On Briefcases and the Battle of Hastings

If Gerald can’t work out the combination lock then he’ll probably just eat his way through the case…

If Gerald can’t work out the combination lock then he’ll probably just eat his way through the case…


Another delve into the weird and wonderful world of business stock images.

Time to take a look at the business man or woman’s weapon of choice - the briefcase.


‘Man with briefcase/clutching briefcase’ is one of those sub-genres of odd business stock images. Sometimes they’re hanging onto the case for dear life…

Hold on there!

Hold on there!

Here’s a man clutching a briefcase. Is he using it to ward off an assailant’s weapon?

Fortunately Harold has remembered to bring along his battle-plan carried as ever in his trusty briefcase.

Fortunately Harold has remembered to bring along his battle-plan carried as ever in his trusty briefcase.


Perhaps if King Harold had had a briefcase at the Battle of Hastings in 1066, then he wouldn’t have been struck by an arrow and the Anglo-Saxons might have repelled the Norman invasion.

It could have turned out very differently for William and Normans…he might have been forced to re-train as a sales rep instead of completing the invasion of Britain.

It could have turned out very differently for William and Normans…he might have been forced to re-train as a sales rep instead of completing the invasion of Britain.


Are you still clutching onto using dodgy stock images?

Don’t.

For want of a better image your entire article could be rescued.

Not that there:s anything wrong with your article, post, or writing in general - it’s just that people won’t bother reading it if you are using tired old stock images.

Even a business person holding a briefcase can be livened up with that personal touch…

…this may be the first time that a Dalmatian has appeared in a ‘business stock image’…

…this may be the first time that a Dalmatian has appeared in a ‘business stock image’…

Get On The Case

…and use some images that really go with your writing and help to raise your reader’s curiosity about what you have to say.

I’ll keep it brief

I draw lots of cartoons - some silly and others not. I can draw unique images for you too. These pictures can really capture what you have to say, as well as capturing your reader’s attention. It also makes your site or post a lot more fun to look at!

I can liven things up a bit.

Let’s be a bit more creative...

From stodgy to stock to imaginative images - I can do the same for you. Drop me a mail.

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Spot The Dodgy Stock Image

...and who knows why some images are chosen...

...and who knows why some images are chosen...

 

...it’s not hard to do...


Something about the fakeness of it all seems to leap out of the screen at you.


Actually, ‘leap out’ is the wrong phrase as standard stock images never leap out of screens - they don’t get attention and definitely wet your appetite for reading any further.

In a wonderful world full of exhilarating images and eye-grabbing graphics, standard stock images remain beige and vanilla

 

Spot the Difference

 

...even business’s-type images can be jazzed up a little...

...even business’s-type images can be jazzed up a little...

  ...between an images that’s worth a second glance and something that’s worth less than a goldfish attention span moment in time to look over.


You can see the difference instantly.


In a split second you know whether an image is insipid or intriguing, lame or likeable, or bland or brilliant.


And you’re not the only one who knows this. Everyone knows this instinctively - you don’t have to analyse it even for a moment.


Spot the Effort...

 

 

...a zillion bland images are just a click away...

...a zillion bland images are just a click away...

   ...or lack of that’s gone into selecting that particular image.


You can tell yourself when looking at an article whether someone has put the time, effort, and energy into something truly worth reading.


And if you know, your audience knows.


That includes spotting the obviously bog-standard stock images chosen without much thought and slapped on top of your writing to put off anyone from wanting to read on.


If the image smacks of unoriginality, then is the viewer really going to spend the extra time going to the trouble of reading any further?

Spot the uniqueness...

 

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Don’t follow the same stripe as everyone else...

 

Using original images can really help to differentiate you from the crowd.

Spot the Frog...

 

 

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As this fine froggy fellow demonstrates, a striking image grabs the attention, is interesting to look at, and stands apart from standard stock images.

 

Don’t poison your hard-scribbled writing with a lame pic. 

Get something that really hops off the screen and makes your audience spot the difference between your content and everyone elses’.

Drop me a mail - and you can soon have some unique images of your own.

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Stock Images, Stressed Workers, and Sea Monsters

Even his immaculately trimmed eyebrows were no consolation for his manic work-schedule.

Even his immaculately trimmed eyebrows were no consolation for his manic work-schedule.

 

In the wonderful and weird world of business stock images, one of the popular genres is stressed workers.


Maybe it’s the fact that in so many images they have to adopt perma-grins, stare intently into the prosperous business future, and be so annoyingly over-enthusiastic that has led them to being stressed out in other pictures.


