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identity. belonging. expat life.

Who you are. How you feel inside. Where you live.


As an illustrator and educator, I help people navigate ‘otherness’ through IDENTITY and BELONGING and EXPAT LIFE.

Living abroad confronts us in ways we never knew how.
It simultaneously challenges us AND feeds our soul.

‘OTHERNESS’ isolates.

It creates division, prejudice and suffering.

We are all someone else’s ‘other’

Drawn to a Story exists to redress the imbalance.

DRAWN TO A STORY with Cath Brew

With a surname like Brew, I think it’s just plain rude to not drink coffee. Right?

Drinking coffee creates space to reflect and listen.





What customers are saying:

Continue the Connection

🐶🐕 ...

7 1
Got a burning question or is there something you'v Got a burning question or is there something you've always wondered about?

Ask away in the comments or use the anonymous link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/V5GWVX9

See you at 2pm GMT (9am EST, 3pm CET)

Got a burning question or is there something you've always wondered about?

Ask away in the comments or use the anonymous link https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/V5GWVX9

See you at 2pm GMT (9am EST, 3pm CET)
...

4 0
When we meet people from another culture, we meet When we meet people from another culture, we meet them from within our own culture. 

Even if we live elsewhere, we are embedded with our own cultural experiences. It's very difficult to come from a neutral position.

In shamanic healing terms, we talk about 'hollow bones'. This concept refers to not bringing your own baggage, biases and bullshit into healings. You leave your stuff at the door. We train for it by really facing our demons. It's a powerful process.

What if we all did that for other parts of our lives? What if we were able to look at our own cultural biases and expectations of others with the same introspection? 

I think it would enable us to see between the lines. Firstly we'd see what baggage we bring and how it forms misconceptions. Secondly, in unpacking those misconceptions, we start to be able to read between the lines. 

And when that happens......

We see eachother and connections are created. Hearts open, empathy increases, minds manifest similarities not differences and change happens.

And that's positive change where everyone benefits.

When we meet people from another culture, we meet them from within our own culture.

Even if we live elsewhere, we are embedded with our own cultural experiences. It's very difficult to come from a neutral position.

In shamanic healing terms, we talk about 'hollow bones'. This concept refers to not bringing your own baggage, biases and bullshit into healings. You leave your stuff at the door. We train for it by really facing our demons. It's a powerful process.

What if we all did that for other parts of our lives? What if we were able to look at our own cultural biases and expectations of others with the same introspection?

I think it would enable us to see between the lines. Firstly we'd see what baggage we bring and how it forms misconceptions. Secondly, in unpacking those misconceptions, we start to be able to read between the lines.

And when that happens......

We see eachother and connections are created. Hearts open, empathy increases, minds manifest similarities not differences and change happens.

And that's positive change where everyone benefits.
...

13 1

It's all relative isn't it?

Life can be difficult and then it can be DIFFICULT.

Context is everything.
It's only when you experience both contexts that you know a third context.

This is the context of knowing more but wishing you didn't.
...

5 0

If you're feeeling a bit ragged and 'got at', listen in to today's Barefoot Friday. I'll be talking about The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. ...

4 0
Sometimes the smallest things are the biggest thin Sometimes the smallest things are the biggest things and the hardest to give up. 

Over the years I've loved hearing stories about people giving up their spices when they move.

They become like gold; prized posessions that are only handed to someone else who fully appreciates them. 

The meanings we create through food are powerful. They take us through childhood, social connections with friends and family, remarkable encounters with strangers and feed into our aspirations, our heartfelt integrity and authenticity. 

So why wouldn't you hand your spices over with reverence? And to someone who will care for them.

For they are also your memories and our memories are made of gold dust. 💫💛

Sometimes the smallest things are the biggest things and the hardest to give up.

Over the years I've loved hearing stories about people giving up their spices when they move.

They become like gold; prized posessions that are only handed to someone else who fully appreciates them.

The meanings we create through food are powerful. They take us through childhood, social connections with friends and family, remarkable encounters with strangers and feed into our aspirations, our heartfelt integrity and authenticity.

So why wouldn't you hand your spices over with reverence? And to someone who will care for them.

For they are also your memories and our memories are made of gold dust. 💫💛
...

13 6
That excitement is going to be even bigger when Co That excitement is going to be even bigger when Covid minimises to the point of allowing travel to happen more freely.

Rather than focus on the difficulties of covid, I like to imagine the enormous wave of joy and love that's going to surge across the world as families are reunited. 

And for the dear ones we've lost, there will be candle lights dancing and warming the internal spaces we inhabit.

That excitement is going to be even bigger when Covid minimises to the point of allowing travel to happen more freely.

Rather than focus on the difficulties of covid, I like to imagine the enormous wave of joy and love that's going to surge across the world as families are reunited.

And for the dear ones we've lost, there will be candle lights dancing and warming the internal spaces we inhabit.
...

9 3

🔥 Excitement
☺ Relief
💫 Hope
🤡 Nervousness
🍷 Exhaustion
🎭 Expectation

And all at once 💥
...

8 2
C'mon, I know you want to confess to this.... you C'mon, I know you want to confess to this.... you know you do 🤣

I've only started wearing makeup in the last year, so I'm out. 

Confession is good for the soul though. It's not embarrassing. Promise 😶 Really it isn't.

