Patsy_Tim Walker

In the room the women come and go talking of how to shoplift from Waitrose. (I took a picture of this photograph of Joanna Lumley as Patsy in the Tim Walker ‘Wonderful Things’ exhibition at the V & A, which I visited with Thea on Friday. Had to share it with you).

I have been carrying books around with me this week as if they were defibrillators and I was at imminent risk of cardiac arrest. Just having them with me has been a comfort. I feel like an impostor at art school but I can do books. I feel safe with books. The professor warned us that we would suffer from Impostor Syndrome but what if I am actually an impostor? That must happen in life, mustn’t it, where someone who feels like an impostor actually is an impostor. Although I suppose if one were an impostor, setting out to somehow defraud and deceive people, they are not likely to be the type of person to get themselves caught up in crisis of self-doubt. They’d just get on with the job. I should just get on with the job.

All the sketchbooks and sketching that goes on in the studio without a whiff of self-consciousness … Were anyone to look at my sketchbooks they would think they had been shat on by a particularly flamboyant primate. When I had my first tutorial on Thursday I spent the allotted hour apologising for the contents of my portfolio.

There was a midweek share-a-thon of Instagram accounts on the MA Illustration WhatsApp during which I took one look at other people’s work and died.  I went to hide from all the sketching in the library (Book Palace) and read Medea, thinking it might be a good thing to base my Allegorical Illustration project on, having ditched the hyenas and being generally a wasteland of ideas at the moment.

I liked these lucid verses from the chorus of Corinthian women on parenthood:

While those who have growing up in their homes

The sweet gift of children I see always

Burdened and worn with incessant worry,

First how to rear them in health and safety,

And bequeath them, in time, enough to live on;

And then this further anxiety:

They can never know whether their toil

Is spent for worthy or worthless children.


And beyond the common ills that attend

All human life there is one still worse:

Suppose at last they are pretty well off,

Their children have grown up, and, what’s more,

Are kind and honest: then what happens?

A throw of chance – and there goes Death

Bearing off your child into the unknown.

Comforting, comforting letters and words, not going anywhere, staying just where they are on the page in black and white.

It’s good when you read an ancient text and it resonates and you feel a connection with the universe, a sense of belonging to things. It helps you feel less like a you-know-what.

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