Happy New Year!

Hello, hello, hello.

Happy New Year, Good Folk of T’interweb!

What a ride it’s already been. The end of last year was a strange beast. Lots of warm and cuddly bits, but some dank and dark ones too.

One of the saddest, being the loss of my dear wolf; Sheba Dog. She was such an inspiration; sloping into my artwork time and time again. Though, only in illustration form. I was never able to do a decent observational drawing of her; the problem being that those sketches would turn out to reveal ‘just a dog.’ She was never ‘just a dog.’ She was the best of friends. She was family.

As a free-lancer, she was also my sole work colleague on good, and bad days. Our office party contained a can of dog food, and me in my pants eating one too many Hob Nobs…. Sometime before we both Xeroxed our butts and hoped the boss (sometimes her, sometimes me) didn’t find out!

She was my therapist. On walks with her, I resolved issues, came up with so many ideas, and if I looked into her eyes for long enough, I swear she could hypnotize some calm into me. But, our girl didn’t suffer. She went as she lived, peacefully. And I’m left with a pain as pure and gentle as her love was.

As with everything though, there’s always a flip-side. In this instance, joy. The year finished with a really fun exhibition collaboration between myself and graffiti legend, Mark Meana. I did a couple of wonderful Christmas markets, amongst dear artist friends. It’s always so lovely to meet the people who take your work home too, so you get to find out the end to its’ story.

One lady bought three pieces for her unborn bump. Another bought a piece to send across the seas to her sister. Loveliest of all, was a lady who spotted me and told me she knew me. Apparently I’d drawn her friend on a train trip! She was able to describe in detail, the tatty old brown ‘Field Notes’ sketch book I was using months earlier. How had she remembered that, when I can’t even remember my house keys?!

I have a number of sketch books I rotate (so none of them feel left out!) and fortunately I had that one on me. We flicked through, and she recognised her friend and the other passengers on the train immediately. I remembered too, as I’d been well and truly rumbled by these two ladies. Often times, people are so buried in technological worlds that they don’t see you drawing. Not these two. They were cheerful and chatty and I was noticed immediately. What was lovely though, was that they said nothing, and knowingly allowed me to carry on drawing. So lovely. I tore out the picture, and gave it to the lady to give to her friend.

That was my favourite story ending for a piece, so far. I love how art connects people, and I’m looking forward to finding more stories in this new year.

One of the first images I ever did, inspired by Sheba

One of the first images I ever did, inspired by Sheba