What you want is closer than you think
by Valerie Khoo
In the studio:
You might be familiar with this feeling. It’s where you feel like you’re constantly searching. Looking for an answer to a problem. Wondering which path you should take in order to get to the next level. Trying to determine what goal you should be aiming for.
It’s kind of exhausting. And while you can tell yourself that this feeling is good – because you convince yourself that it propels you forward with purpose and momentum – it’s also a bit frustrating and dissatisfying. That’s often because you’re not actually quite sure what you’re searching for.
We’re often so conditioned by the idea that we need to keep reaching, to keep setting the bar higher – and we don’t even question why.
Inspired by the view of Palm Beach from West Head in Sydney, this painting is about understanding that everything you need is right on your doorstep. You can continue to gaze into the distance at what you think you should be aspiring for. Or you can realise that everything you need is right in front you, closer than you think.
You can see and collect it in person at Atelier9 Avalon or buy it online here.
Also now available:
Eavesdrop on my recent conversations here:
- I quiz Jack Heath on how he wrote an entire novel, Kill Your Brother, specifically as an audio book for Audible. And then the challenges he faced in rewriting it into a printed book.
- I talk to Matt Murphy, a firefighter by day who moonlights as an author. His latest book is Rum: a Distilled History of Colonial Australia.
In other news … here’s what I’ve been doing:
Reading: Media Unmade by Tim Burrowes, who has had a front row seat into the ups, downs and sideways lurches of the Australian media industry in recent years.
Accountable to: You! Last newsletter, I said I would report back on my commitment to reconnect with people over coffee – either in real life or over Zoom – after a hermit-like existence for the past year or so. I’m pleased to say that I’ve gone overboard … with one cafe date, one drinks meeting, one Zoom coffee, and an unexpected 1980s-style long lunch! I’m exhausted!
Enjoying: The interview we did with landscape photographer Brenda Petrella on how to take great landscape photos.
Loving: The podcast WeCrashed: The Rise and Fall of WeWork. I have recommended this podcast to friends who have been absolutely riveted at this real life story about this global coworking business. It’s so compelling that a TV series is now in the works starring Nicholas Braun as WeWork founder Adam Neumann, who ran it more like a cult than a business. You may know Nicholas as the brilliant character of Cousin Greg on Succession.
Very excited that: My 'Flying Apostrophes' artwork is now in the US in fabrics stores throughout North America through QT Fabrics. Big thanks to my agent Vinh at Artshine Licensing for making it happen!