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'Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.'


She stares into her phone, taps with plastic fingernails on the app that scans her face. A report comes back with what needs adjusting, what surgery is recommended, what alterations are required to be made in order to be, beautiful.

Becoming beautiful will give him a life that he could not even dream of if he were to remain ugly.

They will be cut open, stitched up and stuffed with dangerous concoctions which will eventually distort, deform and even cripple a normal body. Life will be threatened, bank accounts drained and true identity hidden. They will no longer know the truth of who they were when held in their mothers arms for the very first time.The risk of permanent damage is run.

All of this, in pursuit of a fleeting concept known as beauty. After all, beauty makes us happy.....right? Seems kind of ugly to me.

Beauty is a sure way to an easier life. We want to be beautiful, we want to live somewhere beautiful and we want beautiful partners, beautiful homes, beautiful clothes, beautiful jobs.

If only everyone was born beautiful. Lucky for that app, or not.

What is beauty? Is it something that is defined with a bunch of measurements, a golden ratio? If I re arrange my face to a certain set of measurements will I be beautiful? If I cut off parts of my body that were too big and stuck them somewhere else on myself that's too small surely that would solve my problems, better still, I could inject something foreign under my skin, into my face, breasts, skull, cheeks, name it. I could even sever some nerves. What could possibly go wrong? After all, isn't beauty, pain?

I am the first person to admit that beauty makes me happy. A serene mountain range view in the morning makes me feel peace. A sunset full of reds, orange and purples delights me and a chair painted a particular shade of pink fills me with pleasure.

A good hair day makes me smile as does a week of clear skin, however, I am not convinced that these things appear beautiful to me simply due to a golden ratio of measurements or the way they look. What about beautiful scents, beautiful tastes, beautiful feelings, beautiful sound and music! Plus we all know, what I think is just adorable might make you feel ill! (I am not going to lie, people who enjoy running just confuse me.) There is something more to this beauty thing.

I spend my days looking at things. Hours and hours of staring at brushstrokes, colours and form, deciding on what would look the most pleasing. How a tiny stroke of paint can change a face so dramatically, always looking for that one little line that can suddenly make a personality emerge from a canvas, that slight change of colour than can suddenly create sunshine to burst from the page. The look in someones eyes that says, I love you, or the dimple in someones cheek that causes delightful memories to flood into your heart. What about the wrinkles on someones face that picks up the most divine light, the smile lines that draw a path to someones happy life and the rich colours of ruddy weathered skin that have seen a thousand suns rise and set. Hair in all places with warm and inviting textures, I find all of this just stunning. I am always searching for the arrangement that will evoke the emotions that I want expressed through the piece, aiming to create a visual experience that gives the onlooker an appreciation for something uniquely beautiful. Literally painting a bridge from one persons heart to another in a way that words cannot.

I have no idea how to do that. I have no magical measurement system, no theory, no technique. I know only what is instinctually present within my feelings. Perhaps I should go to art school. However, despite my lack of knowledge, I just feel my way through and I look, I look some more and then I look again. I mix my colours, or not, and then I dab them on a canvas wherever I see fit. I sit in my big comfortable chair and I look for hours. Sometimes days, sometimes weeks or more and then after a very long time, I see something emerge. Sometimes it comes suddenly, other times it creeps in, but it always comes if I am patient. And you know what that is? Well its, beauty. When it's right I know it as it arrives with a wave of relief and total contentment. I put my brush down.......a precious moment.

Beauty to me is a feeling. It's an emotion that fills me with some kind of pleasure. It seems, real beauty stays with us forever and does not deform and disintegrate with time. Like the way you think about your favourite, most adored pet after its passing, or the memory of your true loves first kiss. Beauty is everywhere, available all the time and infinite. It's free and it's yours to have and to keep in your heart. It arrives and leaves us with memories that may exist only within you. You are the keeper of beauty and therefore you are. Perhaps you just don't feel it, don't know how to find it always, yet it is there. Beauty is as unique to the beholder as your beauty is unique.

I have a theory about all of this and it may already be out there in the world. Anyway, it goes like this.

Beauty is something we all chase in some form or another. The presence of it gives us some kind of emotion that we enjoy and want continued in our lives. Beauty and what it means to us, changes as we change. Beauty deepens emotions and emotions are key to us evolving, learning and becoming closer to intelligent compassionate beings. Beauty is a form of love and is created to be shared. Beauty attracts us to other people and them to us. Beauty connects people and when people connect, life continues. Beauty is therefore essential for the continuation of life. It's possible that beauty can even save the world!

Woah.... that was a big thought.....

Beauty mate...

Seriously, there is no need to change your exterior. Delete that app and cancel your cosmetic surgeon appointment. Go out and find something or someone to adore. Paint it, appreciate it, really look at it closely. The light, the texture, the wonder of how it even exists. Find a big comfortable chair and just look a little longer, appreciate a little more, be patient. It's everywhere and in everything and if you look at anything long enough, you will find it in yourself.