Let’s take the example of Jason, who is surrounded by 101 co-workers, (well four actually, but you get the idea....) all pressing him him with things to do by yesterday.


There’s calls to answer, reports to go over, and perhaps even someone’ cat to feed. I am not sure what the cat is doing in the office, but that’s for another day....


Jason’s friend, BIll, tries to help out by offering a stress-reducing donut.....

 

 

The donut on top top of three cans of Red Bull probably wasn’t going to help much.

The donut on top top of three cans of Red Bull probably wasn’t going to help much.

 

How he is managing to stay up on the ceiling like that is anyone’s guess...

 

 


 

Instituting ‘bring your pet to work day’ on Fridays was turning out to be a mistake.

Instituting ‘bring your pet to work day’ on Fridays was turning out to be a mistake.

 

Now he’s stressed due to the fact that he’s about to become a giants squids lunch.

In a recent survey, six out of ten office workers said that being eaten by a giant sea monster would be a stressful event. The other four said that it would come as welcome relief.

In the same building as Jason’s office, is the office of John. Here he is looking stressed and flanked by two towering piles of paperwork.

 

He was beginning to regret blowing his last bonus on his mohican.

He was beginning to regret blowing his last bonus on his mohican.

Not only are there piles of work to do building up, but also his desk has been infested by weasels.

 

He always hated it when this happened.

He always hated it when this happened.

 

Of course, some folks would say that they have the odd rodent or two in their own office, but that they’re usually of the shirt and tie wearing variety.

Let’s move down the corridor and look in at Sheila.

 

The paperless office wasn’t really coming along.

The paperless office wasn’t really coming along.

 

Sheila is stressed due to her messy desk.


 

That reminded her that she really must get around to apologizing to her neighbours for what happened to their pug.

That reminded her that she really must get around to apologizing to her neighbours for what happened to their pug.


Fortunately for her, her pet anaconda, Bob, has volunteered to eat the files. She is considering asking him to consume her boss as well, but is concerned that it might effect her bonus.


Finding the right stock image can be a bit of a stressful experience. Especially when you have to wade the cheesy swamp that is sometimes business stock images.



There are so many images to plough through, some of them might be actually quite good - but it might take you an age to find them.


Even if you do find a suitable image, it might be already in use on a bunch of others sites. The most commonly seen images are the ones that pop up in the first few search results. So you’re going to have to put in a bit more work if you want yourself to stand out.



One easy way of standing out is simply to have your images drawn for you.


Unique images that are tailoring specifically to suit you and your message.


You can even have pictures featuring weasels, giant squid and other such strange critters if you so desire....even such pics might not be as strange of some of the business images you can already see!


You name it, I can draw it for you - drop me a mail.

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Illustrated Booknotes - The War of Art by Steven Pressfield


 

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Have you ever sat down to do something really important to you, not just an urgent busy thing you have to do, but something that really matters to you....

 

.....only to find that you just can’t get going - it almost feels as though there is an actual force acting against your best intentions and stopping you from doing your work?


You have just encountered Resistance...and according to Steven Pressfield it is very real indeed. Pressfield always spells Resistance with a capital ‘R’ so as to afford it the respect it deserves, and not to take it lightly.


The War of Art delves into Resistance works against us - and how we can deal with it.


About Steven Pressfield


Before finally figuring Resistance out, Steven Pressfield was a writer who didn’t write, and had carved out a series of shadow careers that had prevented him from committing to what he really wanted to do - to write. 

He finally figured out Resistance and ‘The War of Art’ is the first of a series of books he has written on the subject.

I made so many notes when reading this book, but finally managed to decide on six points that particularly resonated with me. I could easily have done ten more...in fact I’m sure thst I’ll return to this book again to review some of the points that didn’t make the A-list this time around. 

 

Definitely tomorrow... 

 

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 We all know how tomorrow, or someday never quite seems to come. However, thinking in this way as the advantage of preventing us from facing up to the fact that we are never going to work on our dreams, as we will do so someday.....

 

 Resistance...


What’s coming in the way of us getting down to it right now is Resistance.


Resistance is the force that stops us from getting down to work, particularly if it’s something that’s really important to us.

 

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Pressfield imagines this as some real, unstoppable force, and compares it to the Teminator, the Alien, and the shark from Jaws. It’s relentless and won’t stop in it’s mission to stop you from doing what you have to do.

 

I have to admit that I was experiencing some resistance as I sat down to write this. This is one of my favourite books - it means a lot to me - and I was working against a deadline...and yet I still felt this invisible force-field type of effect, that was stopping me from getting down to writing.

