President’s Column: April 2015
Drawing The Simpsons brought out the “Wally” in me
I had fun drawing The Simpsons at this month’s meeting. You can say the night was 25 years in the making. You see, it was back in the early 90’s when I first saw a cartoon by Matt Groening, the creator of The Simpsons. His whimsical and simplistic style somehow struck a nerve and motivated me to start drawing my own strange bulging eyed character. That’s when Wally was born. I’ve been drawing Wally ever since. Wally has existed with me for the past 25 years. He’s taken long breaks. There were times when Wally wouldn’t appear for many years… but he never left me. Whenever I had a scrap piece of paper I would inevitably draw Wally. He’s so famous that friends of mine who I haven’t seen in years ask me about him. “Oh, he’s still around” I say. Yes he is.
It was a completely random encounter that I found the book “The Simpson’s Handbook: Secret Tips From The Pros”. I was with my wife at the QFC supermarket getting ready to take the elevator down to the garage level. That’s where the discount book rack is located. It was my wife who first saw the book siting there in the discount bin like some unwanted orphan. She sensed the same thing as I did, this was no ordinary “how to draw book”. This was something special. I knew this was what I needed to push myself to the next level and improve my drawing skills. But as always I was too busy and put it off. The Simpsons book sat on my bookshelf. I kept in just within reach for that day when I would finally crack it open and start to unlock the drawing wisdom contained inside.
Fast forward to January 2015. I suddenly found myself President of Cartoonists Northwest! That’s what gave me the opportunity to finally see my plan in action. I could set the agenda of the group and design my own meeting. So I did. I practiced how to draw The Simpsons in preparation for me hosting the Let’s Draw The Simpsons meeting. I finally followed through on a goal of mine to learn the drawing techniques from the masters and absorb it into my own drawing ability. I haven’t quite achieved that goal yet, but I’m definitely on my way. I just cleaned out the storage room in the basement of my condo where I’ll be setting up my own little drawing studio. It’s a quiet, remote place I can go and concentrate on improving my drawing skills. Just me, an easel, paper, pencils, The Simpson’s Handbook, and Wally. If any of you reading this are interested, ask me about Wally sometime. There’s much more to him than just a simple doodle!