I Used a Colouring Book Once and Only Went Outside of the Lines Around Seventeen Times – That Makes Me an Artist Right?

As a child, I liked art.

I liked art so much.

I loved art.

I was art.

As a foetus in the womb, before I had even developed a functioning neurological system or any comprehension of my identity, there was a voice in the darkness and the voice was art.

For decades, intellectuals had been asking themselves the question, ‘What is art?’.

This was only because they hadn’t met me yet.

Upon meeting me, they would have only had to take one look at my face and the answer would have instantly become startlingly clear.

Here is a picture of one of my earliest works:

Dog FenceI entitled it Dog Jumping Over Fence.

I suspect that this was maybe because it is a picture of a dog jumping over a fence.

I think Dog Jumping Over Fence clearly demonstrates that, even at the tender age of seven, I had developed an uncanny ability to accurately capture the size of a dog in relation to that of a fence, a skill that many experienced artists spend years honing.

I was also extremely adept at representing the intricacies of the human form.

Soon after completing Dog Jumping Over Fence, I drew the following portrait of my mother:

MumHaving slaved away at the portrait for an entire six minutes, I proudly presented my mum with her likeness.

I was expecting her to put it up for auction, or at the very least frame it.

However, for some imperceptible reason, she did not seem too flattered.

She handed the drawing back to me and told me that it was ‘nice’.

Normally, when adults tell children that something is ‘nice’, it is code for ‘that is a complete pile of wank’.

However, in my innocence and naivety, I missed the latent subtlety of this insult and was therefore undeterred from continuing in my pursuit of artistic glory.

When I turned nine years old, I felt as if I wanted to take my art to the next level.

I decided to learn from the sacred book of art:


The Weatherly Guide to Drawing Animals presented the reader with a series of simple steps which they could follow in order to gradually build up images of various kinds of animals.

I opened the book and selected a rhino.

I was excited.

I was about to draw a rhino.

At the time, I felt that if I could just draw the rhino, then my life would be complete.

However, the process of drawing a rhino was more challenging than I ever could have expected.

It'll be easy

Nevertheless, I persevered and eventually emerged, exhausted and nervously twitching, with a drawing of a rhino.

good rhinio
The Weatherly Guide To Drawing Animals – p85

Except my rhino looked like this:

Bad rhino

My experience with the rhino greatly damaged my confidence.

What kind of artist was I if I couldn’t even draw an accurate representation of an herbivorous safari animal?

Soon afterwards, traumatised and dejected, I went through what I like to refer to as my minimalist phase.

I drew the following picture, which I christened Blank Page With Nothing On It.

Blank Page With Nothing On It is an artwork which I feel completely defies the expectations established by its title:


A few days later, I drew Blank Page With Nothing On It 2: Another Blank Page With Nothing On It.

This was then followed by Blank Page With Nothing On It: The Sequel to the Sequel, Blank Page With Nothing On It Reloaded and Blank Page With Nothing On It 5: The Pencil-Deprived Void.

I became slightly obsessed with the series, frantically creating new installments in the hope that each one would be blanker and contain more nothingness than that which had come before.

However, I gradually discovered that, no matter how hard I tried, each picture had similar concentrations of blackness and nothingness.

I had lost control of the series.

It was becoming a caricature of itself.

I stopped creating art all together.

the end

or so i thought

A few weeks ago, whilst tidying through my stuff, I came across a page of a comic book that I created back in my pre-rhino days.


Whilst looking at my work, I was reminded of the fact that my complex and witty writing style could be combined with my sophisticated drawings in order to bring something truly special into existence.

I realised that depriving the world of my illustrations was a crime worse than not depriving the world of my illustrations.

Hence, I have been inspired to once again pick up a pencil and illustrate this blog.


I don't actually.


I’ve chosen to start this blog by writing about writing.

I thought that doing a post about writing would be good because I expect that I will be doing a significant amount of writing whilst I am writing this blog.

The term ‘love-hate relationship’ does not do justice to the way that I feel about writing.

I prefer to use the phrase ‘good-bad relationship’, in which ‘good’ stands for days that are good and ‘bad’ refers to days that are bad.

On the good days, words pour out of me like rain pours from the sky when it is raining.

My mind proceeds to generate the following sequence of thoughts:


Then there are the bad days, when I sit staring at the screen, watching the cursor flashing.




On the bad days, writing comes hand in hand with several other activities, including staring at my hands, staring at the keyboard, staring at the table, staring out of the window, staring into thin air and staring at my sanity as it makes its way out of the room.

Crazy Writing

When I am writing, I will do anything humanly possible to avoid writing.

Most commonly, I find that I tend to remove myself from my laptop and head to the kitchen where I participate in the consumption of various items of food.

This is not because I am hungry.

It is because I am seeking solace from my lack of creativity in the fact that my mouth has the ability to break down large portions of food into smaller, more digestively palatable fragments.

When I was younger, I was convinced that I would write a series of epic novels.

All of humanity would be simultaneously arrested, captivated by the universal struggles of my characters.

But like all great artists, I knew would have to practice so, when I was eight, I wrote a series of stories, featuring a gang of heroic vegetables.

In a feverish delirium of intense creativity, I entitled the series ‘The Vegetable Saga’.

The Vegetable Saga told the tales of Herbert the Aubergine and his friends, Oliver the Asparagus and Sabine the Butternut Squash.


Together, they formed an extremely middle class gang of vegetables but this did not prevent them from having some pretty badass adventures, like the time when they were taken from their home on the farm and were imprisoned in the supermarket and it was like Orange is the New Black except that, instead of lesbians, there were nutrients.

‘The Vegetable Saga’ remains to this day the most significant body of work that I have ever produced.