Friday, March 2, 2012

How-To: Where do ideas come from?

One of the questions I get asked from time-to-time is, "Where do you get your ideas?"

Well, sometimes from reading.  It can be a book about creating ideas, like "The Cartoonist's Muse"; or, it can happen while you're reading a novel.  Sometimes, reading other comic strips will send my brain reeling down another path and then I have to stop and go write a few comic strips.

Other times, it's an idea that stems from a conversation with a friend, eavesdropping on the conversation at the next table, or from a story that a friend tells you from their life.  I can say that sometimes ideas come from just doodling Muley and the other critters--when I draw them a certain way, wearing a certain costume...they tell ME what they want to do, and I do it.

And, in some cases, the area around you creates the idea.  A while back we went to the Nashville Horror Con, followed by dinner at the Tilted Kilt.  While there, and with nothing much to look at *wink, wink* I found a clear paper placemat in front of me, so I whipped out my Sharpee and went to doodling.  I left the original art there on the table for out waitress; but, I took a photo of the idea I had.

You see, it's an Irish pub.  And the specialty?  Fish and chips.  Everyone ordered "Fish-n-chips," which sounded like "fishin' chips."  That's where the doodle came from and where this strip originated.

So, you see, the ideas can come from anywhere.  Reach out for them, snag them, and be sure to jot them down quick because as fast as the ideas come they will leave your mind.

Here's a question for you, and feel free to comment below: When do you get your ideas?  Do you feel like they come to you when you're about to go to sleep?  Do they show up while you're showering?  Do they show up while you're doing other art, like sketching?  I want to hear from you.

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