I've been super into newsletters lately, I myself would love to write a meaningful one someday and actually got very inspired thanks to Marlee Grace's Common Shapes podcast episode "The Art of Newsletters". More on that in a future article...
Even though a bunch of you are subscribed to mine, I rarely publish it, not sure about what I would write in it that I do not write here on the blog.
Most often, it consists of a major life update, usually a move or the announcement that my visa got renewed. I feel like I'm waiting for the next big thing: a green card (fingers crossed).
In the meantime, I've subscribed (or re-subscribed) to a bunch of newsletters, letting go of my self-imposed goal of inbox zero.
I've created folders and store my mail there, by sender, by subject. I'm now picturing my electronic mailbox as a cute old-school real mailbox that I come check every morning to see whether a friend has written to me.
I want to know what artists and writers are inspired by and excited about. What they read, what they do, how they work, who inspires them, what inspires them. Do they struggle, how do they succeed? What are they thinking, what's their thought process, what's their daily routine? Did they move to a new place, did they paint their bathroom purple?
If you want to have a glimpse of what my friends (IRL and virtual, that I'm in a one-way or two-way relationship with) have been up to, check out my list:
1. Monday Monday by Marlee Grace
Marlee's work has been on my radar for the past 7 years. I've followed their Insta account, I've funded their Kickstarter, and I've read their books. Their approach to art and work and everything in between is a major source of inspiration for me. They give me the confidence to believe that I too can have an artistic practice. I see myself in their multitude of artistic pursuits and interests, their relationship for money and their down-to-earth approach to marketing one's work. If that doesn't convince you, maybe their more than 20K subscribers could? Marlee's weekly Monday newsletter is free and there's a paying option for the monthly advice column and Friday threads. I highly recommend becoming a paid subscriber ($5/month)
2. Closed Loop Cooking by Hawnuh Lee
I met Hawnuh back in 2018 in Portland. We obviously had a mutual interest in the low-waste lifestyle. Hawnuh has since then created the Closed Loop Cooking blog, hosted a number of delicious Closed Loop Dinners, and more recently opened the much-needed Closed Loop (design) Studio. They write a free, weekly food-focused newsletter for anyone who eats. Delicious reads, plant-based recipes, and all things low-waste living will be delivered fresh to you every Friday morning, the interviews tend to make me emotional, always in a good way. Check out a sample issue.
3. Fluorescent Smorgasbord by Julie A Hotz
How many times have I told this story? Julie and I met during an Insta meet-up (remember the early Instagram days?) and the rest is history. Initially connecting about photography, we then realized we had so much in common. Julie is a multimedia artist and storyteller––a commercial and documentary filmmaker and photographer. Their perspective on life, nature, art, and human connection is beautiful to witness. Their experience walking the Pacific Crest Trail had a major impact on their life and informs the way they approach life, art, and work. I was lucky to go on a hiking trip with them and cannot wait for the next one! Julie also shared with us the magnificent gift of escaping into nature during the pandemic through audio via bonus episodes of their moving and personal podcast UN/ROOTED. The Fluorescent Smorgasbord is a free monthly newsletter, a glimpse into the life of a multi-faceted and "multi-fascinated" artist. Check out a sample issue.
I thought I'd have more to share, but that's all I'm coming up with right now, and I think that's good, we want quality over quantity. I'm only getting started in this subject matter, so, of course, I gravitated toward what I know and feel comfortable with. I'm looking forward to expanding my horizons, discovering and supporting the work of artists and writers from different backgrounds and walks of life.
My most recent Substack subscriptions include Our Medecine by Two Spirit sister, doula, & storyteller, How to Cure a Ghost by NYC-based, Australian-Canadian multi-disciplinary artist with an interest in her wellness, Muslim identity, race, self-care pop culture Fariha Róisín, and Unsupervised by Anna Fusco aka Lordcowboy. I've only received one edition of each so I'll keep you updated in my next newsletter round-up.
Now it's your turn! I'd love to know what newsletter you read, but mostly what attracted you to them. Please send them my way!
Also, you can sign up for my biannual (lol) newsletter & get my blog posts straight into your inbox!
Image: Screenshot of Marlee Grace's Substack homepage
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