Q: I know you have a full schedule at the drawing board and a family to manage and cherish, but if you had a full day to use to just fill the well, gather inspiration for your art, how would you spend it?
A: I’ve always subscribed to the philosophy that the best way to recharge your creative batteries is to do nothing creative at all for a while. My ideal day off is to go nowhere near my studio and completely disconnect from the drawing board. In fact, the less I can even think about work the better. Total escapism by going to the movies or sitting down with a good book is the best way to spend that time if there is no family activity going on. Otherwise I’d want to spend the day with The Lovely Anna or any and all of my kids doing anything at all that doesn’t involve drawing.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I would not enjoy spending a day at some cartooning event talking shop, or looking at the work of other artists at some gallery show or comic con. It’s just that the best way to regenerate creative energy is to let it build up a bit so you need to release it again. Creating art is a little like scratching an itch. After a while, you have scratched enough that you don’t itch anymore. The only way to get that itch back is to stop scratching and allow it to come back. Switching gears does that for me.
So, a beach chair, a book and a mai tai works pretty well for me. Here in Minnesota the window for doing that is two weeks in early August.
Thanks to Justin Robertson for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here!
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929 New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550
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