I just got back from a trip to St. Louis, MO...where I had a run in with a friend of mine, Bob of Bob's Big Boy—one of great examples of character branding in advertising. He's cool and creepy with all his wholesome cartoon goodness. Bob has deeper meaning to me as of late, because I was recently involved in a job at work where we tried to spin him off in a science game called "Nano-boy's."
Legal kindly informed us that the resemblance (parody or not) was too similar, so we ended up swapping in another friendly character in his place. Anyway, here's to you, Bobs!
I just rediscovered a college assignment to design a form of currency. I figured that with all the buying and selling of souls in the afterlife, Hell must have its own monetary system. It's my understanding that demons trade in hades (perhaps halos in Heaven?) I wonder what the exchange rate of the dollar would be...
So far I've used Drip! to basically post doodles because its quick, easy, and a good way to motivate myself to keep busy making art. Nothing more than an annotated online sketchbook. So, this post will be my first official "rant" of sorts. My apologies, but I need to get something off my chest.
For the past couple years or so, I've been trying to come to terms with nearly everyone telling me my work either looks like, resembles, or references Gary Baseman. As of late, it has been a point of annoyance, because I am continuously striving for originality. And there is nothing more that I hate than someone doing a lame rip-off of another artist. So, I take it personally...it bugs me when people mention this. I proclaim, "Gary Baseman doesn't own vintage cartoons!" and "All art is derivative!" But all of a sudden I think I may be on the road to acceptance...or that I'm coming to peace with what amounts to a common obsession with cartoons.
To be fair, Gary Baseman has made an enormous impact on how I have developed as an artist. He was easily one a handful of contemporary illustrators I knew by name 6 years ago when I began my major in art school. Baseman was the main artist I used in defense of creating cartoon-inspired illustration. I plastered his work all over my studio wall, and from him I was able to learn what it really was that I loved about cartoons. He did a lot of the heavy-lifting for me. Because of his work, I've delved deeper into the essence of my passion. I've watched countless cartoons from the 20s and 30s...which eventually spawned Jinx the Monkey. Through his illustrations and paintings, I have been able to zero in on a pleasure point. But, my hope has been to move on. I've studied Baseman, digested his work, and I'm on the path to discovering something more personal. And this is why it bugs me when people say my work looks like his...because I want it look like my own. It probably unnerves me because it likely reinforces a fear that my work is too derivative.
I have a number of artists who I would call influences. To name a few: Bill Watterson, George Herriman, Chris Ware, Ron Regé Jr, J Otto Seibold, Jason, Crumb, Christian Northeast, Dr. Seuss...and countless others. But what it boils down to is that I love offbeat comics and cartoons. And what I'm beginning to conclude is that it's okay for people to say that Baseman and I share a visual affinity, because we do. I also feel comfortable in the fact that I'm truly making a unique mark as an artist and will continue to do so.
So, my apologies for harboring any resentment towards you Mr. Baseman. Every artist gets compared to some so-and-so. I guess it's the quickest way to describe an artist's work—by drawing obvious comparisons. You must get sick of people asking you for your the secret formula behind your work. By the way, I love Creamy.