This Month – June

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According to my Goodreads I again finished one book: “Pitching Ideas: Make People Fall In Love With Your Ideas”. Not only is it a very nice looking book, it also explains the principles and the process of pitching in a clear way. While mainly a book about pitching creative ideas in a business setting, the tips and techniques described are also perfectly applicable during job interviews or during those horrible “So, what is it you do?” type conversations at networking events. I highly recommend this book!

Read – Online

I never believed it, until I tried it and it really turned out to work that way: How To Be More Productive by Working Less.

Alexa raps and sings with English band Too Many T’s.

Why has nobody made a documentary about Marlene Danielle who played in Cats for SEVENTEEN YEARS yet?

An article about Alice Glass in which she details the situation that led to her leaving Crystal Castles, and how the #metoo movement gave her strength to finally talk about it openly.

Why it’s sometimes good to not be that social. #toldyouso

For years, a man takes pictures of his wife in a private setting. After their divorce, he uses those pictures for an exhibition – without her consent. About how saying “But it’s art!” doesn’t absolve you from obtaining consent.

Listened to – Music

Listened to – Podcasts

A podcast episode in the The World in Words series about the origin and development of the “pop punk accent”, also known as “The sound Tom DeLonge from Blink 182 produces”.

In the same podcast series, an episode about the oftentimes huge differences in singer’s singing and speaking accents – and when and how this becomes problematic.

Watched – Films and Documentaries

Again, I’m only mentioning the films and documentaries I saw that are in English. If you want to see the links to the ones I saw in Dutch, press the Dutch flag in the overhead bar.

Janis Joplin!

Jimi Hendrix!

Watched – TV and Youtube

Iranian filmmaker and refugee Majid Adin reinterpreted the video for Elton John’s Rocket Man.

Miscellaneous awesomeness

An organ made out of Furby’s.

Why rappers love Grey Poupon.

How I went to two Too Many Zooz shows in one day (photo blog)

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It was a light and sunny day when I, wig done, cat backpack ready, walked to the bus stop and sat down on the bench. Those who have followed me for a long time (on Instagram), have seen this view before:

I waited for the bus that would take me to Amsterdam Central Station, where my tour would start. “Tour?” I hear some of you say, “Did you finally manage to fulfill your life goal of selling merch until your band takes off?” Uh, no, not really. Or actually, not at all. But I did manage to buy a super discounted 16 euro all day train pass and had decided to not only see Too Many Zooz perform at the Liberation Day festival in Zwolle, but also at the one in Groningen. If I just kept my pace up and caught the right trains, I’d be able to make it work.

The bus, with it’s festive Dutch flag, was on time, so I caught the train to Zwolle. I was so impressed by having caught a train on time, that I completely forgot to take pictures during the trip. The following picture was taken in Zwolle, while slowly shuffling towards the festival location in a huge group of people:

Excellent life motto.

Regarding that huge group of people: I wasn’t expecting it to be that busy. The last time I’d been at the Liberation Day festival in Zwolle was way back in the 90’s, when it was still a small affair on the town square. Now it was a huge festival, about as big as the Pinkpop festival I went to in 1995, which was both the first and only time I ever went to any festival. Yup, I’m Old. Me not considering how busy it would be was a blessing, because had I known how massive this event was, I would not have gone. Which would have meant you missing out on this blog post me missing out on my 4th and 5th Too Many Zooz gig in, uh,  7 1/2 weeks time. #fangirl

I slowly shuffeld on, got frisked at the entrance, then sped to the toilets and then the stage. I was early:

Since it was almost 30° C (86 F) and the stage was inside a tent, I decided to hang out close to the barrier.

Pro-tip: always bring a trash bag to sit on.

Sound was checked, people came up to the stage, I handed out some ear plugs and it was Zooz time:

This was my first time seeing them at a festival and not at one of their own shows, where everybody knows who they are and goes hard from the first beat. The Zooz however went as hard as ever, and within 10 minutes the audience did the same.

While I would have loved to see some other bands at the festival, I needed to leave immediately to catch my train to Groningen.

Which I managed to do.

The journey took about an hour, giving me some time to breathe and cool off.

Once in Groningen, I decided to walk in the direction of the Stadspark, where the festival was. There were supposed to be busses somewhere, but it was very unclear to me where that “somewhere” was, and I was afraid to get lost and miss the show. I started walking in a speedy pace and quickly found the entrance to the park.

