Category Archives: Motivation

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.

 

 

Book Piracy

It’s always been difficult making a living as an author. Now it’s harder than ever. The Median annual income from writing of a professional author in the UK is £10,500 a year, down 42% in real terms since 2005!

There are many reasons, which I shall be going into over the next few weeks.

One reason is people like the Internet Archive Open Library. I just searched their site with my name and 14 titles came up. These titles are available to borrow for free. They never asked me if it was okay and they certainly don’t intend to pay for the priveledge.

They claim they want to make – “all the published works of humankind available to everyone in the world.”

That’s fine for hippies, but as far as I’m concerned, they can pay for the honour being so generous.

Why on earth would anyone spend years of their life creating work for any old internet hacker to come along and steal it – for that is what is going on here – plain theft, robbery, piracy. The Internet Archive are a bunch of thieves and need to go to jail for stealing.

Each book has a contract page that usually says something like “You may not copy or distribute this work in any form.” That’s pretty simple to understand.

Look at their supporters! Complicit in illegal activity! I’m sure they don’t mean to be, but they are aiding and abetting theft on a huge scale

If they are getting funding, they can share some of that with the owners of the content they are stealing.

Recent foundation funding generously provided by::

As you can see below, my books haven’t been borrowed a lot, but many other authors have and it is not right or just. There is a principle at stake here and the Authors Guild of America

I have sent a cease and desist email and hope that when next you search my name in the Internet Archive – nothing comes up – or better still, the whole site has been closed down and the owners are in jail awaiting sentence.