Search results for ‘robin small’

February 28, 2013 - Robin Small is hard to touch

robin small arrows

Robin Small wandered wide in avoidance of all things hard to touch .

Personal footnote:   This Robin knows the pain borne from intimacy, getting close – and loss.  He also knows how difficult it can be to connect with things deep within himself.  But I get the feeling he might be contemplating step into it, stepping out and taking some risks.   That’s heroic.

Find him in ‘Tales of Robin Small’ book and postcard collection in the Shop.

Print PDF.

February 14, 2018 - Instagram


robin small

Now also sharing through Instagram…  Browneink .

March 2, 2016 - My Place

my place 3

My Place .

Truth is my sanctuary.  A place I enter by trusting there is another place I can be.

It’s slow.  A little reclusive.

Painful and confronting because I’m keeping company with emotions I’ve spent my life trying to escape.

Vulnerable, because I’m sitting in my insecurities.  Pursuing what I deeply care about.

Disturbing, because life, through the eyes of truth, reveals both the beauty and the beast of it.

Overwhelming, due to the acceptance of personal responsibility to create a life that soothes the pain of truth – nurtures new growth.

Lonely, from conceding that ultimately it is self-reliance that will create and secure my destiny.

Sad, from accepting my past is over.

Compassionate, from the realisation that I cannot effortlessly accept myself.  And acknowledging the degree of consciousness it’s going to take to be content with who I am.

Liberated, because the time has come to move – and from having the freedom to explore what awaits.

A stillness, from reaching a place where I feel more comfortable being different than fitting in.  Where I feel a calm but intensely emotional sense of coming home.


Written pre-2006.  Showed a friend this poem many years ago.  She said she was sorry this was how I felt and hoped one day I’d find peace and happiness.  For me, the poem wasn’t a downer – more a revelation.   Liberating.  When you’ve lived a life hiding and surpressing emotion and truth it’s such a breakthrough when you sit with it, allow yourself to ‘feel’ again, and emerge in a better, stronger place.  I’m not sure you find real peace and joy by constantly hanging out with happiness.  But when you break the constraints of keeping secrets and pretending to be okay – that’s when the light comes on.

See previous posts/poems on this theme.  The Crossing  Illuminate the Darkness.  Dancer and The Following Dark.   Hold On (being there for someone who is feeling intensely).  Being a Heroic FriendThe New BraveBoy Oh Boy.  Robin Small is comfortable being vulnerable and wearing his hurts.  This Rose is curious about feelings.  This Army of Ink is protesting about smiley faces.   The Black Dog Story.  Pass it on …

Poem from book, ‘In My Room’.   Artwork Ash Browne.  Design Harley Manifold. 

May 20, 2015 - Wearing The Hurts

robin small arrows

‘Robin Small wandered wide in avoidance of all things hard to touch.’

Artist, Shaun Tan said about drawing:  “While there is no set meaning in any of these drawings, there is an invitation to seek one (for myself as much as any other audience).  A scene or a character seems to look back from the page and ask, ‘What do you make of this?’  Each sketch suggests its own ‘untold story’.”   Here’s some recent personally relevant meaning that emerged around this particular  guy….

The initial thread of Robin’s story ‘avoidance of all things hard to touch’, seems to elude to his trouble with intimacy.  Robin’s arrows are perhaps symbolic of his painful experience of relationships and of interacting with others?  Each arrow representing each jab of pain he has felt so deeply—a backpack of hurts.  His heavy cloak and oversize ‘buttoning up’ an armor against further and future hurt.  But I don’t think Robin has shut down or closed off.

The fact that he carries no bow with which to fire or fight back or defend himself is hopeful.  His delicate nature and presence seems to suggest his openness to attempt to re-engage in ‘things hard to touch’.  Allow himself to trust and to feel and to experience intimacy once more.

Robin’s softness seems to suggest that re-engaging in relationships and life, (and with his feelings), does not require him to be tougher and stronger – but to be more comfortable in his vulnerability.  More accepting of a full range of feelings and emotional experiences.  Wearing his backpack of pain more openly, more unashamedly, with those he can trust – or those worth taking the risk to connect with.

Original arrival here.  And book and card collection here.  View all Robin Smalls here.

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November 6, 2013 - Super What?

Super what dog

Art:  The life of a Super hero.  Andreas Englund says;

” I wanted to let people get to know the man behind the mask and tell his story uncensored. My superhero is far from perfect but that doesn’t mean he is isn’t good. He’s just human. Perfect people is just boring and predictable and who wants that?”

super what man

Personal footnote:  Been exploring the Super Hero notion for some time now and this piece reflects nicely my conclusion ….. keep child like fantastical notions of being a Super Hero, a Super anything in its small place.  Being heroic in your own life is one of the best contributions you can make to the world – and to your ‘self’.  See Robin Small  – he reflects this.

