Sketches and drawings from childhood.
Poetry and songs I wrote in my teens and early twenties
Diaries and notebooks I’ve kept since 1997
Writing I did in my early twenties
Comic strips of the mid twenties
Foundation work
The sitcom scripts
Unfinished novels
Paintings I did in Newcastle

I had this idea that when I got to university to study art I would stage a pre-career retrospective, where my entire creative output leading up to this point would be put on show.

Looking back I think I understand this project as an attempt to prove my credentials. I was 32 at the beginning of my degree, and I didn’t want to be seen as someone who had failed at other things and so decided to give art a bash. Even now, when I have to explain my work to strangers, especially non-artworld ones, I find myself saying,

‘I mean, I can draw. I can draw really well, I just choose not to. I kind of take it for granted, so need to produce more as an artist than what, to me, would be just a drawing. I can draw, really I can.’

I never did stage the pre-career retrospective, and although on many levels it’s a terrible idea, I kind of wish I had.

Here’s a picture I drew of the teacher from Bash Street Kids when I was eight: