Where do you get your cartoon ideas from?

Where do you get your cartoon ideas from?

This is probably one of the most asked questions, and I have no reliable answer. Ideas appear. It’s like magic. BUT… nothing happens until you sit down and work.

Often times I can get a funny idea while I’m in the middle of something else. If I don’t write it down, it’s gone. Forever. So the trick is: work. I’ve found this to be the most reliable source of inspiration – you sit down and you stare at a white piece of paper. That’s when the magic happens. The funny thing is I never know where my brain’s going to take me. It often starts at one point, and then it ends at a totally different, unexpected cartoon. Same with my drawings – I almost NEVER have a clear vison how it will look until it’s done. That’s actually the beauty of it – the creative process is a discovery process too. It’s an adventure.

Sometimes your mind needs a jump start. I find that reading an article, browsing the web or looking at old cartoons gives me that boost. I look at a situation, and the question “What if…” appears. And then, it’s like a narrow path that zig-zags and travels and you follow it until you find the hidden treasure. That funny line, that visual joke. It comes together.

Another thing I’ve noticed is: to have a fulfilling day, I need to feel good. So I’ve developed a routine – my day usually starts at 5am. I make breakfast, and a pot of freshly brewed coffee. I check my emails, read the news. I put on some nice music and my set up is done. Around 10am I take a break and usually do some light exercise — I love walking around the neighborhood and try to spot as many wild a critters as possible (we have beavers in the creek behind the house). After that, it’s back to the drawing board.

Ideas can come before or during the drawing process, but never after. That’s another thing I’ve noticed. No matter how hard I’ve tried, once a drawing is finished, I can’t make it funny if there wasn’t a funny idea to begin with.

So that, in a nutshell, is how I work. If you have any specific question, do let me know.

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