 

Do the work

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So what can you do about Resistance?


Simply sit down right now and get on with your work.


Simple - but not easy.

 

Clear your desk

 

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In order to be clear about what we have to do, we have to create aa clear, orderly space for us to do our work. Resistance loves chaos and so we have to do our utmost to keep clutter and bad habits at bay.

 

Take it  a day at a time

 

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Doing the work is not glamorous - it’s about gritting it out, one day after another.

 

Why you are here

 

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It pays to pause for a while and think about this, and see if it resonates with you. If it does - take action.


I’m in a book circle, and every month I draw a new set of booknotes based on the month’s book.

 

I’ll post future booknotes here in due course.

 

A selection of other books by Steven Pressfield: 

 

-Turning Pro - Goes into more depth about turning professional.

-Do the Work - Getting stuff done.

 

All worth checking out! 

Thumbs Down to Crap Stock Images

Aa

 

 

 

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This is Bill. He’s a character in the strange world of business stock images. A land where everyone is happy in meetings, gaze forwards to the future, or use their laptops in strange locations.


Bill is giving the thumbs up. We don’t know why he’s doing so, but he’s doing it with great enthusiasm regardless.


A lot of folks in business stock images do things that are quite difficult to explain/for no apparent reason.


....and that’s why such images can look quite unnatural...



When was the last time you saw someone actually give the thumbs up in an office, whether in real life or on TV?


Let’s look at some other examples of thumb raising folks.

 

 

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Neil kept his two thumbs up for way too long, which enabled Doris to take advantage of the situation and get him to help her with her knitting.


Now let’s take a glance at Neil’s colleague, Bob.




[image - thumb puppets]




 

 

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Bob was so bored at work/posing for inane stock images that he created his own thumb puppets to amuse himself.


He now has 1.2 million subscribers on YouTube, a book contract, and a TV show deal. He hopes that this result in his manager noticing and offering him a promotion.

 

 

Of course for some, ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down’ reminds them of scenes from gladiator movies.


Movies always make things look pretty glamorous




It was difficult back in the day...

 

 

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Roman Emperor Rigorus Spankikus once had his graphic designer exiled due to a partuculary lame PR campaign that failed to endear the Emperor to his subjects.


But spare a thought for those who can’t give either a thumbs up or down.

 

 

 

 

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It must be frustrating for weasels...


If they ever want to enter the world of business, not only do they have to develop more intelligence but also evolve opposing thumbs.

 

Using run-of-the-mill business stock images might seem to be an easier option, but it might result in your readers giving your content the thumbs down or not even bothering to read it in the first place.


Our attention goes to images, and so if it looks as though not much effort and imagination has gone into selecting visuals, why bother actually reading the rest?


How about yourself?


Are you attracted by such images


What would you think of someone using them on a site or article you’re reading?

 

Probably not much... 

 

...so it’s worthwhile spending a bit of time to find some interesting images. 

Do You Gaze Past Stock Images?

(Or Using Monsters in Marketing)

 

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One of the more perplexing and unnatural business stock image genres is that of the person or persons staring off into the future.


Often these folks have semi-mystical look on the face,  no doubt enraptured by future business glories laying ahead. Alternatively, they sport an inane grin, perhaps as as a result of thinking ahead to what they’ll get up to after work.


Such folks can be found either inside the office or outside, sometimes in front of an impressive building or on a street corner.


Don’t they ever get cautioned for loitering?


Let’s look at a couple of examples.

 

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These pair of business bods were so busy gazing off into the future that they were completely obvious to the present moment and thus failed to notice Vognor the Terrible alighting upon the top of their office building.

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This chap paused while crossing a bridge to fixate on some vision of tomorrow, Perhaps the river inspired him to stop and ponder what might lie upstream in life.

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Unfortunately for him, one of Vognor’s fellow monsters, Krakus the Lamentable, was very much focused on the present moment and what to have for lunch.

 

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These three colleagues are peering so far ahead that they need binoculars...which won’t help them much against Gladys the Flatulent(not all monsters have terrible sounding names) who is creeping up behind them..

 

It’s not a good idea to spend too much time in the future at the expense of the present moment.

 

Nor is it a good idea to use cheesy stock images that look as though you haven’t put much thought or effort into them. Your readers will likely gaze on past your content if they see too many lame images.

 

So it pays to spend a bit more time and attention when choosing images, so that your readers will spend a bit more time and attention on your content. 

 

How to Use Geese in Marketing

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There are a billion and one books and articles on marketing.


