I often get asked by friends and customers to explain what originally got me interested in Making and Art. As long as I can remember I have made Stuff. I usually blame a childhood diet of Blue Peter for my inability to throw away empty washing up bottles, toilet roll tubes and cardboard boxes (I never did find sticky back plastic lying around the house but a bit of improvisation and a few poster paints usually provided a reasonable substitute where required). At Junior school I was allowed to sit out side of my headmasters office drawing and painting the fresh cut flowers that used to decorate his coffee table, and at home I had the influence of my Mum, a talented knitter and dressmaker. However, a couple of Sundays ago after suddenly feeling the need to illustrate my day in a pictorial format and after looking at the resulting page I was suddenly transported back to the 1970s and realisation hit. It was all Richard Scarry’s fault!
Richard Scarry and his Best Rainy Day Book Ever was the best thing about school holidays (other than riding bikes, playing on roller skates and generally running about with the other kids on my road). I would sit happily for hours colouring pictures, making bookmarks, putting together cardboard buildings, and generally drawing and making, inspired by Lowly Worm, Sergeant Murphy and all the other wonderful characters of Busytown. If only I had known at the tender age of five that forty years on I would be as entertained by these activities as I was back then. Happy Days!
Please feel free to share in the comments your own childhood influences. I would love to hear what started some of you guys out on your creative journeys.