Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Ready For ANYTHING"

As of today we are on the road, migrating back North. So this particular panel is appropriate for a couple reasons. It initially came to mind during one of the protracted cold-snaps that settled down over the Interior this winter. Amazing how many folks still lack the common sense to pack the car with subzero survival gear, as even a routine jaunt to town can turn into a potentially life-threatening situation.

Even so, I wasn't there, and there sure isn't wasn't any snow here, so a little artistic license in the form of projection was taken with the setting. Meaning, I forgot to add snow.

The panel above was also one of a set of submitted works for an application to an Artist In Residency program on the Chilkoot Trail between the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park, Alaska and the Chilkoot Trail National Historic Site, British Columbia (all hosted in conjunction with the Yukon Arts Centre, Parks Canada and the US National Park Service). One American and one Canadian artist each are selected to hike the trail as part of the residency, and I was notified that I made it as an official "alternate," which was both humbling and amazing. Not only since it would dovetail quite nicely with the whole homecoming-migrations thing, but also it marked the first time I took the cartoon gloves off and pitched my concept wholly based on being a comic artist. Sometimes having had a foot in both the fine-art world and the commercial realm, with cartooning sharing a bit of both, it's a calculated risk to market yourself as an artist and trust that those judging on the other end will let you in the club. My instinct is still to hedge my bets and cover my creative ass by making sure my artistic credentials include the usual academic angle (MFA degree, gallery shows etc.) as if drawing cartoons somehow still doesn't suffice on it's own. And in many a circle it still doesn't "get taken seriously" as a medium in it's own right, as many an artsy-fartsy encounter has personally proved.

So it was refreshing to just be honest about it, come clean and confess I just wanted to draw cartoons about the whole experience, and have that be rewarded with a near-chance. What with all the recent training from stomping around Acadia and the accompanying material I figure I'm pretty well primed to start exploring some more options along this route...


  1. Thanks John - have to get you up to Alaska next!

  2. In winter I say, "Dress for the ditch, not the office." You might not end up there, but you might have to help haul someone else out. I've been on both sides of that deal, but I moved here as a winter mountaineer, so I feel weird without gear.

  3. I like that, it reminds me of a similar sentiment that I think is a zen mantra: "expect nothing... be ready for anything."