I had an idea to do a series of icon-type graphics based upon the old rhyme that most of us know as ‘Monday’s Child’. I was hoping to try an exercise in minimalism, or more specifically: simplicity. My designs are rather complicated and take repeated viewings to discover different unnoticed things, but this also means they aren’t immediately accessible to some, and so I wanted to practise paring things down.
I had the images in mind for the most part but I was struggling with a way to represent Tuesday’s Grace under the template I was using. Then I found this beautifully written and excellently researched blog post, detailing different versions, and decided that my Tuesday’s child would be a racer.
Don’t @ me
If you read that post in it’s entirety, You’ll probably come to the same conclusion that I did… There really is not much more to be said on the subject.
Except, while making these little characters it occurred to me that rather than interpret them as days of birth, and therefore predetermination of a life, they could be read as a model of the working week.
I use the term ‘working week’ under the understanding that a lot people today, myself included, live under the umbrella that fuels the precariat class: ‘The Gig Economy’, but even so, I think it stands.
Not for the hours of a working week, but the structure of a week that works. Within this week that works, is time set aside for yourself; spend too much time employed in the pursuits of money and you miss the things that, you’ll realise too late, really matter.
I like to start things with a contentious issue, so firstly we’ll talk a little bit about the order of the days of the week. There are a few theories as to why our working week starts on Sundays, whether it came from the Egyptians through the Romans, or it was due to Christianity splitting away from Judaism, it matters little in respect to this output. Even though the rhyme that sparked this series itself starts on Monday, there are (again within that beautifully researched post linked to above) versions that start with Sunday as the first line.
Once more it is of little consequence, for the purposes of this ‘working week’ theory, because whichever way your week ‘works’ the theory treats the start of the business week as Monday, the international standard lists Sunday as the seventh day, but many cultures understand it (as do I here in the U.K.) as the first day of the week. So you can choose whether your Sunday is the last day of your week, or the first, for this theory the ‘Business week’ starts on Monday.
Again it’s only a little lighthearted thing; I’m not wanting to start my own religion. Although, I might reconsider that if things get too dire and momma’s kitchen gets bare.
The thing with ‘life’ is, that a LOT of dilemmas and dramas can be solved through a simple switching of perspective: if you can change the way you are looking at something, then it can be easier to accept, digest, work with, or around. So while I say it’s a reading on the working week, it’s not an absolute: your life doesn’t have to correspond to any predetermined structure, that is the beauty of existence.
It’s nothing more than an invitation to step outside your own perspective, and explore this one with me, for as long as it lasts within you, which may not even be to the end of this post >.<
Bearing in mind: the rhyme starts on Monday and the business week I detailed earlier tends to primarily start on a Monday, so the beginning of our reading, is also Monday.
Monday’s Child is fair of face: Greet the coming week with optimism and joy, your beautiful thoughts will radiate from behind your eyes and flush your ‘face’ (image, business profile, personal relationships, business relationships) with qualities that are bound to, appeal to, and attract, other people’s attentions. As Roald Dahl says in his book ‘The Twits’: “If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely“.
Set your plans with enthusiasm because this is the energy your week will require.
Tuesday’s child loves to race: Today is the day to bury yourself in work, breeze through it with confidence, getting on with everything that is within your control like a pro, use all of the energy the start of the working week has to offer, Tuesday is the prime day for this; Monday is foundations, and Wednesday is tipping point.
Wednesday’s child is full of woe: Wednesday is named after Odin via wider Germanic representation as Woden. Many know of Odin’s fury as a warrior, he is the god of battle, but he is also associated with healing, sacrifice, wisdom, victory, poetry and frenzy! Today is the day to use your wits strategically to get any work, that has not been done, DONE!
Chase up, anyone or anything that has not yet presented the thing they said they would. Today is the day to have your worries, because you’ve had time to digest any new information since Monday and you still have time to implement plans of action before close of business on Friday. Wednesday is ‘refine your plans day’.
