Hustle culture & being 'busy'
Solitary Botany is a reflection of how I tend to lose myself in work. Generally this is put under the term 'hustle culture', the idea that you should always be working, always be working, always be hustling. Today we're presented with the idea that success in your life means to have a career that pays well (but certainly don't talk about how much you make), that gives you power over others, is interesting for your friends to hear about and keeps you busy.
When I had to really put in a lot of hours to make the deadline for Still There? I came home to find that most of my plants looked on the verge of dying. I had been working so hard for 2 months that I hadn't noticed I wasn't watering my plants regularly.
Once I took note of this I actually found there were other things I neglected in favour of work. I hadn't taken the time to hang out with friends in a while (the excuse being I was too busy), I didn't really have any hobbies and I didn't even know what my family's plans were for Christmas.
Ever since that time (December 2018) I've actively tried to balance my work better with my other interests. I love my family so I no longer work in the weekends and I do enjoy having friends so I make sure to make time for a weekly dinner party with them. I've even actively picked up playing Dungeons & Dragons as a hobby. Once I took a step back and evaluated what I was doing I saw that I actually didn't enjoy being 'busy'. I enjoy watering my plants regularly.
I did various sketches of female astronauts and found that I enjoyed the design of the astronaut in the middle the most. Her design seems to be the most striking to people and I decided to go with the pastel pink and blue as a reference to 'millennial pink' and Pantone's colours of the year back in 2016.
The pastel colours reflect a trend in recent fashion to use colours that can seem to convey weakness and are a bit softer and don't pop the same way bright colours do. While there's no exact hex code for the colour, consensus is that it's a dusty pink, salmony type colour. It has come to represent a kind of ironic prettiness, or post-prettiness. It’s a way to be pretty while retaining your intellectual detachment. It’s a wish that prettiness could de-problematised.
I find that this colour is a perfect fit for solitary botany as it's such a current colour but also symbolises the millennial generation in a way. And they're really the one's most affected by hustle culture.