March 24, “Chocolate Raisins Day.”
This is a combination of Illustrator and Photoshop with the help of a little clip-art from the web. Normally I’d stick to drawing things by hand, and so my venture into using clip-art is limited to just this one time. In some sense it’s cheating, I think, so I don’t normally go this route. For this one occasion, though, I think it helps to tell the story.
March 21, “Eu de Toilet Day.”
Playing around with style once again, this is freehand in Photoshop. The outhouse and desert look is dedicated to old surroundings, namely the Outback of Australia. I grew up in Gwalia, a gold-mining ghost town about 500 or so miles inland from Perth, Western Australia. I was there from 1971 to 1979, during which time there was no TV, the only phone we had access to was a phone booth up the street, and initially we had no electricity or running water. We had an outhouse like this one, which was emptied once a week by the local Shire nearby in Leonora. The guy that came around each week was dubbed the “turd burglar.” When the Shire announced that the service was coming to an end, it was time to build a septic toilet.
Everything here is based on experience… the outhouse, the flimsy clothes line, the house of corrugated iron. Those were the days…
March 20 is also the “First Day of Spring.” This is the first of a few “non-Day” type cartoons I’ll add along the way.
It’s all Photoshop again, and I’m showing signs of dissatisfaction with the results. This is pretty crude as far as my cartoons go, and I’m looking around for an alternative painting program. I mentioned ArtRage earlier; I had not yet discovered it when I did this cartoon, or things would look a tad better.
March 19: “Poultry Day”
Still with no formal plan in mind, I chose this subject from a variety of “Days” and doodled away. I’ll admit to a weird sense of humour, and since the topic of “GM” foods comes up in the house from time to time, one thing led to another.
A comment was made that perhaps I should show the whole egg, and I’ve thought about re-doing this cartoon, and I may still, but for now here’s the original. The one that got the ball rolling.
I’m on a Mac, I use Photoshop for most editing, Illustrator for drawing on occasion and I’m always on the lookout for something that offers “natural media” feel on the computer. That is, an application that best emulates the look and feel of natural media, such as a pencil on paper, ink on parchment, etc. There were a few old ones that were available for OS9, such as Sketcher and earlier versions of Painter. Sketcher will always remain a nostalgic favourite; the pencil/charcoal/ink feel and on-screen results were fantastic. It was only a black-and-white app, though, so color had to be added in Photoshop or other app.
I’ve played with Painter a few times recently, but I feel as though the newer versions have lost the original “natural” feel, and so I’ve shied away from it. Eventually I came across ArtRage 2, made by Ambient Design. There is a newer version (ArtRage 4) but I’ve not yet taken the plunge.
This is where it started, more or less.
The phrase “You’re not wearing green!” was uttered by my son a few minutes before, on St. Patrick’s Day. I had just gotten home from work, where I drive limo’s, Town Cars, etc., and as such wear a completely green-free suit. “Ah,” I was quick to point out, “I do have green, see?” and I showed Ethan my green watch band.
One thing led to another and in a few minutes I had scribbled out this little cartoon. I didn’t think much about it afterwards, and in fact the next day gave no thought at all about what day it was… but there was an ember that smouldered. Cartooning has always been a hobby, not the “main course,” and although I’ve been published a few times and won a few awards at college, it was always on the back burner. I didn’t make too much of a big deal about it.
Somewhere over the next 48 hours, the idea to do a daily cartoon based on the weird “Day of the Year” celebration came about. It wasn’t hard to find information out there, and clearly there’s a day for just about anything. In fact, there are several sites and blogs devoted to “Days of the Year,” more so than I expected. There’s no shortage of inspiration.
Still, by early March 19, there wasn’t a solid plan in place.