The big wave

By | That's life | 4 Comments

The great wave of Kanagawa

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?

Fifty shades of diversity

By | That's life, Word play | 2 Comments

50 shades of greyWell, it’s been a long time coming this cartoon…

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?

Lights! Camera!

By | That's life | 4 Comments

Lights! Camera! Selfie!

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.

Musical chairs

By | That's life, Work | 4 Comments

Office musical chair dance

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?

 

When presented with a second chance

By | That's life, Work | 3 Comments

The IT cloudHopefully the exit is different from the entrance, in that a lift would be really handy when accessing the cloud…

But hang on, let’s imagine if that were possible…  The fastest elevator currently is Taipai 101 in Taiwan. It travels at a speed of 59 km/hr (37 mph). If we assume our average white fluffy cloud to be at a height of 4km (2.4 miles), then this elevator would take us 4 min and 6 sec to reach our destination. Pretty impressive when you consider that the first ever elevator installed by the Otis elevator company in 1857 in New York travelled at a modest 20cm per second (40ft per min). That would definitely require a packed lunch for our Otis elevator trip, with a duration 5 hrs and 33 minutes.

But you know what? I think I’d take the old tech option and enjoy the journey.

Which elevator would you take and why?

Thinking together

By | That's life | 9 Comments

Thinking together - the unified whole is greater than the sum of its parts

And now for something completely different…Yes, you’re right, not one of my normal cartoons. I thought I’d mix it up a bit and share with you some of the other cartooning work I do.

I’ve been looking at ways of introducing art into our workplace as I’m believe that art helps spark people’s imagination and put simply, makes them feel good. But, the art had to fit in with the business environment (hey, we’re a serious bunch of engineers at work); it had to be another element of the business that made sense amongst the library of engineering standards, 3D CAD machines and meeting rooms.

Ultimately, this idea manifested itself into what I call The Art of Us. This is one panel from a growing series of panels that I’ve checker boarded onto the big blank beige wall opposite my desk (What is it about engineering offices and their love of all things beige or warm grey?). Each panel aims to depict in images and a few words the culture of our organisation and express what it means to work here. But 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. They simply tell me what they think one of our cultural strengths is and I interpret their thoughts and feelings into a one panel drawing.

So what do you think?

What word or phrase would you use to describe the culture of your workplace?

 

Why are the lights off? Reason #23

By | That's life | 5 Comments

When the lights go out

When confronted with a blank canvas and no funny ideas to draw, I take the ostrich approach… I stick my head deep into the sand and just let the cartoon get on with the job without me.

When was the last time you stuck your head in the sand?

Dreams and nightmares

By | That's life | 7 Comments

Paper scissor rock

Here’s a bit of trivia that’s possibly new to you…

Did you know there is a world RPS Society? No, not joking and they take the sport quite seriously. Their mission is as follows:

“The World RPS Society is dedicated to the promotion of Rock Paper Scissors as a fun and safe way to resolve disputes. We feel that conserving the roots of RPS is essential for the growth and development of the game and the players…”

What’s even more interesting is the history of this group.  

“The Paper Scissors Stone Club was founded in London, England in 1842 immediately following the issuance of the 1842 law declaring “any decision reached by the use of the process known as Paper Scissors Stone between two gentleman acting in good faith shall constitute a binding contract. Agreements reached in this manner are subject to all relevant contract and tort law.” The law was seen as a slap in the face to the growing number of enthusiasts who played it strictly as a recreational activity, since for many constables it was taken to mean that the game could not be played simply for sport. The club was founded and officially registered to provide an environment free from the long arm of the law where enthusiasts could come together and play for honour.”

A little bit interested in this group? Check out their website.

  • Here are the basic rules, including illustrations for the correct hand signals
  • Check out the 2009 world championships post
  • Better still, run a tournament yourself by investing in the tournament guide
  • FAQ and if your answer isn’t here, then head to the Billboard and post a question
  • If you’re now converted to the wonders of RPS, then show your love and buy a T-shirt from their online store

So are you in?

 

Be innovative

By | That's life, Work | No Comments

Workplace innovation

Google’s definition for innovate is

…make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products

Well, you could argue the cartoon meets the definition, but perhaps not quite the intent. However, it is probably this very loose definition that has allowed this word to become the latest buzz word in the workplace. How many company vision statements, business strategy plans and team meetings splash this word about with gay abandon these days, in the hope of reaping the benefits that successful innovation can bring to a business?

So tell me this, if innovation is our workplace salvation, then why do so many companies fail when it comes to the actual undertaking of innovation?  In Diana Kander’s TED Talk Our approach to innovation is dead wrong she proposes an unconventional business approach to this challenge and in her innovation experiments with MBA students vs kindergarten kids, guess who wins?

Let me know what you think

PS. And then for a bit of fun, play the workplace bingo game with this freebie I made a couple of years back. Who would have thought office buzz words could be so much fun!