Thursday, 16 December 2010

In Training...

A few people have asked me, now that I'm no longer working as an illustrator, if I've also stopped drawing for myself. I can see why they'd ask that, but I couldn't even contemplate hanging up my sketchbooks for good. That would be an intellectual amputation, and no, I don't believe I'm exaggerating.

I've sung the praises of slim Muji notebooks before, but they're so little trouble to carry that there's really no excuse not to, even if you're on a nudist beach (they're so small you could tuck one in your... well, in the band of your panama hat).

Coming home from London the other day I rediscovered another advantage of the pocket-sized sketchbook: it's incredibly easy to hide the fact that you're drawing at all. The people in the sketch above must think I'm highly proficient at crossword puzzles. When it comes to violating other people's privacy, a gentleman does so in secret.

I still think of myself as an illustrator, and finding some black and white line work is one of my aims for 2011, but for now I'm happy keeping the engines in tune with Muji. And now you know what to send me for Christmas, so we're all smiling.


  1. Very nice work. Now that I'm done with my edits you might see me more often.
    Merry Christmas
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  2. My husband once got drawn at an airport. He had no idea that was what the bloke sat opposite, fervently scribbling away, was doing, until he came over and introduced himself and offered him the picture. It's great. We still have it.

  3. Nancy, I hope you'll see ME here more often too! Edits devour time, don't they? Thanks for commenting.

    Kate, that's a great story! I once tried something similar with a pretty girl, but it didn't go so well:-/

  4. I was discussing with Lynne Chapman recently (who does lots of these kind of drawings) what the writer's equivalent of this was. I don't think we reached a conclusion but I love the idea of filling idle time with something more constructive. Maybe I should take up drawing, the way I always told myself I should!

  5. Thanks, Nick. These days I always think of sketching on the train as 'doing a Lynne Chapman'.


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