You’ve probably bought a few yourself...you may even have read some of the ones that you got.


Marketing this and marketing that.


Getting attention, keeping attention, branding...


What to write, what images to use, when to write etc.


People are forever coming up with new ideas for marketing...


.. But here’s one idea that you may not have considered before - using geese to help get the attention of your audience.


Here are three ways geese can get your message noticed.

 

 

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 1. Honking.


Geese can be tricky noisy, so how about trying honking rather than hustling for attention.

 

 

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2. A “friendly peck” to gain attention.


People talk about direct marketing, well it doesn’t get any more direct than that.

 

 

 

 

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 3. Formation flying banner towing


Geese are capable of flying for incredibly long distances, what better way to promote your message to a wider audience than having a banner towed around?

 


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Here’s a bonus one. Some people are interested in the so-called ‘dark arts’ of marketing. While this is not about marketing, you could use this to prevent your competitors from going about their day.


Probably the safest way to use geese I’m marketing is in cartoon form.

 

So why are cartoons good?



Cartoons...



-grab your viewer’s attention. Even the most enthusiastic of people can sometimes zone out during a presentation. A cartoon can help to catch their attention again.



-give your audience a break from the text. Too much text can really zone people out, there is only so much information we can take in in one go.



-can give people a laugh or smile without you having to think of a joke. Not everyone’s a natural story or joke teller, so funny pictures can help take the pressure off you.



-can make your presentation memorable - funny pictures stick in the memory. People may remember the cartoon long after they have forgotten the real point of your presentation.


Okay, so where can you get cartoons from, one than randomly searching the net?



It would be good if there was a convenient and easy way to find cartoons in one place....



Introducing the cartoon subscription service


The Cartoon Subscription Service is a one-stop service providing you with cartoons to use on your site or on social media. There are also plenty of ideas and advice on how you can use cartoons for the greatest effect and impact.



How else can cartoons help you?



-Cartoons grab attention



-Cartoons can deliver a message quickly



-Cartoons help to tell a story, stories can be used to sell your message or service



-A picture is worth a thousand words



-Cartoons are fun!



-Cartoons help to get things read



Intrigued?



Want some more information on how cartoons can help you?



In the form below, fill in your name, email address,  and say “cartoon me up” in the subject line and I’ll send you more details.

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Surfing by the Surf...

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Another one of those aspirational stock images that look a bit odd isthe person using the laptop on the beach.


Here’s a woman perched on a rock working away on her laptop - maybe beavering away setting up a location independent business.

 

Isn’t she concerned about getting sand in it?

 

Or the general rule about not letting computers get too close to water...

 

However, this image doesn’t reveal the full story behind the scene.

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Only half an hour later her tranquility was interrupted by a group of hungry pelicans hoping to scrounge some fish....or to get her to place an order with Uber eats...

 

What else might intrude on her tranquil typing?

 

Or what might she be missing out on having her eyes clued to the screen while sitting in such a tranquil setting?

 

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Even odder is someone wearing a business suit while working away on the beach.

 

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This chap was either so keen to get down to work that he forgot to roll his trousers up, or so absorbed in his task that he didn’t notice the incoming tide.

 

Maybe he needs someone or some thing to remind him that it’s not all work..work..work

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 That’s a mere drop on the ocean of odd images, there’s sure to be plenty more come in with the next tide, but not necessarily any that are really relevant to your situation.

 

So next time you’re selecting an image to use, you might want to pause and think if it’s really suitable or whether it should released and returned to the sea of odd stock images.

 

 

 

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PS.

One image that popped up while researching this article was that of a business woman, in full office attire, fishing. It kind of made me curious whether she was fishing for anything in particular or had merely popped out during this lunch break for some relaxation.

No One Actually Stands There Like That...

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Are business stock images too lame for your liking? Here’s your chance to liven them up, well one at any rate.

Here’s a pic of business people standing there posing heroically.

Why they are standing there like that remains a mystery.

I’m sure you’ve come across similar somewhat cheesy and very stilted stock images before.

There’s something distinctly odd about them, because, let’s face it, no one ever stands there like that.

So to liven things up a bit, I invite you post your own suggestion as to what or who could enter the scene so as to spice it up a bit.

The winner gets a custom image of their choice.

All you have to do is to enter your own suggestion in the message box below, along with your name and email address.

That’s it! How easy is that? The closing date is noon on Saturday 16th March 2019, and by entering you accept the competition terms and conditions (don’t worry, there’s nothing frightening there).

 

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Death by Powerpoint

Ever been here?

Ever been here?

