What could Charlie Chaplin and Albert Einstein possibly have in common?
Probably best explained by Arthur Koestler: “I have coined the term ‘bisociation’ in order to make a distinction between the routine skills of thinking on a single ‘plane,’ as it were, and the creative act, which … always operates on more than one plane. The former can be called single-minded, the latter double-minded, transitory state of unstable equilibrium where the balance of both emotion and thought is disturbed.”
The classic weakness in cartooning tuition is a cartoonist who shows you “how to draw eyes, how to draw hands” etc. This turns out nothing but pale imitations of that cartoonist’s style and is lazy and unimaginative. Instead, we concentrate on showing you how to develop the drawing style that is yours. But with our software, you not only get a method to improve your cartoon drawing, we also tackle the big picture and approach cartooning from the point of view of humor. If other providers of tuition can’t answer, or don’t make a feature of the question “How do cartoonists think of jokes?”, come back here.
Why the focus on humor and ideas? Because if you’re not funny, or if you’re not telling a good story, you’re unlikely to be published in main-stream media, have someone pay for your work or interpret a brief from a client. But hey, this is the internet and anyone can self-publish to their heart’s content. Gag cartoons also remain the most saleable and useable form of cartooning.
Cartooning is not a process where you develop your drawing skills so you can draw like Leonardo DaVinci, and because of that you THEN succeed in cartooning. People look at cartoons to be entertained, not to be impressed by a drawing. If you’re only after cartoon drawing lessons, we can certainly help but you need to understand deep down in your gut that a professional cartoon drawing style is developed over time. We provide a big foundation to help with this development – it’s a collection of the professional’s ‘tricks of the trade’, the decisions that professional cartoonists make before they start any drawing.
Our approach is geared towards having you produce one-off, gag cartoons because these also form a solid foundation for any further activity in cartooning you’re likely to pursue. A cartoon drawing without an idea behind it isn’t really cartooning (as far as we’re concerned) so right from the start, let’s be clear – there’s a lot of emphasis in our package on ideas.
How do you teach drawing?
Drawing is addressed by introducing you to a thing called ‘Drawing Smart, Not Hard’. ‘Smart’ drawing is the thing that professional cartoonists do to make their job easier. You’ll be surprised what they’ve been getting away with! ‘Hard’ drawing is a way to identify the common mistakes that people make when they’re trying to develop their drawing style. So why continue to make these simple mistakes when you can draw ‘Smart’ instead? And remember, cartooning is different from traditional art forms where the ability to produce life-like drawings is applauded. In cartooning, the drawing is a vehicle for the idea and people are remarkably tolerant of simple, childish styles. Hmm, sounds a bit like contemporary art. Let’s move on.
How do you teach thinking?
Cartooning relies on its success by people understanding either the language or the concept behind the image. We will show you how to switch your thinking to the point where you have a firm understanding of the process of generating gags for cartoons.
From the book ‘Cartooning and Creative Thinking’, available from the App Store (click the link if you want to buy that instead):
“The question most often asked of cartoonists is, “How do you think of your jokes?” When you come to understand that you already have all the information you need to generate your own jokes on any subject, you will see that something that you previously thought was the domain of a chosen few is no big deal.
The same is true of creativity. By changing the way you think, you can think of jokes. But, by identifying what it is that goes through a cartoonists mind when they’re thinking of jokes, we can laterally apply these processes to the broader concept of creativity.“