What even is talent anyway

shoes Something I've been thinking about quite a bit lately is the idea of talent. To be talented is to have a natural aptitude or skill. This word is often used to describe creatives, especially successful creatives, and in some ways implies an entitlement to that creative success.

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As someone who creates a lot of different things, I have been described as "talented"(side note, this is not a descriptor which comes to mind when I think about how I describe myself), but really, looking back on my artistic journey, and the artistic journey of my peers, talent has played a very minimal part in any success we may have had.

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Personally, I grew up in a middle class house hold with no siblings, and two parents who are creative, and encouraged my creativity, and funded a well rounded musical education. They provided (and still provide) unending encouragement and  support. Without their passion for the arts, and their encouragement there is no way I would have ended up as a professional musician. I personally have also put in countless hours of work to develop my skills. Basically without the resources and drive, this "natural aptitude" I have for the arts wouldn't nearly be as refined.

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I suppose it's why I always feel super uncomfortable whenever someone goes on about my "talent" (as I said before, it implies I am entitled to any creative success I've had). I don't deserve any creative success I've had, I've just been lucky to stumble upon a set of fortunate circumstances.

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Taking the focus off my personal experiences, I've observed a few peers reach creative success, who were not described as talented through much of my compulsory education. These people are exceptional at their craft, and have worked very hard to get where they were, despite lacking that early "talent" descriptor.

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I feel like the idea of talent, especially when describing small children, is one that places limitations on some, whilst removing those same limitations for others. It's for this reason I do not use the talented descriptor when talking to/about my students. Instead I prefer to describe them as displaying potential. When my students do well, instead of telling them how great they are, I commend their hard work, because, at the end of the day, having raw talent without hard work and a bit of luck rarely reaps creative rewards.

what

Let's take the focus away from teaching for a bit and talk about this idea of talent when it comes to making clothes. I can't tell you the amount of times I've had a conversation about the construction of a skirt I've made which ends with the other party lamenting their lack of talent, implying that sewing is either a skill you have, or don't have, rather than a skill that can be learned by anyone.

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I suppose what I'm trying to say is that talent isn't a prerequisite for being creative, nor does the possession of talent make anyone entitled to creative success.

Foresty Creature

shoes There's this girl I follow on instragram, Tilly Baker. Tilly is a certified rainbow princess - beautiful and brightly coloured. Because of this, she stands out. Sometimes when you stand out some people (men in particular) feel entitled to making conversation about your outfit or your body, ignoring all of the verbal and non verbal cues.

 

 

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She posted about this on instagram recently, and her story bought back a memory from last year. I had been cat called 3 times in one day. I talked about it with a male friend, who then proceeded to tell me if I didn't want this sort of attention I shouldn't dress the way that I do.

peekingSo, because some men can't keep their thoughts and opinions about a woman's body to themselves, women aren't allowed to wear bright colours?  Women are not objects to be leered at, even when they're dressed in unconventional ways. This culture of entitlement needs to stop (which is why I'm posting about it!) SO if anything like this happens to you, or has happened to you speak out. Let everyone know that this behaviour is not ok and you will not tolerate it! (End Rant)

Looking behind

I really enjoyed wearing this dress on Monday. A couple of days after I finished the alterations, A film group from our uni started shooting a music video of Shapes as part of their end of year project. It was a really fun process, but this dress was essentially my "film uniform" (which I kept in a bag with the accessories I needed so I'd look pretty much the same every time) (You can watch the video here)

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It was nice to be able to play with the way the dress was styled. I used more neutral colours this time to bring out the unusual olive and almost purple blue in the dress.

bow deets

The shoes I have on are shoes I purchased recently when my favourite black oxfords died. They're not quite oxfords, but they're pretty darn close (It's a real task trying to get oxfords for under $60 in Australia in Summer). I had to get these from  the men section *gasp*. They are actually the most comfortable piece of footware I've ever owned.

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Turns out that shoes aren't gendered, meaning, as a lady, I can totally wear "men's" shoes. (The opposite holds true as well, if you're not a lady, you can buy ladies shoes as well!)

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The whole "stuff you put on your body is not gendered" holds true for clothing as well. So if you see a piece of clothing you like, ignore the "gender" associated with it, and wear it proudly!

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(My gosh, that was a bit of a segway - In unreleated news, have a lovely evening/morning :) )

Radioactive Rosebushes

shoes A week ago today my phone was stolen on my evening train trip home. I'd fallen asleep because I'd had a long day and was utterly exhausted. It wasn't a calculated sleep, It just sort of happened. Just before I drifted off my phone was in my hand, which was resting in my lap. When I woke up it was no where to be seen.

New lens

 

At first I thought It must have fallen to the ground, but a thorougher search did not see my phone returned to my hand. Next I searched my bag thinking that I may have put it away and not remembered. I turned my bag inside out, but there was no phone.

I managed to stay pretty calm, and I came to terms with the fact I'd never see my phone again (It was on 5% battery at the time, and there was a good 40 mins between when I realised it was missing and when I arrived at my station.) I wiped all the data I could and changed all of my passwords (I had to do a manual reset of my digital life as Android Device manager (the Android version of find my iphone) does not have remote wipe enabled by default for fear of data loss. There's a box you have to tick to enable it, which is hidden in a settings menu :/ Great work google). I was fortunate that my digital life remained untouched, and that I was in the last month of my plan (meaning I could get a new phone without paying a squillion dollars)

 

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I ended up getting the Huawei G8, which is a decent mid range phone, but really super cheap compared to other phones that share the same specs. I love everything about the phone except for one silly "trendy" design choice - the use of a 2.5D screen. "what the heck is a 2.5D screen?" I hear you ask. Well my friend, it's when the edges of your phone screen are slightly curved towards the edge of the phone. It serves two functions 1) to be aesthetically pleasing and 2) to make it impossible to get a screen protector which covers the phone edge to edge. (the ones on the market for my phone leave a good 4mm of glass unprotected around the edge.)

