Friday, 9 August 2013

Guest Blog #2 – Jim Clarkson

OK, so I've been slow on here. Even after the wonderful reaction to Antonia's magnificent post, even with guest blogs piling up, the hard-act-to-follow blogstipation still gets me.

Not any more though... not with ace guest blogs like this from Lisa's former colleague Jim Clarkson.

Till next time, over to you Jim...

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Life and Risotto


I'm stirring risotto, perfect after a long bike ride or on a cold spring day. Well, I'm not actually, I'm trying to shoehorn a link between cooking and life.

So, risotto – it's a great dish – adaptable, filling and simple. It does need attention, and is always best done with a few simple ingredients - pea and ham for example.

To get ahead in life, I think being like a risotto is probably advantageous, and I learnt a few things in life from a certain lady who I worked with for a couple of years.

Well in actual fact we worked together for over 80 years owing to the amount of overtime we had to do.

In that time I got to know Lisa pretty well. The swearing, the fine taste in music (80% of the time) and the kick-ass ( a la South Park) word skills she possesses. I put an extra 's' there so she could have done her cool sub markings that she did.

I was a junior art worker, just fresh into the world of design. I liked words, but I treated them like images – they were there to be made to look nice.

Yet they have so much more potential than that. They hold meanings and messages that can be enhanced and applified with a good penman(or woman)ship.

Words form the core of our lives today – social media carries this humble mark on the screen across a million screens to hungry eyes who absorb the light and ingest the messages. Lisa helped me see their value. The worth of words in the visual centred world of design.

Back to risotto. With its simple, adaptable - and with a bit of attention - deeply fulfilling and rewarding traits. I'm jumping around, I do this, keep up eh?

So risotto-type character traits not often found in everyone you meet. And not always found in risotto.

When you realise you've met a person with skills and a real gift for something, they tend to stick in your head – the fact that they give you a verbal battering if you tripped up also helped to notice said gift. Lisa did this. Often with an 'Oi! Clarkson, you missed the damn em dash!' 

Lisa was nice with it though.
Encouraging and exact.
Funny and frank.
Even and precise.

I'm truly saddened to hear of her passing. Bit of Twitter banter was the most recent contact.

The times I worked with her and all the things she helped me learn will be kept close. I think I have failed with my risotto link, but the key ingredients learnt from Lisa are that honesty, style and a powerful will, help you cope – more than that – conquer all that life places in your path until it stops.

Thanks Lisa.