Monday, March 3, 2008

More Photos Are Coming, I Promise

The photos are coming. I assure you my blog isn't going to be all calligraphy and cartoons. It's just that my digital camera isn't the best; it's two years old and always insists that I use the flash when I take photographs, which makes for washed out images. My Kodak EasyShare C530 is like a typical toddler, if you ask me. I'm going to purchase a much more fancy and less stubborn camera when I get a chance. I'll get one where I'm in control of the lighting, one that allows me to take close-ups (an impossibility with my current tool) as well as far-away shots so that I will be able to capture signs of life on Mars just by standing on my wooden back porch. Just kidding about that last part. Besides, I'm not sure how fashionable the Martians are just yet. We (and I'm talking about the inhabitants of this planet Earth) are ahead in that department; how much, I can't ascertain just yet. If this trend of wearing serious, dark clothing continues just because there are serious signs of a recession, then I think we humans need some re-education.

In the meantime (and I might snap some outdoor shots of my handiwork with my antique if the weather warms up just a wee bit), I thought I'd tell you a little about how I've been working on my cartooning skills. I actually had an editorial cartoon published when I was a student at the Daily Illini. It featured goons in sun glasses. But the editorial cartoon chief, Michael Hawkins, made a unilateral decision that my drawings weren't up to snuff and that was the first and last time that my artwork appeared on the same page with syndicated and local columnists. But I did later get the last word with my own column. Not just once, but twice!

Even though I don't draw as much as I write these days, I still love a good scribble (not Scrabble, mind you). Especially when I'm on hold and I'm absolutely furious at the lengthy minutes I've been waiting for a live voice to come on the telephone. It shows in my art. Over and over, I'll trace a box, overlapping it with more boxes, scraping through the paper down to the table. If I'm feeling less's all girls, all the time. I haven't really figured out how to draw men yet. However, I think I've aced the feminine features: big eyes with lush lashes, pert noses, full lips and flippy hair dos. And of course, cute little dresses. Somehow, I'm fairly good at those drop-waist 20s-style dress with jabots, even though this is hardly something I would wear in real life. Oddly enough though, I do have a Depression-era hair cut which could come in handy if I decide to go to a casting call for this movie Thursday night. So you see I'm quite adept at drawing gals with a fringe of bangs just like mine. Likewise, I'm certain I wouldn't have a problem capturing this editor with my Sharpie. I'd just add some expensive shades and designer shoes, and I'd be all set.

I love drawing, and now that I'm doing more of it on this blog, well, I want to get better at it. I checked out Drawing Cartoons by Colin Cacket from the library. It's an enjoyable read, even if it's a bit dated with lots of sketches of Jimmy Carter. Still the advice is timeless. Cacket recommends practicing everyday (I'm trying), capturing your subject from different angles and poses (I'm getting there with the ladies; the men are another story). I am somewhat surprised at my ability to draw animals. What's nice about four-legged mammals is that you can make them somewhat lumpy and imperfect and they still look like mammals. My cats look feline, and the dogs have a definite canine quality.

Back to Cacket. He also suggests networking with other cartoonists. I know one already, but I haven't seen him on the dance floor in a long while. There's another one at a local advertising agency. That makes two that I could add to my LinkedIn connections.

It would be fun to go to a cartooning convention. Can you imagine? All those paper napkins would be colored in faster than you could get a glass of shiraz on the table. Those etchings would be even entertaining once the alcohol really started flowing. I wonder how many women would be at such a meeting? Then again, that might be a good thing, given that I'm really want to be in a serious relationship, and my feeble at attempts at meeting guys on the Internet has been sorely disappointing. Now I'm not so sure how it would good it would be to have two cartoonists in the household, but if it's socially acceptable for two scribes to share the same roof, I'd imagine my family, friends and relatives would be fine with me having a partner who scribbles and draws for a living if I did it too. They don't really care what I do as long as they get some money when I kick the garbage can for good. If I could leave behind some half-finished drawings that could be sold for thousands, that would be excellent, but not necessary. Dollar bills are much more useful.

I really don't know what else to say right now as dinner-time approaches, but it would be very useful if I could draw a hamburger, cut it out and when I bite into it, my cellulose burger would taste just like the real thing.

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