You just made a new friend, and they happen to be a conservator.
TLDR: I write the content I wish I had found earlier in my career.
If you are a conservator, welcome colleague! Let's engage and talk about what concerns us.
If you are a museum worker or in a related field, I am happy to see you here! How can I help you?
If you are a student thinking about conservation, I am thinking of you and making resources you can use!
If you just like "art and stuff", you're about to start liking it even more - with some insider's knowledge you can't get anywhere else.
Why the weird name?
In 2021, I decided to begin a website with an attached newsletter to talk about conservation. I felt conservators needed to become public speakers and represent the profession in the eyes of society.
Conservators get confused with conservationists, restaurant owners, musicians, archaeologists, etc. I felt we had a generalised PR crisis. I still feel that way to a certain extent, by the way. So I began the website and added the newsletter sign up form because that's what you're told to do when you start a website.
And some people signed up. And then some other people signed up.
And I didn't send them a single thing. Until now.
Because newsletters and distribution lists for conservators and cultural heritage workers already abound.
If you are in this field, what could I possibly send you that you haven't already seen from another source?
If you are not in this field (yet?), what could I possibly send you that is better than what the well-established institutions have already made?
So I decided to do something different.
I'm going to write my newsletters the same way I write to my friends, except I will also add resources that I have made for you and articles that I have written for you.
This is why, when you get a newsletter from me, I wanted your email client to tell you
You just got an email from Your Friend, the Conservator.
I was thinking of those conversations we have with our friends and connections when we refer to someone else we know,
"Oh, remember my friend, the lawyer? The other day, they told me x. I had no idea! It's so useful. I'm so glad they told me that."
That's what I want to give you.
The rules: this is not like other newsletters
I will not spam you.
I will not email you with waffle and fluff when I have nothing interesting to say.
I will not send you a list of things without any additional comments on them. You can get those (useful!) aggregation newsletters elsewhere.
I do not have a fancy marketing campaign. I might not even email you every single week or every single month as normal newsletters do precisely because of the above reasons.
I will not send you huge blocks of text where I ponder upon the ethical quandaries of the philosophical dimension of the conservator’s hand as it approaches an object from an undetermined angle/distance and how this may (or may not!) reflect the gnashing of teeth in our inner souls. No. It’s just not my style. I'll save those musings for the indexed publications.
The question I start with before sending you a newsletter is:
How will receiving this newsletter help YOU?
And yeah, that might mean it takes me longer to send you something sometimes, but I want to test quality over consistency.
This goes against everyone's advice on how to run a newsletter, by the way.
I want this newsletter to be like that fun, surprise message from that random friend you have that happens to work in a particular field, in my case, museum conservation.
So what WILL I send you?
Thoughtful, well-written and light-hearted emails with useful information.
Practical resources and tips that I have made myself or that I have tried myself, so I can knowingly recommend them. These tips may be for your museum job, your heritage coursework, or literally just your house if you want to stop moths from eating your winter clothes.
Every now and then, I will have information on how people become conservators.
Should I share information on courses and events related to museum work and conservation, I will make sure I point out the audience profile for them so you know if it's the kind of thing you'd like to attend.
Book reviews or conference reviews that might be useful for you.
Tips and tricks I am learning about social media marketing for culture (although these are also applicable to any other projects you have)
Questions and thoughts about projects, collaborations and networking. Who can I connect you to?
What does this mean?
It means this newsletter will read as an email from your friend, who just happens to be a conservator.
It means this newsletter is meant to make you laugh at least once. If I don’t get at least one chuckle from you, I have failed. I win if I get an actual LOL out of you.
It means that you can't get my content anywhere else because it has been tailor made for you here.
Be warned. I have a very particular writing style. It's lively, sometimes irreverent. I'm cheeky. Don't take my words too seriously. I certainly don't. You must have a sense of humour.
Who else is signed up for this newsletter?
I can tell you that there are all kinds of people in this community I’m building.
Established museum professionals
Aspiring museum professionals and students
People who just have an interest in the arts and museums
Would you like to be able to interact with each other? Substack does have a chat which I have not yet enabled. If this is something you'd like to see, let me know!
Who am I anyway?
If you have never seen me online before, my name is Angelica Isa-Adaniya. I have a hyphenated surname because I’m Peruvian, which means we use two surnames, but when I don’t hyphenate them, people get super confused.
Some people forget my name altogether and grab on to the Isa thinking that's my name. It's not. It makes me feel like a student in a 1960s military school.
Yes, I look Asian. I understand that's also confusing. No, don’t worry. I’m not offended. That’s because I am descended from Okinawans who came over to Peru around the start of the 20th century.
I have also been told that although both my surnames are 100% from Okinawa, Isa is also Arabic and Adaniya is also Jewish. So you can bet the airport people in Israel looked at me funky when I went for a dig. The British English accent didn’t help either.
My brother also recently thought it would be “hilarious” to buy me a square foot of land in Scotland so I am technically? a Scottish Lady as well. I just married a Canadian and will soon be moving over there. It’s like I live my life to make people confused, no?
I studied museum conservation in the UK between 2012-2015 and have spent the past seven years working in an archaeological museum setting in Peru. During this time, I have also run some research and educational projects, gotten some grants, done some cool things. But you can read all that on my Linkedin.
In 2019, I decided to begin investing in having an online presence. Since then, and directly thanks to that investment, I have attended several international conferences, networked with people all over the world, joined committees for large heritage organisations, gotten a few large grants and scholarships, learned a lot about social media marketing and solopreneurship too!
I’ve connected with wonderful people and look forward to connecting with you too.
Don't forget to say hello!
On Linkedin, Twitter, or Instagram if you want! I'd love to talk to you directly. You can also message me directly on any of those platforms to let me know what kind of content you’d like to see in the newsletter.