Dwelling for a moment of solitude with Lebasille

About the work:

As an artist, I dwell for a moment of solitude, it is essential to our well-being and crucial for our soul.
To be independent and still in the moment. To accept your own presence and above all, your being. To reflect and turn within.
It is the foundation of exploratory, for a brief instant or a continuous period, until it gets comfortable and you get mentally stronger.
The word solitude comes from the Latin word “solitudinem”, which means “loneliness”. On the contrary, ihey are two different things. Loneliness is marked by a sense of isolation, while solitude is the state of being online without being lonely.

I will always crave for solitude.

UNTITLED, 2019
A conversation between current affairs and different communities and the road to improvement.
ROUNDUP, 2018
“Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain, With the barkers and the colored balloons” (Neil Young)

A little bit about the artist:

Lebasille ° 1989, Belgium

Lebasille – a pseudonym of Isabelle – is a visual artist born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1989.
She makes original collages on paper, with images from magazines, books and other imagery sources from 1920 up to the present. She has always dedicated herself to analog collage, however, she has expanded her praxis to digital works, offering endless possibilities.
Within her analogue and digital work, she plays with proportions, dialectic and context. A conversation occurs between current events and ideals – a social reality with an extra dimension of meaning or a layer of surrealism.
She rediscovers the past creating a vintage future. The transformation of each individual image gives the viewer and his eye the opportunity to reinterpret elements or new ready-made images.
With a growing love for imagery of different worlds, eras and ideals, she started to cut out and assemble countless images. It became part of her daily routine.
Since 2018, she is attending two different courses in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp.
Many exhibitions followed, of which the most memorable was in a museum in The Netherlands about food in art in past and present. Her practice consists of creating imagery for album covers, magazine covers, book illustrations, postcard illustrations and more.

Find more from Lebasille:

https://mybestzine.bigcartel.com/

Untried realities by Zula

About the work:

Untried Realities is about a personal experience of social separation during Covid-19 in East London. Through self-portraiture, I bear the feelings of solitude, craving for human contact, and need for nature. I live in an urban and concrete part of London, without any outdoor space and I started this series on the day of Boris Johnson’s self-isolation announcement in response to the situation. I use mundane household scenes to create a new “reality,” one which is physically in my flat, but one which hopefully visually transports the viewer into a parallel world. I make use of shadows and light to create humorous moments and temporary escapism from my current situation and to facilitate a sense of detachment.

A little bit about the artist:

Zula Rabikowska is Polish-British photographer based in London. Zula was born in Poland, grew up in the UK and worked in France, China, South Africa, India, Palestine and the Caribbean. Her practice is influenced by her own experience of immigration and in her work she explores the themes of national identity, displacement and belonging. Zula often works with digital and analogue photography, and incorporates archival images and documents to challenge conventional visual story-telling norms. Zula has obtained an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography from London College of Communication. Zula also works as a freelance photographer and as a photojournalist for SOPA Images in Hong Kong.

Find more from Zula:

https://mybestzine.bigcartel.com/

Painting in Isolation by Zoe

About the work:

‘Symbolism is a big part of the process and as life is surreal and, at times mad, so are the paintings… ‘

Funny, crude, and surreal imagery help to bring dark humour to the work, acknowledging its’ obscure, psychological nature.

A little bit about the artist:

Zoë uses art to process times of physical and mental vulnerability from relationships with others and herself. These personal ‘thought pictures’ give a feeling of ownership of the stories she tells; reinforcing a sense of security and identity to the viewer. The relationship between the body and mind is always in the forefront of Zoë’s artistic exploration. The fragility and feral nature of what it is to be human, mentally, and physically. Zoë is also a strong believer in art therapy and hopes to encourage others to go forth and get creative in the name of well-being.

Find more from Zoe:

https://mybestzine.bigcartel.com/

How to carve your own creative path by putting yourself and your community first.

