I had great fun yesterday talking to Paula Granquist for her show “ArtZany: radio for the imagination” on KYMN in Minnesota. We discussed why people think they can’t draw, how to get started making art, my books, Sketchbook Skool and loads more. Here’s a recording of the show
A sneak peek at my newest book. Buy a bunch for the people you love.
I am so relieved that my new book, How To Draw Without Talent, is finally printed. What a travail!
Just as we were finishing the book, as you may know, my original publisher filed for bankruptcy. The good news is they were later acquired by Penguin Random House and eventually the book got back on track. I received my first copies yesterday and you can get yours in just a few weeks (official pub date: Nov. 26th).
I love keeping an illustrated journal on a trip. And I’m on a big one right now, a three-week road trip down the west coast. I recorded this week’s episode while we’re on the road and I explain my process in detail, go into all the supercool new watercolor gizmos I bought to pack along, and describe what I’m seeing and how I’m turning it into pages on my journal.
Then I call Koosje to get her advice on travel journaling and a whole bunch more. And I tell you how to get our new and totally free book, Jump Into Watercolor. And I go into detail on our newest project, Watercolor Rules! and how to break them.
I hope you like it.
Episode transcript: Continue reading “Podcast 8: Water Color Road Trip”
I woke up super early with a thought in my mind and, as fast as I could type, I wrote this script for the new episode of art for all, the Sketchbook Skool podcast. It’s all about the creative process. How the brain recovers from a burst of productivity, the value of inspiration, how to tackle a giant project, coping with setbacks, and more.
I hope it make some sense. Let me know.
CLICK TO LISTEN HERE if you don’t have a podcast app.
If you haven’t yet, please subscribe to art for all on your favorite podcasting app.
Links to stuff mentioned in the episode.
EPISODE TRANSCRIPT: Continue reading “Podcast 05: The seasons of creation”
It’s been two years in the making — but here it finally is! The Final Shutdown.
In it, I will tell you the one thing that is guaranteed to not only shut your monkey once and for all but also to transform your life and leave a lasting mark on the world. What is your mission? And how can you make it your destiny? Let’s discuss it.
Available on iTunes and on the monkeypodcast.com
Yesterday I had to pick out a few representative watercolors from my sketchbooks to share with a magazine editor who asked to include my work in an upcoming issue. I didn’t have a scan that was high enough resolution, so I decided to go through my sketchbook archive and shoot some new ones.
But something odd happened.
After going through the first few books, I started to wonder why they all looked so dull. The colors were washed out. I turned on more lights in my darkened living room but they still looked lifeless. But there was more to it than just the vibrancy. The brush work seemed primitive and half-finished. And the lines were dreadful and crude. Page after page, the drawings I knew so well looked just, well, bad.
How could I send any of these things to a magazine devoted to watercolor art? It was laughable. How had I ever had them published in books? How had I dared share them on the Internet? Had I ever done a single drawing that was any good at all?
I flipped through more books. Nope. They were all dreadful. Every last one.
Maybe they had faded over time? Nope. They were all stored, closed, in a light-proof cabinet, closed. Maybe the iPad was affecting my ability to look at analog colors? I looked through my Instagram page. Nope, they were all dreadful too. I clearly do not know how to draw and have been pulling off some massive con on the universe and myself. This magazine editor was clearly deluded in thinking she should include me in her publication and would soon lose her job. Hmmm.
Today, Something has happened to them again.
I went back, looked through the images I’d picked, then flipped through a few of the books on the shelf, then looked at my Instagram. Not so bad. In fact, I liked quite a lot of them. Wonky, sure, but with style and a POV. I’m glad I made them. Whew.
A cautionary tale. Maybe it’s because it’s so stupidly cold. Or because I haven’t been sleeping terribly well. Or because, well, I’m me. But I can’t always rely on my judgement of the given moment. I need to trust myself, and others over the long run, and meanwhile just keep my head down and keep making stuff. It doesn’t matter if it sucks. Especially if I’m going to think it sucks so much I stop making anything altogether.
Does this ever happen to you?
I’ve written blog posts about it. I’ve made a podcast about it. I’ve even written a book about it. But the inner critic, the monkey in my head, remains a part of my life. Keeping that voice under control is, frankly a lifetime project.
Here’s a powerful new weapon for your arsenal. Powerful and free.
Recently, I was talking to my pal, Jim Posner, who is a former Wall Street executive, turned Mindfulness meditation instructor. He can relate to everyone who’s ever been a victim of that inner critic. Many years ago he went through his own crisis —a job loss, while his wife was pregnant with their first child. He became terrified of the future, overcome by anxiety, and could barely function. He kept telling himself he wasn’t good enough. His inner critic beat him up so badly that he suffered debilitating panic attacks. Eventually he did crush that inner critic.
Jim asked me if I’d join him in making a free series of interviews specifically designed to help you conquer your inner critic, crush self-doubt, unleash your full potential and stifle the monkey. Kinda like the Shut Your Monkey podcast but with a whole new super-group of experts chatting on video.
Jim put together an amazing group of 21 experts — best selling authors, accomplished doctors and scientists, well-known artists, CEO’s, top executive coaches and respected professionals in fitness and well-being. Oh, and me. I had an amazing discussion with Jim and it’s part of the lineup.
He’s interviewed each of us about mindfulness, self-doubt and -criticism, and he’s put it all together into a free online summit. Free, no sales, no shtick, no strings. Just smart people giving useful advice. Experts who really want to help ease peoples’ suffering and increase their potential.
Here’s how it works:
Click here to watch a video from Jim here that explains the idea and to sign up. Then, starting on April 24, every day for 21 days, you’ll get emailed a video interview with an expert. Pretty simple. Unless you’re a monkey.
I think it will be full of lots of useful ideas and insights that I, for one, can’t wait to put into practice. Let me know what you (and your monkey) think of the series.