Designing takes just forever! The actual drawing up of designs - that is the easy part. Inking, laying out the work in a fashion that will service a utilitarian product - that is a whole different ballgame. I love the process, but it is time-consuming and before one knows it, a year maybe more has passed, just because it is hard not to want to get it just right. Well, maybe that is the perfectionist trait in me talking.
This all happened because I printed the piece on poster format - I had to test a new paper that was not big enough to take the entire design. So, me being a diligent person as I am, I printed out the entire design in six parts, then stuck the design together, so I had an idea of what the design might look like. My printer will only output to A3 size and anything bigger than that requires me to be a bit ingenious, in finding a resolution.
So, long story short - I love the blue! And, I am left wondering whether or not I should include this colour in the design collection, also. What say you?
There is no holding down, this gorgeous swan. Samantha Geddes is the 2019 Sketa Oz Senior Award winner, but tracking her down, even after meeting her briefly at the Brisbane Eisteddfods was no easy task.
It seems wide open spaces, sunburnt land and Uluru (which is wonderfully captured in this shot), is what held Samantha's attention directly after the eisteddfods. Sitting down for coffee with Ms Selina, just had to wait, as climbing this massive monolith in the red centre of Australia, some 450 km from Alice Springs was first on the cards. It's a real treat, for any athlete.
I was able to capture the joy of the happy moment, with Mum (Jacque) and Dad (Terry), both who were quite keen to celebrate her success. We talked briefly that day, but it was our two hour long catch up - two weeks later at Park House Cafe, on Sunday morning in Toowoomba that enabled me to get to know this talented individual more precisely.
Samantha doing her thing at the Red Centre of Australia.
We'll be keeping up with what is on the dance horizon for Samantha over the next couple of years and we know for sure, the sun is only just rising for this shining star.
It is with great pleasure, I announce this year's Sketa Oz Perpetual Award Recipients Xavier Xue and Samantha Geddes. Both dancers found incredible strength, flexibility and agility in showcasing their talents at this year's Brisbane Eisteddfods.
Every year, I am blown away by the sheer, hard work and talent that seems to come together seamlessly, in front of our eyes. Unfortunately, this is not an instantaneous occurrence and both dancers know well - blisters, aching muscles and hours upon hours of perfected practice. What we see on stage, is the result of earnest diligence and dedication to one's craft. It is the culmination of years of work - rehearsed breathing, perfected turns, articulated rhythm, uniquely blended choreography and passion, in abundance.
It is behind the scenes - mums and dads getting up at the crack of dawn, to drive keen dancers to the studio for the extra lessons before school; it is selfless sacrifice of not only one's family assisting a dream, but a teacher, a coach, a mentor and copious warm hugs from friends - when the days get hard, when a dancer's world seems not that shiny.
And when the fruits of their hard labour, turn sweetly ripe, we gladly join in to celebrate their achievements - a breath in the moment of time, when one can smile and say, 'I did what I set out to do'. Yet, we dancers' know well, prestigious sweet rewards don't come easily and tomorrow ones life time friend - the ballet bar will be waiting eagerly for us to perfect that plie', for the hundredth time. :)
We can all think the world gets along as a solo effort, but by fact it takes so many people to make great events such as the Brisbane Eisteddfods and the Sketa Oz Awards. Each year, we rely on the thoughtful efforts of gracious people to either donate their time or expertise to make events such as these happen.
Late nights organising dance schedules, weeks of preparation coordinating dancers, helpers, backstage people, equipment and even food preparation are all put together by event managers such as - Bill Pengelly and Sharon Packenas. Over the years, there have been many others. Two who come to mind are Vicky Hansen and the longstanding organiser Christine Spencer. Without all these people, the Brisbane Eisteddfods - Dance Solos and Groups would cease to exist. Such people take on the arduous task of organising literally, every breath that goes into making this event a success.
In the making of Sketa Oz trophies, we rely on the expertise of the Toowoomba Trophy Centre to produce wonderful looking trophies, prepared to our highly artistic, expectations. Without fail, these men produce awesome trophies that our dancers can't wait to hold. Thank you! And, if you think of all the other dance trophies required for the Brisbane eisteddfods, I'm sure there are lots of equally hardworking men and women, who continue to work behind the scenes, with minimal thanks. We would like to thank you, also.
And lastly, engraving is a huge task. I'm sure there are many of you - just like Charlie, who spent two hours with me on Monday catching up on names that needed to be put, just right. Thanks Charlie!
Hundreds of awesome works of art now beautify a burgeoning, inland Australian city. The Darling Downs has often been remembered for its lush, farming and garden districts. Toowoomba garden city - as it is so fondly named, is the heart of this regional Queensland area and it is quickly becoming a hub for all things creative and innovative.
