Sunday, 31 January 2016

What Bowie Taught Us

3 weeks ago today one of my creative heroes, David Bowie, passed away. I stared blankly at my phone screen in bed on monday morning - crestfallen - in stark contrast to 8th January 2013 when I woke up to find the world talking about his 66th birthday due to the announcement of his first album in 10 years. I guess the news was a hard pill to swallow because true heroes are infinite (not just for one day) and his supernatural properties of reinvention and constant innovation had allowed me to forget that behind all the majesty beat a human heart.

This image is of what Bowie was up to when he was my age (find out yours at putting the finishing touches to the look of his character "Ziggy Stardust". Like me, he loved a pattern, and I think looking at Bowie's time on Earth as a pretty fascinating, vibrant, otherworldly dude, can teach us a lot. Here's what I've learnt:

Thursday, 14 January 2016


Let me level with you; I've been researching for / trying to produce a calendar for the past 3 years. At the start of 2015 I wrote down CALENDAR: TO PRINT BY END OF OCT, planning to sell my long-awaited creation at a couple of markets before the end of the year. That didn't happen, but I did manage to squeeze out the final artwork just in time for Christmas, sending it to Rope Press on a bit of a wing and a prayer.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Scrambled Mess: Looking After #1

"Now your mind's a scrambled mess / I'll patch you up with a needle and thread / This, your old skin, you will shed / And, with care, on this new path you will tread."

When I heard Seren The Heron performing at How The Light Gets In festival last year her song 'Scrambled Mess' really struck a chord with me, describing perfectly the tangled web of tasks, internet tabs, meeting notes, ideas, events and self-created / self-adopted pressures that was my state of mind. I cited this brief trip to Hay-on-Wye as "the ultimate cure for my drained soul", but I was shocked to find to what extent my energy had reached such a critical low in the first place, and how necessary and quickly-obtained some brain breathing time had been.

Looking after yourself can not only make you happier, it can also make you more productive in your work and in your relationships. It has been this realisation that has led to a shift in thinking for me. A consequence of the driven sensibility that what you're doing matters is a tendency to stop at nothing to get things done, including missing sleep, meals and defying a healthy rhythm or balance in favour of just keeping going. The trouble with this approach is that it is very taxing to the body and mind, making you less efficient at the things you want to do, and I have found a fed and focused mind can complete tasks more quickly than a weary, overstretched one.