#Issue 4

Scratchthat Newsletter

It’s mid-semester break, and we know you’re missing Scratchthat already! With launch for Issue 2 of the magazine wrapped up, and preparation for Issue 3 steaming ahead, it all seems a little quiet from our side, but don’t worry! Scratchthat is working hard behind the scenes. However, as promised, the newsletter team is here to feed your Scratchthat cravings.

This week, we wanted to focus on revitalising the passion to create. So, please enjoy our lovely collection of content to keep your artistic spark alive.

from Amber and the rest of Scratchthat’s newsletter team.

Loveably Hateable

Amber Lee

I love storytelling. I love everything about it.

But sometimes, when I’ve edited a scene five times, or readjusted my panels for an entire week, or gone over the line art of that one illustration so much my wrist is cracking, it’s hard to remember why. When things don’t go to plan, or are out of your control, it’s easy to get frustrated. Waiting anxiously for people to reply to your emails; waiting for your grades to be released; or getting another pile of changes to add to the never-ending cycle of ‘you need to get better at this’ doesn’t help either.

To help you out of this never-ending cycle of doom, here are some things that might make doing the thing you love a little more loveable again:

Rest. You’ve heard it before, and you’re going to hear it again. Your body and your brain need to rest to function. Pulling all-nighters might get work done, but after a while, it’s neither sustainable nor enjoyable. Fix those sleep patterns, eat those meals, and stop beating your body up for doing work. Unless you reward your brain for doing things, it’s going to make your life miserable. 

Remember why you started creating. It’s easy to lose track of that nice feelingTM when you don’t actually know what it is. It’s easy to forget, after the fifth logo adjustment for your client, that you started illustrating because you liked drawing butterflies. It’s easy to forget when you’re writing an advertising campaign for body wash that you liked writing sci-fi. That doesn’t mean you have to change anything you are doing; sometimes you need to do things you don’t want to, but just don’t forget to write about your little aliens after your morning coffee. 

Do the thing you like in your spare time. Even if you do what you love for work, it’s important to separate your work hours from your break hours. This doesn’t mean that if you draw for work, that you can’t draw in your ‘break’ time. What it does mean is that it’s not a good idea to do your ‘work’ drawings in your ‘break’ time. Break time is there for a reason. Don’t work in it.
There are many more ways to rekindle your love for your work. However, going back to your roots and taking care of yourself are essential in keeping yourself happy and healthy.

Good luck and happy creating.
Illustrations by Amber Lee

Campfire Creativity
Izzy Lamprey

What do you do when the flames of creativity have been smothered by the responsibilities and obligations of the working world? And now it’s preventing you from writing? It’s always a difficult situation. Needless to say, just because a campfire dwindles, that doesn’t mean that it will go out forever. 

Maybe it’s a passion project or that special manuscript you just know will blow up – if only you could work on it – or even that set of poems that speak to that very specific emotion you just can’t tap into. You think about it longingly, often daydreaming about its potential, but you cannot, for the life of you, commit to sitting down and writing the damn thing. 

So, what do you do? How can you get that spark back?

Imagine the incomplete piece as a campfire: campfires may provide the warmth you need to survive, but you have to tend to them, or they will extinguish themselves. We might be equipped with the matches to relight the spot, but the burden of looking after this flame can take its toll. Sometimes it’s easier to maintain with a little bit of help from others.

Start opening up and talking about your work. You may already have a writing or art group from over the years but try to think about it outside of an academic or work context. It may be what’s causing you to slow down. Think about the reasons you want to share your work, and what makes you excited about it. Being in an environment where people are equally supportive and excited about your work can go a long way in fuelling your creative flames.
That said, wanting to work on your own is also okay. Everyone has the right to be protective of their work. And, of course, we don’t want to invite someone who is going to dump water over our flames. But in an environment like a university, where diverse and creative artists roam free, take advantage of the unique mindsets available to you. 

You don’t have always have work by yourself. Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy the campfire with some company. 

Mixed Bag Writing Prompts
Rekindle Cookie Snaps - With
Adam Osborne

Binge that TV show everyone recommended you. Re-read your favourite book. Bury yourself in Pinterest tabs.
Give yourself a chance to rekindle your passion and inspiration again.
Write about a time you started over.
Maybe you moved house, transferred schools, or started a new job. Maybe you just decided to try again.
You might discover something about yourself that makes starting over a little easier next time.
How does a fire see the world?
Fire is dangerous, alive, transformative, warming, illuminating.
Write from the perspective of a fire. It could be a raging inferno consuming bushland and homes. It could be a candle on a birthday cake snuffed out after twenty seconds of life. Or maybe it’s a firepit, watching drunk teenagers play truth or dare after dark.
Coal by Jade Davis 

That’s it for another Scratchthat week!