Craft skills and a man named Smithy..

A Matthew Smith original. Used by permission.

This is going to be a bit of a rant, a bit of a thought..(aren’t they all?)

Right. Craft skills. People talk a good game about these, but really what I think they’re trying to say is that advertising, branding and most things in life should be about having actual talent at things – people who can write well, draw, make things, are technologists etc. I’m going to talk about drawing and visualisation.

I have no talent at drawing. None whatsoever. It’s worse than my legendarily bad handwriting (which looks like a combination between a drunken, half blind spider, a spirograph and a seismograph). Whilst I’d like to think that I can think vaguely visually, I’m a wordy person at heart. That said, I know that being able to actually draw is going to become damned important.

Not just being a photoshop wizard (though that’s obviously damned important).

And I’d like to draw your attention to two people who are pretty damned fine at drawing, visualisation, and all the bits inbetween.

One is Cookie (Simon Cook). Cookie works at Poke London, and is fantastically talented. I urge you all to subscribe to his blog, just to see (in addition to what new work he uncovers on a daily basis) his work. I’m a big fan (especially the Alexisms – pure genius). someone I went to school with, actually. He’s an illustrator called Matthew Smith. His blog is here, and some of his work can be found here and here. Like Cookie, he loves nothing more than finding new pieces of work, which he posts to his blog. Damned brilliant – especially for a muggins like me, who knows nada about comics really.

Also, unlike Cookie, I know Matt in real life (he was a ‘real’ friend before blogging – good lord). Matt was one of those fantastically talented guys who drew great illustrations as an aside during Sixth Form English lessons, in addition to reading the odd bit of Shakespeare.

It’s these kind of skills that I’m particularly envious of…and those I hope, won’t leave the wider advertising world – we need people like these two. Having a way with words, I think, won’t ever leave the business; but people who can draw….well, they are worth their weight in gold.

So yes, whenever I talk about craft skills, I’m really looking at people who can draw with green-eyed envy. Keep it up gents.