29th January 2013

Week Four

Now that I’ve established the thing formally known as a ‘sabbatical’ is in fact not a sabbatical,

I’ve decided just to embrace the madness, accept it’s going to be a flipping busy few months and power on.


Faced with the familiar ‘not enough hours in the day’ quandary

I embarked on a week of 5am starts.

I’ve always done my best work in the morning,

(At art school I’d go in at 6am with the cleaners)

So I thought why not make the most of those precious pre-dawn hours?


It may be antisocial and it confused the hell out of the dog,

But my 5am starts meant I got 4 solid hours of work under my belt before the rest of the UK even got to their desks.

To-do lists were almost blitzed by lunchtime and I felt justified in eating 2 breakfasts.

I was energised, focused and smug.


The downside? Post dinner crash and burn.

Late night working, intelligent conversation and any desire to leave the house pretty much dissolve around 9pm.

I guess this is excusable, providing you’ve done a good day’s work prior to morphing into The Grinch?


I’ve heard and read a lot about work / life balance recently

Yes, you do need to look after yourself,

No, you probably won’t do your best work in the 18th hour at your desk

BUT for all those people who claim they can work an 8 hour day, whip up a homemade dinner, train for a marathon and have a social life whilst doing their best ever work,

I simply don’t believe you.


Building something amazing takes time,

You have to put the hours in, not to mention the blood, sweat and tears.

I cannot see any way around this.

Have you ever read a biography of someone you truly admire, that’s achieved tremdous success in their field that said:

‘yea, we worked 9-5 and it all just seemed to come together nicely”?

Nope, me neither.


My art teacher at school, Mr Smith (a legend in his own right)

Would say to me:

“Basford, if you don’t put the hours in, someone else will”.




The studio this week became an inky cuckoo clock workshop.

As I sketched a plethora of Black Forest inspired time pieces,

I yearned for cherry laden gateaux and puzzled over how to overcome the technical challenges of adding mechanisms and little birds on springs.

“If only I was an inventor of robots” I sighed, not for the first time in my 29 years.






Also, a dismembered body arrived in a box.

The milky white limbs of several mannequins have been slowly massing in the studio.

Sharpies at the ready, this is tattooing for dummies.

More on this soon…


And finally, I’ve trawled the TED archive for the last few weeks and compiled my TED Top Ten

My playlist of talks which inspire, intrigue and encourage.

Click here for my list but be sure to have a poke around their site yourself

It’s an Aladdin’s cave of audio wonderfulness.


Back to work…


Big thanks to Creative Scotland who supported the Sabbatical through a Professional Development Grant. 

Inky Emails From

Download a FREE colouring book

when you sign up!