Art & Design Magazine

So Where Do You Get All Your Ideas From? II

By Karl @cartoonistdiary
So where do you get all your ideas from? IIIf there is one question that all cartoonists get asked more than anything else its 'Where do you get your ideas from?' and frustratingly enough its the one question we really don't have a concise, go-to answer for. So we tend to roll out stock answers every time the question arises.
So in this, the second post of my new, semi-regular feature: So where do you get your ideas from, I intend to have a crack at answering this question, one cartoon at a time.

I still wont be able to give you a definitive answer to the perennial question, but what I can do is show you a cartoon I've already produced and talk you through the process from blank page to finished illustration. 

Like I said: it's not a cover all answer, but with every example I show you, you will probably get a better viewpoint as to how these mystifying little things get created. I may even seek out guest cartoonists to take you through their gag writing process.
So without further ado, lets get into it.
Once again I'll be using one of my NoodlePates cartoons to illustrate the process. NoodlePates is a regular cartoon feature I draw and post mainly on my Facelessbook page and update here from time to time on, the Diary of a Cartoonist & Writer.
So where do you get all your ideas from? II
As winter turns to spring, a young man's fancies turn to NASA...they don't? okay so it's just me then is it?...Again...and yes I do know it's Autumn and not spring so I guess the whole analogy thing fell down---thank you for letting me know.
Ahem...let us begin again.
I was staring out of the window looking not unlike an inmate from 'One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest' (see why I chose the first analogy?), when my mind started to wander. This feeling, or sensation, is how I personally recognize the arrival of the 'gag writing muse'.
I stay perfectly still and I let it randomly select a subject---ching---then a scene--ching---then comes the anomaly ching-ching
Now it's the anomaly that ultimately gets the gag, because it is the discrepancy in any situation that will usually lead to the oddity that leads to the gag. But that said, you cannot have an anomaly without first having a subject and then a scene. So the anomaly is a little like the straight guy in a double act; without the straight guy, the comedian is simply not as funny.
Clear? Good. Lets move onto dissecting this baby.
I was looking out of the window, as stated before, and my mind turned to what's up there that we cant see, y'know, what is floating about that we put up there. Then my mind started thinking about big brother and the state spying on us via a billion and one satellites, then I got a little paranoid and fled to my lead-lined cubbyhole with the kettle and 4,000 tins of peaches, sardines and assorted crisp packets. After that I donned my tin foil hat and proceeded to eliminate myself from the internet...AGAIN!!!
Okay, maybe that didn't happen, but paranoia is a powerful thing when you have an over active mind.
No, what really happened was my mind shifted from  what's up there to who put them up there: NASA...Ching! the subject.
Then I thought about what NASA is most famous for: Rocket launches...Ching! Now I have the scene.
Then all that was left was time to start looking for that elusive Ching-Ching moment--the anomally.
In this case I imagined the rocket ready for launch. Then I thought about the pilots sitting in there, all nerves and expectations. Then my mind moved onto their training and the millions that NASA had invested in them, and finally I thought about the tech guys.
Now when these brianiacs came into my mind I started to remember the theory I have that incredibly clever people often ruin their brilliant ideas with an act of breathtaking stupidity by adding something very dumb---last minute and without telling anyone---just because they can.
Then I though: what if in that super-heated moment of numptiness/brilliance they added a reverse stick.
Then I thought about the poor astronaut, completely unaware of this new addition and still looking around the cabin in an attempt to calm his nerves.
Then I imagined him spotting the gear shift with the big 'R' on it.
Then I thought: What would I think if I were in his position and suddenly presented with an object that wasn't mentioned on any of the days of rigorous flight school training?
Then I realised exactly what I would think. I would think:
"Hmmm, I wonder what this does?" 
And in an equally crazy moment of human numptiness I would hit it. Just to see what it would do.
Then...Ching-Ching! We have just hit eureka, Huston. I have my moment. I have my anomally, and you have a new NoodlePates cartoon.
Like I say, this may not be how everyone reaches their gag nirvana and it isn't how I always reach mine. But more often that not, this is how it happens for me.
Hope you liked what you read, if so please leave a comment and keep coming back as I will be doing more of them.
Hopefully, and if I can talk any of them into it, I will be coaxing other cartoonists to let you in on their eureka moments.
Speaking of NoodlePates, next week I'll be putting up some new samples and talking about an exciting new project for me that hopefully you will like to. So see you next week.
If you like what you see, and want to see more, then please sign up to my email list and have every blog notification sent direct to your email box, assuring that you'll never miss a single post ever again.
I sincerely hope you enjoyed this post. If you did then please share it like a demented sharing person and keep coming back for more of the same, and a whole lot besides.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog