2018 goals

The last one was a great visualisation, so this is a bit of a reboot with a reason, with a central goal to tie it together.

Leaving off the obvious, like being a good husband and father(!), and passing all my tests…


An overdue reminder to myself that there is no tail to catch.

Back in the day, in work and sometimes in life, there were times when I would catch up. Finish all my jobs and reflect. Maybe even prepare and look ahead. I need to stop looking for that end, that pause. Need to work the process not the task, like that old cliche, the journey not the destination.

Just have to make sure there are rest breaks along the way, if not toilet breaks overnight.

“managing for performance”

managing for performance

I tried working on something frivolous… I really did. Somehow it seemed a little pointless.

It’s mostly the negative stuff that gets its claws into me, that feels meaningful enough to work on till it’s done. The paradox is that the drawing of it often makes me happy. As a blog it may seem a bit of a downer, but as therapy it’s working so far!

We’ve been getting freelancers in to cover some gaps at work, and the two great designers I kept chasing both ended up getting senior roles at the biggest agency in town. The agency I had been eyeing off a couple of years back as a creative career path. As opposed to the managerial path I’m on now. So I had a few moments of angst.

But the therapy worked. Management isn’t quite the dark side, and embracing it sounds melodramatic, but I can be a good boss.

And that will be good enough.


I’m flicking the switch. Turning over a new leaf. Beginning as I mean to continue.

Moved to a new floor at work today, got some staff changes coming, caring less to sleep more, getting back on the exercise bike, and pumping some juice back into my creativity. Frankensteining some of the old avatars, good and bad, to add some colour back to the greyness of my managerial life.

They might be a bit rough but more drawings are coming.

“balance #16”

This is probably a little aspirational. After a bruising few weeks I came home from work last night, before a day off, feeling like I’d done everything I could. And that I could leave it behind.

All of the balance pictures have been about keeping the difficult things in my life up in the air, with varying degrees of success. I was the boss for a couple of weeks, and could easily have drawn some convoluted sprint through hoops and over obstacles, carrying the weight of confidences, the grind of insomnia and long hours, the pressure of my own expectations.

This isn’t meant to represent failure, but the idea of stopping to give myself a break, of the fallacy of crashing though by effort and momentum alone.

I wish this had been more eloquent, and the drawing more polished, but for tonight it will do.



A quick and colourful drawing to christen the next notebook. Nothing too dire, powerwalking through town on my lunchbreak with a headache… feeling light on my feet but brain encased.

The flower/faery man often has a chrysalis layered renewal thing going on, emerging from dirt and negativity. This can close the loop and return the favour.



This was going to start off like so many recent posts – been tired, took a long time to work on this, bla bla. But it was worse, a new insomnia and a new level of stress. Waking up at 5am and not being able to get back to sleep. Waking up at 4am, waking up at 3. Going to bed early and falling asleep in a blink, but dreaming about work, waking up in a panic about deadlines with a pounding heart.

Looking for an analogy that’s not trite. Like a card game, with a sequence of trumps. Throw in a yearly cystoscopy. Top that with abnormal tissue to be burnt out and sent for biopsy. Call the universe’s bluff with a negative result, no cancer just “inflamed” tissue. An even hand, block your urinary tract infection with a course of antibiotics and referrals for tests.

The analogy runs out when you try to describe the feeling of shock at the urinal at work, pissing out blood and clots, bright red against the white porcelain, fear of embarrassment overpowering it, waiting impatiently for the automatic flush to wash away the stain.

There’s some mostly irrelevant and gruesome details that lead to walking into the emergency section of the hospital at 8.30 the next morning. Ironically, I’d slept quite well.

I’m ok with most medical procedures, but I don’t like catheters. The only thing worse than a catheter, is having them tell you a little later that the treatment isn’t working and they have to upgrade to a bigger model.

Their best guess is that it was the scar in my bladder starting to bleed, and 16 hours of flushing it out with saline did the trick.

I half-heartedly toyed with some ideas for a picture, a skeletal chicken, some cock substitute with impalement, but they were even weaker metaphors than a card game. Better to look away, back to this drawing in progress. Insomnia? Work stress? Pfft. I can trump that.