Thursday’s child has far to go: Thor’s day brings renewed energy after your Wednesday: you can buckle down on pulling together your disparate strands, and start forging towards those deadlines. It may be a long and lonely trek but the destination is better than the ‘here’ and the trip is worth the effort. You know you can, and you’ve said you will, so, pedal to the metal baby; drive it like you stole it.
Friday’s child is loving & giving: a lot of people find joy in their Friday: it is the traditional end of the business week. It’s time to let loose the spirit of your freedom that has been held, cramped, in the cage of commerce, for the largest part of your week, and let it fly. Be generous with your joy and pass it on to others, the love shall pour forth from ye, and the universe can only reflect it back.
Saturday’s child works hard for a living: Saturday is relief day from the business week, yet perversely enough, a lot of us try to cram as much into it as is humanly possible. As if, to validate the quality of our lives, and balance against the stresses of gaining value in a capitalist structure, we need to enjoy it, as much as we can. Work hard party hard. There is a violence inherent in this system (hence the clockwork orange reference in the cog & bowler).
Everyone else is working roughly the same hours, generally, and this means we can only see our friends at specific times, so we cram them in too. Putting pressure on ourselves to relieve ourselves of other pressures doesn’t seem like the right medicine: in a twisted celebration, of the working week at it’s end, it is “imperative” that we always do our best (Le Sigh). Saturday is the added pressures of ‘game face’. It seemingly never ends. But life is choice: you do it to yourself.
I have named this piece Sunday, but Sunday is never mentioned in what I would consider, the most well-known version; the Sabbath is the reference. As such Sunday’s child gets a bit robbed by this poem, it is generally considered that the Christian Sabbath is Sunday, except I had some understanding that it didn’t directly translate, so I had to check on the meaning, it translates roughly as rest, but in terms of scholarly meaning, it’s rather harder to pinpoint as illustrated by this Mirriam-Webster dictionary link.
Regardless, Sunday is the day to be bonny & blithe & good & gay, except I have gone with (again) a different version and this was purely a personal choice because I liked the words better. The word gay in the rhyme is intended to mean happy, as this was the original usage.
Sunday is the day to be whoever or whatever you want, without care, free from societal restraint. Sunday is the day of rest, from the pressures of everyday life, it is the day to not worry about things, to put them from your mind and find time to truly relax; let your body and spirit recuperate, find enlightenment in the nowness of ‘being’, for Monday is not far away. Being true to yourself is the only way to live in the world, but in being so, you have to, understand, hear and accommodate other’s truths as well. None of us exist in a vacuum.
I didn’t create them in chronological order, so in terms of my original parameters, I half succeeded, they remain fairly true to the brief but the colour depth on Wednesday and the detail scribbled with chaotic consequence on the most intricate design, Tuesday, saw me reverting to type: I’m in the Vaughn Oliver (R.I.P. you amazing man – he taught at my University) school of design; I’m a sucker for a layer.
The only one that ran away from me after solving the problem of Tuesday, was Sunday. I had completely different concepts in mind and none of them worked in a way that I was happy with. I had found a pleasing base to my image and couldn’t effectively add much more to it, not that it was perfect, more, that it contained enough, and more, of the things I could say, and things I could never think to say. I was reminded of my simple exercise and opted on the, less, is definitely more, choice.
Sunday is my least favourite design. I suspect it may be the colour of the lettering that’s really killing it for me.
My favourite piece is Thursday’s Child, I like the idea of expansive knowledge, and never being ‘done’ with learning, that there is always more to know and each new discovery leads to further newer discoveries, but I am a Friday child, which by means of this rhyme I don’t fare too badly, it is in fact quite positive. The kind of lore that attaches the number thirteen to Fridays though, has a different tale to tell of those of us born to this day.
Another subject for another post.
The works are all available to buy, in my stores where you can find the designs on many different types of products, From notebooks to mini-art prints, clothing, bags and much more. If you like any of them, or even think it might make a nice small gift for someone, feel free to follow the link below each image, each store sells different products so it is worth clicking through all of them at least once to familiarise yourselves with the lines on offer.
Thanks for stopping by my blog and checking out my works I hope you’re all doing the best you can out there, stay safe x.