Friday, May 2, 2008

Cartoon Sprints, part 2

Well, that wasn't fun.

I just took Mike's challenge and tried to draw eighty things in fifteen minutes. There's probably a better way for my pal to remind me that I'm not a natural cartoonist, but this was a good one.

Here, however, to my embarrassment, are the results, drawn by Sharpie into an 8" x 10" grid:

(If you don't click, it won't enlarge. You might prefer that.)

I tried not to look at Mike's results to closely before I did this, so I wouldn't just be copying his work. Maybe it would have been better if I'd done that.

Sadly, I didn't even finish in the prescribed time. It took me nineteen minutes. I still had fifteen assorted squares left on the page when the time ran out (I didn't do them all in order, though I think the first three rows went in before the rest of the grid). Some of the drawings are plainly terrible. I am ashamed of the runner, the ballerina, both hydrants, the guy with a beard, the mean kid ... ugh. There are some drawings where I can barely tell what I was aiming for.

The two drawings I like best:

I leave it to Mike to pick out, in the comments, any other seeming nuggets of "satisfactory" in this otherwise crummy mess.


Ben Towle said...

I see several things here that are, as they say, "always fun to draw."

Mike said...

Isaac, I think you're being unnecessarily hard on yourself here. I think a lot of these drawings actually read better than mine do. (Just compare our "Teacher" drawings, for example!) Though it's also interesting to see where we overlap almost completely on certain categories. It's telling, too, that your two favorites are things I know you've drawn a lot of: they look less like on-the-spot improvisations than iterations of standard cartoon shorthands you've developed.

I also like the wit in the (well-placed) pair of "Nerd" and "Cartoonist"--the latter of whom has a smile on his face, note!--and the economy of your "Shark."

I think the only drawing that would be really hard to read without knowing the label is "Hippo," and somehow the "Alien" makes me think of the ghost of the Barry Allen Flash (it's those seeming ear-wings, I reckon), but overall this is a respectable response to an exercise that doesn't really lend itself to drawings as finished and fun as your devil, bird, T. Rex, and nerd, say.

Finally, I should add that I issued this challenge to Isaac in part because of his epic performance on a bit of a community art project in New Haven a few years ago. Again armed with Sharpie, he quickly cartooned a ridiculous number of faces in a comparably brief period. Was it really a thousand faces, or am I exaggerating in my memory? And do you have a picture of that anywhere?

Isaac said...

I didn't have a camera when I did the thousand faces. If there's a picture, you and Becca have it.

I think I got all one thousand of them done in about twenty minutes, or maybe a little more. But they were all really simple faces -- just a few dots and lines.

Matt said...

I notice that in both Mike's and Isaac's renderings, there seems to be a strong visual correlation between "nerd" and "cartoonist" though the concept is visualized differently in each case. My son, a budding cartoonist whose nickname is Slick, is way too cool for cool--I'll give him the prompt and see how his nerd-cartoonist images turn out.

This is a brilliant exercise--thanks!

Mike said...

Ouch! Matt, I must confess that when I drew my "cartoonist" I was drawing a quick caricature of myself. Though come to think of it, there are ways in which the "nerd" sketch is more accurate...