Posts Tagged ‘illustration’

Falling in love…with work

Posted on: February 14th, 2017 by samdrawsthings No Comments

Make a pot of green tea.  Shuffle around some of the clutter that has taken over the art room in the last nine-ish months, but don’t tidy too much, don’t get distracted. 

Add deadlines and Important Dates to my new Year Planner. 

Enjoy the unusual quiet of some time just me (and the dog, the quiet won’t last too long). 

Take a deep breath and re-find my working, drawing, thinking self behind my new mama bear self…

Valentine’s Day feels like a lovely day to be getting back to work after maternity leave.  And I DO love my work; I’m so lucky.  I have really missed it, even though I’ve been drawing and doing creative things when I can, often drawing with a baby asleep on me.  Not that our one is a big fan of sleep…

Baby fairy by Sam Goodlet -

It’s been a beautiful, mind blowing, whirlwind of time since I started my leave in May and since Tristan’s arrival in June.  We have fallen in love with our little pixie, survived baby’s first cold, first teeth, and delighted in first smile, first giggle, first words…

And my creativity has been bubbling away the entire time, waiting for moments when it can explode out.

One of the most inspiring and joyful things has been how much Tristan, now just over 8 months, likes my drawings. When he was really new, the black and white ones almost hypnotised him!  It was wonderful and has inspired some new project ideas I need to find some time to bring to life.

Family portrait as Foxes by Sam Goodlet -

Today though, I have some really exciting projects to get started on, including more work with the wonderful Charlie Locks Skincare who I did some illustrations for as part of their Christmas camapaign.

charlie locks bag by Sam Goodlet -

I also have a new book project with Bloomsbury Sigma to get stuck in to.

So, wish me luck.  Here I go… the tidying will have to wait. 🙂







Dive Down: Words of Wisdom from Ram Dass

Posted on: September 20th, 2015 by samdrawsthings No Comments

dive down banner by Sam Goodlet -

Treat everyone you meet like God in drag.
Ram Dass

My brother introduced me to Ram Dass a few years ago.

My brother Adam is amazing – he’s 6ft 4 and all smile.  He’s someone I really look up to (in all senses of the word) and has been an incredible source of support, particularly over the last year.  He’s a musician with a massive spiritual streak, and collects quotes, podcasts, YouTube videos to show his friends to blow their minds, and to sample in his music.  You can find out more about his psytrance music here.

Ram Dass has so many amazing words and quotes it’s hard to choose favourites.  Since being introduced to him and finding him on Facebook, his teachings have helped me to think and be in new ways on almost a daily basis.

When I was creating Dive Down, I pulled back from my support network of friends and family a bit to try and really feel into what had lead me to make the decisions I’d made in my life so far, look at where I had perhaps done things based on fear, and see if I could find different ways of navigating in the future.

Ram Dass was a great source of inspiration during that challenging time.

He doesn’t hold his punches.  His words are written (or spoken) with love, but they aren’t always easy to read.

If somebody is a problem for you, it’s not that they should change, it’s that you need to change.  If they’re a problem for themselves that’s their karma, if they’re causing you trouble that’s your problem…
– Ram Dass from A Heavy Curriculum

See?  🙂

I think that’s one of the things that I find most helpful about Ram Dass actually, the challenge that he often presents.  The way he asks me to look at myself before anyone else, to work on myself before presuming that I can change anything else in the world.  To see my own power in the work that I do when I work on myself.

In a lovely bit of circular connection, I picked Adam up from the airport on Thursday after he’d been travelling.  He ended his adventures in Hawaii, where he was fortunate enough to spend some time with Ram Dass (now in his nineties) in person.  By all accounts they had an awesome time, with a lot of just smiling and sitting in each others company.  And, Adam gave him a copy of Dive Down, so I can add a pin to Hawaii in my map of where the books have flown to….

