A few years ago, myself and my friend Naomi Brockwell collaborated on a childrens book about Bitcoin for young kids. It explains cryptocurrency in a very simple and understandable way through the story of a young schoolboy who gets bullied on his way to school. You can buy it on Amazon or Apple Books.
One big lesson I learned as an artist in the past year is this:
Create for yourself. The people who like it will find you. Those who don’t will fall away. But, you’ll be left with a loyal core of people who like what you’re doing.
Don’t curate your art to what gets likes. Curate it to what you like.
Every week me and @scottdools get about 10 Praying Mantis gags pitched to the podcast. Below are 5 of mine that I like… There are many, many more. I want you all to pitch your best praying mantis jokes in the comments here. Best ones get read out on next week’s podcast and the winner gets this signed original art.
(See itsitpodcast.com to subscribe to the show)
Today’s question comes from Mel Wilson. Mel writes:
How do you label and store all your cartoons? Also how to you keep track of them all? Do you have flat files, or do you scan them and have a digital inventory?
Thanks for the question, Mel. The answer is: It depends!
For digital cartoons, I store them according to date and topic, sometimes caption.
For example, I date each cartoon according to: year/month/date (space)-(space)topic/caption
So a cartoon about space monkeys would be 20190122 - Space Monkeys Hiccup.jpg
I save all the high res jpg files in a folder called “Cartoons” with a folder for each year (2017, 2018 etc.) My entire hard drive is synced to Dropbox.
I also have another folder called xPSD where all the high res 600dpi PSD files are kept, and that, too, is synced to dropbox, but using Dropbox Smart Sync, it is only ever in the cloud to save hard disk space. When I need them, I download them individually.
For hard copy drawings, I have various labelled drawers. For sketches that might be something, I store them in “sketches”, for finished artwork that has been published, (and is for sale on the store) I put it in “Published”. I also have one just for my New Yorker cartoons.
How are they organised? …well. They aren’t. I just pick up the pile and shuffle through until I find the one I’m looking for. It’s not a fool-proof system, but it works for this fool.
This is my newest work. It’s called Black Mass.
(But between you and me, I call him Terrence.)
I just finished of another Hirschfeld-style caricature for a local rabbi who was retiring after 26 years — and was also a cubs fan. See if you can find those two ‘hidden’ details in the drawing, Nina-style.
I don’t pretend to be anywhere even close to the genius of Hirschfeld, but I do enjoy drawing in a similar style from time to time. I just finished reading up on his life and another book called Hirschfeld’s Harlem. The line-economy in his work and his ability to capture the spirit of the person in a drawing is second to none. I often walk past the Al Hirschfeld theatre on W45th and see the neon sign light up with his self-portrait. I don’t know a single caricaturist in history who had their own Broadway theatre named after them. (Here’s the story of that place.)
I always loved watching this short film “The Line King” and seeing him scratch away at the drawing board, his wife insisting he come to the table for dinner or get ready to go out, while he quietly finished a drawing of Paul Newman in the Broadway production of Our Town.
His work was a heavy influence on me as a young artist in Australia who had never been exposed to anything like it before. I will forever be wildly envious of Tom Richmond’s portrait that he had commissioned while he was still around.
I do these the old-fashioned way, on paper with pen and ink.
The very funny Reggie Conquest and Tom Cassidy are doing a show at the Philly Comedy Club this month. I had fun drawing them int he style of Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff.
Click to enlarge.