Creativity and Vision from two cartoonist.

If you can find a copy of “The Complete Calvin and Hobbes” and the “Tenth Anniversary of the Far Side collection”, the forewords of both contain detailed looks at the authors trails and tribulations at developing their cartoons. Both authors retired them  at the height of their popularity, because they didn’t want to run our of ideas and put out substandard material. Bill Waterson is a textbook example of a introvert. He was always guarded about what information he put out about “Calvin and Hobbes”. In his foreword he reveals all about the process of realizing his vision and the ordeal of getting published. Gary Larson reveals his creative genius in a funny and detailed foreword about the “Far side”. I have read both of them countless times. It is inspirational to see what these  people went through before they achieved success. One of the main themes is NEVER GIVE UP. Keep fighting and creating and dreaming.

A long time ago…in the 1970’s is interviewing about his new book in a few days. I have never heard of him so I went to his page to see what he was all about. He mentioned a life changing event. He saw Star Wars on the big screen in ’77. My mind wandered back to those days. I was 11 years old and G. Lucas’s target audience. (I just spent 10 minutes tying to figure out if its Lucas’ or Lucas’s) Kids today would have a hard time going back to the way things were  then. We had no internet or satellite  tv  and no easy-to-get home computers. We had  no social media and no microwave popcorn. We had no cell phones. We had one phone and one floor model tv. I was laying on the floor in front of it when I saw the first commercial for Star Wars. It was incredible. The opening theme by John Williams and the swing across the death star with Luke and the Princess. But I didn’t get to see it. There was no Youtube and no video stores. My saving grace was the fact that really good movies would have limited rereleases from time to time and just before Empire Strikes Back came out they put it back in theaters. I am proud of the fact that I saw the original film on the big screen.

Younger bloggers might wonder what I did before the internet age. I read voraciously. I sat and thought. During car rides I would look out the window and think and look and look and think. I know it helped my creative mind before I knew I had one. Maybe my creative mind was already working and caused me to do that. Who knows.



I need a couple of those.

I have been reading Hannah McCall’s blog,, and it made me think of the word “couple”. Since it was invented it has always meant two. Not one or three or six. Just two. I began noticing when I went to a gas station, etc. and asked,” I need a couple of those tickets” or “I need a couple bottles of diet Mt. Dew” that I got the same response. “Ok, so how many do you want?” I want TWO. I have yet to see the clerk reach over and just lay down two of the item I wanted. A couple will never mean anything but two. Maybe I need to just ask for two in the future and keep my blood pressure at a decent rate.

WITHDRAWN (blood red)

This is another thing I found inside the cover of an outstanding book. It’s about the life story of Louise Nevelson. She made art out of found objects that was mainly wood  dumped on the streets of New York. She had a decades long struggle to survive and be discovered. One story relates a limousine ride with the owner of a gallery. They were heading to a show and the gallery owner made the driver stop and help Louise load a pile of wood, on the curb, into the trunk of the limo so she could take it home.

I have already written about my love of getting to the direct source of a persons creative heart and learning about daily details of their life. Even mundane details of their daily activities and give you insight. One of the greatest things and artist or writer leaves, other than words, are photos. Ms. Nevelson left a large amount of pictures of her art and her studio and home. Pure visual heaven.

What I found from my five dollar Ebay purchase was a sticker noting the gifting of the book, to a school ,from a former student. How long it remained there is unclear, but it was discarded. Were there too many books on the shelves? I would have knocked out a wall and built on. I imagine it has something to do with the person picked to look at the books and choose something to remove. I wonder who that person was and what they had on their mind that day. Those kids were robbed of some great reading. Its ironic that the stamp is colored red. It was the blood of the book seeping out. Not literally of course. Just my over active imagination at work. The cold hard stamp “WITHDRAWN” and then the red for the sorrow of the book being removed from its place. Its spot on the shelf where it hoped to be seen by an eager student and read from cover to cover.



Delayed birth?

I think I was born fifty or sixty years late. I am not like anyone I know and I wonder if my birth was delayed. I like old art and books from the forties and fifties. That is why I  get most of my books so cheap. They are old and forgotten, but to me they are as up to date as today’s newspaper. I should say as old as todays news feed. Most people read online and use kindle for books. I love the feel of a real book. One with age and it has that “old book smell”. I love old art and artist that people don’t write about anymore and they aren’t brought up in conversation much. That’s why I love old biographies. I try to see their creative process but you also learn about their daily life. It is very interesting. I have been criticized for that. When I talk about my love of biography and writers and artists personal stories,  some people have said that’s too personal and I am just nosy (edit- I was also called voyeuristic). It bothered me, but now I understand that they have no creative life or vision and they are walking around on the planet with their eyes closed. They cant help it and I no longer talk to them about my personal interests.

A sad sad day

Something happened today that only people who like to write will understand. I lost a page of notes. I LOST a page  of notes. I have hundreds of pages of notes and someone might say just write them down again. I write them down so I don’t have to remember them. I was looking through my email and found I had accidently put them in the draft section and while moving the email I deleted it. Forever. Any decent idea worth writing down is worth keeping and using. I will be more careful the next time. It causes me to consider the safety of my other note books and notes saved on my computer and online. Please be careful with your notes so you don’t lose any valuable ideas.

Vision and imagination overload.

I always look for articles and books about creativity and vision. I want to know why some have it and some don’t. It is a never ending search. I want to know if it is genetics passed down in a family. Is it an accident of nature? Do introverts have better perception of their creativity. Sometimes I can see ideas playing like a movie on the inside of my eyes like a motion picture on a screen. I can hear something or see something on the street or just out of thin air and an idea will pop into my head and I write it down and later fine tune it. It is the ultimate fun to come up with something new. It seems there is nothing new. Everything is rehashed or shows up every 20 years as “fresh and new”. It isn’t. Its just being seen by a new generation that mostly doesn’t study the past. I have a very over active imagination that is not always my friend. Its a balance of the good and the bad. The good half is a great idea for a story line or a joke that I think no one has ever thought of. The bad part can be constant thoughts and scenarios running through your mind over and over. It is exhausting. That is why I need a lot of down time and time alone to let my mind rest and to regroup. Nothing comes without a price.

Book on sketchbooks

This book looks at artists personal sketchbooks through the ages. I love seeing what the artist was thinking while dreaming up great works. It contains personal insights that you wont find anywhere else. I purchased this book from Ebay and it was only a few dollars. I have discovered that many or most of the books I like are cheap. I wonder if they are low priced because no one cares to read them or only a certain type of person enjoys them. This book was autographed by the author but it wasn’t even mentioned in the sales ad. If you want to see cheap books go to I have found books that cost less than the price of shipping.


I love reading a great biography about an artist life. I have several in my collection. I don’t know why I love them so much. I have stopped second guessing myself on my personal taste. I love books on sketchbooks, too. I can’t be the only one because they are published. Books on letter writing that artist send to family or other artists are good reading materials. I think I am trying to learn about the artist’s creative methods. I want to gain as much information about their creative process. I want to know who they are and how or why they have a vision that lets them write or make wonderful works of art. They wrote these letters in complete privacy and never knew they would be published.