We'll laugh with you, not at you.

Well....

Mostly....

Maybe a little bit. 🤣🤪🙃

C'mon, I know you want to confess to this.... you know you do 🤣

I've only started wearing makeup in the last year, so I'm out.

Confession is good for the soul though. It's not embarrassing. Promise 😶 Really it isn't.

We'll laugh with you, not at you.

Well....

Mostly....

Maybe a little bit. 🤣🤪🙃
...

7 1
This photo was listed under the search word 'misso This photo was listed under the search word 'missonaries'. ✝️ The projection of 'white saviour' has always bothered me. 

Who are 'we' to think that other cultures need Christianity when they've survived on their own perfectly well for thousands of years❓

And then to pose with black children in a way that projects the ideal of happiness, sets up a devastating inequality. It says, 'we rescue and they need to be rescued'.

And it's not just this photo. I've seen it many times before on social media. 

When we virtue signal, we need to think about our motives. Why do we feel the need to show ourselves in such ways❓ Who are we using in the process❓What does it say about us❓

To me, it comes from a place of lacking. 

When we lack, we need to prove - we need external validation. When we don't lack, we 'ARE'.

And the same goes for photos like this. It's not altruistic. It's "look at me" and it's 'look at me' using white privilege and religious privilege. 

And it's not right.

This photo was listed under the search word 'missonaries'. ✝️ The projection of 'white saviour' has always bothered me.

Who are 'we' to think that other cultures need Christianity when they've survived on their own perfectly well for thousands of years❓

And then to pose with black children in a way that projects the ideal of happiness, sets up a devastating inequality. It says, 'we rescue and they need to be rescued'.

And it's not just this photo. I've seen it many times before on social media.

When we virtue signal, we need to think about our motives. Why do we feel the need to show ourselves in such ways❓ Who are we using in the process❓What does it say about us❓

To me, it comes from a place of lacking.

When we lack, we need to prove - we need external validation. When we don't lack, we 'ARE'.

And the same goes for photos like this. It's not altruistic. It's "look at me" and it's 'look at me' using white privilege and religious privilege.

And it's not right.
...

19 15
Have you ever heard of Polari? I mentioned it brie Have you ever heard of Polari?
I mentioned it briefly a few weeks back, but did you realise that you too probably speak Polari? 😊

See you Tuesday at 2pm GMT for Polari and more!

Have you ever heard of Polari?
I mentioned it briefly a few weeks back, but did you realise that you too probably speak Polari? 😊

See you Tuesday at 2pm GMT for Polari and more!
...

10 0
How many expat latch-key kids are there out there How many expat latch-key kids are there out there these days?

I've always thought of them in years gone by, but are they still out there?

How many expat latch-key kids are there out there these days?

I've always thought of them in years gone by, but are they still out there?
...

6 2

OMG, how many times has this been me????

You feel like an idiot trying to speak the other language badly and all you want them to know is that you're actually very clever in your own language 🤣🤣

You can use big words too and string sentences together!
...

14 5
The International School system offers continuity The International School system offers continuity regardless of nationality and the country in which you live, but not every location has one. 

What happens when local schools are the only option? Do you home school? Or do you try to put your kid(s) into the local system? Making these decisions is really tough, because it impacts children's emotional and intellectual development.

In Australia, because of the large distances and remoteness of where many people live, we have School of the Air. It was always conducted using the Flying Doctor Service radios as mostly there were no phones or internet available. 

Wouldn't it be amazing if there was a system worldwide where kids could 'phone in' for  lessons no matter where they're living? And if families moved about it wouldn't matter. Those kids would all still be in the same class together.

The International School system offers continuity regardless of nationality and the country in which you live, but not every location has one.

What happens when local schools are the only option? Do you home school? Or do you try to put your kid(s) into the local system? Making these decisions is really tough, because it impacts children's emotional and intellectual development.

In Australia, because of the large distances and remoteness of where many people live, we have School of the Air. It was always conducted using the Flying Doctor Service radios as mostly there were no phones or internet available.

Wouldn't it be amazing if there was a system worldwide where kids could 'phone in' for lessons no matter where they're living? And if families moved about it wouldn't matter. Those kids would all still be in the same class together.
...

10 0
Here's why custom Illustrations are my most favour Here's why custom Illustrations are my most favourite projects to do.

"OMG this is the classiest, most perfectly appropriate, funniest and most special of all gifts. It just totally sums up the FlanClan in a nutshell. Lol!!! Thank you."
- Joy

Another satisfied customer 🧡 and a happy me.

Here's why custom Illustrations are my most favourite projects to do.

"OMG this is the classiest, most perfectly appropriate, funniest and most special of all gifts. It just totally sums up the FlanClan in a nutshell. Lol!!! Thank you."
- Joy

Another satisfied customer 🧡 and a happy me.
...

5 1

You've seen some of my drawings and a few Facebook Lives, but still wondering what Drawn to a Story is really about? Let me explain.

As an illustrator and educator, I help people navigate marginalised experiences for positive change. It's all about IDENTITY, BELONGING and EXPAT LIFE.

Drawn to a Story exists to redress the isolation, division and imbalance that 'otherness' creates.

We are all someone else's 'other'. By helping you to see others, you learn to see yourself.
...

13 7