A brand-new international airport, a multi million-dollar shopping complex that will rival the best, and a second range crossing have all helped to transform this sleepy, yet family-oriented educational city into something quite unique. Although, it is not just economic progress and corporate deals that are changing the landscape of this city.
The creative world of art, culture and multi-culturalism are playing their part in painting the city, red. Well, not just red – a vast multitude of colours now adorn old walkways, pavements, sides of unsightly buildings, poles, beams and even electrical transformers – all in the name of art, design and beautification.
Graffiti can be found all over the world - in the streets of Germany, Denmark, France and even in Brazil. Although some may believe its origin lies in the backyard streets of Philadelphia – graffiti can be seen in a vast multitude of cities; where populations of people, writers, political activists have taken to the streets to display their voice against the norm – against what is seen as the everyday run of society.
Some of the earliest marks of Graffiti can be found in Turkey, where once the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, stood. Graffiti goes as far back as 200 AD. Yet, in all cases – ancient or modern - the graffiti artist was lashing out against the norm or making known a different viewpoint to what was considered acceptable. Unfortunately, this hasn’t always been happily received and in many cases, such change makers were seen as troublemakers, defacers of public property who collected themselves huge fines for the sake of their art.
Today, such expressionists are given a legal stage to showcase their thoughts and artistic creations. In many cities around the world, graffiti competitions attract some of the most talented, artists ever seen on our streets.
Toowoomba city is no different and has acquired a great number of street artists who present their talents to the world, in the annual ‘First Coat’ Street Art Competition.
However, it is more a showcase of large, multicultural canvases strategically scattered across the city, than unsightly graffiti. They have become statements of heritage, documentation of trials and tribulations in having come to this land. They are the coming together of blended thought forms and are wonderful examples of variants in artistic appreciation. They are a bonded community upon which this city is now founded – a multicultural blend of individuals striving for a common cause – Family.
View some of the unique works sighted around this wonderful inland city!
Much of the designing that goes ahead for Sketa Oz Design takes months of preparation, considering and lots of layout. No we haven't yet begun on the 2019 line as the we are yet to complete our plans on expanding on what we commenced for the 2018 collection.
We were hoping the line would take hold really quickly and that we'd be able to service the entire next portion of the SO line. Unfortunately this did not occur, so it is back to the drawing board so to speak - to find ways and means of producing our products at a price and quality that is functional. Here's hoping 2019 comes through for SO Design.
As you know are card collection is already up and running, as is the designing and crafting of pens. We are yet to move a lot of our stock, but the New Year is here and it's time to catch up on lost time. The designing of bags and gift paper is complete, and we are keen to attract wholesale orders to move our products in through gift stores. How did you wrap your gifts this year?
So stay on board. Keep watching as we post the new items and pics. You can place both wholesale and retail orders via SO Store . You can peruse the entire line to date at the Sketa Oz Collection
If you haven't seen the Sketa Oz Collection of designer occasion cards and pens, now is the time to check them out. Especially, with the festive season just around the corner. If you are in to collecting pens or have someone in mind for unique gifts, I have designed six colourful pens that you will admire and enjoying using.
Matching the pens in this designer line are two, different sets of six cards. One is in mauve and the other in burgundy. Both sets are drawn by me in black ink and watercolour. Each of the six cards have their own couple of words on the front, but the interior is left blank for you to write your own special thoughts.
I hope you will take the time to consider the Sketa Oz Collection for your gifting this festive season. If you have already made up your mind, pop over to the SO Store to make your selection and I will send them out before things get too busy. https://www.sketaoz.com/store/c1/SOS
The 2018 Sketa Oz Most Promising Senior Classical Dancer and the Most Promising Junior Classical Dancer Awards have been confirmed. Ainsley Martin took out the Senior Award, while Alicia Woods has been awarded the Junior. Both talented girls are working hard to achieve their dreams of one day becoming a full-time professional ballet dancers in a company somewhere across the globe. If I know anything, it is sheer hard work that gets you a places in life.
So, to both young dancers, we congratulate you on your success, this year! I am sure there will be more - Sketa Oz always backs hard work, resilience, kindness and a humble outlook on life. These are the qualities that stand by you, as you grind your way to the top. It won't be easy, but if you want it bad enough - It will happen!
This year, the Brisbane Eisteddfods - Dance Solos were slotted in for April, but given the occurence of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, many dancers who would normally have participated, were unable to, given they were heavily involved in the Games.
Christmas doesn't come around everyday and you won't always have an opportunity to say thank you, to the people you care about. Personally, I think one should say thank you, I love you, I care and I'm sorry - whenever you think about it. Life is so fleeting and before you know it - another year will have passed, another life will have extinguished and gone will be that opportunity you said, you'd get around to... Leaving it until tomorrow will be too late - there is only now to say everything you want to say.
In staff writers contribute to the news and events at Sketa Oz. If you would like to write for us, let us know.