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1. the silence of a falling star and other juicy quotes

Day Four of the post three drawings for five days challenge. Yes, it's taking longer than five days. Way longer.
Today, I chose these three drawings because they are all linked. Obviously, they are, but I thought I'd expand on how they are linked. And, how I work sometimes. So yes, of course, I've worked with the same palette here. Incidentally, blues and browns are my favourite colour combination. I just think they work so beautifully together. They also work great with the cream Moleskine paper which is the sketchbook I worked in here.
I often have a few sketchbooks on the go. Quite a few in fact. A lot are Moleskine, but not all. These days I'll draw on anything and everything. The top page is from what I call a 'spare sketchbook'. It's the kind of book that doesn't have a specific theme, it's just somewhere where I dump all of my thoughts, play around with images and compositions, practice my handwriting, file all those lovely juicy quotes and lyrics - that I happen upon - for future reference and make lists. Lots of lists. I love these kind of books. Everyone should have this sort of sketchbook. I can guarantee if I look through this book (this one is about seven years old now) I am reminded of and inspired by all sorts of things I'd forgotten.
At one time, when I was going through a drawing funk (they don't happen anymore by the way) and whining about it on my blog I was offered a piece of advice that I've never forgotten. I remember who gave me the advice too. It was Felicity Graces who some of you may know - although she doesn't draw, or at least, post her drawings anywhere near enough these days. Anyway, where as other people had been telling me to look through the work of my favourite artists or contemporaries, Felicity said definitely do not do that but look back through my own back catalogue of work. It was good advice. That's where you reconnect with what you love to do and the things you love to draw and why you love to draw.
So, that's why I recommend having a 'spare sketchbook'. You'll find so much in there too relight your fire. And, so to these drawings. Both of the two (bottom) drawings came about from developing themes I played around with in the top spread. By taking the notes and ideas and pushing and pulling them in all directions.

And, another thing, the envelope spread is what can happen when something goes wrong on a page; collage. The best way to cover all of your mistakes.

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2. just a little green

These are my Day Three sketches of the Post Three Sketches in Five Days challenge.

Today I chatted with Koosje Koene, one of the founder members of Sketchbook Skool, on Skype, and we caught up on all sorts of things that had been happening, for both of us, since I went to Amsterdam last year to film my classes for Sketchbook Skool with her. It was good to talk. You know when just chatting with another person who has the same interests and passions as yourself can give you a boost? It can be uplifting and, well, the conversation left me feeling all inspired. So, it felt fitting to post these three sketches, that I made whilst I was there, in Amsterdam with Koosje, today.

If you are unaware of Sketchbook Skool (is there anyone who hasn't heard about it yet?), well, it's this online school where all the tutors are sketchbook artists from around the world. An eclectic mix of tutors who are pretty much obsessed with creating sketchbooks. In fact, there's no pretty much about it, they're totally obsessed with creating sketchbooks. And, that includes me! Yes, I'm one of the tutors on the 'Seeing' course which starts on Friday. Still time to sign up. You can do that, and find out more, HERE.

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3. let's dance

Jiving
These were my three sketches for the second day of the post-three-sketches-for-five-days challenge. I went from three girls drawing, in my last post, to three girls dancing. I love this idea of drawing people whilst they are indulging in their own passion. Whatever that may be. That can only add another layer of richness to the work I think. Richness? Not the word I'm looking for, but it's late. And, I'm not so good with words. That's why draw.
Burlesque
You can find opportunities to draw people, doing their thing, here there and everywhere. I drew these three ladies at various events and places. In the last few months I've drawn a local choir, orchestra, band, knitters, drinkers. If you're brave enough (and I know it's not easy) just find out where people are meeting or rehearsing and ask if they mind you coming along and sitting quietly in a corner scribbling away. If it helps take a fellow sketcher or two.
Mexican
Last year I drew the TED Talks event in Manchester. That was a great day. It was a gig I got just through asking the organisers if I could do it. I got to listen to inspiring speakers whilst sketching them. I made a big A2 drawing, over the course of the day, of the 25 different speakers. I also stole a quote from each of them and worked them in amongst the sketches. Pretty much everyday I see that drawing (it's lay on top of my scanner as I haven't found anywhere to put it -with it being that big). One of the quotes that I borrowed was "life begins where your comfort zone ends". It's a great quote. And an even better idea.

