At last! My new book.

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).

Continue reading “At last! My new book.”

Podcast 8: Water Color Road Trip

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”

Podcast 05: The seasons of creation

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”

New episode of SYM podcast

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

Someone’s been monkeying with my sketchbooks.

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?