Things I’ve been doing
There can be nothing better than spending a day combining my cartooning and management consultancy personas, and I got to experience that as a conference cartoonist earlier this month.
I was commissioned by Orbis (a Public Sector organisation which provides a range of services to three Councils in the South East of England) to attend their Leadership Community Event as a cartoonist. As the delegates communicated their progress and discussed how to improve the organisation, I picked up key phrases or events and captured them as cartoons on a room divider wrapped in brown paper (known as ‘the wall’ from this point on because it sounds more impressive).
As the screen filled during the day the delegates would wander over and interact with the cartoons, seeing their achievements, problems and phrases transformed into gag cartoons or funny illustrations. I also encouraged them to join in either directly. I drew a number of the cartoons with blank speech balloons which allowed them to fill in their own joke or statement, or took instant commissions and added the idea provided as an instant cartoon to the wall. It often provided them with a new angle on their thoughts, and as they were funny they were memorable too. It was a really enjoyable day, and i have drawn up half a dozen of the thirty cartoons created on the day as finished cartoons for use in their internal communications.
I look forward to doing this again soon, although I may need to strengthen my legs a little before the next gig as all that squatting and rising and squatting at the cartoon wall left my legs aching for days!
Looking to learn more about shared public services? Contact Orbis.
Looking for a dynamic and creative boost to your next management event? Contact me :)
It is always nice to meet people who have bought and appreciated your work, and I was lucky to chat with some people at the weekend who were enjoying the Yellow Monkey Emperors Classic of Chinese medicine. I hope that more and more students and practitioners of Chinese medicine discover it and find it useful in their practice.
Speaking of that book (yes, I am often speaking of that book) there have been a couple of positive reviews recently. Check out the Graphic Librarian and the Association of Illustrators. Thanks to the two reviewers.
In other news, I am working with a large organisation who are about to order some cartoons as part of their transformation programme and another is discussing cartoons on procurement. My student numbers over at the London Art College continue to increase, and they are all doing really well as they learn digital illustration techniques and illustration. I have also taken on more private students too studying editorial, children's and comic illustration and most exciting of all, my first cartooning student has just started work too. Exciting and creative times :)
I was also excited that two more books for my cartooning collection arrived today; Awkward Yeti's Heart and Brain collection and the biography of the superb Reg Smythe (creator of Andy Capp). I can't wait to read them!
Congratulations to the six winners of the Goodreads giveaway for the Yellow Monkey book. A staggering 911 people bid for it, which makes me smile.
Speaking of the Yellow Monkey book, it has been featured over at Graphic Medicine. You can read the review here.
Publishers Singing Dragon have organised a giveaway over at Goodreads. If you want a chance to get a free copy of The Yellow Monkey Emperor's Classic of Chinese Medicine then click here to enter in the next seven days.
Has to be worth a go I reckon :) Not for me of course...I have a copy :)
Much of my freelance management consultancy experience was in procurement or purchasing, so naturally I draw some of my inspiration from that world. Of the hundreds of cartoons I have for sale over at cartoonstock.com, I am always pleased and yet surprised that it is this subject which sells best!
So I sat today and read through some latest news from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS if you're in the know) and drew a few more cartoons. If you are yawning or fell asleep before getting this far...this is not your subject. If you understand that cartoon on the left and it makes you chuckle...why not contact me and I could produce some procurement cartoons just for you? I could also review your procurement strategy and conduct a spend analysis...but that isn't as amusing :)
Where did that month go?! Yep, it's been a month since the official launch party for the Yellow Monkey Emperor's Classic of Chinese Medicine at Gosh Comics in London. Here is me trying to look like an author and not feel too self conscious as I had the only chair in the whole place.
I had a great evening meeting the team from the publishers who I have worked with for the past year including Jessica, Mike and Rosie, and I was warmly supported by family and friends too. Thanks to everyone who came to speak to me. It was great to meet people who are enjoying our work and to engage with cartooning and Chinese medicine enthusiasts.
More projects are on the desk, but I won't say too much about them yet as they are not ready to hatch for a while. Watch this space :)
Yes, I realise that the Amazon ratings are no indication of sales or effectiveness, but almost one month after the Yellow Monkey Emperor's Classic of Chinese Medicine was published it seems to be doing ok. It has now released in America too, and our publisher also carried it with her to the Bejing Book fair recently. I believe that attendees at the forthcoming British Acupuncture Council conference in Reading will also be able to get their hands on a copy too.
It feels substantial in print at almost 300 pages in graphic novel size, and feedback from fellow Chinese medicine students and internal arts practitioners so far has been very positive. We are pleased :)
The official launch will be in London soon, and Damo and I hope to meet people and answer questions about the book (assuming that the dates are favourable and we can both attend of course!). He can field the difficult Chinese medicine questions and I will talk about cartoon bananas and the difficulty of converting a list of symptoms into a comic.
It has been three years from concept to conclusion, but our book The Yellow Monkey Emperor's Classic of Chinese Medicine hits the shops in one week. Neither of us have seen the book in print yet, but Jessica Kingsley our publisher has, and she was very pleased :) Another project has hit the drawing board and I'm catching up with a mountain of London Art College marking after a month in Sweden. Busy busy busy :)
The Yellow Monkey Emperor's Classic of Chinese Medicine is at the printers!
This is indeed a 'three banana' celebration :)
In my experience there is always a strange anticlimax at the completion of a large project. The Yellow Monkey Emperor's Classic of Chinese Medicine is done and the publishers are doing their bit now. It does seem strange to draw the same characters and places every day for many months and then suddenly stop.
Other projects are filling my time, as are my students. Firefly the board game is set up on the dining room table so the crew of Serenity will be distracting me when I should be drawing, and the winter is drawing to a close so we will be able to take advantage of our beautiful surroundings too.
Behind the scenes of the final editing process for the Chinese medicine book for Singing Dragon. It's always great to get fresh perspectives on your work, particularly when you have spent nine months on a project like this one.
Here I have a list of amendments and I am ploughing through them. Refreshments supplied by Vicky :)
I am planning on having everything completed this weekend....although I have just discovered that two complete pages of one of the comics has disappeared. Sigh. I will add 'redraw two pages' to my list!