August 13, 2009 - Books

 boxed book collection 2

Collectively, the books share the common and interrelating themes of self exploration and the acceptance of differencefinding a sense of place; the role of  imaginary friends and super heroes in our lives to alleviate loneliness and isolation – provide direction.  Observations of culture and finding personal strength and direction through art, music, books and storytelling.  The creation of a book as a physical object comes from my belief in the power of books to be ‘friend-like’ – precious and empowering objects to treasure and draw continuous strength and meaning from.  Available in the website SHOP or on my personal website, Browne Ink Studio.   Read on for more about each of them …

Clunk & Jam

clunk and jam book

Clunk & Jam is a beautiful, art-filled, keepsake companion book.   It brings together a collection of poetry, stories and art that have given me strength and direction over the years.   The book has been typed on an old typewriter;  is locally crafted and independently published; printed using soy based ink on recycled paper that goes by the name of ‘Stephen’; and is beautifully thread-bound using a unique binding method (seen above and below).  Cover art is kindly contributed by Stormie Mills and Harley Manifold has kindly contributed some of his artwork within.

clunk and jam book pages

Below is a limited edition loose leaf edition I make to order using paper carefully hand torn from an art journal.

clunk and jam handmade book

clunk and jam handmade paper


Rock The Boat

rock the boat book

Rock The Boat is a sweet delight.   Not only in its content but in its handmade form and the story of its making.  As each of the 23 Army of Ink characters and their stories arrived on my page, I’d take them to a special young friend of mine, Maggie-May, who would lovingly hand write the stories with handwriting, not fit for school they said, but a perfect fit for the Army of Ink.   The Army of Ink characters throughout raise a firm salute to truth, defiance against all things unsavory, the worshiping of the ‘self’ and the tricky process of change.  It’s the book I most often curl up with at bedtime.

rock the boat peg drying

rock the boat book making


In My Room


In My Room is a collection of art, poems and writing that trace my experience of growing up … of exploring who I am  … and finding a place in a world I never felt I fitted into.   Then Harley Manifold a Victorian Artist, approached me about designing and contributing art to the book and so … eight years of writing and three years of design later …. In My Room hatched.   Check out the book pages and concept hereBook launch photosthe invite .

I do caution that this book is dark.  And some of the topics are confronting (eg sexual and physical abuse).  But it is my truth.  I tell it without shame.   Transform it, as I do myself, through writing and art and share that process honestly and openly through the book.  It’s a sensitive book which has been close held by those who relate in some way to parts of the story.  These parts have been separated and contained within different visual themes created by Harley using a mix of his art, photography and design – enabling the reader to experience and process a part of the story at a time.  Book reviews.  Sample pages….

in my room pages


Robin Small Postcard Collection

robin small postcard collection

The collection comes with 6 handcrafted cards, made from acid free soft touch paper pulled from an art journal, folded and sealed then tucked into a recycled paper pouch, sewn closed (threadless) and date stamped on the day of their making.  Small stories on the flipside are typed on an old typewriter.

robin cards pegged

About Robin…

Although inspired by the Super Hero of ancient times, Robin Hood, Robin Small is not so much the crusading sort but more an outsider who is simply herioc in his own time.  He stands apprehensive within the modern world but is wise and brave within his own life and journey.  Robin cards display well on a line of string (see pictured), or in frames or on walls to surround yourself with his constant peacemaking presence. (View entire series in BLOG here).
robin cards spread

Tales of Robin Small Handmade Book

Robin small book

This 18 page book is home to the six Robin Small characters and has been handcrafted using soft, thick cream paper gently pulled from a thread bound art journal which creates a raw, ragged edge to the pages.  Each page is then folded and glued to create its unique and curious layered spine.

 robin small page edges

Wisdoms of Rose Handmade Book

wisdoms of rose book

To have and to hold Rose in this little book is to feel calm, confident, carefree and completely at home.  You’ll find within, 17 Roses that arrived on my page early 2013 – now residing in this lovingly handmade book, with its soft to touch paper torn from an art journal which creates the beautiful raw edged pages, the paper bundle spine.

rose book spine


The stories within, which read like a dream school report with a quirky twist, have been typed on my old typewriter.  I hope you’ll find a treasure trove of wisdom and security within its art-filled pages. Makes a well-deserved gift for yourself or someone very special.


rose page edges 3

A pleasant warning:  In reading this book, varying amounts of Roselike attitude may rub off which could initiate an astounding new wave of self confidence, a general feeling of peaceful content – and a delightfully blissful state of oblivion.

Meet and read the wisdoms of all the Roses in the BLOG here.


Wisdoms of Rose Postcard Collection

wisdoms of rose card collection

Alternatively to the book, are the individual cards which you can display, frame, peg along a string, or send to friends….the stories are on the reverse side of the card.



The Dead Bird Theory Handmade Book

dead bird theory

This quirky 34 page book is a black comedy about dealing with shitty people who do shitty things.  Some are small shitty things like not saying ‘thank you’.  Some are big shitty things that I don’t care to mention.  And you end up feeling… know the story.   But….’The End’ of this book brings ‘The End’ of feeling shitty.

dead bird theory pages

dead bird theory pages 2

The book has been written and illustrated using gauche paint.  It’s handmade using  paper from seconds copies of  ‘Clunk and Jam’.  Each of the book pages are folded and pile glued with the spine revealing dashes and slithers of the text and art in ‘Clunk & Jam’.   The result is that no two spines are the same – so you have something completely original in hand.

dead bird theory spine

You’ll also find a date stamp within, archiving the day it came to life – or should that be death?  (NB:  No birds were killed in the making of this book).



21 Postcards


The postcard collection contains a set of 21 Army of Ink girls, each one offering clarifying insight into some tricky feelings and situations.  The postcard collection comes with a black wrist band to wear as a symbol of giving generously to your SELF (which is not the same as selfishness by the way). They’re making empowering connections with those who offer them a home or a place in their bag – under their pillow – between the pages of a book – framed on the wall. Like the most interesting people I know, they have multiple layers – and spark really interesting conversations. One sweet person sent a postcard each week to a friend, so for 21 weeks they received something special in the letter box.

How to use the cards   Down and out   Berry Street Story