At the Greyhound station in Wilmington, DE.
Also, the comic just happened to me this morning after getting breakfast. That was New York’s way of welcoming me back.
Pick the right tool for the job.
Fun little experiment. Onto the next.
There’s a Howard Pyle maxim that says: “Throw your heart into a picture and jump in after it.” Earlier this week, Marshall Arisman told us that George Bernard Shaw said to “Saturate yourself in the problem. Then wait.”
Yesterday, I was getting dinner by myself after writing a bunch in studio on an editorial assignment. I had been writing for a couple of hours, going through the ideation process, and nothing was really jumping out at me. I ordered a kind of sad little sandwich and salad, and watched a guy shotgun a beer while I waited for my food. I saw two boys walk in with their father, and watched the brothers race each other up and down the length of the restaurant.
I watched the smaller boy run almost headlong into a body builder guy who was leaving, laugh, and bounce off his leg. The body builder did that very New York mildly annoyed glare, and walked out the door.
I envisioned another scenario though, where the body builder got really angry, and was suddenly armor-clad. And then the kid was suddenly like my mom, who used to tell me stories about shooting bats out the sky with a slingshot in the rural Philippines, and the kid felling the giant body builder with a well-placed shot to the forehead.
And then suddenly, halfway through a chicken sandwich, I had a visual for my illustration.
Some completely unremarkable sketches with new classmates on top of a big rock overlooking the Pond in Central Park. The woman in the yellow hat is Elizabeth Rodriguez from Orange Is the New Black apparently, and she was very nice. The bros with the “Ballslack” shirts were a wrestling team from Montreal. They’re in town for a competition and are going up against the Russians tomorrow. Give them hell, Ballslack.
One of the wrestlers asked us if we were all artists, and we said yes. His English was very good, but then he asked if we went to “draw school.”
And we said yes. Yes, we go to Draw School.
"In 1979, Robert Weaver, the undisputed pioneer of contemporary illustration, was asked if illustration was art. He replied, ‘No. It is only a profession whose best practitioners may one day be remembered as artists. The state of the art of illustration might be compared to a third-world country; it has not yet gained control of its technology. Editors and design consultants, not artists, shape the magazine. For a work to be judged as art there must be an artist in full command of his medium. Only when he has pushed it as far as it can go can he be tested fairly by the same critical standards applied to other artists.’
Thirty-five years later, illustrators have gained more control over their medium, as a result of technology. Editors and design consultants continue to dominate the magazines, but with the advent of self-publishing and the Internet, the illustrator now has the opportunity to take full command of his medium.
Storytelling, finally in the hands of the illustrator, can now be judged as an art form.”
"We Tell Stories" 30th Anniversary of the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay program. 1984-2014.