My name is Callum. I have a BA in Illustration and an MA in Communication Design from Norwich University of the Arts. I run a small creative studio called Site Collective which takes on adhoc design, illustration and the expanded arts commissions as well as running events that provide a vital hub for local creatives to network, sell work and collaborate on live briefs. I also work as a freelance copywriter and PR agent.

After struggling through a dysfunctional school system which didn’t support my learning style, I learnt to be fiercely independent and proactive in my approach towards my professional and creative life. When approaching the end of my BA I noticed that there was no support network available for recent graduates and decided to step up to create a platform for everyone to stay in touch and begin to build a community around. It started as a singular art exhibition and pop up shop showing illustration, design and art which me and my close friend and talented animator and illustrator Dominic Lovegrove collaborated on. We worked so well together and managed to create a firm interest from our peers and wider local community by selling over £1,000 worth of small artworks that we decided Site Collective was here to stay.

cred.: @_____ronja

Since that day we’ve branched out our network hosting four shows with different local creatives as well as expanding into various social events which provide a more casual environment for our creative community to engage with. The business has grown naturally allowing us to take on printmaker and illustrator Julia Triay Sarasa and we now sit at the centre of a large circle of hugely talented local creatives and industry professionals. Part of our growth can be attributed to our niche filling a gap in what is a relatively quiet city, but the other part can be firmly attributed to our open and approachable attitude. This attitude underpins our ethos, that if we can help others then we will in turn get help from others.

cred.:@_____ronja

There is a lot to be said for collaboration beyond just sharing resources and audiences. It can teach you whole new ways of working and understanding different creative skill sets. You can then build yourself a support network of specialist talents centring around yourself. In our experience this sense of community will always go further than you can imagine.

Obviously, it is important to remain strict and at times ruthless when it comes to functionality of the business but we very much like to consider ourselves firmly rooted in our community. This is what drives our practice and is both our passion and profit. We have more recently set up commissions for local creatives and in turn been set up on commissions. Norwich is a great place for us as it hosts people who very much agree with our grass roots and community focused ideas.

cred.: @_____ronja

We recently received funding to help us grow and put on what will be our biggest and most industry focused event yet. We aim to provide a platform for young people to grow their creative careers in a similar way to us by putting their communities first. We will be hosting an event featuring market stalls, live crits, panel Q&As and pep talks. This will aim to be accessible and support a wide cohort of young people local to Norwich wanting to start a creative career or just pursue a passion. We have dreams to grow bigger into a fully-fledged design studio with printmaking facilities and a physical shop eventually. The future is different but a lot easier when we work together to understand the complex maze that is the creative industry.

www.sitecollective.co.uk

@sitecollective

We have big, beautiful brains. We invent things that fly. Fly. We write. We paint. We create.

I would like to start with the actual definition of art: art /ɑːt/ noun 1.the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

I personally believe that being an artist is much simpler, but requires honesty and focus and a way to express toughts and emotions. I believe that art is a reflection of feelings and emotion. If the artist is happy and excited, he will create something colourful and full of life, but if the artist is sad and lonely, the colours will be darker. I can compare this statement with a walk at an exhibition/museum and those extended minutes that we spend looking at THAT painting because THAT artist is communicating with us and he is sharing his story through his art. However, if we pay close attention to the piece of art, we can always harmonise with the emotions that is expressing.

As we all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder as Margaret Wolfe Hungerford said, I have confidence that art can be found in anything that involves creativity such as writing a book, making a movie, painting, drawing, making music and many others. Everyone has different views for art, but the most important thing is the product or the end piece. I love to watch art. I love to write anything that is on my mind. I love to read books that other people created. I love to go to museums and exhibitions to explore famous or not so famous artists. I love to paint and relax my mind at the end of a rough day. What do you love to do?

