Walking the Walk

It’s day 5 of the 64 Million Artists’ January Challenge. So far, I have: created a one-line self portrait; edited photos of one of my favourite walks (through Lancaster Fairfield Orchard and along the canal); thought about the word “connection” (via a game of Monopoly) – and, with the help of two 5 year olds, looked for and drawn homes for spiders and their koala friend.

Day 5’s task is to create a vision statement/board/intention for 2022. So, here goes… As well as hoping for lots of time with family and friends, in 2022, I would love to continue building on the work I began last year and two types of creative project – both “new” ways of working for me since the onset of the pandemic – particularly appeal to me at the moment.

The first is online vocal collages, interweaving stories and verbatim contributions around various themes. Last year I created an online Passion Play in this format as well as a piece for Lancaster Litfest, which revolved around stories from different cultures and also a short piece around the lived homeless experience of a local man. All these pieces – and others from 2020 – can be found here on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/elartelaru

The second project that is currently exciting me revolves around creative walks. Towards the end of 2021, I devised and led two different kinds of creative walk – one rather like a “Choose Your Own Adventure”, effectively led by the participants themselves – where they took me to places of interest and we shared stories, memories, hopes and fears. The other style of walk was essentially outdoor drama games along Morecambe Promenade, in this case, on an environmental theme. Some people booked on to attend these -a wide range of ages – and others just joined in as we played outside. Both of these were hugely fun and also felt valuable and worthwhile. They also both felt as if they had a great deal of mileage that could be developed in many different ways…

So, that’s my vision/intention/hope for 2022: devising and working on more community storytelling and connection via creative projects in outdoor and online spaces. What do you think? If any of the above strikes a chord with you and you’d like to suggest any possible projects, please get in touch – no idea too small (or too big!).


elaru xx


One of my guilty TV-viewing pleasures this Christmas has been old seasons of Taskmaster. I have binge-watched three of them, enjoying the humour and silliness, but also being gently impressed by the overall message which seems to me to be that – whatever the Taskmaster says… – there is actually very, very rarely, if ever, only one “right” way to go about achieving things – and it’s almost always about the journey rather than the destination.

I thought about these ideas today as I began the @64MillionArtists January Challenge once more. For several Januarys now, I have taken part – receiving a 10 minute creative challenge via email (also available on several social media platforms) – and trying lots of new things. Today’s challenge was to create a self-portrait using just one line. Not being a draw-er at all (!), I created a line-graph for mine, focusing on my hopes and fears at the start of a new year. Looking through a range of the online contributions, others had drawn, painted, created portraits out of wool, string, squirty cream, hot glue, words and so, so much more. Brilliant!

And so, it’s onwards once again. Onwards into a new year, looking forward to the creative challenges it will inevitably contain. Let’s hope we all find some fun. All the very best to you and yours. Happy new year!

elaru xx