Browsing Tag


Confession: I’m an Artist

Last Friday, an artist named Amanda Palmer performed a show in Joburg at the Sheds @1Fox. Confession #1: I had no idea who Amanda Palmer was until a few days ago. Confession #2: I didn’t go to Amanda Palmer’s show. When I heard Amanda Palmer was coming to Joburg and realized that this is a big deal, I googled Amanda and then downloaded her book, the Art of Asking. I started reading the book this weekend. I’m only on page 53 of 348 but I’m already blown away. Here are a couple of amazing things that I’ve read in the book so far: There’s no “correct path” to becoming a real artist. You might think you’ll gain legitimacy by going to art school, getting published, getting signed to a record label. But it’s all bullshit, and it’s all in your head. You’re an artist when you say you are. And you’re a good artist when you make somebody else experience or feel something deep or unexpected. And: In both the art and the business worlds, the difference between the amateurs and the professionals is simple: The professionals know they’re winging it. The amateurs pretend they’re not. I’ve never met you, Amanda, […]

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An Update From the Real Me

My blog lives a double life. Most of the time it’s a fun, informative guide to living and traveling in Joburg and surrounds. But other times it’s a personal account of what’s happening in my actual life. A few years ago, when lots of tragic and dramatic stuff was happening to me, I wrote lots of personal posts. After Jon died, I wrote at length about death and addiction and grief. I poured my rawest, most intense feelings into the blog, sometimes not realizing what I’d written until after the post was published. But I find it harder to be personal on my blog when awesome, happy stuff is happening to me. It’s easy to write about surface-level happy stuff, like co-authoring books and fun blogger trips around South Africa. But all these surface-level happy things are happening for a reason, and that’s what I want to write about even though it’s really hard. The real me. She hasn’t written enough lately. (Photo: Ray) A couple of years ago I realized that I wasn’t a complete person. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted and needed. I was addicted to self-destructive feelings and emotions and I couldn’t make myself happy. I looked fine on the outside but on the inside I was eating […]

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A Thank-You Letter to My Blog

Dear Blog: You came into my life four years ago today. I want to thank you. Thank you for giving me a sense of purpose. When I first arrived in Joburg, I didn’t have a job or even a plan. But I always had you. Eventually you became my job and my plan. Thank you for introducing me to photography. Creating you made me realize that I tell stories much better with words and pictures than I do with words alone. I’m a photographer because of you. Thank you for helping me to survive the most difficult times of my life. When I felt like I had nowhere to turn, I turned to you. I clicked “New Post” and started typing. Thank you for keeping me in South Africa. When life got really bad, I thought about leaving. But I knew that you couldn’t live anywhere else, and I knew that I couldn’t live without you. So I stayed. Thank you for introducing me to my city. You made me fall in love with Joburg. Now it’s home. Thank you for introducing me — directly or indirectly — to many of the people I care about most in the world. Thank you for introducing me to myself. I […]

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