Thinking Philosophically

Thinking Philosophically

Currently reading this gem of a book at the moment. If, like me, you love a bit of philosophy then this is the one for you. What makes this great is that not only does if give a short chapter to a whole host of ‘Great thinkers’ but it does it with the intention of showing what they had to say that is completely relevant in todays world. Politics, Art and Life in general are all handled through everyone from Plato to Coco Channel and a host of others. And as is the way with philosophy, it has really made me think 😉 Not just think but reconsider what is important to me, my life and the world around me. Great stuff. May well be sharing some snippets and insights from this.

You can check out the details on the School of Life website



Recently I was caught inside a bit of indecision.
The amount of time that I have been working on the kids TV show in Wales was suddenly going to be cut short. Budget concerns and all that. Staring in the face of only having two days a week of income from that wasn’t fun so, I put the word out to see what other opportunities came up. Almost immediately a couple of gigs were presented to me. One, to design a new TV show and one to be involved in the design of a new animated movie. This put me in the position of not quite knowing which way to turn…

One of the projects didn’t work out so it was a choice of… do I leave the show that I am working on in Wales. Which incidentally I am co-creator of. Or do I jump ship and go work on the movie. By the way, the movie would mean being away from home all week and a lot of travelling etc.

Still with me? life is complicated sometimes, right?

Anyway. I pondered these choices. The third possibility (and in some way quite an attractive option) was to not do the movie (save on all that travelling and hotel living), continue working part time on the show in Wales (you know, the one that I co-created) and just spend the ‘downtime’ doing sketches and selling bits of art and some books online to make ends meet. Sounds pretty cool and laid back, I thought.

Then something happened.
I was out walking our little dog, Eddy. Oh by the way, Eddy (well an animated version of Eddy) will be appearing in the kids show. Ya know, the one being produced in Wales, ya know, the one that I am co-creator of etc, etc. So, I am out with Eddy and I suddenly notice something out of the corner of my eye. A quote stencilled on the back of a car. A bright blue Subaru parked up the road. I read it and moved on.
Now then. there is an old saying in life coaching circles (and there are many variations of this) that goes something like ‘you are always where you need to be’ or ‘you are always in the right place’.
I looped round the block and passed the car again. And stopped and read the quote. It is by Colin McRae, the Subaru rally driver who tragically died in a helicopter crash a few years ago. It read…
“If in doubt, flat out”
And there it was. the answer right in front of me. DON’T kick back and just survive. Don’t step over doing things because it will be difficult. I was in doubt what to do so… flat out was the way forward.
I got in contact with the relevant people and put together a plan to be able to work on BOTH projects. Yes, it’s going to be hard work but, be involved in making a movie and work on your own TV show? Bit of a no brainer really.

Thanks Colin. You created a breakthrough for me there.

And don’t forget; you are always where you need to be. Not because you necessarily want to be there, or would choose to be there. But because it is where you are. And wherever you are is the place where you will have an opportunity to learn, grow and experience. Anywhere else is not where your life is happening.

Speak soon


If I knew then…

If I knew then…

I had the pleasure today of giving a talk to the Foundation Art Students at Brookes University in Oxford. Have done a couple of these and they are always fun. Being able to give the benefit of hindsight to the students is a joy. My career has had many ups and downs and changes in direction. All seems a bit chaotic at times but as I look back at some of those moments when everything seemed to change I can see that it wasn’t all just good or bad luck. Hindsight is a wonderful thing that sometimes enables us to see what we would have done differently to avoid certain circumstances. But for me, it is not that kind of hindsight that is interesting. What I can now see, and what I love to tell the students, is that if I knew then what I know now I could actually have caused some of those career breakthroughs rather than just rely on the luck that sometimes came my way. These insights have formed the basis for a new online lecture that I am developing. This will be available on my website or through an online lecturing platform. I told the students today that I was going to use them as guineapigs. Many thanks to them for letting me test it out.

More news on the online lecture when I have had a chance to fully develop it and film it.