You Had Me at RT

David Michael Moore, @Retweetartist, caught my attention about a month ago, when he took a tweet from me at @Jessabird and illustrated it. I was flabbergasted, tickled and impressed. HOW publishes content all the time encouraging creative professionals to find a unique self-promo angle. This guy had done it, leaving a memorable impression with every person that he RTs with an illustration, often incorporating their Twitter headshot.

Moore recently shared with me an illustration that visually represents his 2012 HOW Design Live experience. Take a look!

HOW Design Live, HOW Design Conference, David Michael MooreHere’s a quick Q&A with Moore:

1. Was this your first HOW Design Live?
This was my second HOW Design Conference and second Creative Freelancer Conference.

2. Tell me about you and what you do?
I’m an illustrator who tells these stories I call “visual narratives” for speakers and thought leaders, capturing their presentations as a single piece of art. I love organizing all sorts of things, so making information beautiful and accessible is a passion of mine. My style is straight pen and ink and I began working for myself full-time in February 2012.

3. So many of the speakers at the HOW encouraged attendees to draw, sketch and draw some more! Clearly, you are a shining example of how inspiration can be gleaned from many places. Can you give us any insight into how you’ve made drawing a daily part of your life?
Absolutely! Creating a daily illustration exercise was an “a-ha” moment for me. I began illustrating people’s tweets in February [2012] and continue every weekday from the Twitter handle @retweetartist. It’s one of the few activities I’ve ever achieved any real consistency with, which I attribute to the encouragement I receive from people replying and sharing my art.

One note on creating for a community or follower-base: it’s very important that you create art for yourself first. In order to find that place where you can do whatever you want, you may need to keep a separate sketchbook you don’t show anyone. The power of a daily exercise is to experiment and regularly do the “wrong” things so you can continue to explore new territory. If you begin to censor yourself by refusing to deviate from what your audience likes, you’re in danger of burning up your creative fuel.