I’ve known Renita for a while now. Originally from America, Renita now lives in Wigtown, which the book town in Scotland, with the most stunning views across the estuary. When I’ve performed at the festival, the children have all been whipped up to a frenzy by Renita, who welcomes them in and “settles them down” [...]
I am most concerned by the downgrading of creative subjects in the educational proposals. Creative subjects have already been turned into academic subjects, to make marking easier for the objectively minded assessors. Children are now encouraged to study the creative work of others, so they can be tested on their knowledge, rather than be creative themselves. If creative subjects themselves are downgraded this country is doomed.
It is the creative industries that keep this island afloat and our heads just above water. If we kill the geese that lay the golden eggs, then our future impoverishment in a global market will be entirely the fault of those making decisions to downgrade creative subjects now.
The future wealth of this country rests in your hands. Downgrading creativity is tantamount to treason.
I hope your consciences let you sleep at night.
with best wishes
Its 60 years since Francis Crick, James Watson and Rosalind Franklin discovered that a double helix was the secret to the molecular structure of DNA. To celebrate, I thought I’d show you how to draw a double helix.
It’s not the easiest thing to get your drawing head around, but if you go slowly and methodically it will all make sense.
I had an email this week asking me for a bit of advice about self criticism. This is really hard to deal with and the harder you are on yourself, the harder you get. Its a vicious circle that gets worse and worse. Harsh del-criticism is a really bad habit, just like crack cocaine or smoking. the more you do it the more the habit gets ingrained into your daily routine.
Snapping out it is hard. Its a 24 hour a day battle against something that doesn’t want to go away. Don’t be hard on yourself. look always for the positive and ask that critical voice if it has anything constructive to say. If it hasn’t ignore it and then look for the positive in your work or the situation you are in. Criticism is a waste of time unless it adds something. if it doesn’t add, don’t do it and ignore the little voices in your head – and the voices of others who don’t understand or maybe don’t have tour best interests at heart.
Last week I was giving cartoon drawing lessons at the wonderful Pencil Museum in Keswick in the beautiful Lake District in the UK.
We were using Pentel Aquash Brushes and Derwent Aquatone watercolour crayons, which were great fun and so easy to use. The paper I used was Derwent watercolour paper which is very smooth and heavy so it takes water well without crinkling. I’m not sure that’s avail;able outside the UK
I spent three days there and drew non-stop, showing kids, and the grown-ps too, how to draw anything from a Dalek to a wizard or a ninja or a fairy. We had a lot of fun. I hope I’ll be asked back again, so I might see you there next time!
If you would like me to do drawing or cartoon workshops at your school or library, feel free to get in touch. click here
Here are US & UK Amazon links. If you want buy and to try out these products please follow the links and help support my videos – thanks.
This tutorial shows you how to draw a Whale and colour it in using watercolours and and Pentel Aquash pait brushes, which I have just discovered. you can see my review of them here.
If you are thinking of trying them out, please use the US or UK Amazon links below and help support my videos, thanks! You might also like to try Derwent Aquatone crayons that you can draw with or use as watercolours, washing in the colour once it is on the paper. I used tehse a lot at the pencil museum.
Twitter friend, americo neves, asked me if I ever used portable brushes, well I happened to have a set of Pentel Aquash Brushes and so I thought I would give them a go and show you how I got along with them. I happened to be drawing at the Keswisk Pencil Museum the week after and used them solidly for three days with Aquatone colour crayons and I had a lot of fun with them
I have to admit that when I first looked at them I thought they looked a bit cheap and plastic, but now I’ve used them I think they are great and will always have them in my bag for quick sketching. They are quick and fun and a lot easier to use than carrying around pots of water for your water colours. Good fun.
If you are thinking of trying them out, please use the US or UK Amazon links below and help support my videos, thanks!
Well, this video is what I had in mind. The biro works as an embossing tool. I’ve drawn a wedding disco with everyone dancing, but I’ve only drawn their skeletons. When you rub over the top with a graphite pencil a picture of the disco comes to life. I’ve rambled a bit with the story of the wedding party Im afraid!
Come and join me at the Pencil Museum in Keswick next week on the 9th – 10th and 11th of April. I’ll be around to show you how to draw stuff and answer all your drawing and pencil type questions. See you there!
