Sunday, April 26, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

"The more things change the more they stay the same."

This is a great old editorial cartoon published in the Chicago Tribune in 1934. I don't agree with the politics but appreciate it as a piece that reflected a lot of the attitude of the public at the time. The rush, rush nature of todays world might not allow an editorial like this to be published now because there is just so much information. I love the more is more attitude of the old days. You're forced to spend more time with it so you can get the full message. I count at least 7 messages in this illustration. A lot of cartooning as in advertising is telling people what they already know and directing that feeling to a business or in this case FDR.
Are there any marketing lessons we can learn from this illustration on how to communicate multiple messages in advertising? What makes people want to read it? Could todays lifestyle be interrupted long enough to relay this much content in an advertising piece.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Stafford's "The Well Rising"

The well rising without sound,
the spring on a hillside,
the plowshare brimming through the deep ground
everywhere in the field —

The sharp swallows in their swerve
flaring and hesitating
hunting for the final curve
coming closer and closer —

The swallow heart from wing beat to wing beat
counseling decision, decision:
thunderous examples. I place my feet
with care in such a world.
© William Stafford

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Opportunities surround us

One of my favorite things about my work as a creative director and artist is the variety – the constant mental gymnastics required to keep things fresh and interesting for myself and my clients.

The worst thing that could happen to you in this line of work, or any creative endeavor, is boredom. It is so easy to read the commitment and enthusiasm of an artist in his work. A project that may seem mediocre or bland to some is by its very nature pleading to be explored thoroughly.

Opportunities surround us every moment of every day. Sometimes if you try hard and pay attention, you may be lucky enough to notice the magic and surprise yourself. Children are great at this. If I ever feel bogged down or creatively empty and need to get a recharge, I play with my daughter Elli. She lives in her creativity. She hungers for the joy of discovery. All kids do, I think. Observing the process of their discovery is inspiring. I’m addicted to that feeling – the ability to, at the end of the creative process, stop and reflect on it as an observer and say “How the heck did I come up with that?”

These challenges are as endless as they are limitless. The essence of creation is an openness to allow yourself to be inspired. The very same mental muscles used by a musician to create a beautiful piece of music are used by the physician, the gardener, the teacher or even the lawyer. It’s all problem solving. It’s the thing that allowed us to evolve. It’s what makes us human. Some of us live as observers of others’ creations and define ourselves by our judgment of them. We all have the ability to express ourselves.

I will be using this blog to offer up ideas I’ve found helpful in exploring creativity, and hopefully along the way, someone else will feel inspired to pick up a paint brush or pencil and begin exploring a bit as well. Opportunities are always laid out before us. The question is, are we willing to dive in and swim for a while? I think you should. The water is warm.

Thought of this idea in the shower. Odd how that happens. Not even sure why I mentioned that. Maybe just to let people know that I shower. Hopefully the cartoon speaks for itself.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This is this weeks cartoon. We have several casinos that are for sale in Las Vegas, NV some are on the strip and others are off the strip. They can start at 10 million. The ones on the strip start at 500 million and go all the way up to 5 Billion. All of these casinos have a great cap rate. In case you are interested.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Just a thought. A problem unfixable.

Nine hundred and twenty three million people across the world are hungry, and no one can fix this problem.

Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger related causes--one child every 5 seconds, and no one can fix this problem.

For the price of one U.S. made U.AIM-9X Sidewinder missile, a school full of hungry children could eat lunch every day for 5 years. No one can fix this problem either.

There is one thing everyone on the planet wants. Choice. The ability to choose the path your life will take. Only 6% of the world can boast the ability to give it’s people choice. The United States is a part of the high-income group of nations. The list of high-income nations consists of about 65 countries with a combined population of about 1 billion. In a world of 6 billion people.

No one can fix this problem.

No one man, or woman, be he President, or Royalty, can fix these problems. Choice can be given to these poverty stricken countries when humanities has a shift in perspective. My country is able to come up with $700,000,000,000 to bail out Greedy Banks so we can preserve a way of life only 6% of the worlds population enjoys.

If everyone tries to make a difference locally in some small way. Our perspective may change. Empathy begins locally. Empathy is infectious. Empathy saves lives. Apathy ends lives. 16,000 children die from hunger related causes every year. These lives are irreplaceable. Lost forever. Never given a choice.

The World Bank estimates that these deaths could be stopped globally for $16,000,000,000. A dollar amount that once seemed impossible to gather.

No one can fix these problems. But if every one who had a choice made a choice to try. Then maybe our good work could finally begin.

Just a thought.


Cat Survivial

This is a little video I did. I would love to have more time to publish animated editorial cartoons.

A Crooked Tree

In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, "Look at me...I'm tall, and I'm straight, and I'm handsome. Look at're all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you." And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, "Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest." So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.

Land of Nott Revival

I'm going to try and revive my old comic strip in May. I've got so many other projects but think that it may be a great outlet. I may update it and change some of the characters all except Nigel. No all I have to do is find time to finnish the book and keep up the editorial cartoons as well as my real job which is always my top priority.

The Vioinist

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one applauded. Only one woman recognized him and chatted briefly with him. She was the only one who knew that this violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world.

In a Washington DC metro station, he played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth $3.5 million.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

25 random ways to open a can of tuna

1) Throw the can against a brick wall very vigorously while wearing a toga.
2) Engage the can and empathize with it so it opens up to you.
3) Spend 20 years studying the art of ninjutsu. then just smash it open with a rock.
4) Drive over it with a green 1955 VW Karmann-Ghia. (This may take a couple tries.)
5) Become a congressman then spend $50,000,000 on a program to discuss the can opening problem.
6) place the can under the feet of a teenager during a Jonas Brothers Concert.
7) Bungy cord and duct tape. (I won’t bother explaining how because it’s so obvious.)
8) Place can in yard stand 10 feet away and call out “Here tuna! Come on boy! Here boy!” till it exits the can excited and panting. (this is still in experimental faze.)
9) insult the tuna till it leaves the can in shame.
10) A shovel.
11) Crush the can by using Rush Limbaugh jowls (huge risk of loosing tuna with this method.)
12) can opener
13) Very delicately hold the can up to a spinning helicopter blade.
14) use them as horse shoes at a rodeo.
15) Ask the tuna nicely to please exit the premises.
16) manufacture a giant slingshot and fire the can into a kitchen where there will be a Large man anxiously waiting with a screwdriver and a jigsaw.
17) Stick it in a small cage filled with seagulls.
18) two words.... Angry Monkeys.
19) put it in a microwave with a car battery.
20) Raise our children with the knowledge and wisdom to develop new and innovative ways of opening a tuna fish can for generations to come.
21) Chuck Norris
22) Hit a High “C”
23) Ask my wife how.
24) Tell a teenager that the worse thing they could ever do in life is open that can.
25) Ask Obama to “hope” it open.

My first post........?

Dear Visitor,

For over 10 years I've been the editorial cartoonist for HBC Publications, the publisher of three community newspapers in Southern Nevada. My work is seen by over 187,000 readers every week. I have won numerous awards from the Nevada Press Association, the most recent being the best cartoon of the year for all papers in Nevada. I'm slightly overweight have a full beard and my ears look like they are upside down. I know what your saying. Wow, upside down ears. Seriously it's weird, I'll send you a picture. I know you have many editorial cartoonist Blogs to pick from, so I’d like to personally thank you for choosing to spend your valuable web surfing time at RiffRaffi Cartoons.

Yours truly,