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4. girls drawing

Nat drawing in London
So, I've been nominated to do this post-three-drawings-a-day-for-five-days thing that's going around Facebook at the moment. Have you come across it? I'm not sure if it's just on Facebook, perhaps it's doing the rounds on the blogs too? I think it's quite a fitting that at this time, with recent horrific events in Paris, that our screens and social networking are being filled with illustrations and drawings by people who love illustration and drawing.
 Kate drawing in Sheffield
So, I was nominated by Katherine Tyrrell. I'm sure many of you will know her blog Making A Mark. If you don't you really should check it out. It's ridiculously informative, on all sorts of topics for artists and people making their way in the industry. I've learnt so much from it. Katherine also has a new book out and a few of my illustrations feature in it. The book is called 365 Tips for Drawing and Sketching, you can read more about it HERE.
Miriam drawing in Buxton
 Anyway, the three drawings above are my sketches for the first day of the challenge. It seemed apt to start with sketches of people sketching. Plus, I seem to have been doing an awful lot of that recently. This little sketch of Miriam, above, is one of my own personal favourite sketches. I'm particularly pleased that I did it with such few lines, without over working it, as I often do. Plus, I managed a real likeness - which is hard to do. But then, you wouldn't be able to tell that if you don't know Miriam.

But hey, while I'm at it, whilst I'm posting sketches of people sketching, I might as well include these two, below, that I made last weekend. They are from a sketchcrawl I attended, in Stockport, on Saturday. Emily was our youngest sketchcrawler at 7 years old.
 Emily drawing in pink
Here's the thing about sketching with other people; you can learn something new from each and every one. No matter what their ability or level and no matter what their age. From Emily I learnt about the two pencil technique. Or, at least, she helped me remember it. I always did stuff like that when I was a kid. And, now I've been reminded of it, I'll be using it as a big kid too.
Emily drawing in blue

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5. back in the old folky days

Happy New Year folks!
As I said in a previous post, I've been making some changes to my business (and life) recently. Some leaps of faith. Which all ties in nicely with the New Year and new leaf/chapter/beginning.
Here's something I've never tried before; bespoke, made to order original drawings. Not just bespoke drawings, but, bespoke pet portraits (and that's something I never thought I'd hear myself saying). They are, of course, pet portraits with a difference. They are kind of like drawings of your pet's ancestors. With a little imagined (by me) biography of said pet ancestor.
 
Where and how the hell do I come up with these ideas?
Anyway, you can get a bespoke, Victorian, made to order, portrait of YOUR pet HERE!
No, really.

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6. Merry Christmas....

...if that's your thing.
If it isn't, well, here's a moose.
And a pear.

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7. i drew my friends shoe

Here's a couple of drawings that I made back in the day. When my eyes could see better.
The top one was made with a ballpoint pen and the bottom one with colour pencil.
I'm pretty proud of both of these actually.
There's a little collection of my shoe drawings (if you'd like to peruse) HERE.

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8. brass monkeys on high street

As I was whinging about, in my previous post, these days I just seem to be drawing on-the-go. Stood in a café or on a street corner.
Which has also had an effect on the pens I've been using.
When you need to get the information down on the page quickly (it's been very cold here) the fine nibbed pens I would have normally used are just not going to cut it.
I'm actually really enjoying using markers. Plus, more recently, my eyes have been paying the price for years of obsessively drawing tiny things.
So, using markers actually mean I can actually see what I'm actually drawing. Plus, they help get drawings down on the page very quickly. As, I said it's been very cold.
Exhibit A....

