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August 7, 2015

How to Rediscover Your Sense of Play

They say as we grow into adulthood, we tend to lose our sense of play.

We’re supposed to be all serious, because we’re no longer kids. Grow up they said. Playtime is for kids they said. Perhaps they might be referring to the foam floors and colourful surrounds of a bouncing castle. But in doing so they took away the safe space within our minds and hearts.  And so we strip ourselves of the proverbial foam mats that allow us to bounce and tumble to our heart’s delight. We skin our knee and scrape our elbows. They laugh and jeer. We cower away. And so little by little we forget. We build walls to appear stronger, more serious, more adult; inadvertently locking out the things that makes us happy.

According to Scott G. Eberle, Ph.D, vice president for play studies at The Strong and editor of the American Journal of Play: "Defining play is difficult because it's a moving target. [It’s] a process, not a thing. In between you find surprise, pleasure, understanding — as skill and empathy — and strength of mind, body, and spirit."

Play, to me, is all about being clued in, and yet totally open to whatever happens. A surprise. A discovery. An eureka moment that leaves a shiver of excitement down my spine and a noticeable spring in my step. It differs from one person to another – perhaps you might have sweaty palms and then a quick burst of cold sweat that soon disappears, leaving a warm sensation that courses through your body. A hint of a smile that forms on your lips. A twinkle in your eye.

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July 31, 2015

Doodling with a purpose: How to create art that speaks

Those lines you just left on paper – are those really just doodles?

Could it be more than just meandering lines that you've mindlessly put together? Mindless not in the way it was created, but mindless in the way how easily our minds shifts from one thought to the next, perplexing, changing, evolving and never the same. Mindless in weight, in troubles and in spirit? A line that solidifies our constant state of flux, by being there – a constant. A reminder. A mark left in time that captures the essence of what makes drawing such a personal affair.

What happens beyond the meandering? At what point does a drawing become art? Or is every doodle a work of art in itself? I'd like to think it’s more the latter, but at the same time, sometimes not all doodles are made equal – sometimes it's nothing more than it is. And yet some are more than they truly show. An image, a still, captured in time. A thought. A fleeting emotion. Raw. Keep reading...

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February 22, 2013

From Belgium with Love

I recently found out that Kitty Crowther is from Belgium with a British father and Swedish mother. In fact, it was in Brussels where I first discovered one of her books, the one that shocked me most, "Petite home et dieu" (Little man and God).

What I like most from her is the lack of digital retouching, the spontaneous drawings, the feeling that she has done them very quickly (non-stop), and the way in which she uses colour, lights and blacks above all. I also like the fact that she uses colour pencils, it makes me think that someday when I get older, I could be like her.

Some issues or themes can be difficult for a kid to understand, but her subtlety makes it all very easy.

I hate that she doesn't have a website, because I couldn't find all the images that I wanted, but here are some.

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December 17, 2009

Cover Stars

I love the aesthetic of the homemade - the scratchy, do-it-yourself, oddball outsider stuff and I've been wondering why? Is it the feeling of honesty - that it's more human - it's attainable - spontaneous?

I'm a massive fan of lo-fi music and associated art... if I saw a record with a hand-drawn cover, 9 times out of 10 I could be sure it would be my thing. Looking at the artwork of these gems now - they haven't dated - they're timeless - as fresh today as they were 15 years ago and I've realized how much my creative output owes a great debt to the look of these classics bits of vinyl.

I'd love to see your favorite drawn covers - the ones that mean something to you (I can't get enough!) :)

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