26 February 2012


this is my third illustrated book. I started my first one because I needed something to absorb some energy to draw and some ideas for stories I'd come up with to occupy my son's imagination during walks to and from school, to and from the studio. anyway, now I'm on number three. I've told my son this story about 100 times, it's one of his favourites (having a keen interest in all things nature) andI actually think it's a fairly good story. it's informative. actually the way I have chosen to draw it has turned out to be a task beyond any other illustration work I've done. I wanted to 'wow' future publishers at how much ink I can cram into one page, but in actuality I'll never be doing a book in this style before. I've been banging on at it for ages and if I didn't like the story so much, I'd maybe have given up. here's some rough pictures of some drawings I've done so far

9 February 2012

being self employed

I am suffering the ill effects of being self employed right now. before you go and decide you want to be self employed, remember a few things that may put you off:
1. how hard you work each day matters. money will not appear in your bank monthly year in year out without you making things happen
2. if you get your business in massive debt but are paying yourself a nice salary you will be elidgable for more credit and people will think you're 'successful'. if you muck by, you're shit
3. people always think your job (and I'm focussing on the creative industries here) is a joke. after all drawing is for kids, painting should make you rich and music is only good if you are 'signed' and 'make it'
4. you will work at least 50% more than you think you'll have to
5. optimism is something that you learn the hard way to manage with caution yet have to rely on, as you've no choice
6. banks think you're shit. even though at any point someone with a 'real job' can lose that job, you're still more of a liability appart from the fact if you were low on money, you get a JOB
7. at least 50% of your time is admin, so don't think it's a blissful life, you have to wear many hats
8. when people suggest you are 'living the dream' you feel shit because sometimes all you dream of is to turn up somewhere for a set amount of hours, do something easy, go home and money is there. no hassle, no tax returns, credit elidgability and a pension
9. people find it hard to understand how an art career is a very slow growing one. you need time and space to grow a practice. stop working and you might as well forget it. there's not one artist who just got a really big show for nothing. curators like to watch artists for years to check their work is getting less shit over time
10. no holidays

on a more positive note the pros for being self employed and running our own business are:
1. you can tell whoever you want to fuck off

wrong reasons to be self employed:
1. because you want heaps of money. it's so not that easy
2. I met a guy who told me 'I've been working for a wanker boss all my life, now I want to be the wanker boss' what a complete prick
3. to walk about with a sense of 'people to see, places to go' worse still, to tell people 'I own my own company' and stuff all the time. what is that about?
4. because you've read all these tips and motivational slogans on websites for people who claim to be successful business people (bloggers, writers, etc) and you feel like you can do it peasers. in real life these people often have inherited shitloads of money and their business is for extra pocket money
5. to look cool. you're nae special get over yourself

right reasons to be self employed:
1. by default, because you kinda have to be for your type of work
2. to do what you love doing because you believe you have something that you could make a career of, money oriented or not
3. flexibility of time to accommodate family commitments that come first. that's a top one. it's so easy to overwork yourself and become a dick to the ones you love-remember if you can't make being self employed work in your favour for the real values in life, don't bother
4. to see what it's like. why not?

so that's it. good luck if you want to be self employed. it's very hard knowing that if you just fit in, work the ladder, earn your salary, you are likely to have that boring life we all want. sometimes I totally want that boring life but the bog standard way of going to school then uni then work has seemed to produce a lot of bedrooms with them wavey ikea mirrors, gas barbecues, garden trampolines with massive safety implementations, two point four children wearing 'gap' jumpers to play on said trampoline, and homes with barely any actual items in, spare the odd brown leather coaster. having a career that doesn't pay well yet, or never, but you're giving it a go, might make your life more interesting though. long as you're not one of those idiots who comes across as having all this 'business advice' and actually you find out they're in massive debt and they're a knob. well done.

one more thing or two:

don't take advice from:
1. anyone who claims to know a lot but they're not actually doing what they want to. they've been pushed to sell out and will try and make you see the 'reality' of a situation and leave you feeling like there's no point even trying
2. overly cautious people. you're going to have to take risks. listen but take with a pinch of salt. a nice big one.
3. people 'in marketing'. most patronising bastards ever.
4. people overly eager to work with you. it's normally to boost their own confidence, credibility by association and to mooch off your resources. sorry of that's really cynical. just beware!
5. websites with heaps of acronyms and slogans. always shite that someone is just making money out of making a book full of
6. people who fucking love to advertise that they're their 'own boss'. always a prick

take advice from:
1. the people you live with. assuming those are the people you like best, make sure your job doesn't make you cranky. if so change what you do day to day
2. yourself. trust your instinct and inexperience
3. generous people. you want that quality