Today I was on Twitter, and one of the places I follow, Graphic Design Blender (@designblender), posted a link to his article, "Hey, Entrepreneurs, You're Thinking Too Much." He warned all of us entrepreneurs and bloggers against thinking so much about what we want to do, how we want to do it, etc. The key is to JUST DO IT: Just do the work your clients/customers/fans love and that make you money. Simple, huh? Here's the link to the article (http://www.graphicdesignblender.com/hey-entrepreneurs-youre-thinking-too-much) if you need such a reminder.
Another Tweeter I follow is the artist Jani Franck from the UK. She owns a venue in Southhampton called The Art House (so what else?), and her website helps artists of all stripes live and work more creatively. She also hosts The Bubbling Well Creative Circle for the same reasons. I read her blogs on her website (http://www.janifranck.com) and view her videos. From her I learned that sometimes the "extra work" an artist does just for the money can hold her back from doing the work she really loves to do and does well and that she can keep getting better at and learn how to make money from that. And she's right: My "work for the money" has held me back from doing the cartoons I really love doing. Only recently have I begun to do what I love and had the money follow.
Speaking of cartoons, I also read the blog of animator John Kricfalusi, creator of "controversial" cartoon characters (to American mothers) Ren & Stimpy (http://www.johnkcurriculum.blogspot.com). My favorite posts of his are under "Writing for Cartoons", where John K. outlines how he created "Ren & Stimpy" shorts and shuns the way most TV and movie cartoons are written--usually by writers who've never seen or drawn cartoons. He has encouraged me to try writing based on the personalities of my characters, starting with a premise and building gags on that--but what really inspires me is how John K. skewers popular TV and movie cartoons based on catchphrases, musical numbers and "parodies" of other media stuff. It's getting me out of my "Hanna-Barberian" way of thinking (but I still love Bill & Joe's cartoons!).
For all of this, I have the Internet to thank. It has given me opportunities as a cartoonist that I never had when I was younger. It has put me in touch with other 'tooners from other countries, so I get a different perspective on cartoons than the American "cartoons are for kids" attitude. And, most importantly, I get and give encouragement to other creatives. Life is wonderful. Thank you, Internet!
I leave you now with a look at my little workplace: