I didn’t start out as a writer
Instead my first love was cartooning. Ever since I was a child I would spend hours drawing cartoons on any piece of paper I could find. But then after about 15 years of a successful cartooning career, I decided to chuck it all up and get into marketing. I started writing books, doing marketing consulting and speaking at events.
My friend, Rob Love, was mad at me
He couldn’t understand why I would waste such a “talent” to get into boring ol’ marketing. But I was convinced it was the right move and yes, it’s proven to be a very successful and satisfying business move. And yet, the cartoony part of my life never went away. It was subdued, just waiting to come alive again. But since cartooning isn’t my “main” business, I simply dabbled with the thought of reviving that side of me.
Then in 2010, I went to a watercolour workshop in Auckland
Actually it wasn’t my first, it was my second or third. And most of the workshops I’d attended until that point were pretty boring (there goes that word again). But really it was horrid. In one workshop we never spoke at all. We went through eight weeks of not knowing each other’s names or even speaking to each others. Like silent zombies, we dipped our brushes and our paints and went about our business. And this workshop in 2010 wasn’t a lot different.
But in one of the sessions, the teacher suggested I keep a diary
Now that was a decent idea. A diary would allow me to practice my cartoons, and improve my watercolour skills. And so I did, starting out with a small, diary and quick artwork. Then I progressed to a medium sized diary (yes, it’s a Moleskine). And did far more complex stuff.
I’m happy to report that watercolours are back in my life again
I’ve now got a stack of diaries and hundreds of cartoons within those diaries. And I now teach cartooning to those who say “they can’t draw a straight line” and turn them into reasonably accomplished cartoonists in just under six months. In short, I’ve come full circle.
And I’m sure Rob will be happy.