I've been having some difficult conversations with people recently, including myself.
I began to draw a comic a few months ago. In a sketchbook. I drew four panels with a pencil. And then... nothing. No ideas came. I just stared at the page, into the crosshairs between the panels, and gradually the edges blurred, like I was looking down a tunnel.
Before drawing a Think vs Say cartoon in pen, I draw it in pencil first on a scrap piece of paper. The pencil sketch is called a thumbnail. It's a small drawing, intended for my eyes only, where I work out the general layout of the cartoon, and the words (dialogue) I'm going to use. Here's an example:
Oojo and Bink is a webcomic that I draw about an alien prince and his closest aide exiled on planet Earth. This is what the characters look like now:
Oojo and Bink haven't always looked like this.
When I was developing the characters several years ago, I doodled them on paper in different shapes, sizes and patterns.
I was decluttering at my Mum's house recently when I came across this little wooden sign with Oojo and Bink on it. I made it at school in the mid-1990s! That's over 20 years before I started Oojo and Bink the comic strip!
In this end of year video (my year ends on 31st January) I answer 5 questions about my cartooning last year:
1. What went well?
2. What didn't work?
3. What did I learn?
4. What will I do differently this year?
5. What do I really, really want?
Yesterday I delivered my first ever webcomics workshop to a group of fifteen small business owners.
A few days ago I finished reading a book called Your Biz Your Way by Judith Morgan. It’s a great book, full of Judith’s wisdom from running small businesses and coaching others for many years.
Judith has invited readers of her book to write a blog post about running their business their way. She will then write a blog post in response.
Here is my blog post: My Biz My Way.
For Inktober this year I decided to draw 31 black and white cartoons about whatever happened to me on each day of the month.
On the whole, I stuck to the plan. But there are a few interesting deviations; a comic here, a colour drawing there... That's what Inktober is about though, in my opinion; creating daily, experimenting, and seeing what happens.
Scroll down to see all 31 of my Inktober 2017 drawings. Enjoy!
On Wednesday 11th October 2017, at the suggestion of a friend, I filmed a typical day in my life as a cartoonist.
A time lapse video of me inking Now, episode 29 of Oojo and Bink. This comic strip has more dialogue than I'm used to, so spacing the speech bubbles and linking them together was the challenge this week.
I'm still in the process of moving in with my girlfriend (see Moving Day part 1). Half of my stuff is in the new place, and half in the old. Goodness knows where my boxer shorts are.
A video I shot on Ashdown Forest, in which I talk about my summer of work, and my intentions for this autumn.
I went to Jess's 40th birthday party in London, and this happened. It wasn't a fancy dress party; it was a public bar with a disco. The emu liked dancing.
I cut my basketball break short one time because a bee kept buzzing me. I forgave it. It was a bee, after all. I like bees.
The following morning, with pants firmly on, I made this video from the footage I'd shot, and uploaded it to my YouTube channel.
Awestruck by the lightning storm outside my window in the early hours of this morning, I set the camera on my mobile phone to slo-mo, and started filming.
I'm a bit behind with Le Tour de France this year, but since this conversation with Anthony I've been watching previous episodes on theITV Hub and texting my reactions to him for his amusement (and mine).
In this video I talk about an Oojo and Bink comic strip called Sunshine; the decisions I made when changing it from a black and white drawing to a colour one. To see more videos like this, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.
I'm moving to Essex to live with my girlfriend, Laura, and I'm doing it in stages. Stage 1: Ask a stupid question.
From the initial pencil draft to the final coloured version, this video shows the development of one of my Oojo and Bink comic strips. Unusually, I inked one panel at a time, instead of inking across all four panels and revisiting them several times.
Despite going through an unimaginably difficult time at the moment, my friend Mark was cheery when I saw him, inquisitive about me and my girlfriend, and grateful for the NHS staff who have been treating him. I've got massive respect for the guy.
Last year the New Statesman advertised for a cartoonist to draw satirical cartoons and comics for their magazine. I submitted the comic strip above, inspired by this article reporting that cooking enthusiasts were panicking about the closure of the BBC Food website and the loss of recipes on it.
The joy of inking this comic strip was drawing Bink shivering, because I could draw wobbly lines and get away with it! The testing part was drawing the contents of the fridge without consuming the contents of my own.
Richard Pettitt, cartoonist.