the dialogue of colour, texture and references towards the female form, natural hair and all! It really just emanates a wave of positive and deep, powerful, spiritual energies that really appealing to me. It’s very inspiring as it is a style similar to how I work with paints. I would definitely add it to a collection, if I could afford it….one day 🙂

 

 

The city of angels and burgers

Having come from sunny L.A. a few weeks ago, my eyes have definitely been opened up. I went as a leisurely holiday with my partner and stayed in Hollywood through an Airbnb apartment. (Good old Airbnb!) We were welcomed by a raccoon as we arrived exhausted at around 9 pm. That was certainly a unique experience! Luckily it was just hanging out on the roof, cautiously observing our movements, because boy I was scared. I’ve never encountered one before but they look mean. Those white-masked bandits!!

One of the things that struck me the most was the amount of overt homeless people. I mean, we have a lot of homeless people in London, unfortunately, but in Hollywood especially, they’re all examples that chasing the dream ain’t easy!

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Beautiful ‘Birds of Paradise’ dotted all around the neighbourhood

I’ve heard how Hollywood was a little dirty and capital of superficiality – YUP that’s definitely true. The only reason we were staying there is because it was affordable, local and we weren’t planning on staying at home all day everyday! Also, I have to add, there were so much fast food outlets around us! I’m sorry but you American people can get seriously big, like super big and I can see why!

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Tensions in the city – captured outside an LAPD station, ironically.

However, if you’re ever near Little Armenia, there’s a great food truck called Armando’s Hot Food and they sell the usual Mexican food and burgers. This SAVED us when we first arrived in the area as it was already late and we were starving! We did try In-n-out burgers later on our trip, but no, THIS burger was epic. And only $5 with a combo including drink and fries. Mmmmmmmm. I also tried the chicken quesadillas which was tasty! It came with guacamole and ketchup but you can also order a combo.

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Armando’s Hot Food Truck, located at 1277 N Western Ave

Runyon canyon was probably one of my most enjoyable experiences believe it or not! Looking up from below, it looks really intimidating as you see the march of ant-like people following the path. All decked out in their gear, carrying dogs. Getting to the top…OH yes. It was all worth it 🙂

 

Oh yes and a dairy free Pinkberry treat for our trek 🙂

Did I mention the Minions and Hogwarts???!!

I went to Universal Studios of course! My partner and I went on the first day of the Harry Potter world opening. 1 hr and 20 mins to wait for the Harry Potter ride, but it was fun! YAY 🙂

Would I go back, yes for sure! But probably not in Hollywood. The hype isn’t worth it for me. And plus there’s still parts of L.A. I haven’t explored…

Big Magic!

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Yes, I admit I live partially in fear and yes its does stop me from doing more amazing things. And Yes I do procrastinate, more than I should.

That’s ‘Step One’ to resolving your issues: admitting you have them. Right?

[Background context] I was massively shy growing up as a child and even still I would take on board too many thoughts about what other people think of me, my actions, my appearance, my identities. Which is why I am drawn to the arts such as painting and writing because it was a safer world than reality. A place that I could escape to express my self with no one looking or judging apart from me!

I’ve always wandered what my purpose in life is and have always been aware of my personal growth questioning the world, contrary to having been absorbed into the recent healing, collective wave of  consciousness.

As it so happens I browsed Amazon and found this beauty! – Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic

–Disclaimer: I haven’t been paid or sponsored to advertise this book—

I just think it’s DOPE. It’s enlightening, humble, witty and very easy to read. Although a point she made in Chapter IV was quite outrageous and disgusting at first. She starts by defining  creative living as…

living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear

…and stops the misconception that creativity is just for professional or academic artists (although if you are a visual artist, then that’s great). You  could be a farmer. A builder. A doctor. Or any lifestyle in which you are consistently questioning, making things happen, and not letting fear get in the ratid ass way!

Her chapters are divided into the elements needed, such as ‘Trust’ and ‘Enchantment’ and is full of little anecdotes and living examples of stepping up your game. She has such a casual, conversational style in writing that is neither shallow nor tedious, but just relatable enough so that you really get what she’s saying – I.e. Life is full of paradoxes, and so is creativity. If you embrace courage, playfulness and divinity in your life, and affirm that fear will not take the leading role, big magic WILL happen!

And I agree! 🙂 Here’s to living a creative life and not just burying my creative head in the sand. Argh.

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I also have a YouTube video reviewing the book on my channel Art|Tea|Afrika. Enjoy!

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