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Each of my usual cartoons takes me approximately a day to do. This includes thinking, talking to people, honing the idea, pacing up and down, thinking of a layout that works, wrestling with the exact wording, researching how things look (I know, you wouldn’t have thought it), having a crisis and deciding I am giving up cartooning for ever, pencilling, inking in, scanning, and finally editing on the computer. Any other professional cartoonists reading this will be amazed that I make a living. Yes, I know.
The image above, on the other hand, took perhaps 30 seconds. I suppose it might have taken up to a minute, depending upon the frequency of seagulls. It is from a notebook of cartoons I was looking at this evening which I did a number of years ago. There are another 75 pages of drawings in the notebook, none of which have been scanned or seen by anyone other than my wife. Most of them will probably never will be seen by anyone else. There are a number of reasons for this. Many of them made sense in the context they were drawn but would make rather less sense to the general public now. But another reason is my fear of having less than perfect work seen by the world. I’m terrified that you might not like it. But in fact these days I have a fear of even doing less than perfect work – it is a long time since I did a notebook of spontaneous drawings like the one above.
This is something I need to get over. At the very least I need to start to draw more and have fun doing it. I have found, and I suspect I am not alone, that it becomes harder to have fun doing something once the stakes are higher and you are being paid for it. Some people manage it, but I find it very difficult. I’ve known this for years, but my hope is that by telling you about it I might be able to beat it.
This rather self-absorbed blog post really isn’t intended to be me digging for compliments or doing myself down, by the way. I know I can be good at what i do. I’d rather hear how you deal with anything similar, if you you do. How do you remain creative under pressure? How do you cope with the fear of [insert name of occupation here]. How does one draw a seagull*? That sort of thing.
* I will get into trouble from my ornithologist friends for using the word ‘seagull’, I know. Sorry.
Posted by Dave at 9:39 pm on September 15, 2011 and filed under Cartooning, My problems.
After yesterday’s highs come the lows of the big important project not going very well. To be honest the computer not functioning is not one of the reasons (though me not functioning is). In truth I’m just posting this cartoon because it was scanned and ready to go. It was originally to accompany an in-depth post on the pros and cons of Mac ownership, given that I bought mine a year ago. I shouldn’t be seen to be wasting time in such ways this week though, so I will desist.
Hope everyone is having a good week. See you here in the same place for more non-achievement tomorrow.
Posted by Dave at 7:27 pm on March 24, 2010 and filed under Cartoons, My problems, Technical.
*Warning: Dull post. Do not read if you came here to be interested or amused.*
I am aware that I ask for technical help (usually on Twitter) several times a day, but I am taking a liberty and doing so once more.
This time it is not for me and my blessed Mac, but for a family member’s PC computer which I am attempting to make work this weekend. If I can do so I will get superb numbers of brownie points and will generally be regarded as some kind of hero.
Here is a summary:
Problem: Can’t surf the internet / do e-mail.
- Computer is a quite old Evesham one running Windows XP
- Modem appears to connect to the internet, but no data is actually received.
- On the modem (Voyager 105) Power and DSL lights are on, Data light isn’t.
- ISP is Supanet if that is of any relevance. They say the connection should be working. They also cost 50p a minute to chat to.
- It worked until a few weeks ago, then stopped. Unfortunately I wasn’t here at the time, so I don’t know whether anything odd was done to it.
- AVG free is running, as is Windows Firewall. Disabling either or both makes no difference.
So, what I’m wondering is (a) any thoughts what the problem might be? (b) how would I go about making a diagnosis and, all being well, fixing it?
Normally I’d do copious Googling, but I’m connecting via a dongle on a netbook and too much internetting is a bit awkward.
Thanks in advance for any help you can give.
Posted by Dave at 11:52 pm on March 5, 2010 and filed under My problems, Technical.
We have one or more squirrels in the roof. I hear it, or them, pacing inside the soffits. There is no way to tell how many squirrels there are, because in the time it takes to move the stepladder to the loft hatch, work out how to open the step ladder, work out how to open the loft hatch, find someone to hold the ladder steady and pop ones head up into the loft space the squirrel(s) have long since gone or hidden. For the purposes of this essay I shall assume one squirrel.
Possible ways to get rid of a squirrel in the roof:
1. Scare it away with flashing bicycle lights and the Divine Comedy pumped in at medium volume (no particular reason for it being the Divine Comedy except that I’ve never heard of a squirrel liking the Divine Comedy). Problem: The neighbours might be disturbed.
2) Find the hole where it is getting in, and block it. Issues: (a) I have been watching for a while and I have not seen any holes (2) The hole could belong to a neighbour’s house. We are not detached and I believe our soffets and lofts are linked by a hidden maze of squirrel tunnels.
3) Send up the cats. Difficulty: Our cats would be more trouble in the roof than our squirrel.
4) Borrow a squirrel cage, trap the squirrel and release it inside the M25 (we are outside the M25).
5) Call someone who knows about these sorts of things.
6) Write about it on my internet web blog and hope that my readers include a fully licenced diocesan squirrel catcher.
Questions for Lent groups:
i) Tell the group about a time you had a squirrel in your roof.
ii) List some of the spiritual ‘squirrels’ you have faced and how you overcame them.
Posted by Dave at 9:45 pm on September 29, 2009 and filed under Essex Life, Household hints, My problems.