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9. you should draw me

I feel like I haven't sat down and actually created a 'proper' drawing, or worked on a project, in ages. Life, and making a living, has got in the way of that.
Not that I've stopped drawing, I've never drawn as much. And, I'm loving drawing in a different, faster way. I do long, though, to just sit for an entire afternoon or weekend, week even, and just work on a big mega drawing. The kind of thing I can get lost in.
 But, I need to capitalise on this time of year. That's the reality, right now. I've finally just begun, after a couple of years of real hardship, to see the wood for the trees and to really start thinking like, and seeing myself as, a professional artist/illustrator. Whatever that is.
 And, now, I've forced myself into a situation where I have to make money from this. Which is a good thing. A scary thing, but a good thing.
Before I was just selling online to top up my wage, now my wage tops up my selling online. The balance has shifted. And, I'm no longer just selling online, recently I've been selling offline too.
All of these drawings were made over two days, and two art fairs, last weekend. I've come to realise that I need to sell myself in lots more ways (not like that), to keep a roof over my head.
It's not easy to see your work in those terms; as a saleable product. Well, at least, I don't find it easy. But that is the reality of it.
It's been a long time coming too. I've been talking about it for way too long; taking steps to turn professional. And, it hasn't been the greatest of timing, on my part, in this recent financial climate. But, there's something about the struggle that makes it even more 'rewarding' (that's not the right word, or not the word I'm looking for, but it's late at night and I'm tired).
So, I've been getting my work out there, and, actually, even if it still feels uncomfortable selling me, I couldn't love sharing and talking about my work more. 
I'm constantly amazed anyone wants to know.
My plan for 2015 is to get better at all that stuff. The presenting of my work, that is. I've had a practice run this year, but I want to make my 'show' bigger and better. I want it to be a visual treat, to compliment my sketchbooks.
I want to make lots more lovely creative products that show off my drawings. And, I want to get out there, further afield, and meet and share them with more people.
And, I want more adventures. So that when I finally get back home,
to sit and draw, I'll bring all that I've learnt and seen back to my work. And make it richer than ever.
Looking forward to the New Year already.
I had no idea where this post was going when I started it. Absolutely none. I'm glad it ended on such a positive note. I think I've inspired myself!

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10. roads

Recently, on Facebook, I asked the question "does anyone use Flickr anymore?" I asked because I was, kind of, toying with the idea of deleting my old Flickr account. I hadn't used it in about a year. It felt like a chore to post on there, or I'd just forget - Flickr seems so isolated from those other platforms. I've also had a lot of my work stolen from Flickr (my own fault, in the old days I had no idea about resizing my images for the web). Plus, I thought it was about time I started a Facebook Page as I hear that's a great marketing/promotion tool. I just felt I was spreading myself too thin. So, I asked the question.

The response was huge.

It seems that I'm not the only one who's been posting less on Flickr these days, if at all. But there are still some people hanging out there. Some folk said they didn't like the new (not so new, now) Flickr layout. Some said that it was still the best platform to view and host visual work. A lot of people felt that these days they used Facebook and Instagram more. There were lots of pros and cons. I was swayed, back and fore, by each point made in each comment.

So I went on Flickr to have a look around again. To remind myself of why I loved it SO much back in the day. To reminisce. And, then I started posting again. I downloaded the app to my new phone, which makes it easier to post and view other people's work. But, since then I haven't blogged! Now, I've had an invite to Ello, am still setting up my Facebook Page and have, almost, been convinced to start a Pinterest account.

I'm not sure what the moral of the story is.

Outside of the online world and my online life, I've been spreading myself too thin too. I've been doing all sorts of Art Fairs and Artisan's Markets in this run up to Christmas. Getting out and sharing my sketchbooks, meeting people and promoting my work. Exactly, what I do online then.

I'm still not sure what the moral of this story is.

