I Am So Lucky to Be Able to Get up in the Morning and do What I Love

Essay by Luke Foster

“A winner is a dreamer who never gives up.”

Nelson Mandela

I first heard about Nelson Mandela as a teenager and his philosophy and what he achieved on South Africa is very inspiring.

Sometimes I find it hard to go to sleep early at night as I am so excited for the coming day. I am so lucky as an artist and writer that I can get up in the morning and do what I love. I used to have to work boring day jobs a few days a week and live in share houses or with my parents. Now I own my own tiny apartment by the beach and can do what I love each exciting day. However, even though my life is kind of idyllic I also suffer quite a bit as I am finally in a safe place emotionally and physically so I can surrender my stored pain and anxiety.

Lately my favourite thing apart from doing beach shoots is artist books of drawings, and installations for world leaders and musicians like Bjork, art museums like the Whitney and New York Guggenheim and for West Australia’s Governor Kim Beazley. Currently I am working on an installation for former Australian PM Julia Gillard and feel lazy as I haven’t finished it yet as I like to strike when the irons hot. Most of it has been designed I just need to finish an artist book titled: Strong Women in the World Past and Present.

I love giving art and each pay day I get a taxi to the post office and usually send off two or three packages. Even though I am quite poor compared to other people who are known I feel extremely wealthy as over twenty years ago I went to India and saw true poverty first hand in the developing world. Many of the poor there would walk over broken glass and do anything possible to be in my position.

This Oxfam YouTube video about climate change is linked to overcoming poverty in the developing world as it’s the poorest in the developing world who suffer most due to climate change and floods and cyclones and famine.

“The cruel injustice is that even though the world’s poor are doing essentially nothing to cause climate change, they’re going to suffer the most from it. To sum up: We need to accomplish something gigantic we have never done before, much faster than we have ever done anything similar.”

Bill Gates

I love this Bill Gates quote and after floods at Bogangar after I lived in an apartment there, I went to Kingscliff Library to borrow Bill Gates How to Avoid a Climate Disaster book and two were out and two were ironically lost in the floods.

Bill Gates with his book a handsome, kind, genius

Now I need to include two strong female role models.

My favourite saints are Mary Mackillop from Australia and Saint Francis of Assisi.

I also platonically love Malala Yousafzai.

“After her school was closed by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Malala Yousafzai and her family fled the region. In Peshawar at age 11 she gave her first speech on the school closings and began making press appearances. In 2012 at age 15 she was shot in the head and survived, bolstering her fame globally.”

Google Search blurb

There is a link between education for all women and overcoming poverty not just education for the rich particularly on the subcontinent and this is Malala’s main achievement as a strong female activist.

In conclusion for all youths choose a vocation that you love and excel at not just one that shall make you rich as then you shall not only be happy but your efforts shall contribute greatly to the development of humane solutions to the many complex problems in the world.

Photo of me at the Big Ci studio residency in 2023 and photo by Yuri Bolotin an  important environmental activist and writer