Name: Peter Shorney
City/Town: Newbury, Berkshire
Places Travelled & Place lived: I’ve lived around my home town most of my life, but spend a lot of time in London. I’ve darted across to Munich and Paris, explored the streets of New York City and Boston, as well as enjoying the valleys of Tuscany.
Loves: Painting and drawing, contemporary art, 60’s TV shows, design, science fiction, music and playing guitar.
Teachers/Education: I was a very average child at all subjects at school. It was only in later years that I started to develop any creative skills, despite drawing and doodling for myself.
Occupation: Copywriter and aspiring artist.
Creative Works: www.comedyhuman.com
What would one find in the pages of your Paperblanks journal?
Pencil sketches, mainly of concept pieces I might return to at a later stage. I just let the pencil go where it wants to.
Do you have any personal philosophies you’ve come to develop about writing, art, creation or culture?
Try to find time to write or draw, or whatever your particular outlet is, every day. I did this when I had a day job that wasn’t creative. Even if you can nab about five minutes out of your day job for a doodle, or to note down an idea, do it. I call these ‘tiny rebellions’. Have a tiny rebellion every day.
Do you have any specific themes that you continually refer back to in your work?
The elements of fantasy and science fiction, particularly space opera, really come out in my work. I like the idea of giving futuristic elements like robots or spaceships a feeling of ‘realness’ with detail and shading.
No matter what type of creative art you make, what or who first inspired you to make it an essential part of your life?
I realized, after spending around 10 years of working in customer service (and warehouse work prior to that) I found I just couldn’t do it anymore. My concentration wasn’t up to it, and I felt like my abilities to do the job were slipping away. It became clear that this wasn’t the path for me. I resigned and found myself a more creative position. Fortunately my employers gave me a shot, and I found a placement as a copywriter. I now write commercially, and I enjoy my day job. This has given me the confidence to throw myself into other creative avenues, and I haven’t looked back since.
How did you find Paperblanks?
I’ve always been drawn to the ornate covers I’ve seen in shops. I like brands that take time to produce something that looks like care has been taken with it.
What sets Paperblanks apart from other journals you’ve used?
I love the sense of the dramatic and theatrical with Paperblanks covers. I was also impressed with the quality of the paper for sketching.
Do you have a favorite Paperblanks design?
I think the Nocturnelle is amazing. It’s just the kind of design that intrigues as soon as you see it.
Do you have any advice for other creative people?
Mess up the page. I’m terrible for buying a well-made journal or sketchbook, then being too scared to make a mark in it in case it ruins it. I’ve made a rule for my Paperblanks book; if I draw in it, I’ll take my time. If it’s not working out, I walk away. Another page, another day.