ThinkingCats started out as something completely different to the idea that it is today. That's the thing about ideas - they grow and mutate. The more contacts and interactions there are the more ideas you have.
I've been drawing and scribbling ideas all my life. Along the way I stopped doing it so much as I did when I was younger. More and more ideas relied on sketching out ideas on the computer. Much as I love the Macintosh (it was the one most important piece of technology to come along in my lifetime that transformed everything. It got to the point where I hardly drew at all. I'd fitfully go through the process of buying Moleskin notebooks and drawing in them. But their 'specialness' is intimidating - they are expensive and if you make a bad picture there's no digital trash can…it kind of takes the simple pleasure out of it for me. To all the artists and people who love their sketchbooks - don't get me wrong - I enjoy looking at the work you share online…don't stop. It's just me.
By chance I saw a RCA presentation on YouTube that illustrated a talk about the future of education by Ken Robinson - one of those shows where a hand draws the ideas while the speaker does their thing. 'I could do that' I thought. But I had to figure out how. I found an application that does the animation but I despaired at the thought of having to learn Adobe Illustrator to make the vector graphics needed for the app. I found some drawing apps that run on the iPad. I bought an iPad Mini and a stylus and started to play. The pic of George Carlin was my first effort that actually looked anything like a 'result'. I let rip freehand - the scribble of Stanley Kubrick in the middle was made on a legal pad with a ballpoint pen years ago. In the mean-time I had got stuck in photoshop making odd pastiches of the work of Julian Opie - lifeless and dull.
Then there was the influence of the late, great Al Hirschfeld - I saw a video about him called The Line King and boom, some lights came on. Marry that to the work of Maira Kalman (links to TED Talk) - simple, charming and evocative and I was inspired just to draw.
The ThinkingCats web site had been sitting dormant for years…a sing page with a solitary image I had made (believe it or not people paid good money for these on Trademe…dip pen and art paper. The same drawing, over and again…maybe I would change the day of the week from time to time.
So anyway…ThinkingCats is taking shape. I had to finally commit to making the website as some where to share my output. I have a kind of scheme in my mind about what I want to do with it. So - be kind - it's a prototype - or, as we say in the techy business - it's in beta. It may stay there - evolving constantly. It has been a enjoyable start. The drawings are building up. I've sold a couple of the beautiful art quality prints - they look amazing. (I was like a kid at Christmas when the samples arrived from my printer - a real craftsman - haven't been so excited for a while).
I hope you'll come along for the ride - nominate your ThinkingCat (please don't ask me to rationalise the name too much - it's existential - ok?) - participate in the comments here, on Facebook and where ever else in this mad, media-everywhere world. (Links Below).
I never did get around to making the animated presentation. Here is the video that inspired me (links to YouTube)
Do you have a favorite ThinkingCat? Let me know - someone from the arts, sciences or just iconoclastic people who represent an idea or ideal. Click here to nominate.
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