Glasgow Goes Green

For Glasgow Goes Green, I was invited to come do some live mural painting at the funky warehouse setting of SWG3. Hundreds of people came to partake in workshops, learn about different projects and organisations, and listen to live music, all with a green theme.

Take Activism

Shared by Friends of the Earth Europe, I made this post as a playful idea that Activism is what can cure so many of the world's ailments.

MLKJ

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Let's make the world better, creatively. 

Street Art

It was my goal to make some street art before the end of this year (2016). So on New Year's Eve Eve, I made myself get out of bed at 1am, and cycle to the university with a bucket of paint and a brush in my pocket. (I had a little accidental paint spill on the end of my road over some cobblestones, and therefore painted most of my bicycle and jeans in white, but it was fine.)

Because of the holidays, this area of Edinburgh was a lot less busy than normal, and it was a perfect opportunity to paint on the construction boards at Bristo Square, as it wasn't causing vandalism on any permanent property.

Luckily I bumped into two friends on the way, who kept me company while I painted, and it caused some attention from passers-by, all positive.

I shared it online, with an astoundingly good result. It was shared many times, and it was nice to think that it is living on one physical wall, but is being shared digitally through many people's photographs, reaching even more people than just the ones who will walk past.

I definitely want to create more inspirational art on construction boards, especially around the university where there is a concentration of open-minded individuals who have the chance to make a lot of change.

Climate Action Christmas

I drew a little doodle for Young Friends of the Earth and Friends of the Earth to share as a social post for the holidays.

climateactionchristmas_youngfoe.jpg

EcoSattva

Went to a beautiful workshop last night, called EcoSattva...a Buddhist and mindfulness approach to climate change. It was exactly what I needed. It was broadcast live around the world, with hundreds of people tuning in, and a group of lovely ladies gathered in an art studio, drinking tea, surrounded by candles and warm lights. I felt so comfortable as we listened to speakers and a monk so clearly explain everything in our world that requires urgent change. The system and those in power who distract us and keep us from creating positive change are all too prevalent. There is too much injustice, too much discrimination, between all living beings on this planet. All the issues are connected, and tackling climate change is something that brings it all together in a cause that affects us all. I cried. The women around me cried. This is something that rings so true to so many souls, and it was amazing to connect with so many people who feel the same. The course is going to have workshops on how to use our immense love for the world, with a sense of urgency, compassion and responsibility and make the future positive. The winds are changing and we've got a window of opportunity to act. A small, quickly-closing window.

Naomi Klein at 6 Degrees TO

Beyond grateful to have gotten to attend Naomi Klein's talk at 6 Degrees TO tonight...all the tickets had been sold out but I made a sign to hold at the door asking if anyone had an extra ticket. A man stood beside me saying how hopeless it was, we wouldn't get in, but he'd stand with me anyway.

Luckily, a man came by and simply gave me a spare ticket he had, and I barely had the chance to say my thanks. I gave my ticket sign to the man who stood next to me and wished him good luck.

The talk was beautifully placed together covering a variety of issues and a future view for Canada (and the world) to quickly leap towards. Check out the Leap Manifesto! At the beginning of the talk we got to witness an Aboriginal tribe perform with singing and drumming, and at the end an adorable Syrian refugee children's choir.

At the end of the event the man I had given my sign to got into the lecture as well, and had passed on my ticket sign to another girl who also managed to get in, and pass the sign along again. We got a miniature movement going! Regardless of the hopelessness we feel, the only thing we can do is keep being determined to get to our goal in creating a sustainable world we want to live in.

Sticker Activism

With the ability to print stickers at home, it was a perfect opportunity to design them with any sort of message I wanted; and the high-end supermarket in my neighbourhood in Toronto was the target I chose to spread awareness.

Being a high-end supermarket, the consumers here have a lot more choice in terms of what they purchase; with more purchasing power, they can make decisions more easily as to what products and brands they support.

I wanted to target the meat isle, and the plastic bags that people take for fruit and veg.

Plastic Free Creativaty

For the month of August, I aimed to completely avoid buying anything with single-use plastic. Every day on my page (on facebook) I illustrated ideas on how anyone can make shopping choices that create less waste and rely on petroleum products. These are a few!

Hitchhiking

We had a squad of us hitchhiking this summer; paired into two teams we hitchhiked from Rome to a small area near Grossetto where we were doing workaway at a farm. Living in a cosy yurt, waking up early, eating breakfast with the eggs from the chickens and ducks, working in the field, meditating by the river and meeting neighbours in the countryside was the most nourishing experience.

From there we hitched up to Sienna, slept in a park full of rowdy party-goers, then to Bologna to stay with a friend, up to a suburb of Milan, down to Genova to jam with some new found friends and couchsurf in a lovely flat of a man dressed as a matador, who owned an extensive collection of manga novels and a pet tortoise. Then struggling for 6 hours to get a ride out of Genova and sleeping on a beach in Savona. From there getting a ride with a lovely Hungarian man who offered us a place to stay, and then getting a ride all along the coast of Italy towards France with a couple of dudes driving close to 100km to get to a head shop and sharing their joints with us as they kept rolling them all the way, blasting reggae with the windows down.

I've learned that it's not a good idea to hitchhike when you're in a rush. In this case, we had a bus to catch from Paris that would take us to London. And we were rushing our way through France. But I did learn how wonderful and exciting hitchhiking is, regardless of how exhausting it may be. Sure, there were some rides that weren't all that memorable. A lot of times you forget about that part of the journey and don't remember the faces of who gave you a lift, you might not even talk much. But the fact that people are so open and willing to lend a hand to a stranger without receiving anything in return is a beautiful experience. And, on the whole, the rides we get are with such interesting and lovely people. 

Besides meeting fabulous people, and traveling for free, hitchhiking is also fantastic for its environmental benefits. There isn't any extra carbon being emitted for your transport. These people are traveling regardless, cars on the motorway are so often driven by just one person, with so many empty seats in the car. Hitchhiking reduces more people taking the bus or driving themselves. Bonus!

ARTIVISM

So I briefly thought I had come up with a revolutionary term, until I googled it and discovered that a wikipedia page already existed on the subject. Artivism. Yet, I'm so happy that it's a thing! Activism through art. "...a focus on raising social, environmental and technical awareness." I'm incredibly hyper with excitement because this is kind of exactly what I would like to focus on; art and illustration with a purpose, especially in environmental activism. People enjoy looking at little illustrations, and if those drawings can create more awareness for something, all the better!

This is my little doodle to get more people involved in the climate march next weekend. Join one in your cityyyyyyyy! x

Jack Harries shared this illustration to his 2.8 million followers...so happy to be able to create an environmental illustration that can be used to send the message to so many!