When it all gets too much, I go for a walk in the woods. It calms me. The smells and sounds and sights get inside me and I feel alright again. It's like pressing a reset button.
I walk in the woods on my own but I am not alone. I share it with squirrels, wood pigeons, millions of insects and, to my constant delight, a herd of deer.
I felt uneasy sharing comic number 2 for 30 Days of Comics online. My first comic had gone well, and I felt a pressure to do something similar. An unnecessary pressure that I placed on myself.
My comic number 1 for 30 Days of Comics was inspired by my Nana. "Don't get old," she said to me from her hospital bed. "I'll try," I replied.
30 Days of Comics is a challenge for comic artists. The challenge is to draw 1-2 pages of comics every day of November, and share them on social media using the hashtag #30dayscomics.
"Do you just do dogs or do you do other animals?" asked the woman.
"I mainly do dogs, but I can also do cats and horses," I replied.
"You DO cats and horses do you?"
When you panic that you've made a crazy life choice, hold your nerve.
When you're convinced that you're not good enough, hold your nerve.
When you feel guilty for not working 9 to 5, when someone asks you entirely the wrong question, when you're not where you want to be, hold your nerve.
Time-lapse video is easier to shoot than ever before. Bring your art to life and make YouTube your gallery.
In October I took part in InkTober. Founded by artist Jake Parker, InkTober is a free online event during which artists all over the world create 31 ink drawings in 31 days. Then share them on social media with the hashtag #inktober.
I searched for #inktober on Twitter. It brought up numerous brilliant and intricate ink drawings by wonderful artists. Intimidating. Or at least it could have been, had I decided to compete with them. I hadn't. I'd decided to do the opposite...
The Ashmolean Mummy Boy 3 (lying on his back), by Angela Palmer (2011).
This is an ink drawing on 111 sheets of glass. It's based on CT scans of the mummy of a young boy, which lies next to this artwork in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
I was stunned when I saw this. I'll tell you why...
The dog in our family is Bailey. He's a 10-year-old English Springer Spaniel who thinks he's still 10 months old, jumping excitedly at visitors and chasing rabbits at every opportunity.
I see Bailey a lot. He lives with my sister, brother-in-law, nephew and niece in a house two minutes' walk away from me. I look after Bailey when they're on holiday, and I say hello to him at the unit where I have a studio above my brother-in-law's motorbike workshop. Sometimes I take Bailey for a walk at lunchtime.
One week ago Bailey fell ill. He stopped eating, started vomiting and lacked energy. You could see it in his eyes; something was seriously wrong.
It's a question that I ask myself frequently.
Given a choice, I'll always choose to draw a dog with its mouth closed and its tongue out of sight. I think it looks nicer. Classier. You wouldn't hang a picture in your home of a member of your family if their mouth was gaping wide open and their tongue was lolling out, would you?
Perhaps you would. Maybe you're a family of skydivers? Or you're related to Miley Cyrus.
Twelve days? More like twelve weeks!
It is the twenty-fifth of September, exactly three months before the public holiday that causes Britain to go into a bizarre excited-anxious frenzy.
There are mutterings that some people have finished their C... C... December shopping already. I'm not one of them. Are you?
I suppose I could tell you how to draw a dog. But my way is just one way, and who says it's the right way.
So instead I'll share with you how I drew one dog in particular. A dog called Asha...
Last Monday my girlfriend and I walked The Line. It's a new sculpture trail in London that follows the Meridian Line and links the 02 Arena with the Olympic Park. The sculptures are large and contemporary. I couldn't wait.
We walked The Line from north to south. After a winding walk from West Ham station we turned off Stratford High Street onto the path beside Three Mills Wall River.
We wondered if this was one of the sculptures. It wasn't. But at least we were on the right path. The squiggly thing in the distance is the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the UK's tallest sculpture.
Last Saturday I was a stall holder at the Canine Partners Summer Show. Canine Partners in Midhurst, West Sussex, is a charity that trains dogs to assist people with disabilities.
Since I draw portraits of dogs, and work with young people with disabilities, it felt like an appropriate fit.
It was my first stall of the year. I'll be honest: I felt nervous. Nervous about finding the place, anxious about driving across the field in my car (this is when a 4X4 is genuinely needed), and worried about erecting a gazebo on my own.
On my local High Street there is an old building called Bridge Cottage. It's currently being renovated and is fenced off with high wooden hoardings.
"If those don't get graffittied, I'll eat my hat," I thought to myself (without committing to any hat in particular). I must have lived in London for too long because the pristine white boards didn't get graffitied at all. Instead, several large artworks by local schools were erected as part of a 'Walk Through Time' project.
"Well, alright then," I thought, "I bet those artworks get vandalised within days."
During the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May I visited Borde Hill Garden in West Sussex. The multitude of exotic flowers, shrubs and trees is impressive enough to warrant a trip, but I wanted to go there for another reason: the Sculpture Exhibition.
In April I enrolled on a course called Connect to Nature. It was run by nature-loving creatives Morwhenna Woolcock and Jaimie MacDonald.
I signed up partly because I have rediscovered a love of nature since I moved back to my home county of Sussex, partly because I saw photos from the course and was impressed by them, and partly because the organisers are such fun and supportive people.
Each week Morwhenna and Jaimie set a handful of Nature Adventures. I chose which ones to do, went to a favourite nature spot to do them (normally a local wood), and then shared my experiences on the Connect to Nature Facebook page.
I knew that I wanted to take photos of nature during the course. But I didn't realise quite how many I would take, and how close to nature I would get.
It doesn't look like much, I know. Mismatched furniture, bare walls, empty-looking shelves. But this is where I go to make art, and I love it.
I moved my art materials into it a year ago and started drawing straight away. I couldn't wait to start. Decorating the place didn't feel important to me; the studio would develop naturally through the work that was being done in it.
I wouldn't have gone to the Alexander McQueen exhibition unless my friend, Paul Browning, had bought tickets for us.
For starters, I'm not a fashionista. I don't spend much time or money on clothing, and I know very little about the fashion industry. So, given a choice, I would have chosen an exhibition of paintings or sculpture. If I want to see clothes, I'll go to Bluewater.
Also, even if I had chosen the McQueen exhibition, I wouldn't have bought a ticket in advance; I would have rocked up at the door expecting to buy one, and then been frustrated to discover the show was sold out. It's art, for goodness' sake, not a West End show!
But that's the thing; Savage Beauty is a show.
When I was young I called myself an art student, not an artist. 'Student' implied I was a beginner, a trainee, a wannabe. Nobody expected my art to be any good. Least of all me.
There was a lot of potential in my art. But, like so many creative young people, I turned away from it. Based on the advice I was given and the society I lived in, I assumed that good grades in a traditional academic subject would lead to a good job and a happy and successful life.
Statistically, that's probably true. But it depends on your definition of happiness and success.