I woke up naturally this morning at 5am.  

My mind switched on and began its chatter as usual but this time I knew it felt different to every other morning of this last, very full year... It rained last night. Slow steady deep soaking rain. I took a deep breath and allowed the gentle thoughts to swirl as I listened to the epic choir of frogs that where celebrating the last little bit of this dark wet night. The first light began to appear and simultaneously the kookaburras shared their first laugh. The cicadas switched on their vibrational summer hum and the breeze flowed in through the windows. 



Most mornings I am aware that each of these beautiful things are happening. But this morning I really noticed them.  I naturally took the moment to appreciate them, to muse on the fervour and subtle differences that each is expressing in this unique moment of time as part of this great interconnected web of life that is this forest I am so lucky to live in and be a part of. This morning I really noticed and this is truly something to celebrate after experiencing some major nervous system disregulation during our very busy last year of attempting (and succeeding) to set up and launch this beautiful creative business baby that Clarey and I are so proud of. 

It seems that burn out in these times has become a common topic for artists. Its that thing of once you become aware of something you start seeing it everywhere, including within yourself.  Truthfully I didn't even know I was travelling down that road until it was too late. I have been riding the waves of DO-ing that come hand in hand with a creative venture like ours with all of the intensity of an artist peeking out on inspiration and connection. It has been a super multi-facted, adventurous and fun trip the whole time and for someone like me, in all my sunshine and rainbows and love of pushing the edges, it has been truly wonderful on so many levels.



During our summer break, after regaining the space inside myself to see and feel deeper,  I began to see how the cracks had started to open up and that they were in the most important areas of my life. As Clarey and I grew closer and went deeper into our business and our creations exploded into the world, cracks had appeared in my relationship with my partner Jesse, in my relationships with my boys, in my general and deeper health, my connection to my community and to our home.  My garden, with which my interactions with are a major source of my inspiration as an artist, was this crazy overgrown, weedy mess. 

In all the fullness, the busyness of this last year, I hadn't even done a single new drawing, made a single new print, planted any new seeds in the soil. I say this not to feel guilty or bad in any way but to reflect upon it creatively.  Clarey and I always knew that last year was going to be wild, we chose it to be that way, mostly consciously.  It's so interesting to pop out the other side of that time after creating some time to rest and slow down and muse on all the learning that has occurred, all while working on healing my frayed nerves, my most important relationships and reclaiming some space in my garden to get ready to put some autumn seeds in that beautiful damp soil. 



Where does inspiration to create even come from?

After a month of grounding out at home, cooking good food, caring for the land, connecting with my sons, falling deeply back in love with Jesse, practicing breathwork and getting back into my garden I am suddenly overcome by ideas and inspiration. I know this is a 'um duhh' statement, but what a valuable lesson to learn, that for me, life needs stillness, slowness, connectedness and to be surrounded by beauty to spark my desire to create new print work. Ultimately I see all of life as art. There is art in everything I do. But to really crystalise an idea, to really deeply connect with the subject or theme, I need to be in relationship with it. This takes time to just 'be' in it, with it, observing and interacting, hearing, smelling, experimenting, understanding. 


 So can we do it all? 

Can we run all the business side of things alongside finding the stillness and inspiration to make the art that is at the heart of it all? This is the big question on Clarey and my mind's as we launch back into our new year of creating this special work alongside the holding of the business operations that is required to share it all with you all.  

We know we can do it. It's up to us to create our own way forward. To block out the endless cocophony of the 'shoulds' and the 'musts' and carve our own path. Those voices are not our own. As artists we need to keep our art at the centre. Sometimes a big push is needed and we have definitely learned that we can rock that side of it (not without its consequences) 




There it is. That old word again. 

When I have the capacity to zoom out and be in the wonder and awe of it all (this I'm learning has everything to do with the state of my nervous system) I can see that if we are learning from our experiences and are not afraid to dive in and give things a go, it all balances out eventually. There is time for it all, there are phases of life, an in breath, an out breath, a contraction and an expansion. It's all part of the journey of learning and growing. What a freaking big and beautiful trip we are all on. 

Rest is necessary. 

We all know it. We hear it again and again. It seems to be the mantra of the times. The celebration of productivity in our culture, the lack of time to rest and the state of our collective mental health reflects the world we live in and the way we interact with it in these modern times. I want to say fuck that. I want to scream it somedays, and somedays I do, but I am also going to make art about it. I am going to transmute all my personal learning into something beautiful that gently yet powerfully reminds us all to care for ourselves, for each other and for our world.

Self care = Community care = Earth care.  

I want to wrap myself in that reminder everyday right now. I want to curl up in it and be warmed by it. I want to take it with me everywhere and let its gentle whispers remind me to say NO when I need to. To hold my boundaries. To reclaim my time as sacred and move that destructive cultural voice back to a place outside of myself where I can witness it and muse upon it and not be constantly led by it. I want to wake up every morning and hear the subtleties in the changing of the seasons, the voices of the land and the energies of my kin. This is how its meant to be, is it not? 

New sketches are coming out of my fingers, our new print is in the works. I'm giving it the time it needs to be born. I can't wait to wear this one. A powerful reminder, especially for us women. It's going to be special. 

Much love to you all, 

xx Dalee








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