Friday, March 31, 2017

drawing a line under it all

Hey, thanks for stopping by. I wonder if you could help me out with some advise on a couple of things? For some time now I've been thinking about creating a book about drawing with ballpoint pens. There are a few reasons I want to do this. Firstly, it's what I'm always asked about and associated with; the ballpoint work. Secondly, I'm really done with drawing with ballpoints. I have been for some time, so it would be killing two birds with one stone. I get to answer all those questions, whilst drawing a line under it all for myself. It's not that I don't like the work, I really do, and when I see some of it, after a break, I feel proud of it. But, I just can't work in that way any more. I am more about getting the results quicker these days.
Another reason I've been considering a book is that a couple of zines, from my How To Draw (With a Ballpoint Pen) series, have sold out and are now out of print. I love that collection and I'd like to gather these together, along with a load of work that I produced for a fourth ballpoint zine that didn't get printed. All of that, plus a selection of my favourite ballpoint drawings, and some thoughts and techniques about using the pens, would make a pretty good book I reckon.
Now, I am in no position to fund this book. So, this is what I wanted to ask
a) does anyone have any experience of crowdfunding a project or book? How did you find it? Would you recommend a crowdfunding site (it would need to be one in the UK)? 
b) Do you think there would be a market for such a book?
Thanks, in advance, for your response.

How To Draw Like a Barmpot and is available HERE. As is my Converse print, the drawing at the top of this post, which is currently on sale.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Letters

I am brimming over with creative ideas right now. Here's another one that I'm bringing to life. I have no idea if it'll work but I'm going to give it a shot. 'Teddy' is the first in a series of letters, each one is a little piece of flash fiction. But, this is flash fiction graphic novel style. Yes, (I've just realised that) I've created a whole new genre. 
The thing that excites me about this idea is (hopefully) how it will unfold in front of me. Now, I am pretty sure that this is not the correct way to go about writing a story, but, I've been creating stories in this way for a couple of years in my Drink & Draw series. In these events, through models, poses and props, I tell a story for sketchers to draw. These stories always unfold, change and take unexpected twists as each model brings their own thing to it, plus poses may need to be cut, on the night, because of timing, that kind of thing. The changes then inform what happens in the next episode.
I recently read the Stephen King book 'On Writing', in which he described how a story should take you on the journey, rather than the other way around. I completely relate to that, it is actually the way I used to build my big drawings too. I'd let them tell me what to do next. I love the idea that a story has it's own life and you're just there to get it on paper. It would be a dull process if it wasn't that way, I think.
Now I'm not sure he'd recommend putting your first bit of the story out there before anything else has been written, but I'm experimenting here. During the time I was creating this letter all sorts of ideas about who the letter was from and who it was too came up. I think I always knew these characters but during this process I got to know them a lot better. And so, the next letter kind of wrote itself.
Anyway, enough talk. 'Teddy' is available HERE.
Thanks for calling by my blog.

Friday, March 10, 2017

on double identities and stuff

Here's something I've been struggling with recently, well, struggling is probably too strong a word. Here's something I've thinking about. It's this kind of double identity I have going on. When it comes to my business, that is. I've just had some lush new art prints (above) created of my new drawings of buildings. Theyre quality art prints and cost a pretty penny to get made.
Now, I also have another set of products that I sell. This is my merchandise. This is part of my income. Quite a big chunk of my very small income to be honest. Basically, I need to sell this stuff. It includes my cards, badges and other cute little bits and bobs. The smaller cheaper items that people buy without thinking too much about cost.
I take a lot of time and pride over making these things. I don't ever want to put anything out there, whether it's lower or higher cost, that isn't a lovely product. I love these little things even though they're hugely time consuming and the return is small. But, as I said, they bring in a much needed wage.
(photo by Rob Whitrow)
But here's the thing I've been thinking about; do these products take away from my more serious (or, at least, the stuff I'm more serious about) work? Do they devalue the other work, eg, my buildings etc?
And, more to the point, should I separate the business? Should I have a shop for my merchandise and a shop for my other artwork? I have already started doing that in various places, for example on Instagram I have created a separate account as @northernquartersketcher and on Twitter @NQsketcher. And, actually, I feel especially on Instagram that is working for me.
Thing is, I can't totally separate these two sides of my work as they both are MY work. And, over the past decade or more, I have built up a following and lots of those people become regular customers (and I love and appreciate them), so if I were to separate the businesses then will I lose people along the way? Will it just be loads more work? Can you sell high quality high priced art prints alongside Thug Cats badge cards??? So many questions.
Hmmm, very interested to hear your thoughts, folks. Maybe you've been through this before|? In the meantime, I'll keep on creating.