Open your hearts to beauty and you will know what it is to be happy


Kitty Kat x

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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Oconnor

Stay positive. Work hard. Follow your dream. Never give up. Be patient. Nothing is impossible. Believe in yourself. Embrace social media and self promotion. Be authentic. Be different, but no too different. Be strong yet show your vulnerability. Share your feelings yet never take things personally. Practice hard, give it your all, expect nothing in return. Do what you love and if you keep at 'it', eventually 'it' will happen. It's not about the money. There has never being a better time to be an artist!

I'm still waiting.

I'm still wondering. What is it that drives me and so many others to pursue the artists life? Why have we chosen an existence that has no clear definition of success, very little monetary stability and the experience within ourselves that questions our own worth and validity. How is it that the loves of my life, my passions, my entire reason for breathing has caused me to have anxiety attacks, depression, no home of my own and a total sense of loss. Creatives lives are fragile. The artists journey seems to come with negative health implications.

I have until now never had a 'normal' job. Six months into my 'cafe' career, I look back at my life as a dancer, musician and now aspiring oil painter with confusion. Why? What have I and what am I achieving? Yes it makes me happy to be creative, while I am actually doing it. However, housework and washing need to be done, bills need to be paid, meals need to be organised, relationships need attention and did I mention, self promotion on social media needs to be prepared.

Perhaps I am just a mad artist, crazy, way too emotional and I should accept that as my position. Maybe I'm not as smart as all my peers who seem to have successful careers in finance and real estate. Maybe I'm not emotionally stable enough to have one husband, 2.5 children and successful online business waiting to pop. Maybe I haven't worked hard enough to have my own home, a new car and a dog. Maybe, after reading this last paragraph, I'm just way too dramatic and I need to stop over reacting. Enough, what is enough?

I paint. I paint from my heart. Just like every dance step I ever performed and every note of music I ever played, it came from and is a direct link to my soul. I embody my work, and like all other artists, my oversensitivity is a gift and a curse. Just like the way I have invited the world wide into my life via you tube, Facebook and instagram, I now place my essence on canvas and oil, stick a price on it and hope someone likes it. Then I wait. Is the reaction I get from potential buyers a marker of my success? Is the payment or the praise a definition of my 'career'? Is it my job? Will it be my last piece that is ok? Does the fact that people like or dislike it validate my worthiness? Should I give up and mourn the loss of all that supposedly makes me happy, or soldier on in the belief that 'it' will finally happen? I applaud my fellow artist friends for their courage yet I wonder how and why they continue.

Why do even ask so many questions?

Music, dance, art are all apparently crucial to the world's happiness. Its abundant, it's free. It's special, i'ts everywhere. Like water, It's streaming. Unlike water, people pay very little for it. We should be happy enough with our artistic hobbies and a job waiting on tables knowing that all the hours of unpaid work and preparation we do for art enriches peoples lives. However, there seems to be too much music, too much art, and some peoples lives are already too rich. We are gorging on content while unknowingly providing data to the digital companies that I suspect are depleting the incomes of creators.

Is it time for me to open a doughnut van?

Artist's are drowning. We can't breathe. A lot of us are finding it impossible to continue. I have no conclusion to this blog. I have no answers, I almost have no energy left. On day's I need cheering up I'll paint a portrait, however I believe there is now an app for that.

Kathryn O'Connor

painting of Marilyn Munroe by KittyOart

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  • Writer's pictureKathryn Oconnor

It's Friday. My bed is still in one piece and for the last time, I wake staring at my bedroom wall mural. Tomorrow it will be painted over in white.......

Leaving this room is scary. The choice I have made to live my life creating what is inside is frightening. I am stepping into a world of magnificent failure and I will now open myself up to the vulnerability that I have yet to experience. My sensible brain, yes I have one, says "find a real job". I am being self indulgent, selfish and possibly a little stupid. It tells me no one will ever like what I do, this decision will nail that last metal pin into my hopelessness and underline my belief that I will never be good enough. Finally, my logical, better side of the brain can say, "I told you so". The part of me that wants to tear me down will win.

Only there is a persistent voice screaming inside me. It's time to fly higher, it's time to give back, it's time to honour the gift of my life. It's time to see what might happen when I stop censoring my thoughts and my visions. By following my feelings I have decided to honour my inner artist. We all have one. I am not special or unusual, I am no more gifted or talented than any one else. It's just time for me to explore what it is to be me in the world I am in.

I'm dancing on the edge. That's what I guess I have being interested in from the beginning. Always fascinated with the power of my emotions and where my whimsical imaginations can take me. People may say my decisions have been bad, yet they were always mine. What mistakes I may have made have brought me to the place I am now and lessons have been learned. After all, what else is there really?