Friday, July 22, 2022

Fashionably out of fashion

Corgi dog looking up at owner. Cute dog. Cute corgi. Sparkly converse sneakers. Pembroke Welsh Corgi.


Hey, friends! It has been a while, hasn't it? Did you miss me?

I realize I haven't posted here for some time, but I want you to know I am still writing — just not here. My Blogger bio said, "Loves art. Loves fashion. Loves writing. Loves traveling. Trying to combine them into a career." I may have not combined all of those things into a career, but I have figured out a lot since the last time I posted here. 

  • First off, as much as I still love sewing, fashion and clothing, I no longer want to go into fashion design. 
  • I still love art, but being an artist almost sounds more painful than just enjoying it. 
  • I love traveling... but Covid and being an adult kind of got in the way of that, didn't it?
I recently lost my job (story about it here), and it gave me a lot of time to think about what I really want to do with my life. I had always enjoyed writing and recently found a platform that I really enjoy working on. I also realized I wanted more flexibility with my own life and to have more decision-making power over my future. After a great deal of thought and prayer, I decided it might be time to take the plunge and become a freelancer — an idea I had already considered for a few years. 

I actually started a new publication called The Charrette which you can read more about here

What is a charrette?

Historically, the word “charrette,” meaning "cart," was used by the École des Beaux-Arts in France. It referred to the student's method of working late into the night before their initial projects and drafts were due and a cart would come around and pick them up. Later, their professors would go on to give them critiques and feedback. 

In today's terminology, you usually see a "design charrette" in civil engineering or at design agencies. In this process, they get a group of a few people with different specialties (for example, an engineer, a designer, a marketer, etc.) to problem solve and come up with a solution that no one of them could have devised on their own. 

The Charrette's motto is, "Where art, history, politics, & public opinion meet." I guess I wasn't finding a way to roll all my passions into one career, so I had to take charge and do that myself. 

What is a design charrette? What is a charrette? What does charrette mean in English? Is charrette a French word?

So, Kathleen — what do you write about nowadays?

I'm still working on finding my perfect niche, but I love exploring the interlocking connections between history, art and modern life. Having spent probably too much of my career in social media, I realize that so many of us have lost touch with reality. I feel that art and history have a lot to teach us in the way of empathy and can create important context for our lives. 

What are some of the best things you have written recently?

Before I set off on this journey, I actually worked for a performing arts organization, and I wrote some pretty great things for them like this piece and this piece. I also created a few great videos for them that challenged my writing skills like this one and this one.

Before I left, I got the rights to publish an interview I did with Steven Osbourne, an incredible Scottish pianist and interpreter of Sergei Rachmaninoff. I will probably try and continue to include more artist interviews in the future, but for now, I have a few other projects I want to work on. 

I also republished the piece "The Black Dog: How to Talk about Suicide" on The Charrette. I made some much-needed updates. The meat of the piece is very much the same, but I have changed so much, that I needed to share the lessons I learned as I grew over the last four years.

Let me tell you what I'm most excited about...

The stuff I have been writing recently has me excited about life again. I was in a slump for so long, but I have felt a new lease on life and a new burst of creativity! Here are the pieces I have been the happiest with — and some projects I'm excited about working on. 

First off, in addition to starting freelance work, I got a part-time gig with the Deseret News, an up-and-coming regional newspaper. I'm writing a daily newsletter called Utah Today, which you can subscribe to here. I've always wanted to learn more about journalism and get that experience — I'm really grateful for the opportunity.

Over the last year or so, I have become increasingly concerned with how people view the world and whether or not they construct their own "truth."  A lot of what I've been exploring is how we perceive rhetoric — for example, I wrote a post on Marie Antoinette's famous-yet-fake "let them eat cake" line and how these rumors affect the way we view politics today.

That post, and a serendipitous post from the American Bar Association, led me to write a post about the Salem Witch Trials called "The Devil You Know." I was so fascinated by this subject, that I decided I wanted to write even more about it. It has been a while since I have written on The Charrette, but rest assured that I am doing research to post the best possible work I can produce. 

And of course, in the meantime, I have fun posts like this one, and I'm not afraid of a little controversy. I'll probably crosspost the occasional thing over here, but I'd still love to see you over at The Charrette.

I would love it if you followed me and subscribed. Sign up below, and keep up with my writing. 

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