My books

Here’s my new book: Why Drawing Naked Women Is Good For The Soul.


What makes a man move from wrongdoing to do-gooding? From thieving to philosophizing? In the case of Bird it was the pursuit of art. It was the drawing of women in bedrooms and art rooms, on beaches and in bed and breakfasts. Bird grew civilized through his pursuits, moving on to found an international movement that works with troubled people: ex offenders, drunkards and rough sleepers like himself. All because as a locked up boy he started to use art as a kind of thinking. This book represents some of the chapters in that life that helped turn him around, and equipped him with the means to help thousands like him. Redemptionism at its best. Read these raw stories, full of rude, rough and riotous truths, and enjoy a life that makes sense for many of us.

You can buy the book direct from my publisher, a social enterprise called The Word Machine, by clicking here. Here’s a tip: if you put the word artist in the discount box in the shopping basket, you’ll get a 25% discount, or so they tell me.

Publishing Details

  • Published by The Word Machine, 6th May 2013. Contains 40 drawings by John Bird.
  • Ebook format, £5.99, ISBN 9780957629400. Available from all international ebook retailers.
  • Physical format, £9.99, ISBN 9780957629417. Available from all bookshops, distribution via Gardners Books.


John Bird: “I was born into poverty, brought up in care, and have lived through a lot. My life’s journey has included spells as a thief, prison inmate, artist and poet. I launched The Big Issue in 1991 with the help of Gordon Roddick of The Body Shop in response to the growing number of rough sleepers on the streets of London. Together we believed that the key to solving the problem of homelessness lay in helping people to help themselves, and were therefore determined to offer a legitimate alternative to begging. I have always drawn, I have always felt a need to draw, and I feel that only by doing so have I been able to save my soul.”

If you don’t want to buy the book from my publisher, then here are some links to where else you can buy the book:

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3 Responses to “My books”


  1. London, British Museum, 1964. | john bird - May 17, 2013

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