The first time I remember wanting to learn cartooning and animation was when I still lived in the Old Schoolhouse…must have been the (19) Seventies. There was a group doing both in Burlington, only 60 miles away. The complicated nature of my relationship with my abusive husband kept me from following up…and once I was free and living on my own outside Burlington, I failed to take advantage of an invitation to work for a graphic designer, from whom I’d taken an illustration class, because I had pretty steady work making endless painted muslin pieces for a window display company.
My vision was limited, by my lack of self-confidence…I was afraid of being sucked into a “regular job” the way I was fooled over and over by my ex-husband. When I took a trio of computer graphics classes at my local community college in 2014, I was able to make a figure move around in Illustrator, but the program was So Intimidating to this person who grew up in the era of computer punch cards, I haven’t pursued it.
I invented my alter-ego graphic character, Graphic Grannie in 2013 and the Brookline Art Library’s Sketchbook Project gave me the experience of completing my first Graphic Novel, 37-page Story of my Life, featuring my alter ego with drawn and photographed images.
Yesterday I went to a special techno exhibit and demo at my beloved Port Angeles Public Library and started asking lots of questions, leaning about a group of free programs, designed for kids, but perfect for my level of skill and patience. If I have problems, I’ll ask a kid…their brains are wired differently now. The presenter said that only a small percentage of kids want to go beyond the tricks to how to control them…he said that older people, like me, are more experienced in Figuring Things Out. Now I must go to Sequim and explore the new Maker Space over there, and see how many more interesting people I can meet.
Reach outside Your Comfort Zone!…And don’t ever give up on the things that interest you…there are plenty of ways to keep exploring and learning.
I very much recommend David Prudhomme, Cruising Through the Louvre, for his fascinating colored-pencil technique and his zooming in and out of detail in the crowd scenes…available in the Graphic Novel section of our Port Angeles Public Library.