Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

So good it makes my brain hurt!

April 28, 2010

Trade Loeffler’s web comic Zip and Li’l Bit is one of those beautiful treasures that makes my heart race. It is such an incredible, sweet, funny, playful, joyous body of work, and he has so perfectly captured the true essence of comic greats of the past, that I’m tempted to say everyone else should just quit trying. There are three stories so far- Upside Down Me, Sky Kayak, and now Captain’s Quest.

You HAVE to read it! But be warned, it is highly addictive.


March 30, 2010

I was roughing out a box for a layout concept I was working on, and decided to take a different tack. But I still had the faint beginnings of a box on my paper. I couldn’t very well just leave it there unused, now could I? That would be irresponsible and wasteful.

So I drew a beefy guy struggling to lift the box, which was deceptively heavy considering it was only half-drawn. Boxes are like that sometimes. Especially doodled ones.

Step-by-Step Illustration Quickie

November 10, 2009

Here’s my latest piece for In Touch magazine. The article is about turning times you stumble as a parent into opportunities to grow closer to your child. Thought I’d give you a condensed version of how I did it.

Step 1: As you can see, I don’t believe in submitting tight roughs for concept approval. If you get too detailed, you risk losing some creative flexibility in the final execution.

One Wrong rough

Step 2: Final line art done in ballpoint pen (I’m starting to really like using them for my illustrations, and not just my doodling).


Step 3: I convert the line art to a “multiply” layer in Photoshop, and create a second layer underneath it. On this new layer I then paint in solid areas of color.


Step 4: Finally, I go in and do some color modeling to give the image more depth.


And there you have it… one extremely truncated explanation of the steps I use to create a finished illustration.

And his robot guardian angel warned him, “STAY AWAY FROM THE FLAMING PEAR!!”

October 27, 2009

flaming pear

We were developing some cartoon characters at work, and one of the characters my friend Jennifer came up with was this little slug guy in his underwear. Her concept for him was great, and all I really had to do was flesh him out a bit, as you can see here.

However, my brain is wired in such a way that I have to flush out any competing variations of a character before I can really get moving on the final, approved version. So, flush away I did…all over an unsuspecting piece of paper in a meeting.

Where the toothy robot and flaming pear bomb thingy came from, I have NO earthly idea. I guess the current from the “slug flushing” was just too strong and they got pulled in by the rip tide.

Exonerated by the Egghead Brigade

March 2, 2009

Okay, so these guys probably spent a fortune in taxpayer money to “discover” something I could’ve proven for free!

Take Note: Doodling Can Help Memory

Now, if I can just get a grant to prove my theory that society didn’t start having struggles with obesity until AFTER the government made companies start listing the fat and calorie contents on food packaging…..

{Thanks, Linda, for the heads up on the Yahoo article.}

Wait. His name WASN’T Trippy?

February 19, 2009



Remember when you saw your first “Draw Me” ad? Maybe it was in the back of a comic book. Or on a matchbook cover. Or in TV Guide.

You old-timers know what I’m talking about..the ones that promised you an exciting career in cartooning if your rendition of the supplied art was deemed worthy of a scholarship to the prestigious Art Instruction Schools. There was Cubby the bear, a pirate, a cowboy…and, of course, Tippy the Turtle. My main memory of those ads was that, even as a kid, I knew there was no real creativity involved in just copying someone else’s art.

Don’t get me wrong. As a child, I did my fair share of copying other people’s work, and even (gasp!) tracing it on occasion. But I was working on my technique, not my creativity, in those instances, and I knew it. I think that differentiation is lost on a LOT of people.

Anyway, before I get too soap-boxy, I present for your viewing pleasure my take on Tippy. Hope you enjoy it. And if you can draw it exactly as it looks…well….you have too much time on your hands.

And you need therapy.

An Elusive Tease, or Who’s Sam?

March 18, 2008

As a child, back in the pre-internet days (remember those?) and growing up in a small town, one of the most frustrating things I would encounter was what I’ll refer to as “comic book snippet syndrome” (CBSS). I’d catch a glimpse of some comic book, or even read the whole issue if there was time, as I wandered through a bookstore on one of our occasional visits to the “big city”. Then, being from the booming metropolis that I was, and having NO BOOKSTORES in said hometown, I’d never get to read the rest of the story or find out what happened after the cliffhanger ending that only made me want more.

Oh, the agonies such teasing, elusive comic book encounters can inflict on the tortured mind of a ten-year-old boy!

But I also feel like not knowing helped me. It forced me to create my own stories in my head, and to draw them out on paper. Those teases were the seeds of creativity, the impetus for all my future artistic endeavors.

So now I’m giving a little back to the great Swirl of the Unfinished. This doodle started out as the big pointy frog thingy. Then I realized he had to be talking to someone….hence the little man. The dialogue…well…heck, I don’t know where that came from. Or where it’s leading. Or who this Sam character is they’re talking about.

That’s up to you. And the curious, hungry-for-more ten-year-old I hope we all still have inside.



Meetings, doodle fodder for the doodling doodler

March 13, 2008

Meetings. They can either bore you to tears or inspire rampant doodling….’cause they sure as heck don’t serve any real business purpose!