And, quite frankly, I'm way too tired to work it out. Up early in the morning for a weekend of Christmas markets. As I've recently noticed that my scanner is playing up, and that my scans seem very odd colours, so there's something else I need to replace, alongside my car and my washing machine. So, yeah, keep on going, keep on working, keep the wolf from the door and keep trying to eke out a living out of this art business. Maybe I just need to accept that I'll be spreading myself thin for the foreseeable future. Perhaps that's it.
The drawing at the top of the page is a local art/craft fair that I've taken part in on a few occasions. The guy above is a local character who stopped by to look at our sketchbooks and buy my book. He is in the top drawing too, can you spot him?

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11. forgive me

I can only apologise, profusely, for what I'm about to do. I hate myself for doing it, but I am about to mention the C-word. 
Yes, as soon as you know, Christmas will be upon us. Well, for once, I've been thinking ahead and I've put this bumper pack of AJ goodies together just in time. This includes my book, 3 zines, bag, badges, postcards, greetings cards & stickers.
You can get your little mits on it HERE.
Sorry, again.

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12. come together

Last weekend I had one of those perfectly creative weekends. The kind of weekend that I wish all weekends were like (does that sentence even make sense? Do those words even make a sentence?).
SATURDAY
As you may or may not know,  I co-run Dr Sketchy Sheffield. You probably do, I certainly bang on about it enough. But, then why wouldn't I when we are THIS fabulous? This is what we created in the Backroom of a pub in Sheffield last Saturday.
When I say 'we' I'm talking about everyone who is involved in making these events happen, from myself and Lara, who run the shows, to the guys who play the music, take the photos, run the bar, the sketchers, and, of course, our amazing models. Just look how brilliant they are.
These girls are a Burlesque Dance Troupe who call themselves The Yorkshire Puddings. They've modelled for us before and they never fail to blow our socks off.

It has to be said, that I probably do less drawing than if I were just a sketcher, but there's something just as magical about creating the events as there is creating the drawings. Here's a couple of mine below, though, they don't always go to plan...

Big shout out to our Eric Murphy for these fantastic photos. You can see the whole set of them HERE.
 I LOVE Dr Sketchy and look forward to another year of cooking up themes and making this sort of magic happen.
 
SUNDAY
On Sunday I got to do a lot more drawing. It was Urban Sketchers Yorkshire's 50th event, and myself and fellow sketcher, Paul Gent, loosely organised a sketchcrawl/pubcrawl/pubscrawl in Buxton. Paul made the map, above.
 We started at 12 noon and went on into the evening. Just a lovely day, sketching my fellow sketchers.
Mel
Matt
Miriam
And, yes, we had to have a photo, to celebrate our 50th and, yes, I seem to be hiding.
 So, all in all, a perfectly sketchy, creative weekend. It's hard for me to imagine that it is only the last, say, three years that I've been drawing out and about and with people. I spent so long at home, drawing alone, I couldn't be happier that this whole new world opened up to me when I stepped outside of my house to draw. You get good things from being people, and you learn so much too. Thanks to everyone I spent the weekend with. It was a pleasure.
Phew, I'm exhausted now. That was the longest blog post ever!
If you're interested in finding out more and, perhaps, joining us at either Dr Sketchy Sheffield or Urban Sketchers Yorkshire then get in touch with me and I'll fill you in on the details. Or, you can follow the links to our Facebook Groups and have a little look around, get to know us and maybe I'll sketch you soon!
Click on links below;

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13. rolling over

Here's another one for the knitters. As I said in my last post, I have been doing some design work for a knitting/wool/yarn centre. This was the finished design for their leaflets, website, promo, etc. I'm really pleased with how it turned out. And, I don't often say that.

The exquisite wools made such a gorgeous subject. The colours were just lush. Plus, I love pattern making which is probably why I enjoyed it so much. You can get your mits on this original, as it's up for sale HERE.

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14. all my colours turn to clouds

I've been doing a little design work for a wool/knitting/crocheting centre recently. It took a few attempts to come up with a design that both the client and I were happy with and agreed on. This was one of the earlier attempts and the original is up for sale HERE. yes, I really really need a new phone (see last blog post).