It is all about the environment around us before we start creating. I have a small ritual before I start to write and I would invite any writer to try my easy steps for relaxation and creativity . Firstly, I like to take a cold shower, so I can refresh myself. Secondly, I will choose some cozy clothes to feel more comfortable. Thirdly, I will light up one of my favourite candles, respectively I will take a glass of fresh water and place it next to me, just in case I will be thirsty and I will not need to leave my place of writing and forget my ideas. The final step is to play meditation music and let my imagination flow.

As a new writer, my most challenging time is starting out, but when my imagination starts flowing, I can sit on my chair for hours and write until my ideas are consumed. I used to write short fictional stories and I never sent them out to be published. In the present, I am writing my own book related to my experience as a flight attendant and the adventures I have faced during my years of working as one. I would like to share them with my readers and especially with people who are interested in the aviation field.

As one of my favourite writers, Nicola Yoon said in her book “ We have big, beautiful brains. We invent things that fly. Fly. We write poetry. Thou art more lovely and more temperate’ in terms of sheer beauty. We are capable of big lives. A big history. Why settle? Why choose the practical thing, the mundane thing? We are born to dream and make the things we dream about.” I do believe every single word from this quote and I hope you do too, reader.

What is Textile Design?


As a Textile Designer, I have been in many situations where people don’t really understand what fabric design is. When I say that I’m a textile designer, questions like ‘what is that, exactly?’, or ‘does that mean you are a fashion designer?’, are pretty common. Many people don’t realise how versatile and broad the subject really is. So, I’m going to give a brief insight into this creatively vast field of design.

Everywhere we look there is cloth.
Look down and you will see that your body is covered in textiles. Perhaps you are also sitting in an arm chair, or leaning on a table cloth. Wherever you look there are fibres of different types, colours and textures. So, how can we know so little about it? I’m not sure, but what I do know is that this brief intro will only skim the surface.


Fabric, in fact, has shaped and defined the world we live in. We sleep in it, wear it, eat on it, sit on it, repair ourselves with it, even go to space in it. ‘Textiles’ is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as ‘cloth made by hand or machine’. This definition is simple and endless. Three areas where textiles are prevalent is in fashion, interiors and fine art. Fashion needs fabrics to clothe us; interiors have patterned walls, chair coverings and pillows; and many installations in fine art today are textile based.


From the linen wrappings of Tutankhamun’s mummy to the worms that make our luxurious silks, our constant use and reinvention of cloth offers a unique story in human history. The first principle natural fibres were cotton, silk, linen and wool. These have been crafted by humans forever for warmth and protection, status, for decoration and identity.


Only when I started to study textiles, did I realise the differences in the make up of our everyday fabrics. When you take a closer look at their threads, so much is revealed. Cloth is made mainly from the techniques of weaving, knitting or felting. The difference between them depends on the amount of threads used, or the way they are connected together. When a fabric is woven, there are multiple yarns crossing over and under each other. This technique is made with a loom, a traditional machine that can be large, wooden and loud. Of course today, the making process can be made easier with digital looms. In comparison, a knitted fabric is made from yarn being wrapped around itself. Have you ever wondered why your jumper starts to unravel before your eyes from one small hole? Felt, on the other hand, is is made from wool that is still in its fluffy, fleece like form. With a felting needle, the wool is punched multiple times until the material begins to stick together. Knitted wool can also become felted with a high heat. Perhaps that holey jumper was also washed on a high heat, only to be returned pretty stiff.


From the basic structure of these materials, colours, patterns and embellishments can be added. These include processes like printing, dyeing or stitching. The former basic fabric enters a new world of design and colour, which makes you forget the fibres could have once been a plant, or come from an animal.


In print design, for example, there are practical and digital sides. Within these are many
techniques including woodblock printing, screen printing, potato prints, dyeing, batik, digital printing, sublimation printing, laser cutting… the list goes on. Having specialised in print design, I found that more painterly and raw effects are created by hand with wood blocks, batik or screens. For centuries people have pressed repeat patterns onto fabric from wood blocks dipped in ink. This technique is famous in India, where small irregularities in colour or shape are part of the cloth. Batik is an Indonesian technique where wax is used as a resist when the cloth is dyed. The marks are made from the undyed areas. Screen printing, widely used in the UK, is a technique where a squeegee tool pulls ink through a metal gauze frame on which you place your pattern. With digital prints, the effects are endless. A process I enjoy is turning hand drawings into digital
prints through photoshop and illustrator.