Recently, I’ve had a few Art students ask me for advice for what to do after they have finished their studies and go out into the world with a degree tucked under their arms – looking for a job.
Well, It’s a long time since I started and things have changed a lot. Back then there was no internet – just the Artist’ and Writers Year book that contained a lot of addresses and phone numbers. I made a list of all the companies I wanted to work for, phoned them up and made appointments to see the art directors. Then I trudged around London showing my portfolio.
Sadly, it just doesn’t work that way anymore. Art Directors are under a lot of pressure and pretty much rely on Agents to do the sifting and sorting for them.
There didn’t used to be illustrator websites either – I don’t subscribe to them. Little pictures of your work on a site like that, look just like everyone else’s. The only calls I ever got from illustrator sites were from other illustrator sites wanting me to show my work there too – and pay for it!
I asked an influential Art Director last week just how much has changed, and this is what she said”
“The sad thing is, there are so many 100’s of budding artists all trying to get their work seen these days that I could employ someone, full time, just to see portfollios or answer illustrators’ emails. It feels so harsh to say it, but in these tough times, we simply don’t have the resources to see illustrators unless their work shows a unique commercial promise. Artists can certainly email or send in samples to Art Directors and Publishers and, in my experience, they all get looked at. Sadly, the majority will get a “thanks but no thanks” reply, but if the work looks exceptionally promising they’ll either get a request for more samples or be invited to show their work, in person. The key words here are UNIQUE and COMMERCIAL PROMISE if they want to be seen. ?
And there you have it. If you want to work as an artist, making work to sell or to be commissioned, you have to be commercial. I’m afraid your degree is not going to help you, unless you are going into art management or other full-time jobs where qualifications may be taken into account.
Your degree has bought you three or four years to experiment and find your true purpose in life. A degree in art is pretty much a certificate of attendance. It is your work and your portfolio that really counts.
I’m not saying that degree is worthless – you need the time, guidance and the companionship of like-minded people that a degree offers to develop you skills and ideas. But please don’t think the world owes you work and riches just because you have that piece of paper in your hand.
If you are still at college, the best thing you can do is to learn about marketing and and start planning your final degree show.
A final degree show is not just a nice exhibition to show your parents what you’ve been doing for three or four years, it’s a serious show case. You can’t rely on your teachers or professors to do it for you either.
Start planning a humdinger of a show. If you are miles away from the centre of the art world, hire a place near where the buyers are and start targeting them to make sure they come and see your work.
You may be in a sleepy backwater university town that has been lovely and delightful for the past few years, but Art buyers and commissioners are not going to go out of their way to come and see your show!
You need agents to see your show too. They probably all live somewhere fancy too! Are you getting my drift?
Go and read about how Damien Hurst organised the Freeze exhibition when he left College. I’ll put a link below. It rocketed him and his college friends to almost instant stardom. He and his friends are really successful now. It would be hard to repeat what he did, but you can learn a lot from his tactics.
While you have college or university facilities available start producing business cards and posters to send to people.
Start getting in touch with agents or, if you are a bit of an entrepreneur, start to learn something about business and marketing. It is not rocket science, and you are allowed to be the master of your future success. There is no law that says you must have a gallery or an agent.
Starving artists starve because they don’t make work that people want to buy. Successful artists make stuff that people want and they learn how to market it and sell it.
Do not get seduced by the starving artist in the garret idea. This fantasy was dreamed up by the writers of romantic operas whose audiences loved to wallow in stories about bohemian failures dying of TB in rat infested attics. This is romantic nonsense.
Artists are allowed to earn a living as much as anyone else and they do not have to suffer for it. Like anyone else trying to make a success of their lives, you may have to make a few sacrifices but you don’t have to wallow in artistic pain – this is a lie devised by devious agents and gallery owners to keep artists on a tight leash.
More than anything else keep making the work and keep making it better. Know who you are – know who you are making it for and make your work for them – they are the ones who are going to buy it and make your future the success you so desire.
I’ll talk more about marketing in another video because I don’t think people really understand what that term means.
Until then, keep drawing drawing drawing, practice practice practice – keep making the work – keep making it better and I’ll see you next time.
You take care now, bye bye.