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15. canned

Thank you for all the lovely, supportive messages throughout my month of sobriety during October. I raised over £300 for the charity, Macmillan Cancer Support. All in all, I've been feeling rather chuffed with myself, for not only getting through the month but for really enjoying it. I've been feeling better than ever.

Then last weekend I somehow managed to drive over my new, uninsured, iPhone. I know, you really don't need to tell me; I am an absolute twonk. So, now I need to raise to money for myself. Over £300 just to pay off the trashed phone and then enough to get a new one (although this time it's probably not going to be a brand new iPhone).

Anyway, that is the reason that I'm selling off a load of original drawings. There'll be more going into my Etsy shop over the next few weeks and I've reduced the prices of the originals already in the shop. Today this one went up for sale. I do like this one, actually. I may have changed the pens I've used over the years, and the paper, and the way I draw, but I can't imagine a time when blues and browns are will not my favourite colour combination.

You can get your paws on this original drawing HERE.

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16. talking about good things and singing the blues

Another thing I've noticed, since giving up the demon drink, is that you feel very smug when it come to putting your recycling out on the street.

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17. the ghosts of night, the dreams of day

Had a lovely day yesterday, drawing for the love of drawing rather than for work. I always love catching up with Urban Sketchers Yorkshire, my sketchcrawling buddies, too. We spent the day at the National Emergency Vehicles Museum in Sheffield. It was right up my tree. Loved the subject matter. I could spend another day, or ten, there. And, maybe even a night; apparently there are many ghosts in this former police and fire station. If you believe in that sort of thing, of course. I don't but I'm willing to have my mind changed.

 There was a very specific colour scheme too. Reds, blacks and a little yellow were the colours of the day. I managed to not take seventeen pencils cases, which is an achievement for me, and narrowed it down to just the three sketchbooks. I always try to take some tools that I wouldn't normally draw with at home. I try and play a bit more on sketchcrawls. It feels like the right place to do that as you often encounter subject matter you wouldn't normally choose to draw. The red Bingo dabber was an inspired choice of pens.

 Here's something I've noticed during October, as I'm participating in Go Sober For October, I do a lot more with my weekends. It's much easier when you're not factoring in a 'big night' or a hangover. That's just another benefit to being sober; doing more stuff with your time. Just look at how my blogging has increased in the last month!

 The museum holds a vast range of fire service related memorabilia that had previously been sitting in attics and local fire stations all over the county and amongst the exhibits were prisoner files from the last century. I found these the most fascinating of all, and below are my drawings of some of the mugshots from around the 1940s. It's funny how just by drawing somebody, spending that time studying someone, you can feel a real connection with them. I don't just want to now more about the faces I drew, I feel an empathy, sympathy, for them. Protective towards them even, like I knew them. I guess what I'm trying to say was that I was touched by them. Maybe I do believe in ghosts.




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18. the changing man

Here's just a little (it's all relative) something I knocked up in my sketchbook.
The story of the drawing goes a bit like this...
Sometime back in May I went to my friend, and Dr Sketchy partner, Lara Gothique's fabulous vaudeville extravaganza (I do love that word, extravaganza. In fact, I love both of those words; vaudeville and extravaganza) called Cupid Stunts. I sketched the whole show that evening. I came away with a load of drawings. Over twenty quick sketches.
One of the fabulous artistes that night was a Victorian strong man called Sir Leopold Aleksander. I got a good handful of sketches of him. They were pretty much all as below - simple line drawings.
Over the last couple of weeks, as I have been living a life of sobriety, I seem to have a bit more time on my hands in the evenings. Time to do the things I've wanted to do for ages but not got around to because wine got in the way. Time to go back through my sketchbooks and rework some of those quick sketches that needed a bit of the AJ treatment. So that's what I did with the, now, tattooed gentleman above, and, at some point, will do with the sketch below. Sure, they don't exactly look like the Victorian gent, but that's what happens when you a) sketch in the dark and b) complete the illustration using only your memory and a lot of imagination. And, that's what I love about drawing.
Thanks to Sir Leopold for the use of his body(?!)
Thanks to Lara for her fabulous show.
And thanks to Go Sober For October for giving me the headspace to draw instead of drink wine! 
If you can spare a bob or two please donate to my sobriety challenge. I am raising money for MacMillan Cancer Support. The most worthiest of causes. You can do that HERE.
And if you'd like to see a vaudeville extravaganza, and are in Sheffield next weekend (a long shot, perhaps), Lara is putting on another. Check it out HERE. Take your sketchbook!

