Jordi, thanks for the reminder of the month-long lapse. I’ve been wrestling to stay on top of things,
and meaning to put something on the blog for a while now. It’s great to know all of you care.
Seems like a good time to open up the forum. Lots of questions and comments to address. And I confess,
I’m terrible at responding to personal mail, though I’m ever grateful for it. So here goes the first ever:
Wendelin asks for “some advice or pointers on how to get started in the field of art and cartooning.”
Zacheus (that little orange critter) answers: Draw all the time. Make sure to draw from life — especially human figures, sexy trees, mundane details of chairs and buildings and telephone wires — as much as you draw from imagination. Don’t neglect either. Also read real books without any pictures. My opinion is that a solid education at a state university will probably serve you as well or better than art school. Craig’s a dropout, but he would have definitely benefited from learning a second language and other brain exercises. Like any art, don’t think too much about money. Material possessions are for those on a different path. But keep your defenses up against the exploitative “Man” — every industry is crawling with them. Draw your own mini-comics and put them up on the ol’ internet or print them out on a laser printer or make a friend at kinko’s and trade those suckers and meet other cartoonists – they’re a friendly, humble crowd. Is that enough to get started on?
J.T. asks, “Does it come natural for you to work consistently at drawing and creating stories,
or are there barriers you have had to overcome or are still overcoming?”
It’s like they always say — 90% perspiration. Or as my fine art buddy Dan Attoe says, “Painting is like mowing the lawn.” Slow, tedious work. You feel like a leper – crumbling over your little drawing desk – while life passes you by. But life passes by no matter what, and at the end of a day, or a month, or a year — you have something to show for it. Like the Velvet Underground says, “You’re gonna reap just what you sow.” (Or is that from the Bible?) My main barrier in the past was starvation. Now it’s hand pain and business crap and self doubt and blahblahblah. We’re not alone in the struggle!
Okay. And now since this is supposed to be a visual blog, here’s a sample of the construction of a single HABIBI page.
(recently shown at my Wordstock and PNCA talks)
1) the first draft drawn directly in my sketchbook in ballpoint pen. 2) the messy, re-edited / page breakdown version.
3) the penciled page, and some ornamentation I sampled and digitally arranged. 4) the final inked page.