New to my email-club? You can subscribe here and I will pop into your inbox every month 🎉
Dear First name / friend,
I would love deeper connections that go beyond sharing a photo and some quick lines, or doing a silly dance on video.
Maybe it’s the pandemic and the fact that I barely saw friends and family, maybe it was my Patreon last year where I shared more about the reasons behind my makings and the connections I had there (I miss this club), or maybe it's the conversations I’ve had with psychologists and coaches over the year. Maybe it’s all these together that resulted in a yearning for a deeper connection with other people. Whether it’s with my nearest and dearest, or with the people I know from the online world, like you: I long for a more meaningful conversation about why we do what we do, and why we are like we are.
I’ve been roaming around the internet for over 22 years, starting with blogging and building fan sites. Sharing my teenage-thoughts on a Livejournal-blog in the 2000’s which shifted to Facebook and Instagram in the 2010’s. I remember making an announcement on my Livejournal that I would move to social media. That was the future! Short messages and snapshots.
Fast forward 10+ years later and I sometimes long for those blogging-days. I would write what I thought and not be limited by 2,000 amount of characters, or algorithms preventing my online friends to see my posts. I’ve been on Instagram since the beginning in October 2010 and I’ve seen it change big time over the years. Now, they’ve decided to become a new TikTok. Creatives are not happy about that, and I feel the same. I don't want to put my face front and center in a video every day. I loved how Instagram was, it has always been my favourite social media. The people I've met there are amazing and I've build my career on it. Many want the same thing, looking at the response of my latest Instagram-post. Calling for the Instagranny-revolution! 👵🏻
Appreciation of slow-posting: newsletters and blogs I use my newsletter mostly to talk to you about what occupies my mind, and over the past 1,5 years I’ve started to appreciate it more. I've been sending it for over 10 years now and I feel it's making a comeback now that so many people are reconsidering their relationship with social media. My newsletter allows me to write freely, dive in deeper and it clears my head too as soon as I’ve written it down. The responses I get are always so warm and kind, and it reminds me of my blogging-days. I'm contemplating whether I should start blogging again… For now, I will continue to post on Instagram of course.
Forward is the way As I'm focusing more and more on my newsletter, I hope to reach people with it. What always helps is if you forward my emails to friends and family that might like it too. I would really appreciate that! They can subscribe here: marloesdevries.com/newsletter
Writing my first non-fiction book about chosing not to have children
Some paintings I started working on in Drenthe (see below)
Quick note: book recommendations in this email linking to Libris means I get a little percentage of every book sold through that link. Libris is great as it pays the amount to the Libris book shop nearest to you which are mostly independent book shops.
Each edition I will share a tip to inspire/nurture/boost your creative practice.
Limit your tools and time Are you drooling in an art supply shop while you already have plenty of tools at home? And then when you actually want to do some sketching you freeze because you don't know what tools to use? No worries, been there.
I want to invite you to go sketching outside. But! Take one sketchbook with you and limit your tools to three. Yes, just 3 pencils or 1 pencil + 2 pens, whatever you want, but just three. No more!
When you've picked your spot outside, draw what you see in 5 minutes on a spread (two pages). Then, turn the page to a new spread, turn your body a quarter to the right and draw what you see now (5 minutes again). Do this until you have the whole view on 4 spreads (8 pages in total).
I'd love to see what you made. Share it on Instagram (tag me so I can repost it, @marloesdevee), or however you feel like, like emailing.
You probably know by now I get these obsessions with certain subjects or artists. This time it's Joan Eardley, an artist that lived from 1921 until 1963 and had a way of capturing Scotland in a way that's filled with energy and emotion. I bought the book A sense of place and I'm absorbing it all. The first pages begins with a letter from Joan to a friend about how good it is to take a moment for yourself in a remote place and paint. You might understand how much this resonates with me. It's filled with her life story and her beautiful paintings of landscapes and the Glasgow streets.
"The biggest fear most of us have with learning to say NO is that we will miss an opportunity. An opportunity that would have catapulted us to success, or that will never come again. And most of the time, that simply isn’t true. I’ve found that the first part of learning to say NO is learning to accept that offers and opportunities are merely an indication that you’re on the right path- not that you’ve arrived at a final destination you can never find again. If someone is choosing YOU, it means you’re doing something right. And that is the biggest opportunity you can receive – the chance to recognize that your hard work is paying off. And if you continue to do good work, those opportunities will continue – and improve – over time."
01 / Listening to peaceful musicI saw Ólafur Arnalds live a few years ago in Haldern (Germany) and I thought it was really special. I really enjoy his last album, Some kind of peace.
02 / Watching this quirky detective series I thoroughly enjoyed McDonald & Dodds. It's a weird show: it's not very serious, it's overacted but there are murders to be solved. Britain has a history of really odd, filled with humour-detective series, and although usually I don't like it (I can't get into Agatha Raisin for example) I really enjoyed this.
04 / Swimming trunks made out of plastic Bram bought these this week and I thought they were really funny. And made out of plastic bottles!
05 / Comforting telly I've been watching the second series of Grayson's Art Club and it's my comfort blanket these days. Easy-to-watch television filled with joy and creativity!
BONUS / What Bram liked As always my partner Bram wanted to add something to the newsletter too so here's his favourite video this month: a ladybug following a pen.
That's it for this month, First name / sweet pea! If you have any recommendations, books you think I would like, or want to let me know your thoughts on this newsletter: feel free to reply. And I'd love it if you'd spread the message about my newsletter of course. Speak soon!