The first time I walked into the dye lab at Chelsea College of Arts, it felt like a science lab. There are recipes to make dyes, along with chemicals and big dye vats filled with hot water. Specific quantities of pigment and chemicals are tested to achieve your desired colour. Of course, natural pigments too. This process of design and experimenting can be meticulous. Colours always look different from paper, to screen to fabric. Many tests are done for the perfect combinations. When it comes to pattern, you need to think about repeats – what will it look like on the finished piece, and will it work? After that, you need to make sure your fabric collection is cohesive, and not a mix of different shapes and colours. Imagine the amount of thought that has gone into every piece of fabric you are wearing right now.


Not only do textile designers make cloth for decorative purposes, but there are constant ground breaking fabrics being developed. Extreme sports fabrics, or even the automobile industry involves fabric designers. Moreover, today there is a growing concern towards using natural and sustainable fabrics, especially among young designers. Not only that, but new textiles are being made for animal leather alternatives – such as mushroom or pineapple leather. Textiles is an ever evolving subject, that works in tandem with time.


The book ‘The Golden Thread – How fabric changed history’, by Kassia St Clair, was a complete eye opener for me, and a great read if you are at all interested in cloth. One section that I found mesmerising was the inherent connection between our daily spoken word and the language of textiles. In only a few pages, Kassia St Clair describes some words we use every day, that have roots in textiles. For example, the words ‘line’, ‘lining’, ‘lingerie’ and ‘linoleum’, are all rooted in the word ‘linen’. Moreover, ‘text’ and ‘textile’ share the same ancestor – ‘textere’, which means to weave. It is so interesting to unpick these lineages. The written word and textiles are completely interwoven. Paper was even once made with rags.


From a traditionally female domestic activity, textiles have grown enormously to be intertwined with our growing culture and technology. A textile designer can be involved in every, or any single part of the fabric making process.

Take a moment to feel, observe and appreciate the design of a piece of fabric, and you will see that textiles are more important than you ever imagined.

The CoVid Conspiracy (What will it mean? )

To start off. This article is NOT about how Covid- 19 is just a lie made up by the government.     

I just liked the dramatic flair of alteration for the title. Covid is not a conspiracy and please keep safe. Especially since us Young people are being blamed for the spread- No Parties, even as tempting as it seems.

Big love to all of those who are have been affected by the pandemic yet are soldiering on. You’ve got this and don’t let this grey cloud smother your blue sky- not sure about that metaphor but go with it.

Life appears to be getting back to normal for many of us with a few changes smelling of sanitizer and fogging up of glasses but it’s all to help those around us. I have been able to move back to my university in my house to start my second year. I am extremely fortunate to be able to do a combination of online lectures but also in person workshops with small numbers so I am able to have some normal and to continue my Drama degree effectively.

Despite my little bubble of normality, it is hard to forget the bigger problem that is still plaguing our theatres now. As more and more theatres close, it appears that a dream that many of us, particularly the next generation maybe slipping away. One thing I have also learnt about the younger generation is that we have more ambition to be more than any other generation. We work smarter and work harder to be a community. A community so in tune with what they are passionate about that they work hard every day to make it become a reality.  

As a wise person once said – ‘ when in doubt do what Artists do- move with the tides ’. That wise person is probably shaking their head at my terrible use, but it feels more relevant than ever. Artists have a rare knack of being able to craft their art to audiences that want to see them, despite the odds throughout history and even now. Artistic Sacrifices must occasionally be made to do this, but this is also maybe why art has been able to survive for so long.