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19. the corners of my mind

Today I start a month of sobriety, in an initiative by the wonderful MacMillan Cancer Support called Go Sober For October - which not only raises money for them but also gets us, taking part, to look at our own drinking habits.

My feelings about it change like the weather. One minute I'm really looking forward to it. Excited about the break. No alcohol for a month. I know I'll be more productive, I know I'll feel so much better, I hope the house will get cleaned.

Then it comes over me like a wave, a tsunami actually; NO WINE FOR A MONTH. And, it terrifies me. What will I do? It's those moments, those routines; Thursday after finishing work for the week; Friday night; chatting on the phone with Tim; early Sunday evening; whilst cooking; chatting on the phone with Mark. FRIDAY NIGHT!!!

From the far blurry corners of my mind I remembered something that I saw in one of Danny Gregory's books. I can't remember which, unfortunately, an Illustrated Journey maybe. In it, he gives tips on journaling and one of the ideas he shares is to go without something for a day (chocolate, alcohol, smoking, tv, the internet, etc) and journal about it. I think I may try this over the next 31 days. It would be the most fitting way of me to document the month ahead.

I'm not expecting the next month to be easy but then I remember the cause and it puts it into perspective. If your life had ever been touched by the amazing, and humbling job, that MacMillan do (or if the thought of giving up alcohol for a month terrifies you, too) please donate/sponsor me. You can do that HERE.
Cheers!

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20. you are always on my mind

Tonight I am donating the fiver that I would have spent on my Thursday-night-end-of-the-working-week-wine, if I had not been taking part in Go Sober For October, in support of the amazing MacMillan Cancer Support.

The drawing was made with graphite and colour pencil. The donation was made with ease. And gratitude.

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21. it's just everything i do, we did together

Today's journal. I'm glad I didn't discuss my love of typography, but, got down to the nitty-gritty instead. I think it's important that I did that:

'I started this drawing on day one of my Go Sober For October challenge and did a bit more last night (day two). I had originally intended to discuss why 'd kept these specific wine bottles and my love of typography, fonts and lettering especially French stuff and the Art Nouveau period. But, I'm finishing this drawing on day three of my sobriety, which also happens to be a Friday night. And, twice I've had a wobble. The first time was around tea time, approaching wine-time, when all I wanted to do was drive up to Lil'Sainsburys (the same old routine) and get some wine. I didn't. And again, now. Again, I'm having a wobble. It's a Friday night. I should be drunk. My friend's are drunk. People on Facebook are drunk. And I'm not. And, I'm not going to lie, I'm not only jealous, I'm angry. I'm annoyed.'

