I have been privileged to be able to doodle for some more great speakers - talking on mental wellbeing, resilience and mindfulness lately. First up is comedian and mental-health campaigner, Ruby Wax OBE. She has a great new venture going with M & S - cafes where the "frazzled" can come to socialise and get group support. Read more about it here!
It was a privilege to be doodler-in-chief at Action For Happiness' 5th birthday party when founder of positive psychology Dr. Martin Seligman addressed around 1,000 of us at Friends House, Euston, London. Above are a few key quotes and wisdom of his captured in cartoon form. To read more about the event, hear Dr Seligman speaking and to see my cartoons in a larger format, click here.
The above doodles of mine appear in a FREE guide that you can download, all about how to be happier. If you would like a copy of "Simple Happiness" written by Irish happiness trainer Mark McManus, click right here! As I am off in literally one hour to a mindfulness retreat - the reminder to be compassionate is very timely. Happy Bank Holiday weekend! More doodles coming soon : - )
I was invited to produce a cartoon review for the Comix Creatrix exhibition, on this spring at The House of Illustration - a new(ish) museum space in London dedicated to comics and illustration. The exhibition showcased the work of 100 different female comic artists. I left feeling very inspired and with a long list of graphic novels that I want to read. I have read two wonderful ones this week alone, which I highly recommend. Can't We talk About Something More Pleasant - by Ros Chast - cartoonist for The New Yorker since 1978 and Audrey Niffenegger's The Night Bookmobile. If Audrey's name sounds familiar to you, that's because as well as being a visual artist she is also the bestselling author of The Time Traveller's Wife. If you have any graphic novel recommendations for me, be in touch! I am always appreciative of how many of them are stocked in London libraries. And as for my cartoon review.. it will be published in an academic journal about cartoons some months from now. Will make sure to post a link when that happens. Love and doodles, Sam x
I was away from blog-land in November for personal reasons due to my dad getting sick and passing away. Ever so weirdly, cartoons featured at the funeral. During 2014 when I put out a comic every week to raise money for charity, a couple of issues had dad-related themes. One was about a good dress rehearsal we had for this November, when he got whisked off unconscious to hospital in 2014 (but did bounce back giving us 22 more months of much-appreciated borrowed time) the other was a comic in celebration of his carers and the amazing job that they do. I put the issues together so that anyone who wanted to could take a comic away with them as a memento. Two family friends who were there fondly mentioned the comic I did in memory of their dad (who was a wonderful man and fantastic friend to my dad over the years) and how it really captured who he was. Perhaps as a joke, my one friend had this to say: 'the comic is absolutely beautiful - should be put on his gravestone'. I don't see that happening, however it does bring home the power that cartoons have to record and capture a life. And, of course, there are all sorts of interesting life milestones and stories to capture, record and share while we are still alive! If you have one that you would like me to tackle for you, please be in touch. Wishing you a cosy and wonderful holiday season and a great year ahead.
Happy has been a big theme for October as the wonderful non-profit organisation Action For Happiness have been using my doodles in their social media campaign to help them raise £100k through crowdfunding to roll out their spectacular 8-week positive psychology course (which I am privileged to have done) both around the country and around the world. The cartoons come from a longer comic strip I did summarising key learnings from the "Creating A Happier World" event which had HH The Dalai Lama as its keynote speaker (along with various luminaries from the worlds of positive psychology and spirituality). Below is a cartoon snippet for you to enjoy - or if you want to see the longer version, go to the Cartoonist In Residence page of this site.
Some occasions demand large-scale cartoons and it was with great delight I painted a cartoon-style mural on the walls of a pop-up shop in East London in September for the two-week Wanstead Art trail. You can read all about the mural and the community project behind it right here. And just for fun, here are a few pictures.
Colouring for grown ups seems to be the new trend. The stands in the bookstores are full of colouring books that promise that by getting some nice coloured pens and colouring in their designs you will colour your way to happiness and Zen-like calm. Some of my positive psychology friends swear by colouring. Others I know use it to help them sleep at night. So, I chuckled when I got this feedback from a black and white cartoon I did when I was a cartoonist-in-residence in August at a course on facilitation skills. "This is absolutely brilliant! I have already shared it with my co-facilitators for a workshop we’re doing on Friday and told them that their homework is to print it out and colour it in!"
Now, that's my kind of homework! And what a great way for participants on any course to get some added learning and reinforcement. Viva colouring!
It's summetime and school holidays are just around the corner. This is one of the times of the year when children are most likely to end up in A & E due to accidents that happen at home. Click here to have a look at a leaflet I made for child safety week
So, what's been going on in cartoon-land? My one-page entry is all done for the Studies In Comics journal - an academic journal all about comics! Not sure when it is coming out, but I will keep you posted. I had fun doing cartoon illustrations for Yoga 2 Calm - a company that produces aids to teach yoga and mindfulness to people with special needs. The cartoon illustrations will be used to help people on the autistic spectrum start to recognise and tap into different emotional states. I had lots of fun translating a three-day workshop in TRE (a fabulous method for tackling tension and trauma) into a two-page cartoon synopsis for attendees. "People will love it - it's a great reminder of the essentials from the seminar," wrote the TRE trainer. The leaflet for Child Safety Week (June 1-7) which I worked on a little while back should be ready to see very soon. I will look forward to sharing a link with you soon as it's published as the information on it is very important for anyone who has or looks after young children. There has been a strong theme in May of using cartoon and comic art to spread wellbeing. May the ripple effects spread out widely to all! I look forward to hearing about how I can help you or your organisation in June. You can drop me a line by clicking right here. Have a wonderful month!