Cartoonist Simone Lia is mentoring me over the Summer and in our first session, she asked about my close friends, so I mentioned the first three friends in mind. It became quickly apparent that these friends were all rather depressed and Simone became concerned that I did not have enough ‘funny friends’ for creating comics and cartoons. At first glance, it is a peculiar prerequisite for cartooning, but an idea also repeated by Cleese in his essentials for creativity.
Simone’s comments got me thinking, and more importantly got me focussing on happier friends. I realised that my ‘funny friends’ get neglected because they do not expect and demand the same kind of support as the depressives. After mentoring, I created a sketchnote thinking about this and found myself drawing easily the first 4 funny friends to come to mind,
The sketchnote includes Simone’s belief that ‘a day is not complete without a belly laugh.’ We both share a similar mission or ‘why of comics’ which is to lighten our lives and the lives of others around us. Recently, I have been spending much more time with these funny and ‘fountain’ friends and I notice that they influence my comics diary and ideas for future comics strips. They also make me chuckle just remembering times together…here are a couple of examples from this week.
This week, Mum made me concerned by her rather odd (inappropriate?) new habit of cheerfully greeting complete strangers in the park with ‘Hello Peeps!’ I drew this moment in the comics diary (4/8/2020) and started to chuckle. It still makes me smile with her excited irrepressible love of life,
Yesterday, I had a hilarious phone call with Alyson and then drew up a small section of it. (Alyson’s comics avatar still needs work, as she is beautiful, colourful and glam, but her sense of humour is already perfect),
Overall, I notice that I do not need ‘to find the funny’ with these kind of people around, as ‘the funny’ bubbles up and continues to bubble even after they have left. They are inspirational fountains of energy and it is contagious. At the moment, I have so many ideas for cartoons and comic strips that there are not enough hours in the day to draw them up!