Have you always wanted to draw cartoons but can’t draw a straight line?
Well that’s good news, because if there’s one place you don’t have to draw a straight line, is in cartooning. You can draw wonky, shonky, monkey lines—if you have to draw lines at all. And in a few months (yes, just mere months) you’ll find yourself far more confident drawing. And strange as it may sound, people will come up to you and ask you: “Are you a cartoonist?”
So can you be a cartoonist?
Is it just an inborn talent? Or can anyone draw? The interesting fact is that anyone can draw and draw well. And you don’t have to believe me. You can go to any school on the planet and find a class where there are five-year olds. Walk into that class and ask the class: “Who can draw?” And watch as every single hand goes up.
Then if you have the chance, go back to that class after ten years, and ask the same question. And only a hand or two goes up. So what’s happening? Did everyone lose their talent? No they didn’t. At five, every child knows to draw and knows nothing about maths, history and science. At fifteen, every child knows maths, history and science—and has forgotten how to draw.
The DaVinci Course ‘brings back’ those memories
You can be five years old again and have a blast! And interestingly you’ll start drawing like a five-year old but soon progress to the state where people will indeed come up to you and ask: “Are you a cartoonist?” Read Alison’s story below.
In case anyone needed encouragement to sign up 😉 – I was part of the inaugural Cartooning Course.
I have never been ‘one who draws’ or had any aspirations in that area. I’m not sure what possessed me to sign up except I have got to the stage in life of saying “Why Not?!” It has been the best fun ever. From a cartooning point of view I have progressed hugely – from the Teddies (at the bottom of this post) to this:
One of Alison’s recent drawings. Notice how much fun she’s having! 🙂
From a personal point of view, I love being able to cartoon and am gradually starting to use my drawings in all the other areas of my life. ‘Daily practice’ is a habit I have developed in other areas of life, wherever there is something I want to change. And cartooning has contributed to a growing light-heartedness in the way I look at my life – I am always looking for the funny side or the irony in things. My kids also love the challenge of looking for the funny in things.
I’m still my own biggest critic, but I love it when other people (who don’t know me at all but spot me drawing at the cafe) look at my work and say “Are you an illustrator/cartoonist?”. I used to go into long explanations.
Now I just say “Yes” 🙂 I love ‘being a cartoonist’.
We still have a tiny core – about 8 of us left from the first course – and I love the camaraderie that we share.
Good luck and have fun with your ‘Tooning !
One of Alison’s early assignments on the course.
So what’s involved in the course?
There are some ground rules. I run things in my own weird way and it’s best that you follow my way. Those who want to do their own things usually end up going around in circles. And since I’m hoping you are going to draw circles (and not go around them) you’ll need to follow my rules, bizarre as they are. The second thing is that you need to do the practice six days a week. Every week you get one day off. But hey this is such a fun activity that most of us love to draw every day of the week. The third point is to suspend any belief that others will be better than you. If you do as I say, you’ll get exceedingly good, so just make sure you have fun and do the work six days a week.
And yes you can bring your kids, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces along…
If they’re under 20 years old, we’re happy to have them along. They have a great deal (yes, better than yours!) They pay half-price and if they finish all the assignments in the three-month course, they get their money back! However you will need to be with them on this course because it’s the competition between you and the kids that going to spur both of you along.
Details about the course
1) When does it begin?
2) What is the duration of the course?
3) What materials will I need?
4) How is the course conducted?
5) How much time will I need to practise every day?
6) Is there a money-back guarantee?
7) Can the child be on the course alone?
8) Are you pretttttttttty sure I don’t need skills to do this course?
9) How do I join? Where do I pay?
1) When does it begin?: It begins on August 15, 2011.
2) What is the duration of the course?: The duration is three months. So the course will go until November 2011. At that point, if you wish to continue, there will be a follow-up course.
3) What materials will I need?: Ideally you’ll need a pencil or pen and paper. However, later in the course you may need some inexpensive pens, or brushes or nibs (they’re all very inexpensive). If you have a Wacom tablet or some sort of stylus and want to draw on your computer, that’s fine too. We just need to make a mark on some surface 🙂
4) How is the course conducted?: The course is conducted with a combination of forums and photo sites. So all your assignments will be given to you through a forum (these will be given on the forum itself). Don’t worry if you’ve never been on a forum before. There are instructions on how to access everything. And you’ll need to be a member of some site such as Picasa or Facebook. Facebook is the best, as others on your list will also see your progress and give you praise. If you don’t want others to see your work, you can put it on Picasa or some other photo sharing site. However you’ll find that by showing your work to others, you’ll get a ton of praise. As with everything at Psychotactics, you’ll get a very clear set of instructions, so even if you’ve never been on a forum, don’t have a photo account or not on Facebook, we can and will help you.
5) How much time will I need to practise every day? It depends. Some days you can spend just half an hour. On other days you may need more time. The point is this is a matter of practice. But unlike something terrifying like learning some foreign language, cartooning is a whole lot of fun. So it’s more than likely that you’ll spend time because this will be your special time every day. In fact you’ll start looking forward to drawing cartoons when you realise your rapid progress.
6) Is there a money-back guarantee? No, this course has no money-back guarantee.
7) Can the child be on the course alone? The child needs to be accompanied by an adult for this course.
8) Are you pretttttttttty sure I don’t need skills to do this course? Yup! Here’s some of Renuka’s work below (Renuka is my wife, but she gets no special tuition). She did the course with everyone else and you can see the results for yourself. Renuka didn’t consider herself to be a cartoonist before. She does now!
9) How do I join? Where do I pay? To join, make your payment and then fill in the form (you’ll see the form after making the payment). You will get an autoresponse telling you that you’re on the course. And more details will follow in a week or so. If you don’t hear from us, please get in touch. Call, email, Skype, tweet, or get through us any way you can. We do respond to mail faster than the speed of light 🙂 so if we haven’t responded, it’s because something has gone wrong and we haven’t received your email.
P.S. Here is some of Renuka’s work
Renuka’s first cartoon: Day 1
You can see progress, can’t you?
As the batch went into the intermediate zone, they started learning how to draw perspective.
And finally, even a cartoon strip.