 I look to the idea of the musical ‘Sleepless’  for an example of how theatre can work during the continuing pandemic.  First performed in April 2020- ‘Sleepless’ includes the seats are set out that several patches of seating are kept free to allow the audience to social distanced, masks are worn as well as the seemingly normal restrictions now such as one way systems, hand sanitizing stations and no snacks or merchandise. Although, for many this can take away from the experiences of going to see live theatre, this may be the new normal of theatre for a while. Many audience members have said despite these restrictions which could put a damper on the situation were not a problem, instead it shows the passion and love audiences have to just be glad to hear the music or the lines once again.

Sometimes sacrifices must be made.        

Of course, there is the worry for many theatres that despite this possibility, it is not financially stable  to allow theatres to keep running. However, we as a generation have become more advanced, so many of us can turn to another solution, a safer and alternately a solution that the older generation often turn their noses up at-the technological world.

Plays being streamed online or performed over platforms like zoom are becoming more and more common. None of us could ignore the outpour of plays the National Theatre truly blessed us with during the early days of lockdown – all for free to enjoy.

Additionally, during this time, many new companies have been springing out of the ashes of the 6 months where life had stopped to present new work too, using the online world to reach out to others as well as many using their performances as charity events to fund themselves or help their community of fellow artists.

For young people, this may be odd using a platform, we know and for some of us addicted to- however, it is also an advantage- we can continue to be that generation that work smarter and harder to change art to a new form but continue to be passionate about what you do. All around us, art has continued to be developed and loved by audiences.

This just goes to show how artists can continue to thrive in a time where things feel lost, until the cloud clears away.

I can speak from personal experience in this.

Through lockdown I have been fortunate enough to be featured in a online performance of ‘The Bacchae’ from the translation by Robin Robertson told by new Youth  -theatre company ‘StageSpace Theatre Company’.                                              

Directed by Luke McBride, the Bacchae is a thrilling retelling of classic tale told entirely over Zoom. Despite the minor technical glitch, I have felt the same amount of passion, commitment and fun from this group of performers as I would in person. To see the production coming together gives me the same thrills I have when seeing any other performances, the theatre setting or not.

Performances are on 12th / 13th of September- tickets are on www.stage-space.co.uk and all proceedings go to allow the company to continue to display the work of the young artists involved, so I hope dear readers -you have a look and feel that thrill we all miss.

I must thank that wise person for the thought on artists young and old- therefore I thank all of you.

Em x.

EM’S TIP

Join Actor Groups. Not in person but online- Facebook groups or even Instagram pages of up and coming theatre groups are great ways to find opportunities online for you to get involved or gain more experience in any way you choose.

Link to the Sleepless article-

https://www.londontheatre.co.uk/theatre-news/west-end-features/is-it-safe-to-go-to-the-theatre-in-london

Not being afraid to voice my opinion

  • Name: Nicolle Knapová
  • Occupation: Poet/aspiring novelist
  • University Degree: Currently finishing up my master degree in Creative writing and publishing
  • Favourite artist: Halsey/ Taylor Swift
  • Favourite colour: Baby blue
  • Favourite sound: Rain

Hi MyBest, Zine! I am Nicolle and I am a poet and a writer from the Czech Republic. Being an artist to me means not being afraid to voice my opinion. Being an artist to me means being able to share stories with people around the world. It enables me to express my feelings which is really important to me.  I love writing about topics such as mental health problems, forbidden love and New York (particularly Brooklyn). One of the biggest things that influences and inspires me the most is music. It doesn’t matter if it is Chopin or The Paper Kites. The one artist that inspires me and influences my work the most is without doubt Halsey. We are both Libras and she is someone I truly look up to. I have been listening to her ever since she released her debut album Badlands. It was love at first sight. When it comes to literature, a big influence for me is Murakami. I devoured his book Afterdark in a couple of days and left me in awe. It really left a mark on me.  I love creating playlists on Spotify. I made one for my debut novel that I want to publish in the next two years. It works as a soundtrack and every time I listen to it I can imagine the story unravel in front of me. But sometimes a really beautiful photo can inspire me just as perfectly.  I am currently hard at work writing my debut poetry collection Aftermath which I want to publish late this year. It is a very personal collection of my teen and young adult life- relationships, family, friendships, unfulfilled expectations and my mental health struggles.

