I love talking to People With Projects who are doing interesting things. I’m most curious about how they do what they do, what drives them, and their definitions of success. Many of the following conversations were first published in The Woolf quarterly journal.
“I’ve discovered offering different paths of engagement with ideas is simply a good way to be human. Even the best political movements—both the uplifting and not so uplifting—were driven by a narrative, by story.” Fiction writer Jeremy Bouma.
“These things come from childhood nightmares, and they come from poetry, from the demons and spirits whispering in your ear, from the memory of birth, from early Renaissance painting, from drunken madness, from music and from the scent of fuchsias.” Zürich based visual artist Trevor Guthrie.
“Creating awareness of water makes people aware of the truly valuable things in this world. It also makes us question our future and the very future of the planet, itself.” Zürich-based photographer Vaughan James on one of his mighty passions: water.
“Being an outsider makes it easier to discover things that might go unnoticed by locals. I never really enjoyed taking photos in Switzerland, since everything seems too familiar. However, a danger of misrepresentation lies within this: As an outsider we tend to stress what is different instead of what is similar, therefore creating a bigger gap than there actually is.” —Photographer and documentary maker Ana Amigo.
“Calligraphy is a way to press the ‘pause’ button, and go back to this comforting feeling of holding a pen in your hands.” Calligrapher Murielle Doré on calligraphy as meditation, and the relevance of pen and ink in the digital world.
Steve Wheen, multimedia storyteller, talks to me about the impact of creating tiny storyworlds, the power of imagining, his miniature gardens and his work as The Pothole Gardener, a project that transforms ‘crappy to happy’.
“… such a concentration of saturated colours: those alpine meadows with their variety of greens, bright wild flowers, graphite rocky peaks, cerulean blue glaciers.” Zürich-based watercolourist and illustrator Alena Sevastsyanava on seeing the Alps for the first time.
From Bondi Beach to the remote Welsh hills, visual artist and entrepreneur Craig Kirkwood discusses his yearning for something lasting and how it led to his recent publication, Aber: a pictorial homage to the Welsh town of Aberystwyth.
Author and Wall Street based financial behaviourist Jacquette M. Timmons talks about how our stories—our past, our context, our attitudes—affect our relationship and our actions with money.
Zürich-based artist Kaye Llewelyn dives into the story behind the making of her picture book, Pocket Money … on serendipity, fluidity, opportunity … and no words.
Award-winning journalist and author Juliana Barbassa talks about writing to understand displacement, Joan Didion, and the experience of relocating to Rio, Brazil, a city in crisis.
Zürich writer, producer and director Samuel Schwarz on the feature film and Alternate Reality Games of Polder, the largest transmedia storytelling project to come out of Switzerland;
English ghostwriter Andrew Crofts, on the strange symbiosis between writer and ghost, making a living as a ghostwriter, and what it takes to write someone else’s story.
Swiss Instagram queen, Martina Bisaz, on collaborations with other Instagrammers, and how her Instagramming became more than a hobby. Oh, and her car.
Author Kenton Webb on his knack for gamifying and making his projects into a sport, about the Roger Spoffin storyworld, and about his New York writing adventures.
Swizerland’s Creative Commons representative (and lawyer and helicopter pilot) Phillippe Perreaux on copyright and the public domain.
Zürich based Architect Antonio Scarponi on publishing his book ELIOOO, crowd-funding, and architecture as concrete poetry.
JJ Marsh – crime-writer, columnist, Swiss representative of the Alliance of Independent Authors, and co-founder of Triskele Books author collective – on a sense of place, and on the ever-changing publishing landscape.
Bestselling Australian author, journalist, TV presenter, blogger and media consultant Sarah Wilson talks ebooks and pbooks, the online gift economy, and her writerly habits.
Irish-born visual artist Sandra Ondraschek-Norris discusses how the creative life can be important to our health, and whether we should talk about art … or let the works speak for themselves. Sandra’s paintings tell their own stories in The Woolf’s Gallery.
Erinrose Sullivan, Lausanne-based senior marketing executive and analyst (AKA Trendspotter) on Post-Digital Content and Zeitgeists.
London-based Eric Huang, Development Director at Made In Me, on interactive creativity, narratives, gamification and collaboration.
Bernie Slater, Australian visual artist, on the power of multiples and the notion of printmaking as a democratic and accessible medium with the power to engender social change.
Liz Eve, award-winning, Berlin-based visual artist with a passion for documenting architecture, construction and sustainable design.
Ludwig Wicki, founder and conductor of the 21st Century Orchestra, on film music, technology and live tweeting during concerts. (And what it’s like wearing a Star Trek uniform to work.)
Olga Bushkova, formerly a scientist, on art and obsessions, exploiting our tools, and how she became a photographer.
Monica Tarocco, Zürich-based photographer and visual artist, on ‘Time’, past and present, and the inspiration for her most recent works.
Brianna Stapleton Welch and Sarah Sullivan, blogger-reviewers from Slatebreakers: Finding Feminism in Kidlit and YA.