Category Archives: Motivation

How to get really, really good at drawing – or anything else!

Edvard Munch – The Scream – How many times did he draw something to develop this final image?

I’ve been up to London a couple of times recently and saw the Munch and Manga exhibitions at the British Museum as well as their show of Rembrandt Drawing and etchings.

Something at the Munch exhibition made me think about the importance of practice and continual development and redevelopment of ideas, style and technique.

I thought I’d just talk it out to the camera in the hope of capturing some of what I was thinking. Maybe I need to do not everyday until I perfect the idea!

Learn to draw, illustrate and make picture books

I have been working out what to do with the rest of life for the past year or so!

Don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with me, but there is a lot wrong with publishing. I’m planning on making some videos about the state of publishing quite soon.

I want to keep making children’s books. I have loads of ideas for new characters and stories. I actually love the physical process of creating and manufacturing books, and I’m coming to enjoy the marketing and promotion side of publishing too.

I also love to make videos and share my experience in drawing, illustration and making books. But I can’t do both… until now.

As I say, I’ve been working this out. I’ve been on quite an emotional journey this last year, working through monthly  business seminars to guide me. I realise it’s time for authors to take control of their lives and become the entrepreneurs that they really are.

I have now set up my patreon page so that I can teach drawing, illustration and picture book making, by sharing my practice and process as an independent author/publisher. Bringing the two strands of my interest and expertise together in one place.

Patreon is a sort of crowd-funding platform for creative people. But now it is morphing into a membership platform where you can join me and support what I do from as little as $1. In return I’m offering rising tiers of rewards, offering drawing, illustration and publishing lessons. Join my creative crew for hangouts to ask questions, get advice or just shoot the breeze with similar-minded people all around the world.

Go to my Patreon Page now to get all the details and join a growing group of people who are all on the same creative path as you.

S.T.E.M. is for Robots

It’s time we examine seriously, the inexorable rise of S.T.E.M., particularly in relation to the disappearance of the arts in education.

What is S.T.E.M.?

S.T.E.M. stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (or Math).

Why wouldn’t you want to promote those subjects? In fact I’d chuck in English to make S.T.E.E.M.,  as English teaches syntactic skills so necessary for programming.

S.T.E.M. is symptomatic of the weird, steam-punk Victorian-style of modern education – melding old-fashioned curricula and end of year exams with modern data-driven performance results, that are unable to quantify the long-term, intangible benefits of the arts.

Let’s face it, S.T.E.M.on it’s own is only useful for creating robots, and S.T.E.M., on it’s own, will only create robots of our future generations.

There is one big problem… we are already creating robots to replace our future generations. In ten year’s time we will have a generation brought up to do the work of robots, which is already being performed by robots.

Which humans will survive and have meaningful lives? The creative ones – the mavericks who, against all advice and without encouragement, taught themselves.

The application of S.T.E.M. relies on brilliant, creative minds. You won’t get those without S.T.E.A.M. – Science, Technology, Engineering, ART and Maths.

Art, in this case, covers all the creative subjects and activities and includes practical experimentation and failure – yes, even blowing up the chemistry lab by mistake!

Robots do repetitive tasks. Humans do creativity, it’s what they do best. They do it even better when taught the skills and are nurtured.