The Ram Dass Foundation Love Serve Remember website is brilliant, and has articles, quotes, podcasts, webcasts and films packed with inspiration.  You can find it here:

You are loved just for being who you are, just for existing. You don’t have to do anything to earn it…. Imagine that being in this love is like relaxing endlessly into a warm bath that surrounds and supports your every movement, so that every thought and feeling is permeated by it.
– Ram Dass from The Entrance to Oneness



Dive Down: Gratitude to everyone who helped me start to notice…

Posted on: September 4th, 2015 by samdrawsthings No Comments

dive down banner by Sam Goodlet -

The seals in the Dive Down story appear at a point when inspiration started to find me…

Illustration from Dive Down by Sam Goodlet -


Along with an amazing book called When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chödrön and a range of music that helped me to get up in the morning (which can be found on the Spotify playlist to accompany the book here) there were lots of other people and organisations who helped me to navigate my way in the depths.  A lot of them can be found in the Further Reading list in the back of the book, and on the Dive Down website here.

This week has been really lovely as I have been writing thank you letters and packaging up copies of Dive Down to send some of those people as a thank you.

I sent and gave the first batch of books to friends and family who were part of my safety net, and now I’ve reached out to some of the people who have been part of my life without realising.

I wanted to complete the loop and let them know that they had touched and helped me.

So some of my favourite writers, musicians, philosophers and organisations will be getting little parcels.  It’s probably not that big a deal to them – I hope that they get letters and things like that all the time. But it was a very therapeutic thing to do, to put into words why and how their work or words had changed my life.

parcels by Sam Goodlet -

The map of where the books have gone is looking really exciting at the moment, and includes some of the awesome organisations I have sent copies to.  You can find the map here.

Letting other people know about the people, music and organisations that I found when creating Dive Down is an important part of the sharing – I want to sign post as many people to the brilliant resources that exist to help us all find our way as we swim through our own journeys and adventures.

Please do share any of your own favourites and I can add them to the Further Reading list 🙂 Why not drop me an email?


Out of my comfort zone in Zone 1

Posted on: August 29th, 2015 by samdrawsthings No Comments

dive down banner by Sam Goodlet -

Last Friday, I was in a tutu on the Tube in London.  It’s not something I ever really expected to be doing, I will confess, and I can’t *quite* remember why I thought it was a good idea…


But I decided to dress up as the version of myself in Dive Down and go to some of my favourite places in London to leave some of the 100 free copies of the book.  You can find a map of where the free books have found homes so far here.


There was a moment in a loo in Camden when I’d just put the tutu on and I thought I might take it straight back off again and go home…


Hiding in a loo in Camden in a tutu...

Hiding in a loo in Camden in a tutu…

BUT the good thing about starting in Camden was knowing that far more weird and wonderful things have happened there than me getting a bit dressed up.  And I also remembered that I have done far scarier things that that, which is what the book is all about.  So, I took a deep breath and opened the door and stepped out…

And I swiftly realised that the only person who gave two hoots about what I was wearing was me.

In a tutu on the South Bank (thanks to Nathalie Cox for the photo)

I also had a passing thought that everything we wear is a costume, and wearing a tutu for a day is no weirder really than wearing anything else. What we dress ourselves in on a daily basis can have a big impact on how we feel, and after the nerves wore off, I felt awesome and sprightly in my silly outfit.  I sat on the South Bank sketching in the sunshine (thank goodness for the weather last Friday!), and a little boy told me he loved my drawing and my shoes.  It made my day.

This has helped me feel much braver about what I choose to wear, and I may be popping off to the shops in my top hat and tails later… I thoroughly recommend a little trip outside the comfort zone every now and then.

A big thank you to friends Ian and Nathalie for meeting me in my tutu, and to Nathalie for the photo of me above and the ones below 🙂

I’d love to hear from anyone that finds or receives a book.  You can get in touch by emailing

My awesome tutu is from The Tutu Store on Etsy

Hiding a book

Hiding a book

Sneaking a free book onto the book stall on the South Bank...

Sneaking a free book onto the book stall on the South Bank…

... and it was gone a few seconds later!

… and it was gone a few seconds later!

Dive Down: Swimming off on a new adventure

Posted on: August 11th, 2015 by samdrawsthings No Comments

dive down banner by Sam Goodlet -

I could really do with expanding my vocabulary… I am seriously over using the word ‘exciting’ at the moment.  I am writing this with the help of a thesaurus…because things are just so blooming exciting! So…. *ahem* …

I am delighted to share with you some exhilarating news about the next phase of Dive Down.

This inspiring journey started with me drawing my way through a difficult time in my life, and led to the creation of an illustrated story called Dive Down.

It’s an autobiographical fairy tale.  A self-help graphic novel.  An illustrated memoir.

