Friday, August 20, 2010

"The God of Cartooning"

"You get ideas from daydreaming. 
You get ideas from being bored. 
You get ideas all the time. 
The only difference between writers and other people 
is we notice when we're doing it." - Neil Gaiman 

It's amazing and wonderful to rediscover once again just how much plain old stupid fun making shit up drawing can be. After concentrating on teaching, then sketching on the road and wrapping up some commercial interests for clients, being out of the peer & public eye is a liberating feeling. Freed from any these concerns it's a treat to be doing something purely for the hell of it. In other words, sometimes one forgets that doing art can be a total escape from, well, art.
I doodled these three particular pages out mostly in the few quiet spaces in-between classes, the idea stemming from after calling up students for their one-on-one progress reviews for their critique projects. Sometimes it felt like it was a cartoon version of summoning people to their doom, pronouncing judgment, and then one doodle lead to another etc. Actually I only had one legitimate nightmare from this past semester: walking in to a crowded classroom for critique and it was overflowing with people who I didn't recognize - that was a rare wakeup in total panic.
I'd completely forgotten about "The God of Cartooning" until after returning from summer travels, and while thumbing through one of the classroom demo sketchbooks and finding it again, went ahead and scanned the pages in for eventual cleanup and coloring. It was a similar process as always, having a handful of random side-projects continually in orbit, so the pages floated around the periphery until I could do brief drive-by dabbles. It's a good creative counterpoint when juggling other pieces, and provides a vent or a warm-up. When coming down the home-stretch and an end was in sight, the obsessive aspect took over, and a cramping clicker hand would send a message to ease up on the mouse death-grip. But that "just a few more tweaks and then I'll call it quits" can eclipse both bathroom and bills - and there isn't much more of a sublime pleasure in waking up to review what went on the night before, before plunging back in. There's a brief teaser with the next series of blog posts with a sketchbook shot, and no doubt the ending is prophetic in retrospect since I have been enjoying a rare interlude with unfettered solitude and the time and energy to grip the bigger projects simmering away on the back burner. Next up for prep: Charon...

While in the midst of these pages, I'm was always reminded of many lessons in beginning drawing, and confront the same old fears and hit the same damn speed-bumps as anyone else. Don't worry about if it looks stupid, or people don't get it, or like it; don't stop just because it looks like crap; nevermind the inner critic mumbling away: it looks the way it does because that's the way it is, and it's as good as it 's gonna get unless you redraw it or move on to the next one and remember what to try different. Otherwise get over it and get it done.
Something like that anyways...

"Nothing is important... so everything is important." - Keith Haring

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