Drawing, Thoughts, Work In Progress

Slowly Does It

penguins 2Some days I think my growing fondness for scratch board, officially the slowest drawing medium in the world, is a curse, impractical and quite frankly idiotic.

Other days I think it is teaching me an important lesson.

Since Lighter Than My Shadow was published, I’ve been trying really hard not to approach everything in life like an eating disorder. If anyone is wondering how that comparison makes sense, consider that my former approach to making art involved a lot of lists, target sheets, unreasonable goals and considerable self-flagellation for not achieving them. It became clear in the aftermath of my book that this approach was not only destructive, but unsustainable and honestly not a lot of fun: it was removing all joy from drawing, purportedly the thing I love most in the world. And so I decided to learn to do things differently.

penguins1

Here’s where the world’s slowest drawing medium comes in. I have no choice but to let it go slowly. An A4 page takes me the better part of a week. My penguin poster has taken two months so far and is still not done. Yet I’ve just decided to also use scratch board for some (not all!) of the next Green Bean.

green-bean1

I am making marks every day, and by my old standards I do not have a lot to show for it. My blog is quiet because I am not churning out work at an unsustainable rate. When I do post, I feel like I’m writing the same thing over and over, justifying to myself that this slower pace is  OK. In truth, living with it is extraordinarily uncomfortable. The old pattern would have me down tools in despair, lamenting that there’s no point trying if I can’t conquer the world by tomorrow lunchtime.

I am not doing that. I am going back to the drawing board and making the marks I can make today; learning to let that be enough.

Drawing, Zines

Thirty Favourites

The Green Bean Volume 4 Issue 5

I turned 30 last year, and instead of joining in the trend to fulfil a “30 before 30” list, I sat down and mulled over my favourite memories and experiences, picking 30 of them to illustrate for a new issue of The Green Bean. The kind of things that cropped up as especially memorable surprised me. I found I treasured many memories to do with animals, and many that took place outside. I realised how much I value my family, and reading, and live music. Hardly any had anything to do with grand achievements: most were tiny, spontaneous moments when I was fully absorbed.

The resulting zine is a collection of small moments that have stuck with me over time, the drawing of which taught me a lot about what’s really important and valuable, and perhaps what I might like to prioritise in the next 30 years. Subscriber copies of this new issue will be posted on Monday 31st March, and your copy too if you place an order here before this weekend.

Have you ever thought about your favourite memories? If you’ve done a similar exercise I’d love to hear how it affected you.

Baking with my Mum

Comics, Drawing, Zines

What is The Green Bean?

What is The Green Bean?

I’ve been publishing The Green Bean for four years now, and I still get just as excited about bringing out a new issue as I did the first time around. It’s become such an integral part of my life, my work, everything! And I love it.

If you’d like to give The Green Bean a try, or you’re a long-time collector with some gaps in your collection now is the perfect time. I’ve made all the back issues available individually at a special price of just £4, for this weekend only. Complete volumes and year-long subscriptions are also available, all here in my shop.

I’m just putting the final touches to a new issue, about my recent birthday and challenging the ’30 before 30′ lists you see. It will be out and on its way to subscribers next week.

Zines

A New Green Bean

Green Bean 4-4

It’s always a happy moment when a new Green Bean is ready to send out into the world. Even after twenty four (twenty four!!) issues, I haven’t tired of the feeling I get cropping those corners and colouring those beans.

This newest issue is all about my recent relocation from Bristol to Devon, adjusting to new surroundings and a different pace of life. There are comics, book reviews, a recipe for delicious pistachio and white chocolate macarons, deer, Dartmoor ponies, maps and lots more, all rendered in fine micron pen and delivered to you on lovely recycled paper. You can find the new Green Bean here, or subscribe to forthcoming issues here.