The New York Times Illustration Portfolio Review 2023
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The Reluctant Illustrator
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Reluctance has an illustrious history.
Such a lot of reluctance – and with good reason – It's crazy out there!
I'm in good company.
In early 2021, I signed up for Seth Godin's The Creative Workshop for a creative boost. I had signed up on a whim, with not a shred of a plan, a bit reluctantly. On day one, I made a little sketch as a response to a comment about 'embracing the prickly parts of ourselves' or perhaps it was something about finding 'comfort with that inner discomfort'.
I found myself drawing a response to another post, and the same again and soon enough I was wearing the hat of an illustrator, a chronicler of the observed, reflecting the world back through the hall of mirrors that is my mind... and the feedback loop of eye/hand/pen. I was enchanted by the simplicity, immediacy and minimalism – I threw my hat into the ring.
Like Alice, falling down the rabbit hole, I had come to this curious new place by falling in sideways. A hundred days later I was deep in the terrain and my reluctance had become just another cheerfully prickly companion at The Mad Hatter's Tea Party.
Many of these illustrations (approx. 50 here) are drawn from writing – things read, and things written. Some are drawn from observation, some from the stray reflections of the prisms of the mind – and some are simply figments.