Yes, it’s another fabulous DIY freebie
Inspiration for my cartoons comes from many different sources, but unsurprisingly the internet claims the biggest portion of the pie. In this instance, it was the TED Talk by Shawn Achor, psychologist and author of The Happiness Advantage, in his presentation on The happy secret to better work.
The TED Talk blurb, reads as follows
‘We believe we should work hard in order to be happy, but could we be thinking about things backwards? In this fast-moving and very funny talk, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that, actually, happiness inspires us to be more productive.’
Just a little bit intrigued? Well, with over 16 million views, you probably can’t go wrong. Watch it here and then
Let me know what you think
Just having a bit of fun with the famous woodblock print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, by the nineteenth century Japanese artist Hokusai.
Japanese woodblock printing involves the artist’s final sketch being glued to a piece of wood, typically cherry. The horishi (block carver) then carefully carves away the line work to create a relief of the former art work, which is destroyed (or rather removed) during the carving process. This process is repeated for each colour, resulting in a series of blocks, ready for the surishi (printer) to then rubs with paint for printing. This process enables a number of prints to be made, but is limited by the life of the wood; typically 5,000 prints.
So the end print is a collaboration between artist, carver and printer. Interestingly, the ownership of the final work belonged to the hanmoto (publisher), who could do as he wished with the blocks and prints.
I love this print for it’s line work and limited use of colour, but it was the curling waves that inspired me to draw this cartoon.
What art or artist inspired you to do something new?
I started earlier this year, thinking it would be a fun exercise to draw as many different aspects to diversity through the cartooning of different faces. Well, let me tell you, fun it was, but easy – not. You see, my imagination started to run dry after only four faces. So, I had to seek inspiration external to my own little bubble and hunt for ideas elsewhere. And where else is a better place to start, than right here at home in Melbourne, during my daily train travel to work.
Those of you who live in Melbourne, would know that we are proudly rich in our strong ethnic background. Along with this comes the joys of a diverse culture which is expressed through everyday life here, especially in the choice of food venues…But I digress…
Pretty much, every face you see here (except for the original four, and perhaps just one more – can you spot it?) travelled along side me in the train to work. Fortunately for me, the majority of people these days are so absorbed in their technology that they were blissfully unaware of the cunning exercise being undertaken.
What do you love about the diversity in your home?
My little in-house community art project continues. This drawing portrays our company’s ability to form strong alliances with other parties to enable us to bring the best offering to the table for our clients.
You may recall, this project is all about using images and words to describe a workplace culture. My fellow workers come up with the words and I draw the cartoon to best describe it visually. Each word is a new picture and over time the culmination of words and images forms a collage, expressing what it’s like to work in the business.
So what word would you use to describe your workplace culture?
It never ceases to amaze me what wonders technology can bring into our everyday lives to make life easier, yet at the same time, perhaps more absurd than ever before.
Let’s consider the snapping of the ever humble selfie. I mean, I thought it was simply a matter of extending one’s arm out so that you take on the appearance of a Romanesque sculpture and then trying to look normal whilst getting your thumb to click the ever elusive button to take the shot. But technology and our love of all things gadgety has enabled businesses to boom in a society that loves sharing images of themselves. Check out MacWorld’s 7 selfie enhancing products. Personally, I think you can’t go past the Joby GripTight GorillaPod Magnetic XL. I think using it might be simpler than calling it by name.
So, what’s your selfie tool of choice?
Fear not, no judgement here. You’re in the safety of the world wide web.
So this is what it feels like to be a worm on a hook
Have you ever gone fishing? I’ve tried it once with a group of friends. It was a casual affair with a simple reel, hook and bait and we all huddled together along a pier. At the time, I thought the chase was fun and treated it like a competition…until I was struck with the actual reality of catching my prey. I felt awful looking into the goggly eyes of my helpless victim and froze – I couldn’t kill it, I couldn’t remove the hook and put it back into the sea – What to do?!
One of my friends saw the dilemma and took control. His decision was to swiftly kill and place into the bucket. Unsurprisingly, that was the end of my fun for the day. I sat back with some other friends who too had retired from the activity. We did the Aussie thing and cracked a tinny (opened a tin of beer), sat on the pier’s edge, talked nonsense and watched the sun set.
So, have you ever fished?
A few weeks back I shared a cartoon from a work project we started in the office… just for that bit of daily fun. If you missed that post, fear not, I’ll explain here.
I’m calling it The Art of Us and it comprises of a series of cartoons that each portray one of our cultural strengths as an organisation. The panel above depicts networking as one of our key strengths in a business that spans the globe in over 40 countries and 100 offices. It resides amongst a set of other images that depict our culture and is slowly growing into a giant checkerboard of colour and inspiration. Best of all, it’s a community project and allows anyone in the business to get engaged in the art. These aren’t my ideas; these are the thoughts and feelings of people in the business when I ask them ‘What is our key business strength?’ All I do is bring their idea to life in a few cartoon strokes and a bold splash of colour (cunningly coloured in our corporate approved branding pallette 🙂 ).
I feel it is a small but meaningful way of introducing the inspiration of art into our workplace. I’m a big believer that art helps spark people’s imagination and put simply, makes us feel good. Rather conveniently, it also allowed me to cover up that uninspiring beige wall adjacent to my desk.
So how would you describe your workplace in one word or sentence?
Funny, how the past comes back in later life.
For me as a child, musical chairs was one of my all time favourite party games. That, as well as pin the tail on the poor donkey and eating cake (that’s food, does that count?)
So what was your favourite party game and why?