 

 “Urrr!” Is anyone going to be awake at the end of this? What on earth was I thinking about when I chose these slides? Even I’m bored looking at them...”


Sue’s presentation wasn’t going that well. She’d put the slides together in a bit of a rush and the images she’d chosen weren’t that good...in fact several of them were terrible. Not only was there one of those cheesy business people smiling inanely, but also in the land of a billion and one cute cat pictures she’d ended up with the world’s most repellent moggy...How did that happen?

 

 

Even her dog didn’t like the presentation.

Even her dog didn’t like the presentation.

You may never have had a presentation quite as disastrous as Sue’s, but I’m sure you’ve delivered one or two that you still cringe about even now.


I’m also sure that you’ve sat through some presentations where the slides had been specially chosen for their sheer lameness.


And if you combine that with dull presentation...zzz...


There’s a huge fear of appearing to be crap in front of other people. And part of that comes from a concern bout boring people. People get bored quicker than ever before. At the slightest whiff of boredom, folks reach for their phones, rather than have to sit through a few moments of dullness. And with the pace of life ever-increasing, this is only going to get worse.

 

 

...and that’s eight seconds longer than most...

...and that’s eight seconds longer than most...

 

There’s also the situation of a roomful of bored, restless people, now desperately trying to distract themselves from the rest of your presentation....aargh!....horrible!


So how can you avoid the terrible twin problem of your audience nodding off and you feeling terrible about?


Of course you can work on your presentation skills and writing, but what else can you do?

 

 

 

 

Answers on a postcard as to what the dance is....

Answers on a postcard as to what the dance is....

 

You could employ a dancing octopus...or you could use cartoons


You need something interesting and eye-catching.


This is where cartoons come in.


So why are cartoons good?


Cartoons...


-grab your viewer’s attention. Even the most enthusiastic of people can sometimes zone out during a presentation. A cartoon can help to catch their attention again.


-give your audience a break from the text. Too much text can really zone people out, there is only so much information we can take in in one go.


-can give people a laugh or smile without you having to think of a joke. Not everyone’s a natural story or joke teller, so funny pictures can help take the pressure off you.


-can make your presentation memorable - funny pictures stick in the memory. People may remember the cartoon long after they have forgotten the real point of your presentation.

 

Okay, so where can you get cartoons from, one than randomly searching the net?


It would be good if there was a convenient and easy way to find cartoons in one place....


Introducing the cartoon subscription service

 

The Cartoon Subscription Service is a one-stop service providing you with cartoons to use on your site or on social media. There are also plenty of ideas and advice on how you can use cartoons for the greatest effect and impact.


How else can cartoons help you?


-Cartoons grab attention


-Cartoons can deliver a message quickly


-Cartoons help to tell a story, stories can be used to sell your message or service


-A picture is worth a thousand words


-Cartoons are fun!


-Cartoons help to get things read


Intrigued?


Want some more information on how cartoons can help you?


In the form below, fill in your name, email address, and say “cartoon me up” in the subject line and I’ll send you more details.

 

 

More pooch pics please...

More pooch pics please...

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Why fake stock images are bad - and what to do about it

 (Or how goats can make boring pics more interesting)

 

 

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We’ve all seen stock images that seem a bit lame, but you may not have appreciated how odd and unnaturalsome of them are until you take a closer look....


...it might be the unnervingly bleached teeth, the business suits that look as though have just come off the rack and then been pressed a dozen times, or the ever-so perfectly organised mess.


Perfect is one word that springs to mind, everything has been so precisely and carefully organised to create a setting and models that look as though the dust never settles on them, no coffee is ever spilt, and none of those cheesy smiles ever slip.


Perhaps there exists somewhere an alternate plane of existence where people actually look like this, but I’m sure that you’ve never seen anyone resembling these characters in everyday life. I mean where are the crumbs from the coffee break cookies, the desks that look like someone has actually done some work at them, and the variety of expressions on folks faces?


It all looks a bit fake, and if it looks fake, then what does this say about the person or company that chose to use such fake-looking images?


It’s not as though there aren’t enough images to choose from.


Let’s look at a couple of examples from a business theme.


We’ll also look at how some of these images can be made more interesting by inserting a goat into the proceedings.


Almost any situation can be made more interesting by inserting a goat into it, however, for this article we’ll limit it to office settings.

 

 Fake image number #1 - the office team high-fiving each other.

This group of happy meeting attendees are so busy high-fiving each other that they fail to notice Gerald the Goat sneaking in to raid the fruit bowl.

