When times are hard, it seems that the first thing to be cut back is anything to do with the arts and creativity. I suspect in today's consumerism-led world, the arts are not seen as 'productive'.
I challenge you all to go a week with no books, no TV, no cinema, no music, no pictures, no photography... nothing created by artists. Hm... perhaps the creative arts do have some value to our life, after all, even if that isn't easily measured by bean-counters.
Which is why the Mike Hawthorne limited edition set of notebooks is doing so much more than 'just being a notebook'.
The more you look at the covers, the more you see. What at first glance might have been mistaken for clouds turn out to be eagles. Even though the drawings seem simple, you can tell that a man's armour is made from leather rectangles, sewn together. They are extraordinary.
Each notebook is 5.25" x 7.75" (13.4 x 19.6 cm), and has 64 pages. The covers are made of firm card, the paper is a satin-smooth "Cougar Natural Smooth", the corners are rounded and the notebook is stapled. Inside the covers, there is a lesson on how to draw the human face. Only 5000 packs were made, so this really is a limited edition. For every pack sold, an aspiring artist will get a sketchbook, which has to be a good thing, right?
Art should be for everyone. We should be encouraging everyone with talent, not just those with money. A world without the creative arts is too awful to contemplate.