Thirty Something London

Getting In Touch With My Feminine Side.

I’m a boy. I like to do boy things. Things like watching football or Van Damme movies. Things like sleeping in a racing car bed. Things like leaving the toilet seat up. Things like reading Playboy for the articles….. Getting in touch with my feminine side isn’t one of them. You get the picture.

Anyway, I was asked to come and partake in an all female illustration class held by artist, Holly Maslen at the Charlotte Taylor pop up boutique in Sloane Square. My first thoughts were;

A) I can’t draw. In fact, I occasionally have to draw things for my graphics department and scan them which are so bad the poor guys end up even more confused.

B) I’m a boy. I literally don’t know what I can bring to the table.

So after sleeping on it I declined the offer. Then I had an uneasy feeling and was reminded of something my very first boss said to me when I was very wet behind the ears. He said “Jordi, the only way you can improve in life is by making yourself uncomfortable”. I curse him sometimes for ingraining that into my head. He was right though, what did I have to lose? I changed my mind and got back in touch.

The Class

Sitting  around a table, we are plied with a potent vodka cocktail, crisps and popcorn and given a blank piece of card each. We are then told to draw a figure on the card and pass it on to the next person, which we all tentatively do. We all grow in confidence as the drawing and passing continues to gather some steam. As each card is placed in front of me it takes me about 30 seconds to try figure out the best way to add something without wrecking it. I know it’s not very arty, but I realised then and there that it had been YEARS since I’d drawn something just for fun. Wow. When you think about it, when is the last time you picked up a pen and paper and just drew something for the sake of it? Exactly.

As we continued with the exercise the word most used was “therapeutic”. I couldn’t agree more.

The next exercise had us each write a word on a piece of paper of which we would then have to draw . The words were fast food, penguins, aubergine, hippo, love, kaboom!, trees, Spain and magic. Some tried to weave the words into a story, others (like me) were just happy to go about drawing each word and putting them down on paper.  We all held up our drawings at the end and naturally everybody’s perception was completely different.

The next challenge was to then put those drawings on a mug. Whilst doing so, the only thing running through my mind was “it’s permanent , balls this up, Jordi and it’s staying there for good”. I managed to get there in the end without ruining a perfectly good mug.

So, I embraced my feminine side, without making a complete arse out of myself in front of a room full of females (which normally isn’t the case) and am better for it.

I’m going to leave you with a quote by the great Jack Nicholson; “I hate advice unless I’m giving it, I hate giving advice because people won’t take it”.

So I’m not going to tell you to jump out of your comfort zones – just “encourage” you to put the toilet seat down every now and then.

The Charlotte Taylor pop up shop featuring the Holly Maslen mural is open until the 7th of June.





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Thirty Something London