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Monday, September 15, 2008

In the Dark!

My hometown of Evansville, Indiana is a little over 900 miles from where Hurricane Ike went ashore in Texas. So, it was a little surprising when we were hit with 50-plus MPH winds for over 6 hours yesterday. Ike (what was left of it) slammed us and knocked out power to about 70% of the area.

With no electricity, we lit a few candles and spent a quiet evening reading by candlelight (as romantic as that sounds, candlelight is hell on the eyes. Thank goodness for electricity).
I choose a short book by Robert Mankoff, cartoon editor of The New Yorker magazine.

Here are a few notes that I though all creative Knights might enjoy:

The problem with many artists and writers is that they get a new idea, then they like to take a year or so to perfect it, and then a few more years to ruin it. Cartooning is idea creating in overdrive!

It's not the ink, it's the think. "A little more inking and a lot more thinking."

There is no reality testing in cartoons, because the mind is creating its own reality. In cartooning, the mind changes what isn't into what is.

Collect ideas from everywhere all the time. Getting ideas is like getting a loan. If you already have money, it's easy to get more.

The basic process is: change something, then change it again, and again and...

Creating is dreaming while you're awake -- making new things out of old.

Start with "what if..."
"What if _____ were ______ ? (totally unrelated).

The journey of creativity is on in which you know where you're going only when you get there.

The game is a mind game. That's the only place it can happen because ideas occur only in one place -- year head.

Facts are boring. The truth is too restrictive. Lying is very creative. The bigger the lie, the better the cartoon.

It's the clash of the ordinary with the extraordinary. Imagine the real and then create your own new reality.

In the "real" world, getting sidetracked won't help you solve a problem. But in the creative process, getting sidetracked is the key. Often, the sidetrack turns out to be the main track for some great new idea.

# # #

So, here's to getting sidetracked and creating something great this week.

Sir Bowie "usually in the dark" of Greenbriar

Sir Bowie "usually in the dark" of Greenbriar


  1. Amazingly in the UK.. we are getting what is left of Hurricane Hanna... the supposed Mother of All Storms ( not ) ( or "Hockey Mother " of all storms.)
    it went up the eastern seaboard of the US and then got tramlined across the pond by the jetstream to pat our little island like a ball for a few days.

    Sir Bowie... I await your first cartoons with interest..:)) I know you don't really want to go diving in with a pen.. but even i don't have the outright confidence to do that ...but i do dive in with a soft easy to rub out pencil and map the whole thing before I ink it in... then rub out the pencil at the end. Its the way to go...

    Hands up all those who think its a shame Investment bankers are going broke... :))

    Good to see the US going into State ownership...:))

    Sir Dayvd

  2. I join you in the dark. I won't have power at my home until late Wednesday at the earliest. I have been hopping between Starbuck's, Cheese Burger in Paradise and Old Chicago to use WiFi for my work while I look like the homeless person I currently am. Talk about getting sidetracked! Funny how we all are connected, weather...I mean whether we like it our not! Here's to drawing cartoons in the dark. No wonder I'm so damn creative because I'm one hell of a lier! Keeps my priest busy!

    Sir Hook My Beer is Getting Close to European Temperature in My Dark Fridge of Warrick

  3. Lady that the best that Hooky could think of with the lights going out... Read a book??

    Give me candlelight and a Lady and I'm a Knight!! :)

    Sir dayvd

  4. ah i got my knights wrong... LOL that should be to Lady Suzanne the last message, that was young Bowie reading the book... :))

    that'll teach me to come home full of beer...

    Sir Drinkalot... of Oxfordshire

  5. Yeah, While Sir D was busy insulting me in the dark, I was taking his advice and being a Real Knight in the Dark!