Letters About Creativity

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138 / The Long Game Manifesto

Reflecting on a decade of playing the long game

136 / One Day You'll Be Ready Too

On finding the focus and commitment to write a book

131 / The Permanence of Paper

Will my art outlive me?

128 / Creative Friends

You don’t have to look far to find inspiring musicians, painters and poets in your world.

125 / Silence The Influencers

Some notes on the challenge of finding your own voice in this noisy world

122 / Hibernation Contemplation

As the nights draw in, I’m learning the value of some intentional wintering.

121 / Goals vs Systems (Part II)

How I use systems to power my creative work and be productive and fulfilled.

114 / Ink and Inspiration

New drawings from my latest sketchbook and inspiring quotes from great artists to spark your creativity.

110 / New Shoots

On creative bereavement and new beginnings - plus some important announcements about this newsletter.

109 / What If The Opposite Is True? ↔️

This week, a very short letter with a big idea.

108 / Fear Takes The Floor

This week’s letter is from a special guest writer

105 / Noticing What You Notice

Trusting that something is interesting simply because you find it interesting…a radical act of self-love.

104 / A Compendium Of Courage

Here’s what courage looks like to you in 2022.

103 / Curiosity And Courage

A challenging question to begin your new year.

102 / Silence, Please

Notes on quiet from the midst of self-isolation.

099 / Space

An urgent message for whoever needs to hear it.

098 / March 26th, 2013

I realised there was something that I really wanted to do…and then carried on doing other things — for eight years!

097 / Portrait Of A Year

I drew myself every week for a year - and now I see myself transformed.

095 / Fill More Sketchbooks!

A new year is a perfect time to start a new daily sketchbook habit. Here’s some more advice on how to make it work.

092 / Another Story About The Universe

Big Magic is everywhere, if you know where to look. Plus a new film I’ve made is now out!

090 / Don't Make Work Out Of Things You Enjoy

Some thoughts on creativity and work, plus an important announcement about the future of this newsletter.

089 / The Professional Beginner

As we get older, it gets harder to be a beginner - but that is where the adventure lies!

084 / Birds And Words

Continuing a summer of guest letters, Jess shares a personal story from their career in the military.

082 / More Advice On Filling Sketchbooks

I’ve finished three sketchbooks and I have learned a lot about building a sketchbook habit. This letter’s full of practical advice!

081 / Do It On Purpose

Did I actually choose the life I’m living? Some thoughts on intentional living, with help from Dolly Parton.

080 / Hair!

Two very different approaches to facing your fears.

079 / A Leap Into The Void

If making a piece of art is transformative for you, then it will be transformative for your audience.

072 / Maybe It Is Not What You Achieve, But Who You Inspire

Apparently seeing inside my sketchbook has inspired lots of you start drawing again - and that’s wonderful!

071 / The Lockdown Diaries

I’ve been keeping a visual journal during lockdown and I’ve learned to pay attention to the little things.

069 / What A Good Idea Feels Like

A good idea feels like a visitation and a chain reaction all at once!

068 / Perfecting The Theory

I’ve lost too much time trying to study the craft instead of just getting my hands dirty and making mistakes.

067 / The Sketchbook Problem

Sketchbooks are supposed to be a place for creative freedom. But rarely feel like that. A very long post with lots of pictures!

065 / You Don't Need To Make Art Today

Some thoughts from the first days of lockdown - should you be making art out of all this chaos? Don’t feel guilty if you can’t.

062 / Spirals

I’ve just finished my first sketchbook of the year! Here are some things I’ve learned.

060 / Stormy Weather

A short comic about weathering my own personal storms this month.

058 / A Kind of Aliveness I Live For

A crucial distinction for all artists - you don’t think in order to draw, you draw in order to think.

054 / Rock, Chalk and Ink

You share your advice on keeping a daily sketchbook practice and I try to do some simple drawing exercises.

053 / Fill Sketchbooks!

My plan for 2020 is to fill as many sketchbooks as I can, starting with filling pages of collage. Plus some advice on keeping a sketchbook.

050 / Ink and Card

I’ve just come up with an idea for an exciting project and I want to tell you all about it!

049 / A Story About The Universe

I believe that when you move towards your dreams, the universe will move with you. I see evidence of this everywhere.

046 / Residency

Artists residencies are a great way to find focus - but you don’t have to wait to be invited to one!

045 / Goals vs Systems

A radical rethink of how to achieve your goals, thanks to James Clear’s new book Atomic Habits

043 / Hobbies Update

I’m nervous about this letter - I’m letting you see my first attempts at drawing real life models.

042 / I'm Still Thinking About These Ideas

A collection of ideas, quotes and provocations which are still lingering in my brain weeks after I saw them.

034 / The Ever Moving Mountain

Why artists can never settle on a single idea - creativity wants expansion!

033 / As The Electromagnetic Pulse Ripped Through The City, He Saw It Was All For Nothing

When I’m not scared of losing my life’s work, I think about destroying it.

032 / Hobbies

How I have denied myself a hobby for most of my life - until this summer.

029 / The Time Orson Welles Met Hitler

Some must-watch interviews from a golden age of television.

028 / On The Thermodynamics of Creativity

An important message for artists - your work will not exist by itself!

024 / The Sacred Stage

Are you feeling creatively blocked? You might be thinking about your ideas all wrong.

020 / You're Weird

Exceed algorithmic description - make art the computer cannot categorise!

019 / Five Miscellaneous Things

There’s a lot in this one! Poetry, filmmaking, graphic novels and visual storytelling - take your pick!

017 / Practicing Scales

Some practical advice on how filmmakers can build a daily practice habit that improves their craft.

014 / Outsider's Luck

Do people who aren’t trying so hard have some kind of outsider’s advantage?

012 / Musical Interval

Playing around with loops and ossilations, I discover whale music inside a 95-year-old song.

010 / Building A Body Of Work

You’re not just publishing into a never ending stream, you’re building a library of work

008 / On Being Busy

Is busyness really a trap? Or is a sign of a life well-lived? Is creative energy a finite resource or something abundant?

006 / The Sleep Consultant

Robin Sloan asks a critical question for creators — what does it mean to love something on the internet today?

005 / The Screenplay Problem

The problem with screenwriting as a creative pursuit, and three ideas to fix it.

004 / It's Telling You What It Wants To Be

Thoughts on the creative process and letting the work tell you what it wants to be.

002 / Trust The Process

Thoughts on patience and the creative process on months-long projects.