This group of happy meeting attendees are so busy high-fiving each other that they fail to notice Gerald the Goat sneaking in to raid the fruit bowl.


Yay! Go team! They’ve obviously just achieved some important goal such as setting a new record for length of time in having their grins fixed in place.

 

Err....people just aren’t that happy at meetings....I mean where is the guy who is fighting to stay awake? The woman gazing off into the distance daydreaming about something to take her mind of things? The guy who is just not having a bad day....

 

 Fake image #2 - business people leaping in the air.


Either individually or as a team, there are lots of folks leaping about. What do the offices below make of al the commotion going on?

 

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Why are these two jumping in the air? Is there any good reason?


Is it normal to be airborne in the office?

 

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Now there’s a good reason to be airborne...

 

 Fake image #3 - person holding tablet doing work


This one usually comes with a big smile as well, rather than a look puzzlement that often comes when trying to figure out a new app.

 

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By the way, I don’t only draw goats...geese can be equally disruptive...


Maybe these images will serve as a warning or a wake-up call not to use such images yourself.


Nobody likes things that are fake, whether it’s photos, people or goods.


You are not fake. And you certainly don’t want to come across as fake. So why use fake images?


But it’s not just about the fakeness, it’s about the fact that such pics are not much fun at all. I mean it’s hard enough to get someone’s attention in the first place, so the last thing you want to do have boring pics act as a huge damp squib to your writing.


Amusing images that compliment your writing can have a huge impact on your audience in terms of whether your message sticks around or if they share it with friends.


Finding good images though can take so doing, and certainly take a chunk of time - which is why many folks opt for the easier option of using ready to hand stock images. The trouble is, a lot of those images have already been used by others, as well as the before mentioned fakery associated with such images.

 

So it would be great if you could have an easy-to-hand source of fun and eye-catching images to use.

 

Cartoons would be a neat alternative - quirky amusing ones, like the pics above. 

 

Hmm...so where do such cartoons lurk? 

 

 Introducing the cartoon subscription service.


The Cartoon Subscription Service is a one-stop service providing you with cartoons to use on your site or on social media. There are also plenty of ideas and advice on how you can use cartoons for the greatest effect and impact.


How else can cartoons help you?


-Cartoons grab attention


-Cartoons can deliver a message quickly


-Cartoons help to tell a story, stories can be used to sell your message or service


-A picture is worth a thousand words


-Cartoons are fun!


-Cartoons help to get things read


Intrigued?


Want some more information on how cartoons can help you?


Fill in your name, email address and say “Cartoon me up!” in the subject line and I’ll send you further details.

 

Name *
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Do People Notice Your Writing?

 -How cartoons can help you to stick in your audience’s memory

 

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 “My brain is going to turn to blancmange if I read any more of this stuff...it’s just all so....vanilla....is that a blancmange flavour too?”


Sue was reading a rather long and boring article. Unfortunately, it was an article that Sue had to read and so she was plotting through it, trying to keep herself going with a cup of coffee...and then another one...and then....


Of all the stuff you look at everyday online, how much of it do you remember? Very little I bet.


There’s just so much stuff whizzing by as you search the net: page after page, billions of words zipping on by....


So what do you actually remember? Not much...I bet almost nothing. In fact it would have to be something pretty amazing to stick in your memory.

 

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I don’t know about you, but my short-term memory is a bit like a goldfish with a smartphone, things are soon forgotten and without the device I don’t really remember much of anything.

 

What about your own content? Is it that more memorable than other people’s or do they also whizz by?

 

It seems a real shame for you to spend so much time on your writing: pouring over your ideas, scratching your head,  oodles of scribbling, gallons of coffee consumed, all that frustration and fiddling around with your website  for it to go to waste - all for nothing if nobody actually sees it.


So how can you get things to stick in the memory? So how can you make your stuff stick around for longer?


You can increase stickiness.

 

 

(With hair like that, Malcolm Gladwell has his own stickiness factor)

(With hair like that, Malcolm Gladwell has his own stickiness factor)


Here is what Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers and also the Tipping Point, had to say about stickiness:


Gladwell defines the Stickiness Factor as the quality that compels people to pay close, sustained attention to a product, concept, or idea.


Stickiness can also mean that it hangs around in the memory, long after it was first seen.


Cartoons can provide stickiness. Just think about how people save pictures and share them around -  they put them on social media  - and even print them off and put them on the fridge or they post them up on the wall at work.

 

What other form of marketing can end up on someone’s fridge?

What other form of marketing can end up on someone’s fridge?


What if the image could be associated with your message so that people could be in encouraged to help spread your message by spreading the picture?



