Monday, October 31, 2011

Favourite Toys

Today is my son's first Hallowe'en. I suppose it'd be a faux-pas to go trick-or-treating since he doesn't even have teeth. He did get to dress up as Snoopy this year for a party, though, complete with felt-ears-on-a-tuque and a tail. I'll probably do the same with him tonight and bring him to the door when I pass out the treats-- that is, what I haven't eaten myself over the weekend.

While we eat, he sits in his high chair with us at the table. I gave him a bunch of Hallowe' en chocolate bars, in their wrappers, for him to play with. I tell ya, nothing entertains quite like crinkly, shiny wrappers and shaky Smarties boxes. We were able to read the Saturday paper and have a leisurely coffee while he sat with us and played with the bars.

It's true what they say; the most fascinating toys are never the big, expensive dealies. I'll put  him on the floor in our room in the mornings so I can put my face on, and he finds the springy door stop and bats at it for a good ten minutes. Take that, Playskool!

The Fam

Hi folks,

Allow me to introduce you to the family, including my sonny boy, whom I'll call Owen in my cartoons. I debated whether to use our real names. Though my characters are our likenesses, changing their names allows for some artistic license and lets us distance ourselves a bit from my anecdotes. I learned that lesson from one of my favourite cartoonists, Lynn Johnston (For Better or For Worse) who in turn learned it from Cathy Guisewite (Cathy). Cartoonist wisdom!

So to start off, here's the threesome at a family cottage over the summer (drawn as a thank-you card for use of said cottage). It was the best kind of vacation for a first summer with a baby. I figured it wasn't the time to try backpacking through the wilderness. Maybe when he's a bit older.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Little History...

Welcome to my blog.

I started this because I've been developing a small collection of cartoons based on my observations and experiences as a new parent, and on life in general. I would post on Facebook for friends to see, but I wanted to finally develop a web presence and a more 'official' forum.

I've been drawing ever since I could hold a crayon. As a kid, my favourite things to draw included Snow White and other girls in puffy dresses. I won a "Draw Your Parent at Work" contest at the age of six, where I depicted my dad with a head the size of a beach ball. Since then, I knew my calling. Just kidding. I think everyone who entered won that contest. Still, though.

I kept a 'cartoon journal' between the ages of 13 and 14 based on my family. There was me with my braces, mall bangs and adolescent insecurity; my ten-year-old brother with jungle shorts, a penchant for video games and way too much energy; and my feisty six-year-old sister who wouldn't hesitate to stand up to her older siblings by fetching the hand saw from the shed. I find cartoon journals are a great way to remember the feel of a time; the attitudes, trends and so on.

In high school, I contributed cartoons to the high school newspaper (somewhat cranky in tone, now that I look back, but those were the '90s for you) and for our high school yearbook.

After I finished my Education degree, I worked as a substitute teacher for three years in my hometown of Halifax, Nova Scotia. I contributed an award-winning cartoon to the Nova Scotia Teachers' magazine, Aviso, on the craziness and occasional hilarity of being a supply teacher. It was called "Sink the Sub", named for the game where students try to get their 'sub' to crack.

I think I have to dig up some of this stuff to show you. It's gold. Especially the beach-ball head.

I've also designed many a pub crawl t-shirt in my time. It's very cool to see 100 people all together getting their groove on while wearing your design.

Finally, not to brag, but I was the resident cake artist at Dairy Queen during my university years as well. I was known as the one who could draw anything on a cake with that coloured gel. People would bring in stuffed toys, sneakers, and have me depict inside jokes that I didn't get (an orange, lips and a garden hose? Anyone??). I think I was being had, now that I think of it... anyway, getting to spend afternoons drawing on cakes made the polyester shirts and customer abuse all worthwhile. Sorta.

To this day, I continue to draw 'on the side'. I draw greeting cards and other 'inside joke' cartoons for friends and family. There was a brief time that I started buying my cards, thinking I  had outgrown the whole cartooning thing... but I missed immortalizing good memories (and not-so-good ones) on paper and sharing it with others. Having fun with drawing is not something one ever needs to outgrow. And now that I have a son to provide an endless supply of cartoon material and to be my audience, I have more reason than ever to continue!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Finally, I have gotten around to putting together my blog! Can't wait to start sharing my cartoons.

Now, I just need to get that Photoshop upgrade installed, and we're in business.