Mike Smith (Illustrator)

Tag Archives: drawing

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Boyz n the wood

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Sleep drawing

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Dog drawing

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Some late night sketching

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Colour me stupid

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Branches

Being self-employed

The Guardian website recently requested some readers’ experiences of being self-employed. I sent them an offering which predictably they didn’t use, so I thought I’d post it here. Maybe they thought it was too trite.

Cartoon about being self-employed

Anyway here is what the Guardian finally put up.

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Love and flapjacks

Vietnam

We spent a few days in Hanoi in the north. The original plan was to travel to Ho Chi Minh City in the south — it being the furthest point by rail that we could reach from London — but we realised we would then run out of time to get to Singapore. So we decided to go half way down the country to Dong Ha, where we stopped for a day to visit the amazing Vinh Moc tunnels, then cut across to Laos.

Travel sketchbook diary, London-Singapore by train: Hanoi street view

Travel sketchbook diary, London-Singapore by train: Hanoi shop front

Travel sketchbook diary, London-Singapore by train: Hanoi temple of literature

Looking back at my little journal, I thought it was hilarious that I wrote this when we arrived in Hanoi:

Travel sketchbook diary, London-Singapore by train: I like Hanoi

Then just three days later, this:

Travel sketchbook diary, London-Singapore by train: I hate Hanoi

Mongolia

On the train to Mongolia we met a Russian man who said he was a lama. He took an unhealthy interest in whether we had children, and told us we ought to. To help us along he drew me a picture of the sun and told me I must keep it close to my heart. I didn’t take his advice, which is perhaps why it took so long.

Travel sketchbook diary, London-Singapore by train: Mongolian national park

Like many tourists we stayed in a traditional ger in the national park and ate some unidentifiable meat. We also went for a horse ride. That was the third time in my life that I have sat on a horse, and also the last. (I said that the other two times, but this time I meant it.)

Travel sketchbook diary, London-Singapore by train: Buddhist temple, Ulan Bataar

In this temple I was in the dog-house (as opposed to the god-house I suppose) by walking around it anticlockwise instead of clockwise.

Olkhon Island

We spent 4th-7th October on this island, which was a detour off the train line. It’s in the middle of Lake Baikal, which is the deepest lake in the world and supposedly contains 20% of the world’s freshwater.

(I decided to crop out the text on grounds of pointlessness, and just put some of the pictures up.)

Travel sketchbook diary, London-Singapore by train: Russia: Olkhon Island, Khuzhir

Travel sketchbook diary, London-Singapore by train: Russia: Olkhon Island, banya on the beach

Travel sketchbook diary, London-Singapore by train: Russia: Olkhon Island, fishing boat

Taiga Forest

In Tomsk we met someone called Gregory who got together some of his mates with carrier bags full of vodka bottles, and took us into the Taiga Forest to murder us for a barbecue.

Travel sketchbook diary, London-Singapore by train: Russia: Taiga forest

Gregory turned out to be the perfect host, guiding us back out of the forest in the small hours.

Travel sketchbook diary, London-Singapore by train: Russia: Tomsk

The trouble with staying in hostels is that you get on a kind of treadmill, meeting only other tourists. (We tried to correct this by using the couchsurfing website.) I wish I’d done more cartoons like the one below, but the trains and buses were too clattery to draw in.

Travel sketchbook diary, London-Singapore by train: cartoon of international hostellers