Does that sound interesting?



So where can you get the cartoons from, without having to endlessly search the net?



You really need to have easy access to a range of cartoons you can use free of copyright worries and not having to figure out the ideal size -  none of the bother - you could just simply go and use.



Introducing the cartoon subscription service.



The Cartoon Subscription Service is a one-stop service providing you with cartoons to use on your site or on social media. There are also plenty of ideas and advice on how you can use cartoons for the greatest effect and impact.



How else can cartoons help you?



-Cartoons grab attention



-Cartoons can deliver a message quickly



-Cartoons help to tell a story, stories can be used to sell your message or service



-A picture is worth a thousand words



-Cartoons are fun!



-Cartoons help to get things read



Intrigued?



Want some more information on how cartoons can help you?



Click on the contact form and say “Cartoon me up!” And I’ll send you further details.

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Need Content? Pushed for Time?

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“Hmm....Content...content....content...Everyone says that content is king and that I need to be putting more content out there but what to do? There’s only so much time in the day and I only have so many ideas flying around my head. There’s just not enough time to produce the amount of content I’d like....aargh!”

Sally was sitting down trying to think of some new content for her site. She’d been sat there for a while, and aside from a few random doodles and notes on her tablet didn’t have much to show for it..and meanwhile the clock was ticking on the list of things she had to do...

Perhaps you’ve found yourself in a similar situation to Sally, needing to write another article or blog post but with little time to do so.

Being pushed for time can make it doubly stressful...it can be bad enough having to write the damn thing in the first place!

Maybe you feel as though you only have so many ideas in your head and forcing yourself to come up with more is a real strain. This can turn creating your own content from something you enjoy doing to something that you’d really rather not bother with...

Hiring someone to produce content for you is probably out of the question, so what can you do?

It would be neat to be able to access some additional content, to supplement whatever you create yourself.

It would also be neat if such content would help to brighten up your site, amuse your readers, and also help them to engage with your content.

Is there something that could help you do all of the above?

This is where cartoons come in.

 

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Everyone loves cartoons....they help to add humour and brighten up a site, blog, or social media post.

More importantly, they’re great attention grabbers and people love to share them among friends.

What if you could get hold of a bunch of cartoons along with some practical suggestions on how to use them to help your business?

What if you had access to a steady stream of cartoons that you could use on your site as much as you liked? - is this superfluous?

As well as making people smile, cartoons can also help me to pause for thought and reflect...

 

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 ...even if only for a moment...

Or how about for a simple moment of joyful silliness

  ...even if only for a moment...

Or how about for a simple moment of joyful silliness

 

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Cartoons can also be used to illustrate well known sayings and quotations.


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As well ascartoons being used to amuse people or illustrate a point, they can also enable readers to interact with your content. How so?

I’m sure you’ve seen caption the cartoon competitions before, where readers are invited to come up with a caption to go with the cartoon. By using these you can get your audience to engage with your content. Let’s look at an example.

 Caption the cartoon - What is the rabbit saying to the woman?

 

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Such content really catches the eye of your readers and they get to share their ideas with you.

You also have a great opportunity to have a conversation with them. While all of this is going on, they are staying on your site or with your brand for longer, and becoming more familiar with it.

You’ve probably also seen spot the difference cartoons, where you have to find the differences between a pair of pictures. Here’s an example. (Answers at the end of this article)

 

 A

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 B

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As you will have seen if you tried to find the differences, puzzles like these engage with readers and help them to stay on your site longer.

It also gives you a further opportunity to engage with your readers when they post their answers to the comments section. This can also help to develop a community as your readers interact with each other about their answers or ideas.

So now that you’ve seen a few examples of how cartoons can grab the attention of, and then engage with your readers, you might be thinking where can you get them from?

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 Introducing The Cartoon Subscription Service



Your site, blog, Facebook page etc… add a few cartoons….magic!

Have you ever wanted to add some cartoons to your site but never gotten around to it?

Maybe you've been busy or you didn't know quite to start.

A cartoon subscription service provides you with the images you need to liven up your site…and to grab your readers attention - whether you're looking to engage with them, collect email addresses or to offer them something.

Paying someone, including me, to create individual images for you can soon add up as you want a cartoonist who is good at what they do and so won't come cheap.

The cartoon subscription services provides a reasonably priced alternative, and also gives you the option of having cartoons altered, or even created from scratch for you.

As all the cartoons are in one place, it saves you the hassle of searching around. New cartoons are also added every month.

