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A Renegade Conversation

Renegades use their voices to change the world. Are you a renegade? I would define a renegade as someone who goes against the norm, speaks up and acts in order to facilitate change. In my experience, renegades tend to spring from marginalized communities, from a desire to change the status quo. I am a renegade and have created my art as an older woman trying to find my authentic self and my purpose and to establish myself as an artist.

Wild Women are renegades that speak up, to advocate and sometimes break rules that don’t make sense. To be wild with purpose and the intention to make the world a better place. My Wild Women contemporary hooked and mixed media mats grew from this desire to find myself. To decide who I wanted to be at this stage of my life (midlife and beyond). They’ve become a rallying cry for others, inspiring them to speak out, to dig deep to think about their life’s purpose – with compassion. So that they can find their voice and be wild with purpose.

‘She loved her natural hair’ – One of the mixed media (rug hooking, wet felting, art yarn) pieces in my Renegade Series. 12″x12″, mounted on artist canvas.

Anyone can be a renegade

Anyone can be a renegade, a person who uses their voice to change the world. The topics I explore in my art with my Wild Women and my Renegade Women can apply to a much wider community than women in midlife. Topics such as: How to bend, not break; Speaking to yourself with kindness; Being rooted and connected to the heavens; and I am enough.

I started a webcast in the fall of 2023 called Renegade Conversations. The target audience is people who identify as renegades, mostly women between 40 and 75 and gender non-conforming people. I’m reaching out to people who have inspired me for their willingness to speak up, take a stand, be an example for others.

Fun and learning

I’m having a lot of fun reaching out and connecting with other renegades. And I’m learning so much about: what renegades look like; how they behave (or not); and how to find amazing renegades.

What renegades look like

I’m discovering that the stereotype of an outspoken, loud, outrageous renegade is not always the case. Renegades I’ve had conversations with vary widely. Yes, there are the outspoken, hilarious types, but also renegades who are quieter, less in your face, but who are still quietly transforming the communities around them. Working behind the scenes tirelessly to advocate for change. And there are renegades in every community, representing all walks of life – entrepreneurs, people from marginalized communities, women of colour, gender non-conforming people, LGTB+ members, people from privilege who are working to advocate for others without a voice, artists and more.

Some people I’ve spoken with say they were a renegade from an early age. Others began as renegades, but due to the pressures to conform as they were growing up they suppressed their renegade nature. Still others say it wasn’t until midlife, or becoming a parent, or a big change in their lives (such as a job loss, a grief, a life changing illness) that they began to dig deeper to find their authentic self and to advocate for change.

How I’m finding amazing renegades

I’m watching the media (social and otherwise), looking for people who inspire me. I’m sending out invitations to connect and having some amazing success. Several people have said to me “I don’t know how you do it. That takes courage!”. Because I am truly interested in what these women are doing it doesn’t feel scary to reach out. Not everyone says yes, but every so often someone who I deeply admire says yes.

I’ve also been asking friends and colleagues for introductions to people they know who are renegades. Many of my former guests have introduced me to their friends and colleagues.

One of my goals with Renegade Conversations was to reach out to people in the wider community (i.e. not just people who look like me in the same socio-economic status). What has been wonderful is that my guests from other communities have been introducing me to people in their community, which is expanding my reach.

I don’t have a checklist of communities or type of individuals I want to reach. Instead I am keeping my eyes and ears open, viewing potential guests with the lens of incorporating diversity into the renegade conversations. And it has been working. Bringing a diversity of voices to have in depth, renegade conversations is enriching and creating community on a different level.

Are you a renegade?

Are you a renegade or interested in how to embrace more of your renegade self? Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and watch my webcast Renegade Conversations.

If you know an amazing renegade that you could connect me with, or you would like to be a guest on Renegade Conversations, reach out to me. I’d love to have a conversation!

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