Please sponsor my sobriety here; https://www.gosober.org.uk/profile/andreajoseph

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22. she's leaving home

 I really am awful at finishing a story off. This one has been going one for nearly six months and it still hasn't come to a conclusion. I can never deal with endings. I wonder what deep psychological scar I'm avoiding looking at? Hmmm. But, that's another post, another drawing, hey, another book!
So, when we last caught up with my bookbench, my girl, she was finished - all apart from a little colour that I added, and a few more doodles. Less is never more around here. Why stop when you can just keep on going and going? (Go Sober For October really is making me look at my addictive behaviour, it seems).
When I'd thrown as much colour and doodles at her, it needed to be finished with a coat of hardcore resin/varnish. That bit was done at 2am the night/morning before she was being picked up. It was meant to have been done four days before (I didn't realise that until 2am when I finally read the tin) but, shhhh, don't tell anyone. And, anyway, I couldn't have lived with the small of that resin for four days. I'd have been as high as a kite.
And then they came to take her away. After a rather undignified exit from my house which included a door being removed and a washing line being snapped - she just didn't want to leave - she was off.
 After dominating my living room for the past few months she suddenly looked so small. She looked tiny, out there, in the big wide world (car park). Aw.
 She was carefully and lovingly wrapped then bundled into the back of a van and off to find her new home in the big city. In the Big Smoke.
 Well, not quite. Because, yes, she did make her home in London, for the summer, but it was in a rather lovely, green, little churchyard in Greenwich. I even got to go and visit her.
 And, not just once, but twice. Yesterday, I went to say a final farewell, as all of the fifty bookbenches were gathered together in Gordon Square, London, before they go on auction and onto the next chapter of their lives. Lots of people came out to see them in all their glory, on a perfect autumn afternoon.
 And, so, that's it. This evening they will all be auctioned of to raise much needed funds for the National Literacy Trust.
 Unfortunately, I won't be able to make the auction, but I hope she goes to a good home. Bye Bye bookbench.
THE END
(or is it? Maybe, I'll get to visit her in her new home, where ever that may be)

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23. i'm gonna clear out my head

Another good reason for participating in Go Sober For October is that I'm not just kicking the booze for a month - or, who knows, maybe longer (one day at a time and all that) - but I'm also giving the elbow to another habit; the fags. You know, I never smoke unless I've had a drink. Never. It doesn't enter my head to. I never want a cigarette when I'm sober. It repulses me.
 Then I have a drink. Then I can't get enough of the fags (might have a different meaning in the US??). I'd smoke two at a time if I could. All willpower, self discipline, whatever, goes out of the window. I crave dirty tobacco. In the freezing cold and pouring rain, I'll stand outside the pub or in the back garden. It has to stop. It will stop. It has stopped. No more.
 Another damn good reason for taking up this challenge. So, yeah, I'm going double cold turkey. And, if that ain't enough reason for you to donate/sponsor me then I don't know what else to do? You can do that HERE. Cheers (probably not the best choice of words).

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24. and i say, it's alright

I always think that as long as I come away from a day trip or sketchcrawl or Dr Sketchy or any sort of drawing event or opportunity with one 'good' drawing, or, at least, one drawing that I like, then I'm happy with that. That's all I ask for. Just a memento of the day.
 By the time I was leaving London last week I still had nothing, apart from a few prosaic, pretty average drawings of people on the train there, and it was getting dark. I'd gone to the city with a drawing in mind. There's a sculpture I wanted to see and I'd packed the yellow and orange pens especially for it. But, our time there went so quickly that I didn't even get to see or draw it. But, that's okay, that's another trip
 .I didn't want to leave though, not without something, a souvenir, to take home. So, just before I caught my train back, I dived into a café on the corner of Tottenham Court Road for a cuppa and a draw.
 I missed my next train home. So, I had an extra hour to spend drawing the souvenir shop on the opposite corner. I got another cuppa.
 Is it a 'good' drawing? Do I like it? Not really. It's alright. Ish. But, I feel like that about a lot of my work. I need to close the book and put it away for a while. I almost always feel differently with time between it. Who knows, I might even like my souvenir from London in a few months time. Right now I doubt it, but you never know.
 And here's a couple of prosaic, pretty average sketches of people on the train...

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25. Nora

 Hi folks, I have a small, limited edition, set of these bag and badge ('button' in the US?) sets for sale.
The tote bags feature my illustration of Nora Hildebrandt, the original tattooed lady, on the front and back.
 The badges feature a couple of examples of my drawings and a couple of examples of my lettering work.
Also, I'm making a donation, from each set sold, to MacMillan Cancer Support, who I am fund raising for this month - by being sober!
 
You can get your paws on them HERE. Merci!

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