As you can see, there was still quite a large distance for “LP” to walk until she got to “Zooz”. This festival too was very busy, and after what felt like wading throught huge crows for 30 minutes, I checked my phone, only to see that I had only been walking for 10 minutes. At some point we had to walk underneath a bridge:

and I DIDN’T freak out, which is a first. I just kept walking towards my goal. Which was still very, very far away. Just when I was starting to lose hope and questioning the sanity of this endeavour, I saw this sign indicating the stage:

“The whole world”-stage. You mean “at the end of the world”-stage, right?

I walked on for 15 minutes, hopped, skipped and jumped over people chilling on the grass and…

I was there! \o/

Slowly but surely an audience formed, and after an introduction, there they were:

Too Many Zooz!

It was literally an all ages show, and after an hour of dancing I felt and looked like I’d taken a shower. With all my clothes on.

And now I had to get back home! For a second, while I was literally chilling out on a bench for a bit, I figured I might just stay in the park forever – maybe it was time for me to try living in nature for a while. I quickly realised that I had a Willa at home waiting for me, so I dragged myself in towards Groningen Central Station.

Strangely enough, the return trip felt shorter.

Back on the train, I took the obligatory “Tired, but happy”-selfie

And after yet another 2 1/2 hours I was back at the bus stop in Amsterdam:

According to their Instastory, the members of Too Many Zooz were already in their hotel bed by then, as they had a journey to Brittany, France ahead of them the next day. Because that’s how they roll. #ontourforever

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Note: Like all my posts in the “Get out of the house!” series, this activity was booked and paid for by me, after which I got stoked and decided to write about it all by myself. #nospon

Interview with Esmee

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Who are you and why?

I am Esmee. Woman, writer and photographer, teacher, reader, Epicurean, in touch with her feelings, singer, watcher of cycling, optimist and dreamer. Why? Because of genes and evolution. Talents and shortcomings. Falling and dusting myself off again. Trial and error.

When I met you, many moons ago, you were a writer. In the last few years you have added photography and mixed media to your palette. How did this come about?

Writing, photography and mixed media are all inspired by the same need: to translate my internal dialog into the most fitting medium available. That medium can be words, but also an image.

As an 11-year-old I already kept a diary in which I drew and made photo collages, and I have been doing this ever since. So it’s not as much a new way of working for me, but it is new that I am sharing this with the world. Before, I just never thought this type of work was good enough to share.

Your work looks like it’s analog, is it really? Or is it digital?

It is both: for the analog part, I use my old analog camera and a Polaroid SX70. During a couple of years of my life I spent way too many hours in a dark room with stinky chemicals, which made me hate darkroom work. That’s why I cherish the luxury and ease of digital photography and Photoshop. I love the analog craft of other photographers, but I don’t like to do all the work involved myself.

There is a lot of symbolism in your work. Is that something you think of beforehand, or is that something that happens organically during the creation process? Or is it something you only realise afterwards?

It mainly happens beforehand. My creative process always begins with a feeling, a thought or an experience that preoccupies me. While thinking, writing or talking about it, I already connect these feelings, thoughts or experiences to metaphors or symbols. That’s apparently the way I process and experience things. I have developed my own symbol language throughout the years. I often hide symbols in visual layers that aren’t clearly visible. The viewer might not immediately recognise these symbols, but I do believe that it gives my work a deeper layer.

I am very impressed by your donkey series. Could you elaborate on how this series came about?

That’s nice to hear, thank you! I am fascinated by hidden stories. Every person has their own hidden stories and it’s exactly those stories that make a person interesting. They are often the “why” and thus the difference between anonimity and intimacy, between misunderstanding and understand. The donkey features in daily life stories, where nobody notices him. By photographing him I DO see him, and the story under the surface. I think the donkey series is probably my most idealistic work.

What do you want to achieve with Studio Polle, and who do you want to reach? What have you already achieved?

My work at Studio Polle is twofold: there’s my art and then there’s the development and teaching of courses on what I call authentic creativity. With my art I want to reach anybody who’s touched by it, in any way. My courses are meant for both private individuals and entrepreneurs who want to live and do business using their authentic creativity. So not by going by “shoulds” or by “this is just the way things have developed” or by “this is how others do it”, but by using creativity and a distinctive way of being that is in line with who you are, what you believe in and that makes you feel good.

What I have already achieved? Sometimes people tell me that they have been touched by my work. I also get to help private individuals and entrepreneurs with living and working from a place of authentic creativity. They often let me know that their lives have changed in a positive way after taking one of my courses, and that they keep using the knowledge they have learned. That makes me very happy. I think happyness is a great thing to achieve.

(Photo credit: Esmee)

Links:

Studio Polle (NL)
Studio Polle (EN)
Facebook
Instagram Esmee Aarbodem
Instagram Studio Polle

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Next week it’s time for another “Get out of the house!” See you all on Wednesday!