About me

blowing the bagpipesAn entertaining expanding weekly dictionary of Scottish words, all illustrated – including a phonetic guide to pronunciation, definition, quizzes and translations into English.

I have a prejudice against form over content and a despair of people who lack the will to see beyond surface appearances.

I admire those that confront their fears through constant challenge and risky ventures. Having the courage and stamina to choose to make their own lives difficult. I like people in general though, all sorts, I couldn’t draw cartoons if I didn’t. Too often we look at a person and see our memories of them or our first impression based on our prejudices instead of seeing the reality of who is standing before us at that very moment.

All my work in drawing, graphic design, illustration, the web, multimedia, and interpretation has always included an attempt to try and prod people a bit more awake at some level or another. All of us, me too, and too often, are slumbering through life peering at the world through our reflection rather than trying to see clearly and engage the real thing.

Those that can should have children. It wakes you up and helps you see what we’re missing through their eyes – afresh.

The problem is – how to keep keeping awake?

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What else do I do?

I’m a retired communications, graphic and often times web designer. I enjoy making software work efficiently and making animations when I get the time. I now mostly illustrate as well as cartoon.

I also spent the last decade of my ’employed by the man’ as a lecturer in visual communications in a university. But I found the culture in the bubble of academia uncomfortable and left.

I’m a big fan of good quality science fiction which is hard to come by nowadays. I miss the old authors but one of my favourite more modern authors who creates great original alien types is C J Cherryh.

The grinning sporran.

7 thoughts on “About me

  1. Was in Scotland recently and noted the decline of the response “aye”
    And what was wrong wi’ “nae bother” that we had to replace it with “no worries”

  2. Alan,

    Anne-Marie couldn’t remember the Scots for ‘lavvy’ ie the ‘cludgie’ and it prompted me in these exceptional times to say a ‘Big Thanks’ for all those years of entertainment/amusement and above all recalling those formative moments when Scots idiom was so natural in our lives. My parents and their generation means of communication had not been infected by the internet. And so my friend thanks for the annual calendar, so wonderfully illustrated. Stay safe and keep drawing…Mike M

    1. Thank you for that impartial, unsolicited, un-bribed, unpaid and very kind compliment Mike. Even though I have to declare in the interests of lack of bias in that I do know you and in no way want to seem to be endorsing your magnificent luxurious architecturally wonderful accommodation with scenic views to die for at the Studiohoose and Treehoose available for a week or weekend treat in Scotland, North Highlands, near Ullapool (closed 2020) but which will be accepting guests again next year assuming the covid 19 pandemic subsides enough for us all to mix again. https://www.studiohoose.co.uk/

  3. Hi Alan, are you still producing the little calendars that you have done in the past. I have a few scots friends like me living South and missing their native homeland, I know they would appreciate the humour and love to be reminded of the language.
    Hope you Ferelyth and the boys are all well.

  4. The Book of Morgaine is one of my favorites from a long time ago. It sort of inspired a story I’ve been working on for 30 years…anyway, I enjoy your websitre, your sense of humor, and your cartoons. Your comment about challenging ones-self rings true to me: I’m learning Scottish Gaelic at 55 alone in the wilderness in a place far removed from Scotland. Scots will come next if I get around to it–limited time and all that. Thanks for the great work. Keep it up!

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