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I love a pretty phone as much as the next person, but cannot stand when form is chosen over functionality. The most frustrating thing is Huawei isn't the only manufacturer doing this. Makes no sense yo.

 

 

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belt deets

On an unrelated note, how cute is this dress? I bought this piece recently from Lady Petrova, who is my favourite Australian designer. She released it last year as part of her Summer collection "Sixteen". This is one of those pieces that I'd been eyeing off all year. It was reduced, then reduced again, then reduced one more time to a price I couldn't refuse.

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It's made out of this super soft lime green metallic faux leather material. The construction is immaculate, more of a connected skirt and crop to than a dress. I paired it with the shirt so I could be a bit more covered up (Also gave me some fabric I could pin the butterfly collar pins my mum bought me to, which are the exact same shade of green as the dress) It's very mod/futuristic, and goes with so many things in my wardrobe!

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It took me so long to photograph this outfit. The first time I tried, I took several underexposed blurry photo's (I've been experimenting with some new lenses) before a huge downpour completely drenched my everything (I was able to keep my equipment dry, but not me) The same thing happened whilst taking these shots. It started pouring as I'd finished shooting.

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I must say, wearing this dress made me feel so much better about the whole phone situation. It's hard to be sad about things like that when you're wearing a pretty dress.

hand in hair

Classic Floral

shoes Recently a shop dedicated to selling fake flowers opened up in my local area. I finally had time to peruse the shop. I may have walked out with some flowers, and I may have attacked them with glue and ribbon.

land ahoy

This is the result, a completely over the top, but super cute waist bouquet (Because lets be honest, it's a little too ott to call a flower belt :P) . I must say, I felt like a fairy all day wearing this outfit.

 

headd

I've been meaning to get into making floral belts for some time. The belts I wear the most are my two floral belts, which my mum bought for me several years ago. The main reason it's taken me so long to make my own is that nice fake flowers (which aren't made of paper or foam) are really hard to come by (until now!!!)

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As well as the flowers, I also stuck plastic gems to the belt. (I mist admit, I did get lazy and use self adhering ones, which have since fallen off. I'll probably redo them properly at a later date) Something I want to do once uni's finished for the year is get into making tutorials (so let me know if you'd like to see how I made this yo!)

 

 

 

Flower Belt Closeup

The hardest thing about the whole process was choosing the colours I wanted to work with. The shop had a great selection of styles, but none of the colours matched. I went for the teal/yellow/white colour combination because it will "go" with the most things in my wardrobe. With this particular outfit I styled the colours so the belt would be the focus (I opted for more muted tones which would compliment rather than complete with the bright blue of the main rose)

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I'll definitely make more in the future (and I might even make a few to sell .... who knows!)

 

 

Flannel Fish

Shoes In an unexpected turn of events, my band had a gig friday. We played with Rachel Maria Cox and Baltic Bar Mitzvah as the last stop on the Vanishing Shapes Hallucinatour. (If you're interested in seeing the photo's I took during Baltics set click here. They all have such pretty faces!). RMC was the saddest of sad grrrls in the most fabulous way ever, and Baltic was loud and wrakus in only a way they can manage :P

woo

In other news, the Government's Data Retention Scheme kicked in today, and it's making me very angry. This "scheme" is a huge waste of money (because you can get around it by using a VPN Or by using a web browser like Tor ), and a huge invasion of privacy. I highly suggest you give this article written by Scott Ludlam a read. It's basically an introduction on what exactly the ISP's will be required to store, and how to keep your data private.

Also, let it be known that some ISP's are openly unhappy about the new arrangement. IInet immediately springs to mind. They are as transparent as possible with their customers, and released this article talking about their stand on the issue and why keeping your metadata private is important.

The TLDR of the situation is that ISP's (the people that give you the internet) have to retain your meta data for two whole years. Meta data contains a whole host of content,  words you have written, web address, location, I.P addresses, images, names (the list goes on!) You can find out SO MUCH STUFF about a person from their metadata. What if it got hacked? what if in the future metadata was made public property? What if the laws change  and the ISP's have to hold onto your data for longer?

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There are some people that think that because they have "nothing to hide" it doesn't matter how much information the government retains about them. It doesn't matter if you have "nothing to hide", for this is yet another way that the government is controlling it's citizens, and chipping away at our rights. It's the digital equivalent of having a guy follow you around everywhere and go through all of your things. If you wouldn't be comfortable with someone looking through and cataloging literally everything in your house because the government said so, you shouldn't be ok with data retention.

IDK

There is a division in Australia and across the globe. There's the political class (those who make the laws and decide "what's best" either through being elected, paying their way in or placing their country under violent control) and there's everyone else. The current set of political class in Australia DO NOT CARE about the "everyone else" (if they did, data retention wouldn't be a thing). They think that "everyone else is either too stupid or too apathetic to care about what they do. They are wrong.

I know that myself and many of my peers feel frustrated and powerless. As far as lawmaking goes, yes we are pretty powerless (except when it comes to elections). We have powers in other ways. We can talk to our family, friends, and even strangers about what's going wrong in politics. We can engage with our local mp's across all level of government. We can spread our opinions across the wires which the government now monitor. (sorry for the cliche) but together we are strong.

(sorry to my readers who aren't Australian - I'm just so exasperated by the political situation in our country. Despite this I can guarantee that you have a similar divide in yours as well. It may not be as pronounced, but it's there.)

 

 

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