I don’t really have a specific work routine! All I can tell you is that my creativity really comes to life around 10 PM when I want to sleep but my brain just doesn’t want to hear it.  I did spend the whole summer writing my dissertation- three chapters of the above mentioned novel and it was quite intense to write every day. My inspiration really does come in flares. But my writing process always involves coffee and music. I just can’t imagine doing it without it. Oh, and a candle and preferably a rainy morning.

What made me want to be an artist goes back to elementary school when I started writing little snippets of stories. I didn’t have many talents back then but writing was always something that I was praised for and therefore it stuck with me. The very first proper story that I wrote was about two cats that traveled to Egypt only for the one of them to be mistaken for Nefertiti. It was such a fun thing to do and to think I was only 10! Back then I only wrote in Czech which changed when I started high school. I tried writing in Czech but to be honest it just doesn’t sound as natural anymore. I find it insane but it is what it is! I used to be bullied and writing was to me a great way to express how I felt and it was a way to escape the reality. I love being a storyteller and I really hope I will one day be able to do this as a full-time job.

Without art, some people lose meaning

I’m an artist because I’ve always enjoyed books, movies, and art of all kinds. Some
people in my life would say writing isn’t an art but I don’t agree. I believe anything creative that involves someone creating a product or end piece is an artist whether it be a movie, book, article, painting or music. I write because I think it’s fun to do. Watching movies, playing video games, and reading books always gives me ideas. If I really like something and a book doesn’t include it, I write it into mine. I think writing is a good opportunity to put one’s own thoughts and ideas for others to read.


I started doing art at a young age, I drew silly comics of a superhero and filled tons of notebooks of the adventures. I didn’t do art as much in my beginning years of high school but seeing some of my close friends drawing and animating and doing music I began to try it too. I loved music and still do. I then started to try art classes and drawing and reading some more books.


Being an artist is a way to express oneself through different media. To me it’s writing books and stories about things I enjoy reading myself. I love fantasy video games and movies and books and that’s what I like to write about. Without writing, I feel like I wouldn’t have a good drive to continue being productive.


I’m not a professional writer but I do hope to be someday soon. On a normal day I write for a few hours on my book and my online blog. When I write, the story or topics flow out from me and I usually can write quite a lot in one sitting. I apply to writing jobs every day, to hopefully find somewhere that I can show my art and fulfill one of my dreams.


Writing brings me a lot of motivation. I hope to have a book published, seeing my own writing in a store is one of my biggest dreams. I think being an artist isn’t just about professional work, but more importantly it’s about doing something you love regardless of recognition or the expectation of money in return. Sharing something for the world is one of my favorite things about writing. Hearing feedback from others may be difficult sometimes but I think it always makes for good criticism to improve writing.

I posted a writing online and there were quite a few responses to it. Some of the feedback was negative but regardless, I learned a little more about the writing style I have and my writing flow. Even though it doesn’t feel great to see negative things about my own writing, I used that and tried to improve my writing in the future.


All in all, if you love to write or draw or whatever your art may be, I think it’s always a good idea to try it and share it with the world. Without art, some people lose meaning and need it to inspire them. One of my favorite quotes is “a professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit” by Richard Bach. I believe that quote because I think everyone can be a professional regardless of their age or years of experience. It can take just one writing piece to have someone realize they have talent. Sometimes people are overlooked for lack of experience or their age but I believe some younger people with less experience may have more talent than most others.

