The joy of a blog is you can write any old shite that takes your fancy.

So yeah art, it’s a thing for me. Along with my grab bag of mental I am also dyslexic. The inability to communicate in writing is a thing, anyone who has read one of my plot documents can tell you that i approach writing in a way that resembles a monkey throwing excrement in an attempt to make something stick. I think there are maybe two people who have ever given me the confidence to show any writing I’ve done.

Growing up with an inability to spell or use grammar in a way that wouldn’t offend the sensibilities of the internet (took till i was in my twenties) and being terminally shy left me very few ways to actually interact with the world. Then my dad drew me the Battlestar Gallactica on reams of old computer printer paper, you know the stuff with green lines on the back. I started trying to copy it.

And then, with a lot of practice, i discovered I could draw. At school i had some amazing art teachers who pushed me, when things went wrong at home they found the space to give me safety and found qualifications that fitted me. They also inspired me, pushed me and taught me a lot more about the world than art. Hell without them I would never have discovered Don McCullin, one of my heroes. Art college was the same, I discovered a lot about myself through my own art and the art of the people around me. That and Jenine, one of the few friends who through working on art together got me writing (ok it was really bad poetry, but every 18 year old writes really bad self indulgent poetry….).


Piccasso, Clive Barker, Rothko, Litchenstien, Goldworthy are all part of my visual touchstones along with Ian Millar and other artists that are probably considered less worthy by some. These people have changed my life, given me a images that will always stay with me and in many ways like music link to moments in my life.

Art allows me to express feelings, challenge myself, talk about things in ways that i cannot articulate normally. To be able to lay out in canvas and paint or draw, to be able to touch and feel acrylic with my fingers to shape how i am feeling, the thoughts in my head, ideas that are locked away normally is a powerful experience, one that has probably saved me on a few occasions too.

Something as simple as a portrait is shockingly personal and very intimate, looking at someone for the length of time it takes to draw means you see a lot more than you would even living with someone day to day. Art is often frustrating and no artist I know get it right straight out of the gate, sketching, redrawing and designing is all part of it. For every picture of someone i might do, there will be a pile of balled up bits of paper on the floor where the chin wasn’t right or the nose looked like it was stuck on. Often talking to kids about art they will ask how I can draw something, and its because i have practiced and have a visual dictionary much like someone who writes proper gud. That comes from time and patience, it’s not a magical power that i can just do.


Thing is its a technical skill, something anyone can do. It like anything takes practice, a lot of damned practice, but practice. Even composition just follows maths. Getting good involves stepping out of comfort zones to try new things that you are willing to fail at (see a pile of bad pencil work i have recently done for GC or constantly fighting with a portrait of a friend who’s face was like 7/8ths ratio….who bloody does that?) and having the confidence to keep going in the face of that portrait of someone who should look like art and yet you have made look like a potato in a bad wig.

I work with kids that have no fear of art, because they know that it’s safe. They can explore, discover and all without judgement, knowing that they will be encouraged. That what they produce, with time, grow in technical skills. It always surprises me when folk say they can’t draw. Anyone can, but it takes teaching and practice. No one expects you to program in C without some help, so why would you be able to draw?

Without art I would probably be unable to function (function to a given value), it allows me to have a safety valve, to express and to be creative. It is pretty much my life blood.

So yeah art it’s a thing.


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