One of the art clubs I belong to is a “fine arts” club. It’s in the club name. We are a “fine arts” association, and from time to time there is a bit of discussion on what is and what is not considered fine art.
“We can’t get too crafty,” one club member remarked recently when the topic of art shows and displays came up. “We’re supposed to present fine arts to the community,” she reminded us.
I love fine arts — however we want to define them — and I hope someday to be considered a fine artist in my landscape painting. I’m learning now, though, that not all art must be fine art. Sometimes it’s good to create fun art instead.
Lately my drawing practice has centered around cartoon drawings and simple illustrations. Rather than realism, I’m going for entertainment, amusement, and enjoyment. Creating cartoon-figures gives me a chance to play with lines and colors, reducing characters to basic shapes, and finding little ways to add personality to my drawings.
I first began this with my doodle monsters from Inktober, which led to the unintentional creation of a very dysfunctional family. Now, I’m moving on to cartoon animals — drawings that will be so much fun to share with our grandchildren.
Cartoon drawings typically tell stories, and in time, maybe these creatures will have a few tall tales to share. I don’t know what I’ll do with them, but here are a few characters who have come from my Sharpies:
Being a “lizard lover”, I think Izzard — who resembles an alligator more than a lizard — is probably my favorite. All of these cartoon characters represent fun starting points for me. I’ll have to give them bodies, give them houses to live in, dress them up in colorful clothes, give them places to go and things to do.
Although becoming a cartoonist isn’t in my plans, I am sure it will be fun to sit down with the grandkids and let them suggest ideas for these characters. Art can be — and should be — fun, especially when we share it with the children in our lives.