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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 β€˜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

See you here in 1 hour. ...

5 0
I've heard comments like this so often from mixed I've heard comments like this so often from mixed raced people. As a white woman I have no experience of this personally, which in itself doesn't feel right. 

White privilege limits our exposure to racism. As the one with privilege, I don't experience it. I'm more likely to get sexism, homophobia or fat comments. These are shit too, but except for maybe sexism, aren't as systemic. 

But what about when you're mixed race? The judgement still thrives.

πŸ—£ 'You're white-passing'.
πŸ—£ 'You act white'
πŸ—£ 'You're mostly brown/black anyway'
πŸ—£ 'You're white/brown/black on the inside'

We seem to struggle with mixture. Why? It's simple. Racism. Socially one race is deemed better than the other. But a mixture? Oh, we don't know how to handle that. 

The freelance writer Sarah Mohammed said that it never occurred to her as a child that her white friends were never asked, 'Where are you REALLY from?'. I get that question for my accent, but never my skin colour. 

There is so much store put on less than 2mm of skin. Go beneath 1.5 mm and in theory, we're all the same.

However, because of how we treat that 1.5mm of skin, the rest of our body becomes very different. It's layered with centuries of ancestral trauma and ancestral privilege. 

So yes, we're all the same in that were human, but also that phrase 'we are all human' annoys the crap out of me. It denies the experiences of each individual, those that shape us through other people's attitudes. 

We talk of marginalised experiences. That is why they are marginalised, because the dominant group can ignore things on their margins. πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

But when you are the 'marginalised', it is not the margins. It is your 100% your life. It is central.

The rest of us need to listen and learn.

I've heard comments like this so often from mixed raced people. As a white woman I have no experience of this personally, which in itself doesn't feel right.

White privilege limits our exposure to racism. As the one with privilege, I don't experience it. I'm more likely to get sexism, homophobia or fat comments. These are shit too, but except for maybe sexism, aren't as systemic.

But what about when you're mixed race? The judgement still thrives.

πŸ—£ 'You're white-passing'.
πŸ—£ 'You act white'
πŸ—£ 'You're mostly brown/black anyway'
πŸ—£ 'You're white/brown/black on the inside'

We seem to struggle with mixture. Why? It's simple. Racism. Socially one race is deemed better than the other. But a mixture? Oh, we don't know how to handle that.

The freelance writer Sarah Mohammed said that it never occurred to her as a child that her white friends were never asked, 'Where are you REALLY from?'. I get that question for my accent, but never my skin colour.

There is so much store put on less than 2mm of skin. Go beneath 1.5 mm and in theory, we're all the same.

However, because of how we treat that 1.5mm of skin, the rest of our body becomes very different. It's layered with centuries of ancestral trauma and ancestral privilege.

So yes, we're all the same in that were human, but also that phrase 'we are all human' annoys the crap out of me. It denies the experiences of each individual, those that shape us through other people's attitudes.

We talk of marginalised experiences. That is why they are marginalised, because the dominant group can ignore things on their margins. πŸ€¦πŸΌβ€β™€οΈ

But when you are the 'marginalised', it is not the margins. It is your 100% your life. It is central.

The rest of us need to listen and learn.
...

19 5

See you Friday at 2pm ...

12 0
This week: Owning 2021 with your own verve! See yo This week: Owning 2021 with your own verve!
See you in 1 hour!

This week: Owning 2021 with your own verve!
See you in 1 hour!
...

2 0
Every Friday. Here. Conversation. Illustration. Every Friday. Here. Conversation. Illustration.

Every Friday. Here. Conversation. Illustration. ...

3 0
"TALK-BACK TUESDAY: Gender identity - What does it "TALK-BACK TUESDAY: Gender identity - What does it feel like to be in the wrong body?

"TALK-BACK TUESDAY: Gender identity - What does it feel like to be in the wrong body? ...

2 0
"TALK-BACK TUESDAY: Gender identity - What does it "TALK-BACK TUESDAY: Gender identity - What does it feel like to know you're in the wrong body?

"TALK-BACK TUESDAY: Gender identity - What does it feel like to know you're in the wrong body? ...

6 0

The 'glamour' of expat life is not that glamorous sometimes.

β›” Not connecting with your partner much because you're working different time zones.
β›” Not sleeping in the same bed as your partner because you come to bed late after working in another time zone and don't want to disturb their sleep.
β›” Feeling like you're a single parent because you're solo parenting whilst your partner sleeps in the day and works at night for a few weeks to the hours of headquarters (HQ).
β›” HQ not understanding the local conditions and what's possible or not possible.
β›” Requiring 'bribe money' for local authorities to get the job done, but HQ not allowing for it in your budgets.

