Searching for inspiration is like any other form of fishing. Cast out as many lines as you can. Any one of them could get a bite. I spend a lot of time reading, researching, and following loose threads of ideas. I’m not sure where the threads are going. They often lead nowhere. A Wikipedia rabbit hole about Russian symphonies, or a rich-smelling leather book about knights and the holy grail, or fifteen minutes with George Bellows’ lithographs in the art museum… any of these may be all I need for an idea to begin nibbling away at me. In my experience, inspiration rarely comes in flashes of light. Instead, it’s an increasing urgency.
One of my lines was thrown into the world of 15th century Italian art. I got a bite. Michelangelo’s image of Saint Anthony of Egypt, tormented by demonic forces, translated to the experience of surveying my Facebook news feed, and my desire somehow to hold onto sanity and dignity as we approach election day. It’s heavily copied off Michelangelo’s artwork. But, then again, Michelangelo heavily copied a similar piece by Martin Schongauer. Who knows where Schongauer got his ideas. I guess we’re even. We’re all just sitting on the shore, waiting for something to bite.
Read this cartoon, and other recent work here.
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