Author: Ben Harley

  • Improve Faster – Draw From Life

    Despite living in the UK where the sun is barely functional, one of my favorite things is to get out to explore a new place, find something interesting about it then break out my sketchbook and start drawing. I’ve done a lot of art exercises since I began drawing in 2011, but those I’ve seen […]

  • Plunging Into Retail – Selling Art Through SDX

    Last October I was looking through the Creative Scotland website for work opportunities and I came across the Scottish Design Exchange (SDX). SDX is a not-for-profit shop set up to help artists and designers get into retail – they provide exposure to the masses through a busy shopping centre. I found them at the perfect time, […]

  • Challenge Yourself: The 40-Minute Illustrations

    Art is a way of exploring your inner and outer life. At its best, making art helps people uncover and come to terms with problems in the way they’re approaching the world. Creating is, therefore, a deeply personal act, and this complicates the work of any professional creatives. How can I be expected to make […]

  • Negotiate More Fruitfully As a Freelancer

    Two years ago, a friend sparked my interest in negotiation, talking about a course he’d taken while studying law. I’d never thought about negotiation as a subject to study. Growing up in the UK, I had the idea that negotiation was just for haggling and hostage situations. I was wrong. As social creatures, we’re constantly […]

  • Children of Alcoholism

    Last week, I was commissioned to illustrate an article in The Psychologist. It’s on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and how the effects are poorly distinguished from the effects of childhood abuse and neglect. The article’s due to appear in their March edition. Leave a comment.

  • Exhibiting in Edinburgh

    A few weeks back, I set up a small exhibition with some of my best work in Diner 7, by the river in Leith. Stop by if you’re in Edinburgh, Jan/Feb! It’s a great place – full of character(s). Leave a comment

  • Linocut Printing In Gardenstown

    I spent a weekend learning the art of linocut printmaking from the masterful Bryan Angus in his Gardenstown studio. Inspiration came from the rugged coastline and my short-but-sweet time travelling.    The town itself is an incredible place – a maze of idiosyncratic homes emerging from the coast’s red sandstone cliffs. The sea sloshes in […]

  • Five Watercolours and Some Lightning

    The difference between making art and making a living through art is immense. Two weeks ago during a storm, lightning struck my home and fried the electronics. I’ve had to live without internet or even a computer till now. And while there were days I was dying for a meaty slice of netflix, or some […]

  • ‘Vaccine Scare’

      I did a recent piece based on an article in BBC Trending, exploring the anti-vaccine movement in Kerala. Preventable diseases, like diphtheria, are on the rise, while much of the vaccine fear is being spread by alternative medicine ‘doctors.’   Thanks for keeping up! Thoughts or questions? Leave a comment.

  • Illustration Friday 2 – ‘Nose’

    I took part in Illustration Friday again this week – the prompt was ‘nose.’ Who has a bigger nose than a toucan?? And painted this week: This hill’s visible for miles around, nearly constantly shrouded in mist. I happened to be cycling by yesterday and stopped to whip up a sketch. Later, after the sketch and […]