Reigning in the magpie tendencies

I had a bit of time off in the last month in Italy, which allowed me to take stock and think more clearly about what I was doing to enable my career change. In my previous column, I was pouring over creative job descriptions, looking at the skills required and what I needed to upskill in. In Italy, I looked at copywriting websites, found copywriting podcasts, did bitesize SEO courses, and finished off copywriting work for two clients. I was busy, and enjoyed it, but frankly, I feel like I need a good month off to make a dent in my career move. I’ve been building up my portfolio and upskilling, but it seems a bit organic, piecemeal and lacking in an actual plan.

I remember two images that were shared in my career change course that I feel justify my randomness and how I’m feeling. One showed points A and B with a direct line from A to B. The tutor said that people think a career change is a simple process or step. The other was an absolute mess of squiggles and swirls from A to B. This is career change she said. Ha! She is so right.

And so, I am pondering the following:

  • Do I go part-time in my current career and build my copywriting work on the side or apply directly to a perm or freelance copywriting role?
  • Do I try to find a job back in a communications agency, an environment I loved with variety, creativity and real teamwork?
  • How do I update my LinkedIn profile or re-write my CV if I don’t know what I am aiming for, and crucially not alert my current company?
  • Do I move to a four day week at work to give me the time to do more thinking and action things and limit the amount of ‘other career’ work that is eating up my free time?
  • I am planning to move closer to Bristol early next year and currently have job alerts set up for the local area to me now and Bristol. If I find a role close to me and I move next year, how will that work? Or I might find a position in Bristol before I move? Should I even be looking?!
  • The timing. COVID-19 timing. With so many people being made redundant, should I thank my lucky stars that I have a role and sit tight?
  • How do I carve out time to do relevant courses or training?

So many variables! And these fly around my mind regularly. What do I do first? What’s necessary? I must gain some semblance of control, rein in my thoughts and stop flitting between things like a magpie attracted by the next shiny thing.

On my flight back from Italy, I decided to act. I looked back through all the notes I had made, the interviews with people, websites I needed to look at, margin scrawls, starred sentences and got stuck into pulling out what I thought was important and put them into a list. I don’t know about you, but a list makes me feel calm, organised, and able to think clearly. A step closer to having some control because I am a control freak. With everything all clearly laid out on a page, it was easy for me to step back and look at what was essential and would help me further my progress. My list went into double digits which could have felt overwhelming, so I wanted to be quite tough on what could wait based on how much impact it had on my progress.

Instantly I could see what I needed to do. If I want to apply for a job on one of the many job alerts I have set up, I must have an up-to-date CV and one that reflects the portfolio work I have been doing – priority number one.

Priority number two; tweak my LinkedIn profile. I have some positive testimonials from the portfolio work I have done that I should share and could help me reposition myself to start connecting with more people in the areas that interest me. My profile summary must be more in line with my passions, the work I have done and am looking to do if I am to attract a different network.

Priority number three; continue to understand SEO. I started a great little course called SEO Nibbles from an award-winning copywriter, Kate Toon, in Italy, and I still have one more ‘nibble’ to do. I also want to find the time to listen to her copywriting podcasts. (COVID-19 has meant my usual podcast listening time, on ‘my commute to work’ has been taken away from me. I don’t have time to listen to a podcast between my bedroom and office!) I also managed to spend time with my sister, who shared hints and tips from what she had learnt about SEO as part of her job and kindly gave me some good material to read and use. Thanks, sis!

And that’s all I am prioritising for now. I can cope with things in threes, and so long as the ‘Do CV’, ‘Tweak LinkedIn profile’ and ‘Do SEO course’ post-it notes remain on my office wall, I won’t look at the list again. I need to focus, and I have time. I need to recognise this. I don’t have to do everything by the end of next week, and realistically I can’t. (My first headline idea for this month’s column was originally going to be ‘I want to be a salsa dancer, now!’ because that’s I how I feel. I’m an impatient person.) I’m lucky to have a job and a partner who gives me space to catch up on things like writing this column and ticking off my priorities, and I have some control back. Career change takes time, as simple as that.

By next month’s column, I will have an up-to-date CV!