The people’s choice?

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I’m pleased to say that this website has been shortlisted for an award at the Premier Digital Awards. The award in question is the People’s Choice Award, which is voted for by the public. I was an award winner (different category) at these awards in 2007, so it’s very nice to be shortlisted again.

If you’d like to vote you can do so here. But take a look at the other sites too, and please vote for one of them if you want to. There’s a devotional for youth leaders, a blog about volunteering in Calais, a Christian events directory, and a ‘Spirituality for the non-religious’ video site. Or of course this one. So, take your pick.

Here’s a badge kind-of-a-thing.

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There’s an awards dinner, which I have been to a number of times, so it will be very nice to go to that with CW once again. Oh, and an internet conference (I think one is supposed to say ‘digital’, but you get the idea), during the day, if church and the internet is your kind of thing. See you there, possibly.

Update after the event: Didn’t win, did come second. We had a lovely evening though. Thanks to everyone who voted!

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This blog is moving

Today I launched a new website. It is a combination of two things: 1) A portfolio site to act as the one link that I give people who are interested in my work. 2) My main blog.

The new site is here: http://davewalker.com and the new blog is here: http://davewalker.com/blog

I have explained why I am moving in this post: Why another new website?

So, what will happen to this blog on CartoonChurch.com? For now I will continue to use it for CartoonChurch updates, though if you just follow the new blog you will not miss anything. I may close it down, perhaps when I update CartoonChurch.com, which is on my list of things to do. Whatever happens I intend for the archives to remain online somewhere.

I will (technology allowing) be moving the Feedburner and Feedblitz feeds over to the new account, so if you use one of them then you should still get updates. Otherwise you can resubscribe using the RSS feed, or get email updates via the email box in the right hand column of the new blog.

My davewalkercartoons.com site, which has acted as my portfolio site over the last year or so, has been closed and should new redirect to the new site.

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Real life calls

The sun

Warning: Don’t look directly at this picture as it depicts the sun. The picture was taken from a moving vehicle as we travelled from Jinja to Kampala on Sunday.

I have entitled this short message ‘real life calls’. For some the internet is real life, but it isn’t for me. At the moment I need to be elsewhere. I think it is unlikely that daily blogging will continue. Please forgive me if I do not reply to all of your comments, tweets and emails.

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The mobile cartoonist

mobile cartoonist

Warning: technical post. Some may not find it of interest.

Yes, this is a picture of someone taking a picture of a cartoon. Don’t ask how many takes this took.

One of my aims in life (I haven’t set my sights that high) is to be able to post cartoons on this blog from anywhere. I am fortunate in having the technology that should enable such a feat to take place, but am continually blighted by technical problems and ineptitude. So any advice would be welcomed.

I have a mobile telephone and a tablet which can both ‘scan’ cartoons – ie take pictures and then turn them into reasonable black and white line drawings. The problem is getting the image onto this WordPress website. I use Flickr to store images, or I FTP them straight to the site, but have found the following problems:

  • On an Android phone I can post to Flickr, but it isn’t as easy to edit the cartoon on the phone.
  • On an iPad I can edit them scan very easily, but I can’t find any app that posts to Flickr and actually works. [Update: This might be a temporary problem – will try again soon.]
  • No mobile apps seem to post to WordPress effectively.
  • Ideally I want to have the image at 678 pixels, the width of my blog theme, but something like 640 is fine.

Can anyone think of a way that I can do this – perhaps a better method / app than I have been using.

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Wave

wave

Image: notebook drawing. I have, for some reason, called it ‘Wave’.

So, one month of daily blogging has taken place. I rarely achieve the targets I set, so am going to allow myself a brief moment of being pleased. There have been days when I’ve sat for quite a while trying to think of something, and some of it has been (let’s be honest) complete rubbish, but if you’re OK with that then I am too.

Of course, I blog because I want people to see my cartoons and (let’s be honest (again)) I want to be noticed. But a significant part of the motivation is that it helps me. A kind of therapy, more pleasant/achievable than the commonly recommended remedies – pills, or talking to someone. Forcing myself to create something opens the gates somehow, and stops me just consuming the internet without creating. Which is another way of saying that just sitting reading Twitter often makes me miserable.

Hopefully I can do another month, but I wouldn’t bet more than you can afford to lose. That said there are some quite interesting things lined up for February, so let’s hope for the best.

Update: the high resolution version of this cartoon is now available to licence holders here.

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I have got a book

…about blogging.

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I started this daily blogging lark on a whim, and after two weeks I am still going, so I might as well carry on. I enjoy doing it, daily creativity is good for me, and there are some faithful readers who have said kind things leading me to think that they at least enjoy it too.

So, I have bought a book on the subject. The motive behind this is that it will give me some ideas to keep things fresh and interesting. I have been blogging for ten years, but there are always things to learn and new approaches to try. Also I had some book tokens to spend. Unfortunately the graphic centre in London (I won’t tell you its name) where I bought it doesn’t accept book tokens as they are not a book shop (fair enough). But I bought it anyway.

