Talking to students at Leeds Arts University

I still feel slightly odd to have been invited to give a lecture at an actual university: I mean, that’s for legitimate artists, surely?

Aha! Get thee behind me, imposter syndrome! In fact, this was pretty much the subject of my talk. That is to say, at what point in a non-traditional route to a regular creative practice was I comfortable to call myself ‘an artist’… and what does that actually mean?

For a long time, I felt that unless illustration was a full time job, I was a bit of a fraud referring to myself that way. But as time has gone on and I’ve drawn practically every day, I am beginning to realise that there are many other factors that allow you to wear the label of ‘artist’.

Turns out this is a subject that has been on the minds of a few of my Instagram followers too, who requested I record the talk so they could hear it. We did try to, but unfortunately the laptop I was using went a bit odd half way through, so we switched machines and lost the recording at that point.

Not to worry: I’m happy to share the slides and my notes. Getting this talk together resulted in a more coherent understanding of my own path, but with plenty of wider universal truths in the mix as well, which is my favourite recipe for a comic. So I’d also like to draw that some time soon – perhaps just a very rough and quick one so it doesn’t take up too much time – and that way everyone who wants to can see it for themselves.

 

Draw The Line at Sunday Assembly Brighton

I had the great pleasure of talking about Draw The Line to the Brighton Sunday Assembly last weekend.

As I’ve previously mentioned, Sunday Assembly is a monthly meet up that encourages attendees to “Live better, help often, wonder more”. It’s a bit like a church service in format, only instead of hymns you have pop song karaoke, instead of prayers you have conversation and a few minutes’ silence, and instead of sermons you have people giving talks. People like me.

Also on the bill were Extinction Rebellion, who share many of our messages about going out there and getting things changed (in their case, acting on the climate emergency).

I thought I’d keep it relatively simple, so most of my talk consisted of going over some of the many and varied political actions depicted in the Draw The Line project, but it did seem to go down well and I got lots of invitations to speak at other places afterwards, which has to be some sort of endorsement.

I’m always happy to talk about Draw The Line, first to spread its message that anyone can take a small political action and make the world a better place, and secondly in the hope that people will pledge for the Draw The Line book, helping that message reach ever more folk, and especailly those who may never have thought of themselves as activists.

If you’re interested, you can see my slides here and the rough notes to what I said are here. You’re welcome to adapt them to use in a talk of your own, so long as you include all the links to our website etc… and of course, invite your audience to pledge!