It’s lots of different things, and now is also:

A paperback book available on Amazon here


A free PDF available by signing up here


And 100 pocket sized books that are being given away and left in different locations, which you can see starting to head off into the world on a map here.

Sharing the images on social media to begin with made me feel very vulnerable – I’ve never done such personal work before, and opening myself up like that was pretty scary.  But it was also thrilling.

Because I was helped by all kinds of creative, compassionate people and resources at the time I did the drawings, sharing my story and spreading the word about the help that is out there feels really important and empowering.  There is a list of the resources in the back of the book and which you can also find here.

As the story heads off into new hands and lives,  I feel incredibly excited.  More excited than I think I have ever been.  So excited I need to find some new words to express myself…

I’ve set up a new website specifically to host all of the Dive Down goodies at

One of the most moving bits of the process has been asking people for quotes to help spread the word and encourage others to download and read the story.  Here are some amazing words from some of the amazing people brave enough to share them with me:





Dive Down: Drawings from the Deep launch

Posted on: June 21st, 2015 by samdrawsthings No Comments

dive down banner by Sam Goodlet -

Happy summer solstice!  I’m launching a new project that I am really excited about…

Dive Down: Drawings from the Deep is a very personal story.  I drew my way out of a difficult time and the drawings evolved into a book, which I am sharing to help and inspire others.

Today I start serialising the story via social media, with exciting plans coming up for other ways to share the book in physical and digital form.

Follow me by Sam Goodlet -

You can find out more on the Dive Down project page here.

seal by Sam Goodlet -

Based partly on Buddhist principles, Dive Down is a story about deep sea diving into the internal sea of our fears and anxieties – somewhere we tend to not want to look.  Through reading lots of books and meditating, I noticed where I was trying to move away from things that hurt me – distracting myself, hoping for something to make me feel better, when really it was that endless searching was the causing me the most pain.

The project became a collaboration between two Sams – Sam Attenborough, a mentor and co-founder of Birdsong Charity Consulting added the words after the visual story was complete.

With a list of resources for further support included at the end of the tale and an inspiring Spotify playlist to accompany the book, we intend for Dive Down to be enjoyed by a range of people and shared further, to encourage other deep sea divers find their courage, take a deep breath, and dive into their own oceans to find calmness.

Follow me on Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook or Google+ and watch out for a picture a day, followed by some special announcements and news about where the project is going next and how you can get involved.

seal by Sam Goodlet -



Drawing Inspiration: Cherry Blossom Hunt Part 3

Posted on: April 8th, 2015 by samdrawsthings No Comments

drawing inspiration by Sam Goodlet -

To take a break and be a bit more rural in my blossom spotting after my last two ventures into Tokyo, I decided to explore the area around Nikkō a bit more.

On the recommendation of the tourist information office, I pottered off on the train to Tochigi, a small-ish town on the line between Nikkō and Tokyo.  There were a few trees to spot, including some in and around the shrine area in a gorgeous little garden.

shrine sakura by Sam Goodlet

The most exciting thing about Tochigi though was the fish! The river is full of large, dark carp and above one stretch of it are strung hundreds of multi-coloured fish windsocks/flags.  The effect is really arresting and was a really lovely thing to come across.

tochigi by Sam Goodlet Tochigi fish by Sam Goodlet

I also went on a little mission on the bus and train to Mashiko, a town home to a pottery museum and more shops selling wabi sabi/rustic folk style pottery than you could possibly imagine.  There were a few cherry trees around and on the way, and quite a few of the pottery pieces featured gorgeous sakura flowers or petals designs.

Wabi sabi cup by Sam Goodlet

Having recharged my batteries a bit, I headed back to Tokyo for more of the big parks and the more spectacular cherry blossom sites.

This turned into one of the most incredible days of the trip (and quite possibly my life…)  and I really can’t find enough words to express how completely beautiful it all was…. so many trees!  Petals everywhere…

I started at the Imperial Palace gardens, which had quite a few trees and some lovely wide open spaces for playing and pic nics. It was pretty quiet and felt very relaxed.

