Drawing Lessons

Way back in December 2009, I reinvented myself and became an artist. It has taken quite a bit of practice to be able to say that without giggling or feeling self-conscious. Some days I revert to describing myself as a painter or a graphic designer, but the good days find me happy to tell it like it is. I still remember discovering Danny Gregory’s book The Creative License: Giving yourself permission to be the artist you truly are ~ I bought a journal and a nice black ink pen and have never looked back. Well, obviously I’m looking back now… but you know what I mean.

A DECADE has now passed since that first illustrated journal and so I’ve decided to put together some quote+art images inspired by the rather good ‘All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Drawing’ list written by Danny Gregory. ✍🏼✍🏼✍🏼

P.S. The background image (minus Danny’s quote) is from this student project (2011).

Originality is overrated

“We think of genius as the ability to dream up something never seen before. But originality is overrated. What matters more is reacting and responding and refining and adjusting and tweaking and struggling and sweating and polishing and finishing and delivering and making a difference.” Danny Gregory

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‘Tasman Bay’ is my latest creation, inspired by (i) recent conversations at The Christchurch Art Show, (ii) my memory of seeing Kaiteriteri Beach for the first time, and (iii) a Google Earth perspective of Tasman Bay, overlooking Takaka Hill with Nelson in the far distance. You can probably see the influence of Mr Vincent van Gogh in the hills and houses too ~ hardly surprising as I’ve been looking at a lot of his work lately.

The work in progress photos show the painting from initial composition, through the refining of colour and exploration of patterns in the landscape to what I think may now be the finished painting. I’m going to leave it alone for a few days and then come back to it and see what I think.

P.S. While originality may be overrated, that doesn’t mean that stealing is okay. Stealing is not okay. Stealing is bad. Influence, on the other hand, is inevitable.

My thanks to Danny Gregory for the original quote.

Reinventing myself (an annaversary post)

Today is my little blog’s fourth anniversary🎈🎈🎈🎈 and so I thought I would go back in time to the very beginning. Here is my first post from 13th March 2012. Have a creative day.

A couple of years ago, I started an illustrated journal. I was inspired by Danny Gregory and his book The Creative License and I wanted to see if I could draw.

One month and 19 sketches later, I drew Villa 10…

…and the road home (among other things).

I enjoyed sketching so much that I decided to take an art course at the Design & Arts College in Christchurch, New Zealand.

originally posted 13th March 2012

Blog of the Year 2012 Award

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

My thanks to J. E. Lattimer of Fictional Machines for nominating my little blog for this award. Fictional Machines is a story of intrigue and possibilities. And machines. Where is Jack? Has he stumbled upon an alternative reality? Is he dead or is he finally home? Who is really in charge of the planet, what’s with all the robots and will Charlotte ever snap out of it?

Danny Gregory’s blog is my pick for Blog of the Year 2012. Danny Gregory, as some of you will know, inspired me to start drawing in 2009 when I first read his wonderful book The Creative License. I’ve been a fan of his work and his philosophy ever since. Danny gives us — in his blog and in his books — something we actually already have: permission to be intensely, brilliantly and wonderfully creative. He talks about what creativity is, how to stimulate it and how to express it every day. Here is one of my favourite quotes (an excerpt from his blog, posted way back in 2004):

All I Really Need To Know I Learned From Drawing:

Always carry a pen.
The best way is to be still.
Everyone can do it, except those who say they can’t.
Forget your eraser. There are no mistakes. Only lessons.
Don’t do it for fame. Do it for you.
Don’t seek beauty. See it.
Everyone’s perfect pen is different.
Learn from others. But don’t be an imitation.
No books, no teachers, no system, can teach you as much as practice.
If you don’t like a drawing, turn the page and do another.
Study how kids do it.
A forest is just a lot of trees. A tree is just a lot of leaves. And you know how to draw a leaf.
Value everything you make.
Give your drawings away.
If you can do it perfectly, it’s boring.
It’s all about the Now. That’s why it’s called a drawing, not a drawn.
Know when to stop.


Here are the ‘rules’ for this award:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award

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Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different! When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star! There are a total of 6 stars to collect. Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs – and even if they have already been given the award by someone else – you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

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