Last week I had a great time producing artwork at a conference break out session on storytelling. Using artwork to tell a story.
Myself and three other artists were given the brief to work with management teams from a well know international engineering company. In the space of a few hours we had to create an engaging poster, which visually communicated the story of unity and passion in the work they did. artwork storytelling.
Listening to their ideas, as the artist I couldn’t help or offer my own input, but did perhaps steer the conversation a little to facilitate the flow of creativity and ensure that everyone in the group had input in the final artwork.
There’s something very cool and rewarding working on a tight timescale in a room with other artists. Maybe somewhat competitive, but in a really positive hands on way. No digital, no undo buttons or layers, just a large sheet of A0 board to fill with marker pens . Also great to work alongside an old mate, Scott Tyrell. A former stand up comic,accomplished poet and creative director based in Newcastle.
Choosing to put comedy, illustration and my other disciplines on one website might sound obvious, but it was actually a really tough decision.
The term ‘jack of all trades’ is a phrase that has bugged me for years. I know it’s negative connotations and consider myself an optimist, but I’ve always thought I was one. A ‘jack of all trades…and master on none’. My thinking has been perhaps inherited from the previous generations. The received wisdom that focusing on one career to become an expert over time was the best way forward, and taking an interest in a few different things diluted time, effort and commitment .
Since going freelance as a designer and pro as a comedian I didn’t want a design client knowing I did comedy in case they thought I didn’t take the work seriously, or a comedy promoter to know that I did graphic design. I was terrified of not being seen as professional.
Old beliefs are very hard to shake. I previously had five different websites. One for comedy, one for design and illustrations, and more recently a podcast and training workshops. Each of these things had it’s own orbit and audience, with rare overlapping exceptions.
The fear of confusing people with ‘multi disciplines’ and not being able to answer the ‘what do you do’ question’ in less than four sentences was (and still is) a bugbear. However, I’ve known for years that diversity and adaptability are key to survive, and something just clicked. Listening to technology podcasts, reading Seth Godin books. Learning more about applied improv in my podcast. Finally something clicked and I’ve broken my old programming.
So here are ‘all my eggs – in one basket’. Better for me, better for google SEO and as I’m finding, people who come looking for one thing and find another and spend a bit of time on my website looking around. Isn’t the the point of a good website?
I was about to tweet back with an answer when I realised I didn’t have one. Why did I draw all the acts with no eyes? After tracing it back to 2012, or thereabouts. I remember took over from another artist on the festival who drew everyone with no eyes, so I was just continuing on the tradition.
It still didn’t feel like an excuse, so even though it’s not on the brochure I thought I’d oblige…