 

 Cartoons…


 -grab your viewers attention

-brighten up your content

-get shared on social media

-are a way to promote your product or service

 

 ...which also means…

 

-no more using crappy stock images

-no more wasting time searching for images

-no worries about copyright issues

 

...including...

 

 -themes to choose from e.g. cats, dogs

-caption the cartoons

-spot the difference

-cartoons with stories - illustrated silly stories

 What do I get?

 -100’s of cartoons to choose from

-web ready images (480 x 360 72 DPI) which you can post right away

-the cartoons you need in one spot


Interested in finding out more?

Name *
Name

Write your name, email address, and write “cartoon me up” in the subject line and I’ll send you further details.




  

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Illustrated Booknotes - We Do Things Differently - by Mark Stevenson

Illustrated Booknotes - We Do Things Differently - by Mark Stevenson

I’m a member of a book circle, and every month we read a different book and then talk about it. I put together a series of five or six illustrated booknotes showing key points I gained from the book.

 

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I can produce booknotes for you too. Drop me a mail. 

Illustrated Booknotes - 23 Things They Didn’t Tell You About Capitalism - by Ha-Joon Chang

 

Illustrated Booknotes - 23 Things They Didn’t Tell You About Capitalism - by Ha-Joon Chang

I’m a member of a book circle, and every month we read a different book and then talk about it. I put together a series of five or six illustrated booknotes showing key points I gained from the book.


 

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I can produce illustrated booknotes for you too. Drop me a mail. 

 

Drawing Windy Walkies

I drew a cartoon with a similar idea a couple of years ago, but thought I’d revisit it and redraw it from a different angle and in a different setting. 

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1. The initial sketch. 

I used a digital 6B pencil with Procreate to sketch this out. I used to do the initial outline with a digital pen, but I prefer the looser feel of the pencil. 

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2.  Colouring the characters.

As I wanted to make this an autumn scene, I thought I would have her outfit compliment the browns and greens of the leaves. 

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3. Colouring the background.

Washing in the colours using a digital watercolour brush. 

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4. Adding more detail to the background.

I decided that the background was too thin and sparse, so I added the impression of more trees.  

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Spot the difference! Actually, I don’t think there is one! Better remove this pic later. 

 

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5. Adding the shading and hatching. 

I used to do either shading or hatching, predominantly shading only. Recently I’ve been experimenting with putting hatching on top of the shading to give an increased sense of depth. 

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6. The finished cartoon. 

I tidied the pic up a little and blackened some of the lines. 

 

I would be happy to draw for you too. Drop me a mail and we can chat. 

 

Cheers for reading!

Illustrated Booknotes - We’re All Weird - by Seth Godin

I’m a member of a book circle, and every month we read a different book and then talk about it. I put together a series of five or six illustrated booknotes showing key points I gained from the book.

Last month’s book was ‘We’re All Weird’ by Seth Godin.

 

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Last month’s book was ‘We’re All Weird’ by Seth Godin.

 

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You have to make a choice if you want to be weird and stand out...and be yourself. 

 

Don’t let stuff get in way of making connections with people. 

 

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Laziness leads to average effort, which also means that you never really bother to get to know people and how you can help them. 

 

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It’s more difficult to be weird when you’re always thinking about when the next paycheck is coming from. 

 

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As you become weird it encourages to also become weird. You also start to notice other who are different as well. 

 

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Don’t let apathy leave you behind while the world moves forward around you. 

 

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All the booknotes in one image. 

 

I can produce illustrated booknotes for you too. Whether you have an article, ebook, or other form of content, I can illustrate the key points for you.

Drop me a mail and we can chat to see what’s good for you.

Drawing Dorothea Thwing

I recently drew a short series of cartoons entitled ‘Great Tea Drinkers of the World’. Here is the first I the series, ‘Dorothea Thwing’, not forgetting her poodle Maximilian.

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1. The initial sketch.

I sketched this out with a digital 6B pencil using Procreate. 

 

 

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2. Colouring the characters.

As I intend adding a green background, I thought I’d go for a reddish brown for her outfit so that it would compliment the greens that I’ll wash in behind her next. 

 

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3. Colouring the background. 

Building up the tones to show depth and form. 

 

 

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4. Adding shading and hatching. 

Recently I’ve been experimenting with adding hatching on top of shadow to try to enhance the feeling of form and depth. 

 

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5. The finished cartoon. 

Caption added and a bit of tidying carried out. I also made some of the lines a bit more solid. 

I draw lots of cartoons, some of them rather silly!

I’d be happy to draw for you too, drop me a mail and we can chat. 

Cheers!