In my Art Of Funny post on 6/16, I talked about spontaneity. I mentioned my roughs approach and I wanted to expand on the subject a tad.
Not that it’s anything revelatory – most cartoonists operate this way to one extent or the other, but in an interesting paradox, I do most of the heavy lifting – composition, layout, tangent spot-check (a real stickler), kerning (if needed) and all the time-chewing stuff in the rough stage. It’s after that, when I go to do the ‘finish’, that I can actually loosen up and ink with a bit of a carefree approach, thus letting me rely on the also-discussed ‘intuition’ and allowing stylistic ephemera to augment the drawing.
I thought about this as I read about Nik Wallenda doing the tightrope act last week over Niagara Falls. Days prior to the stunt there had been a lot of noise between ABC and Wallenda about his wish to have no support – ABC insisted he use a tether. I don’t blame them, given the family history, and the event being live TV. No one wants to see someone fall like that. Well…it is TV after all, so I’m sure some reality show would’ve loved it.
But my point is, Wallenda walked across the Falls with an insurance policy, that in no way undermined the amazing thing he was doing.
While not even close to being as dramatic, that’s kinda what working off a good rough is like.
I know…I’m now firmly in the cartoonist ‘geek’ zone.