Wednesday, November 30, 2011

From the Beginning, Part 4: Nowadays

For a while, I'd stopped drawing cartoons and cards for friends and family, thinking I was now an adult and should do the 'adult' thing, which is to buy pre-made cards at the drug store. I was wondering if drawing for others was like a kid with macaroni art, insisting it be put on the fridge.

But, after a while, I came to miss being able to share a laugh over an inside joke or memory with someone. So I started to get back into it. And anyway, who needs to grow up?

I drew about roommate experiences (all good, of course), observations on turning 30... and overall good-natured ribbing and a bit of self-deprication.

I drew Hubs a cartoon about our first date a few months into our relationship. At first I was hesitant, wondering if he'd think it was silly. Then I thought, "If he's the kind of guy who thinks it's silly, he's not the guy for me." Good call. He loved it.

At our wedding, I displayed a cartoon of our proposal. He brought us out to this beautiful spot with the pretense of taking pictures, so of course at the time that's what I thought we were there for.

People ask if I actually said that, although I insist that I meant it as "is this wonderful moment seriously happening", not "are you kidding me, buddy?" Hubs still teases me about it, though.

Here are a few more samples of life in cartoon form:

A good friends' wedding:

This is baby shower card for a coworker who is a big Montreal Canadiens fan. The inside read something like, "Congratulations on the upcoming arrival of the newest Habs fan." (Disclaimer: the real baby turned out to look nothing like my cartoon)

This is a birthday card for a friend following a trip to New York City last year, during the hottest weekend of the year. We melted! It was not the glamourous New York experience that you see in the movies. (Excuse the ink smudges)

Sweat and the City... you see what I did there?

Friends and family have been very encouraging over the years. Recently, I wanted to put together a Facebook album of cartoons, lamenting that I hadn't scanned my old work before giving them away to friends. So I put the word out to see if anyone had kept the cards I'd drawn for them. Guess what...  pretty much everyone did. People still had cartoons of mine that were over a decade old. That was the biggest compliment I could receive! That experience affirmed for me that my cartooning was something worth keeping up with.

My time on maternity leave was the perfect time to work a little more on my drawing while sonny took his naps. My sister introduced me to an Inspired Doodles workshop. It wasn't a drawing course, but rather a month-long online course that let artists of all skill and interest levels to develop as 'doodlers'. The daily prompts and weekly tips on improving were just the inspiration I needed! I met a great group of people, and it's been motivating to network with others who love to draw for the sake of drawing.

Thanks to that course, I learned more about drawing with Wacom tablets and using Photoshop to do my cartooning, as well as blogging to showcase one's artwork (whoa, Janet enters the 21st century!). Let's just say, good thing there is a baby that brings me back to reality when he wakes up, or else I might become a bleary-eyed, knuckle-dragging neanderthal sitting and drawing at the computer for days on end.

So, that brings us to today. So what am I drawing about these days? Well, mostly my adventures in parenting, seeing as how it's how I spend most of my time. So far it has allowed for a feeling of camaraderie with fellow parents (whew, it's not just me!).

Also, because I enjoy looking back at my old work so much, one day I'll be glad I kept this record. Cartooning keeps me looking at many of life's events with a sense of humour... if not right away, then eventually.

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