Imperial gardens by Sam Goodlet

I then walked through another park to the super busy Chiyoda area, where there are hundreds of trees along the river and a huge festival on the way to the Yasukuni Shrine, where there was also a grove of cherry trees.  The petals were just starting to fall, and the river in some areas was a sea of pink, as people rowed under the trees…

DSC_0245 DSC_0230 DSC_0329

To wrap up the day, I then went to Roppongi to see the Midtown Blossom.  This very slick and modern area was transformed into a magical sight as evening fell and the blossoming trees were each individually illuminated with pink light….

Midtown blossom by Sam Goodlet

I was so excited on the train into Tokyo in the morning my inner labrador dog was very much in action!  And after such a stunningly wonderful day I was in something of a post cherry blossom glow on the way back… The day exceeded my dreams.

Tokyo exploring by Sam Goodlet Sakura labrador by Sam Goodlet

I keep trying to find ways to explain or capture how the blossom looked (and failing miserably) but that day they made me think of soft pink explosions…

IMG_5536 IMG_5552

Drawing Inspiration: Cherry Blossom Hunt Part 2

Posted on: April 2nd, 2015 by samdrawsthings No Comments

drawing inspiration by Sam Goodlet -

On a slightly cloudy day yesterday, I headed back into into Tokyo from Nikkō on my second cherry blossom hunt.  I had all sorts of plans and a list of places to find, starting in Shinjuku.  This is one of the more built up, crazy busy areas of the city – the kind of Lost in Translation/Blade Runner type bit – all huge buildings and neon signs.  There are (allegedly) some parks and places for sakura spotting there but…  I got spectacularly lost around (and at one point IN) the huge station (yeah, I know, don’t laugh…).  I asked directions a few times, and some very sweet people stopped to help me when they saw my puzzled face and massive map…. Bless them all, it was to no avail and after a couple of hours of feeling like a bit of an idiot, I surrendered.

As I plodded about, I’d been thinking about what I really wanted from my cherry blossom spotting – having been to the very busy Ueno park on my first mission, I suspected that opportunities to actually sit on my own under a cherry tree and contemplate the blossom would be few and far between at the big parks on my list.

On the train on the way in, I had caught glimpses of smaller parks and streets where there were loads of trees and less people.  Places that weren’t official hanami (cherry blossom watching) spots, but looked really appealing.  I decided to head back towards Asakusa and a place I’d seen from the train.

I had to change at Ueno anyway, so on my way back I braved the crowds and headed for the park again.  I’m so pleased I did – it started to gently rain and the combination of multicoloured umbrellas, pink cherry blossom, falling petals and grey skies was completely hypnotic…

sakura and umbrellas - sam goodlet

After taking far too many photos, I got back to Asakusa and crossed the river to find a quiet little park to sit under a bench under the trees.  It was magical, peaceful and just really lovely.  One of the bridges across the river takes you over at cherry tree height, and it’s a great view.

Sakura in Tokyo - Sam Goodlet

My illustrations and sketches are never really about just physically representing things (that’s what photos are for), but even bearing that in mind, I’m struggling to do any kind of justice to these beautiful trees.  Instead I’ve been focussing a bit on how they make me feel…

cherry trees - Sam Goodlet

sakura haiku - Sam Goodlet

Sakura self portrait - Sam Goodlet

Drawing advice (with some light swearing…)

Posted on: March 6th, 2015 by samdrawsthings No Comments

I’ve been really enjoying weaving text and typography into my images recently, and have been keeping an eye out for inspiring quotes, lyrics and poems.  I’m a big fan of Ram Dass, a Buddhist with some really beautifully worded advice and words of wisdom, including these ones


And then, as a result of a conversation with a friend, I started including some words of my own to create some slightly more playful images…


My advice for approximately 50% of people:


My advice for the other approximately 50%:



butterfly1-samgoodlet butterfly2-samgoodlet



Internal sunshine

Posted on: January 15th, 2015 by samdrawsthings No Comments

internal sunshine by Sam Taylor -

I’ve been thinking today about memory – and how something like a holiday, a magical day or even just a great moment gives you something that lasts inside you long after that moment is over…

The feeling of reminiscing about a sunny holiday whilst walking down a rainy street called to mind The Lake Isle of Innisfree by W.B. Yeats.

I love these last few lines where he talks about the feeling his beautiful garden full of beans and the lake give him when he is away from them:


I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the heart’s deep core.


So, here’s to making beautiful memories to glow in our hearts on cold January days…



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