Tag Archives: Sketchshare

On Collaboration.

Recently I’ve been asked a number of interesting questions about collaboration by a number of people who seem similarly minded to me on the subject.

So first off, that’s nice. I’m not alone in my occasionally mad machinations.

Secondly an app has sprung up recently which REALLY inspires my love of collaborative work. It’s a lot of fun, something which, from the get go, I wanted to share with the world and so, over a range of social networks, I have. This is not a post about that app, more on the collaboration it has inspired.

And no, it’s not Draw Something, although I love the fact that that app, more than any other, has got the mobile device world drawing on their screens…

The app I’ve fallen in love with is called Sketchshare and, from the instant it first booted (hah, there’s a blast from the past word), it blew my mind.

Remember when the Nintendo DS first appeared? What inspired people the most? Mario 64 on a handheld? One of the left-field games? (I didn’t come to a DS until a little later so, for me, one of the launch games was Feel The Magic which I thought was gloriously odd and made some brave and clever decisions). For me it was the chat room and the ability to draw and type at the same time. Fast forward to now and, Netsketch aside, no app has made me want to draw with people as I put stylus to glass screen (although I am growing to like Draw Something as well)…

Anyway, this post is about the collaboration aspect and last night I came back from a family birthday party with a stinking cold and opened up an art chat with the amazing Mr Dave Hall. Fun it was and we spent a wonderful couple of hours creating this image together:

The time flew by and was only interrupted by the fact that my sons bedtime took priority (or, more truthfully that my wife reminded me that my sons bedtime took priority) and that was the spur to finish. But we could have gone on and on… Fun it was, and more fun it will grow to be.

The fact that up to four people can draw at the same time? Lovely. Haven’t managed to get four people drawing at the same time but I will, I hope. As it is all of the sketchshare collaborations I’ve had, with Roz, Rose, Ben, Stefan, Chris, Stew, Richard, Mr Rama, Mr Stick and Mr Siggs, Lenny and the Grauel and, of course, the luminescent Lumilyon… All have been wonderful moments, chatting and doodling and seeing what happens when pixels are herded together by more than one pair of hands.

Long time readers of the blog will know that 2004 – 2009 were lovely art collab years focused around the Big Book Draw. Is there a way to get that and the newly found collapp work put together? I really hope so… We’ll see… For the moment? Onwards, onto the next picture, and the one after. My favourite ones being those that friends are a part of, rather than simply the audience of.

Why collaborative art? Because enthusiasm is infectious and is a bug that wants to be caught…


Stylus t. Frog and David Hockney: A Bigger Picture.

Unsurprisingly I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the Hockney exhibition at the RA in a number of ways and, just to spite everyone who knows me, in ways unexpected as well as the more obvious iPad art angle.

For a start the exhibition itself is an amazing sight. Full and free and flowing and fabulous.

For a second thing the Andrew Marr Culture Show special was wonderful. Thoroughly enjoyable stuff.

Now, those who know me ask what I thought of the iPad art, to which I reply – very good (although I do wonder why it wasn’t screened on iPad as it was in the Parisian show last year) – which is expected. Then I follow it up with ‘not my favourite work of the show’. The favourite piece? Well, of course it was wonderful to see the Grand Canyon and Route 66 up close and personal – both wonderful pieces – but the images which moved me the most were the video installations. I could have watched them for hours. I did, in fact. Mesmeric stuff.

A third wonderful moment came when I travelled to see Edith Devaney talking to Will Gompertz at the Apple Store, Covent Garden. Of course I decided to draw in the q, on the seat while waiting and during the discussion as it went on. Those pictures are the first four below.

(waiting for the talk to begin).

(Stylus t. Frog, waiting patiently on his seat).

(Will Gompertz, arts editor for the BBC, beginning proceedings).

(Will Gompertz talking to Edith Devaney).

While waiting for the show to begin I also borrowed the Apple Store wifi to do some Sketchshare collaboration with the marvellous Mr Marjoram:

… all good fun and very diverting from waiting for things to kick off. I must admit to harbouring the faintest fraction of a hope  that David might install Sketchshare and draw a collaborative piece with myself or my students one day. Who knows…

I was also lucky enough to be invited to the teachers preview night of the exhibition, where I drew this and ended up talking to, and making friends with, a good few teachers also in attendance:

…and then a week or so later I was invited back to the RA to help the learning team get to grips with Brushes app. Directly after that I went to speak to the London Mac USer Group on iPad art in general but, just before I did, I had a brief walk through the exhibition again and drew the learning team this:

All ways round it’s been a thoroughly excellent exhibition 🙂 If you haven’t seen it yet I recommend it wholeheartedly. You may never see its like again.


Lastly – unrelated the A Bigger Picture, but I’m nervously anticipating tomorrow night. I’m up for an education award for iPad art in education for the World Skills Festival. No idea on chances – unaware of who’s in same category so assuming on a bronze medal at least. Then, on Weds, I’m the artist in residence for the London Mac User Group live podcast of the iPad 3 launch announcement.

Interesting times ahead.