Having read a small portion of the volume on the train I am starting to come up with a list of topics that I should include as part of my daily blogging:

  • Cartoons – finished ones, added to one of my sites
  • Rough sketches from notebooks
  • Fascinating developments – new things I am doing or have made, etc
  • Links to other things on the internet I find generally interesting
  • I am pondering some sort of cartooning ‘How to’. Unfortunately I don’t really know ‘how to’, but I plan to appear as if I do.
  • Video. Well, why not?
  • Photographs (when all else fails)

The problem I have found thus far is that I do not do, create or notice one sufficiently interesting thing every day. So further ideas would be welcomed. Is there anything else you’d like me to write / draw / talk about on the blog? Please do say. Thank you.

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Daily blogging

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Above: ‘They didn’t have your name’. My sister gave me this duck and it makes me smile. It lives in my office next to a stone, five rulers and a tin labelled ‘proper money’. It is the sort of thing I will be posting on this website from this point on as part of my ‘daily blogging*’ routine. The daily blogging is part of my recovery plan, chosen as an activity because I know I enjoy it. I’m not sure exactly what I’m recovering from, by the way. But let’s just say that a week or two the possibility of not cartooning any more was a very real one.

Anyway, if you’d like to see photos of other everyday objects in my office please do say. I have various uplifting slogans pinned up, for instance. Also several drinks mats, and some pencils.

*When I have time

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January 2012 update

A personal plea

Happy Incredibly Belated New Year everyone.

News:

1. I have been continuing with my activities.
2. I joined the Professional Cartoonists Association. I have a profile here. I intend to be more professional from now on.
3. A new website on its way. It will be for non-church-related cartoons.
4. An upgrade to this website is on its way. There will be some improvements.
5. A relaunch of my licence system is on its way. There will be some improvements.
6. I have been beset with problems (technical). Problem a: inability to make any printer / scanner work using my main computer (Mac). Problem b: I tried to make my mobile telephone take photographs in pure black and white (no grey like the one above) and failed. Problem c: My cascading style sheets are in a knot.
7. I still don’t really have anywhere to go and work during cartooning days (diagram above) but I have learnt to deal with this.
8. I was going to learn to make newspapers, but it didn’t happen.
9. New year’s resolution: to draw in notebook every day. There have been quite a few days when I have not failed at this.
10. It is dull when people say they intend to blog more, but I do. There may be some shorter updates with less academic depth, etc.

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Here are the notices

wrapping

[Cartoon unrelated to content – for illustration purposes only]

Here are this week’s notices:

Thank you
Thanks so much to everyone who has contributed to my ideas post. There are many brilliant ideas that I will be able to use, along with some sent by e-mail. Please do continue though if you think of anything else. Now all I’ve got to do is a bit of drawing.

Interview
To read an interview with me in which I talk about this and that see the Big Bible site. The interview is mainly to do with this website. Big Bible is all to do with the Big Read, a campaign encouraging people to read the Bible during Lent 2011. My friend Bex runs the website. Whether the introduction of ‘Big Bibles’ is part of the plan I have no idea. These would be for those who like to share a Bible with several friends or who find smaller print irritating. I may well suggest it.

2011 Calendar about to sell out
I have it on good authority that stocks of next year’s calendar will run out very soon – over 90% of the stock has now been sold. Last year they were on sale after Christmas as they didn’t sell out, but the same won’t happen this year. Various shops may have stock – otherwise you can order via Canterbury Press here.

Book not about to sell out
As long as people are sensible about it and form an orderly queue there will be enough copies of The Exciting Word of Churchgoing to go around. Thanks to everyone who has been buying it – it has made the Church Times Top 10 for a third month which I’m very pleased about.

Essubi
Finally, if you’re looking for a small charity to support this Christmas may I recommend Esuubi, which works with children in Uganda providing education, medical care etc. My friend Kate set it up and I can vouch for the people involved. Some of my family may be getting some alternative gifts from there (please don’t tell them if you see them).

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Information about the future direction of this blog

choir hats

Image: choir hats. For illustration purposes only.

I’m sorry not to have updated this blog for over ten days. I’ve been suffering from low morale and general loss of diagrammatical confidence and so didn’t have anything good enough to blog. I still don’t have anything good enough to blog, but have decided to remedy the situation by lowering the bar of quality considerably, so that any old rubbish will be fit to post.

This is a picture of the hats as worn by the choir members at my church. When I say ‘my church’ I mean the one that I go to on an occasional basis. Apparently hats of this kind are unusual in choral circles. I certainly think that these are some of the pointiest* hats that I have seen. The choir is also unusual in that there are four women and they all look identical**.

* It irritates me that my spellchecker doesn’t like the word ‘pointiest’.
** I’m just being silly now. Expect more of this kind of thing.

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