The complexities are multilayered and require families to dig deep just to deliver their daily routine for work and home.
...

12 2

Who's with me?

It's funny what we wish for when our context changes. Once, what would have given us tension is the thing that we now long for.

Equally, in the way we continue to change, so do other people.

How often do you write someone off forever more because there was friction between you? Or do you try again, giving them the chance to have changed like you have?

What relationships do we lose out on because we assume that who the other person was on that day is who they really are?

We don't know what people are dealing with, what their worries are, what things they're living with and how these things influence their behaviour.

Who you find on one day may not be who you find another day.

And yes, some people are just arseholes, but most people are just trying to get through their day like you.
...

14 0

Day Three's efforts with my left hand.

#expatartist #wristsurgery #carpaltunnel
...

10 6

See you in 1 hour for 'DEVOLUTIONS, RESOLUTIONS and INSPIRATIONS'. ...

3 0

More left-handed illustrations πŸ™‚

It's feeling more comfortable now.

Pushing new boundaries.

The pen/paintbrush is becoming familiar in my fingers.

My brain has been activated in new ways.

Pictures have been produced.
...

9 0
This Friday: 'DEVOLUTIONS, RESOLUTIONS and INSPIRA This Friday: 'DEVOLUTIONS, RESOLUTIONS and INSPIRATIONS

This Friday: 'DEVOLUTIONS, RESOLUTIONS and INSPIRATIONS ...

2 0
I had surgery on my drawing hand last week. πŸ‘‹πŸΌ
This week I'm practising illustrating with the other, my very non-dominant left hand!

To be honest I'm really pleased with the results. In doing this I'm using a different part of my brain and creating new muscle memory.

It's so easy to do what we've always done. Stick to our same patterns and routines. We wear the same path down time and again, wondering why we don't get different results. 

I won't lie. I'm having to CONCENTRATE 🧠 SOOOO HARD to illustrate with my left hand and I can't draw a straight line to save my life! 

Yet, I feel freer, less constrained and with permission to see what comes. 

How often do you try something new❓

Do you strive for new results but don't change the process? β›”

Why not give the end of 2020 a blast πŸ’₯ and try something new? The worst that can happen is that it won't work.

And seriously?.....if anything, 2020 has taught us how to do that well. We've learnt to cope with things not going according to plan.

So why not give that something new a go? πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ½

I had surgery on my drawing hand last week. πŸ‘‹πŸΌ
This week I'm practising illustrating with the other, my very non-dominant left hand!

To be honest I'm really pleased with the results. In doing this I'm using a different part of my brain and creating new muscle memory.

It's so easy to do what we've always done. Stick to our same patterns and routines. We wear the same path down time and again, wondering why we don't get different results.

I won't lie. I'm having to CONCENTRATE 🧠 SOOOO HARD to illustrate with my left hand and I can't draw a straight line to save my life!

Yet, I feel freer, less constrained and with permission to see what comes.

How often do you try something new❓

Do you strive for new results but don't change the process? β›”

Why not give the end of 2020 a blast πŸ’₯ and try something new? The worst that can happen is that it won't work.

And seriously?.....if anything, 2020 has taught us how to do that well. We've learnt to cope with things not going according to plan.

So why not give that something new a go? πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ½
...

31 25

See you in one hour! ...

3 0
This week: How to survive the holiday season. This week: How to survive the holiday season.

This week: How to survive the holiday season. ...

3 0
πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ Why do we get self conscious watchin πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ

Why do we get self conscious watching sex scenes on film on a flight?

It's not like you're doing anything wrong. I don't mind what two consenting adults do behind the closed doors of my entertainment screen....

πŸ˜†

BUT, it's all somehow different when you've got kids in easy viewing of your screen!

Or is it just me??
πŸ€ͺ

πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ

Why do we get self conscious watching sex scenes on film on a flight?

It's not like you're doing anything wrong. I don't mind what two consenting adults do behind the closed doors of my entertainment screen....

πŸ˜†

BUT, it's all somehow different when you've got kids in easy viewing of your screen!

Or is it just me??
πŸ€ͺ
...

8 10
"All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth" "All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth"
Join me in 1 hour to hear more

"All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth"
Join me in 1 hour to hear more
...

4 0
"All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth" "All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth"
Join me Friday at 2pm GMT

"All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth"
Join me Friday at 2pm GMT
...

6 0

"TALK-BACK TUESDAY: Conversion Therapy
See you in 1 hour.
...

2 0