Why Fool?

In summer ’09 I found myself at South Bank day after day watching the Charlie Chaplin impersonator there. He is absolutly brilliant. I was trying to work out why I was so facinated by him and by Chaplin himself as I started to watch his films for the first time. As I thought about it I realised that it was the character of the Fool that appealed to me. The Fool that “feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries” (I don’t know who said that but I think its great). The Fool felt like the extreme opposite of how I have sometimes felt; constrained by expectations, real of imagined, mine or someone elses; Struggling with social anxiety and feeling unable to take risks.  Chaplin’s Fool also captures something about Anarchism. He always has a clear disrespect for authority, and with good reason. It was because of this combination that he appealed to me so much. So, in the interests of grabbing hold of the opportunities that life presents, I’m learning to be a Fool.

As part of this foolish plan I am going to try to get by from doing the things I love; art/craft and playwork. I know I can do it. I’ve got the skills and the patience. Its just that I need that kick up the bum that only being a complete Fool can provide. Inspired by the words of a famous clown “We can’t start perfectly and beautifully. Don’t be afraid of being a Fool; Start as a Fool” thats exactly what I’ve done. I’ve started up Fool’s Prints in less than perfect conditions and with nothing but hope and one screen printing frame and I’ve embarked on a playwork mission that involves juggling several very precarious jobs.

Since starting to make a foolish effort in 2009 I have gained NVQ2 in Childrens Care, Learning and Development and NVQ3 in Playwork. I have moved from working as a Learning Support Assistant in a sixth form college and Teaching Assistant in Primary School to working on a varity of playschemes and play projects in and around East London. My self-confidence has grown massively and although I am currently working 3 different play jobs alongside the making I am doing, I love it. It’s not unusual for me to finish a weeks work very tired but feeling very lucky to be able to work in such a free and child-led way, with collegues who have a brilliant ethos and with amazing kids.

On this, my website, you’ll find what I’ve been up to. I’ll be busy screen printing, book binding, making and learning how to make different stuff, reading and reflecting about playwork and talking about my experiences in work and living in East London. I hope you find it an interesting read and maybe you’ll like some of the stuff I’m making and selling. I’d love to heard your comments so please leave them.

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3 Responses to “Why Fool?”

  1. Julie Wilson February 12, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    I’m proud of you and all you have achieved. It’s not about earning money but enriching your life and the lives of others around you. x

  2. *S January 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm #

    Wow, hats off to you!
    I am glad you found my blog, I look forward to reading more of yours. I love what you are doing!

  3. bigdaddyraheem January 30, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    Hello, I would like to know how to screen print my own art work, I’m not an artist but have some business ideal in mind. I work for the DoD here in Kandahar Afghanistan an overseas retail store. I work logistics but the powers at be put me in the store to help. I leave this place in 57 days. I work out of Atlanta, Ga but hate the south, I’m from Seattle, Wa. I want and will start my business as a private personal trainer to save of some more money to relocate back home. I’m sorry to bore you it’s that I’ll be 52 in Feb and all people do is lean on you and burn you out. I’m a solo kind of guy, please if you have any tips for me to start on the low, drop me a line. I’ve got some of my stuff being mail, t-shirts with my art work. I can send them to you for you review. Thanks for taking the time in reading this, I’m just getting ready for the world. Great job in giving back to thoses who need help, not the MOOCHERS.

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