C is for Cartoon
When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be a cartoonist. Nowadays when I say what I’ve always wanted to be it’s ‘an artist’, but back before and around the age of ten, it was ‘a cartoonist’. The reason being that I taught myself to draw by copying cartoons out of an old joke book we had. And when I say copy, I mean copy. Every line was duplicated as close to perfection as I could get it…which sometimes wasn’t very close, but for me drawing was getting it right like those that had already been drawn. After all how else can you prove to a non-art-orientated parent than ‘hey, I can draw – see this, exactly the same!’
So for me as a kid, cartooning was the epitome, despite the fact I had little knowledge of how or what a cartoonist does (and to this day there are several gaps in my knowledge – I think somewhere along the line I graduated the occupation of cartoonist to some mystical level that I’ve mentally blocked myself from fully comprehending). It never happened, probably because I’ve never really been very good at cartooning. Sure I can draw, I can copy, but a cartoonist needs his or her own distinct style and style is something I’m still trying to find in my journey to find my art.
But lack of skill hasn’t stopped me from trying over the years, and for the letter C, I thought I’d share some of the dreams of a forgotten ten year old who is now closer to forty. I may never be a professional cartoonist (and thank goodness, because, really, I’m much better at other forms of art), but I do dabble sometimes.
Drawn for a library, but never used. I created a series of these. Another was called ‘General Fiction’. I must have had a thing for frogs.
Spider Boy and Spider Teacher were done on commission. I don’t think these were the final drawings as the client wanted changes, but I quite like them. I guess if I was paid for these you could call me professional (yeah, right). I did have another cartooning commission from the same client for a book, but they were never published.
This one is original for a mural several metres wide on the wall in the kid’s area of a library. And I did get paid for that as well, another commission. hmm, it appears that I’ve been paid for more cartooning than any other form of art I’ve done. This may be disturbing considering what I wrote earlier 😀
This one was just for fun during the Drawing Lab challenge or was it the Silly class? Either way they were with Carla Soheim, the author of both. Here are a couple more drawn from that inspiration.
And another cat…
And then there was my Valentine’s Day inspired Creative Tuesday challenge response.
And then there were my ventures into fandom. I’m a Trekkie and not afraid to admit it, but there are times in my past where I was more Trekkie than I am now and when I drew these little cartoons, I was definitely on the more side of things. The series lasted two and a half panels and was never completed. I may play with it one day just for fun. Oh, and why the 30? This was done back in 1996, Star Trek was turning 30 at the time. Now it is closer to 50.
And you may wonder why I used the insignias as the characters. You may consider it an interesting idea or just silly, but the truth is I’m not fantastic at drawing the human form so I needed a short cut around that inability and this is what I came up with. And besides, they were fun.
About a decade after that I drew something for a friend who was going to a writer’s conference with one of her novels. She was nervous about presenting it to the editors at the conference. So I drew her this. One of her main characters was a very powerful sorceror by the name of Samael…
And then there is Nutty the Slightly Unstable Dwarf, the little character that has kept me company for the past nine years. I learnt a lot drawing her. Getting the expression right to convey just the emotion I am trying to communicate is what I think is the core of cartooning. A few lines, but a lot said.
I still have a long way to go with my cartooning, but that can be said for many of my skills (eh, if I didn’t have a long way to go, where would I go?). But it was one of my first arty interests, oh so long ago, and while I am not as interested as I was, it is still nice to set pencil and pen to paper every once in a while.
(not quite cartoonist)