Whether it be tracing from your Peanuts books, like I did when I was young, or finger painting, there is a beginning to every designer’s repertoire. After all, everyone had to start somewhere.
I knew I wanted to be an artist after my Dad taught me how to draw a pumpkin around age 3. Needless to say I was inspired to pursue a career in art and the path from where I was then to where I am now had its ups and downs.
After seeing Randy (a friend from the past) drawing his own comics in grade school, I too wanted to draw my own comics. I can remember that day pretty vividly, coming home after being inspired and checking my house for pieces of paper, lined or not, it didn’t matter. I sat down at the kitchen table and began doodling characters for my “unnamed” comic. I eventually came up with an idea for the story, it would be about a kid in junior high who could warp to other dimensions using his locker. Still, I didn’t have a name and looked at these characters that I created from my imagination staring back at me. The kid, who I named Randy, resembled my grade school friend except for the addition of spectacles and tight green spandex.
It took me awhile, but I finally came up with a rather absurd title; “The Dingleberry Dimension". Now that the comic was finally titled I brainstormed the layout which ended up being your standard comic layout; 3 rows with 4 boxes across. At first I drew the boxes by hand but tossed that task aside when we got our first computer (a Pentium II 300 Mhz). By serendipitous means, I found out that I could just as easily draw the boxes in Microsoft Paint and print out comic sheets by the barrel.
Over time I would create comics based on my character Janitor Bob appropriately titled “The Adventures of Janitor Bob” and a comic based entirely on the eraser brand ”Pink Pet”. That comic in particular delved into the history of the spaceship, The Pink Pet (I know, stupid name for a spaceship) and its arch nemesis Black Pen.
After I finished a comic book I’d bind it by hand with a little help from the stapler and some tape for touch-up. I’d then show them to family, who as you can imagine enjoyed them, and friends, who typically had mixed feelings about the content. I’d hear comments from my high school cronies like, “Why is the story so sappy?” or constructive criticism like “This is confusing but well drawn", and to tell you the truth it didn’t matter. To me, what mattered was my fulfillment that came with drawing these comics and any negative comments I’d hear would go out one ear, and well you know the rest.
My point in all this, albeit an obvious one, is that we all start somewhere and that particular point in time is important for our growth from adolescence towards our lives and careers as adults and professionals. Never forget about where you came from because there is no point B without a point A.
March 20th, 2019