Archives for the month of: October, 2015

contestants

Back to the Pecha Kucha presentation why I play with puppets.

Later in that year (2012) the Dedes came up with the Super Dede competition, a three-week-long talent show leading up to Christmas. In the first week they had to talk about themselves, in the second week they had to answer questions and in the third week they had to show a special talent. The readers of the blog voted five of the puppets into the competition and in the end they also decided who was the overall winner.

Pig was put forward by Professor. And the readers selected him into the competition along with L’Artiste, Harvey, Mouse and Cash Cow (from left to right)

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Today I have firmed up the venue for the launch of The Artist’s survival cookbook next month. I am doing a pop-up kitchen, where people can drop in and make a recipe from the book. I have designed the invitations, but not handed them out yet. So here fresh off the press:

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halloween

Hermit’s Web was the first public appearance of the Dedes, and someone recommended I should write a blog to keep track of their progess. After the book was published the story continued here. The blog really helped me to find out, what I am doing. To be honest, the puppets don’t have much bite. They are funny in a very subtle way. Sometimes I might be the only one who gets their jokes :). For me it is all about understanding where people come from and how they tick. I don’t care if others deem the puppets silly. I love them. They are a brilliant tool to keep me sane.

This picture was taken on Halloween two years back. I am not a big fan of Halloween, but obviously the Dedes are. (Note: you certainly guessed it, they are all wearing masks with my face on it. Pretty scary!)

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The Dedepuppets started out as observers of life. These two are pals from the book Hermit’s web or the few friends I need I handcraft myself, that I did in 2012. The brainy Professor and his buddy Pig. They are a couple. The professor loves to talk and drink and comes across as being intelligent. His mate pig loves to drink. Fullstop! He doesn’t say much. And in the book the story goes, he is not a connoisseur at all, he just quaffs down the wine until he is plastered.

(Note: Little did I know back then what it actually means if you have to work with Professor and Pig. Back then I only knew them from a social setting. Socially they can be fun, but at work, oh dear… you don’t want go there!)

devil hammock

I have started to prepare for my book launch, which will be a pop-up kitchen. I think this is very appropriate for The Artist’s Survival Cookbook. I have been running around to find a suitable venue that I can hire without breaking the bank. (I am back on a serious flour and water diet and unfortunately I can’t pay my dues in buns and doughnuts). There are gazillions of self-published books out there and everybody who has ever published a book can confirm, the most difficult part is the marketing. Particularly when you are a hermit, as a lot of artists are. But in the meantime I have sold some copies via CreateSpace. It is so exciting, when you log in and you see for the first time that the 0 has turned into real a number!

Though I still have to finish my Pecha Kucha presentation that describes why I am playing with puppets. Here we are at slide number 9:

When I first started I with puppets, I was particularly ingtruiged by their completeness. They are viusal, sculptures, actors, storytellers all rolled up in one.  Puppetry has been an anarchic and subversive art throughout history and Peter Schumann, the founder of Bread and Puppetry said: It is an art which is easier researched in police records than in theatre chronicles.

Last Sunday I grabbed two of my puppets and together we made the best bun recipe from page 32. Just to prove that it is that simple. I hope you like it, it would be great if you could share. It is such a great Christmas present. Buy a bag of flour, a wooden spoon and the Artist’s Survival Cookbook and you can make someone a really happy kitchen god(ess).

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Self-regulation is the last pillar of emotional intelligence. It is absolutely wonderful when you have all these skills, unfortunately not everyone has them and there are people who will take advantage. It is important to know when to step back and let go. Smile when you can’t make a change. Show emotions when it is safe and helps the team.

I have read a lot about emotional intelligence lately and so far I only came across one article that said it is all a load of crap. In this particular article it said the bullies will walk all over you. I still think it is good to stand-up against bullies, or at least try. They will hate you, when you don’t bow to them and will step it up big time. The sad thing is, when management supports bullying behaviour, simply because it is easier not to look too closely what’s wrong with a place. When it starts to affect your health though, it is best to get out. Life is too short!

 

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Okay, back to my Pecha Kucha presentation. Sorry that it is a bit fragmented. The publication of the Artist’s Survival Cookbook was late breaking news. I am now up to slide 7. You might recall, my presententation is about “why I play with puppets”. I began creating the Dedes in 2012. They started out as No Bodies and I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I do it. They just imposed themselves on me. In the meantime I have figured out that they are a wonderful tool to enhance emotional intelligence. This is the subject of my Pecha Kucha presentation. Pecha Kucha presentations have the format of 20 slides and the presenter can talk for 20 seconds to each slide. There is not much one can say :).  Now I am up to the 4th pillar of Emotional Intelligence: People skills.

People skills: Those who are emotionally intelligent avoid power struggles and backstabbing. They usually enjoy other people, and can honestly give credit where credit is due. They easily earn respect from others. Keep in mind, respect has to be earned, it cannot be demanded. In fact all these characteristics (self-awareness, self-motivation, empathy and people skills) go hand in hand and follow each other.

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The first shipment of the Artist’s Survival Cookbook has arrived. Just in time for the Indie bookfair at the Northshore Event Centre this weekend. For all my overseas friends… the book is now available at Amazon. I haven’t quite figured it out, but they already discounted the book, strange. It is also available on the CreateSpace Store, but here it is my intended price. This is one way of robbing the author of their royalties. Why would anybody buy it on CreateSpace when you can get it cheaper from Amazon, and the shipping is also cheaper there too. Grrrrr. But that is not what I wanted to write about!

The Indie bookfair was a very intersting affair. The exhibitors were small publishing houses, self published authors and companies that offer publishing services for those who want to become published authors. The visitors were mainly the latter or people who knew someone who was exhibiting. So there weren’t many sales to be had all around. I had prepared little bags with one bean plus a Dede instruction card on how to grow the bean, and on the back there was info about the book . At least the visitors were very happy to take the little gift and hopefully they will grow the bean and look up the book on Amazon (slim chance though, but I got some attention). As I was invited by my friend Dee to share her stall, I still came out ahead and Dee herself didn’t do too badly. We both made good contacts with people we can work with in future. And that is invaluable. The comments about the puppets were also nice. A few people knew the puppets from their exhibition and from puppet month last year, so they are little celebrities in their own right.

Personally, I get anxieties when I see so many people in one place all wanting to sell their books. I am pretty sure every single one is worthwhile reading and everyone poured their lifeblood into their work and then there I am, with a book too and wanting to sell it! I think I will have to retreat and play with my puppets again for a little while :)