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I can't imagine what I'd be doing with my life if I wasn't drawing cartoons.

At one time or another, I guess I've enjoyed them in every form in which they're presented. When I was a little kid, I must have read every comic book on the market, from ARCHIE to THE X-MEN (yes, even RICHIE RICH) and watched every episode of THE FLINTSTONES at least fifty times. Gawd, how I loved THE FLINTSTONES! Did you ever see the one where Fred and Barney join the army? Or the time they went into the restaurant business? How about the "Frederick" episode? Wasn't that GREAT?! I....wait.....where am I? Ahem...well, anyway, I could go on for hours.

When I was fourteen, I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to do a weekly strip for The Toronto Sun. It's a long story how it happened, so I won't bore you with the details, but it was a fantastic stroke of luck that I only truly appreciated when I was older. For the first time in my life, I was cartooning for money. ( Today, I'm mostly creating on the internet - you can read more about that here. )

By the way, there's a book on drawing cartoons in my online bookstore that you might be interested in...just click on the link.

I get my ideas the usual way--- from talking to people, reading, and daydreaming. Not much different from any other artist. But one thing I've discovered is that some of my best ideas come to me during my daily afternoon walks.

 

I'm one of the world's great walkers. If I can walk somewhere instead of driving, I'll do it. It's environmentally friendly, physically invigorating and it stimulates my creative juices as well. If your work isn't going very well, or you're blocked or something, nothing restores your senses better than a good long walk. Try it and see....you'll be back to work before you know it.

My influences range from Charles Schulz to George Herriman to Patrick McDonnell. I pride myself on only stealing from the best. And when it comes to comic strips, these guys wrote the book.

 

I try to never let a day go by without studying the work of the people I feel are master cartoonists. I literally try to absorb their works. I feel that only by studying the specific ways that the Greats have invented to illustrate their ideas can you possibly learn all there is to know about this profession.

 

I guess I'm always looking for ways to improve myself. Whatever my artistic best is at the moment, I'm always looking for ways to top it.

As Charles Schulz said at the NCS convention in La Jolla a few years ago, comic strips have to be "fun to look at". This has always been my motto. I always try to make my work as appealing to the eye as possible. I don't always succeed as well as I'd like, but I know that I try. If people don't instinctively like the look of your work, then they won't read it, and if they won't read it---- well, it's Hello unemployment office.

 

And on that less-than-cheery note, I think I'll close....otherwise, I could go on for hours .

 

 

Copyright© 2005 Erik Sansom