My rule is that I draw whatever my best cartoon idea is by 11pm.
I rarely have time to draw during the day. If I did, I think my cartoons would be infinitely better. It means that I have to confine my drawing to late night. I sit down about 11pm and watch the day's political programs, which usually means anything I can find hosted by the simply remarkable Andrew Neil. Election time is great for a political junkie such as myself. It means I can put aside about three hours of listening/watching the debate whilst drawing the next day's cartoon. It's always a worry that I won't last the cartoon. I need to have it nearly finished before I begin to feel sleepy because I never want to be left finishing a cartoon the following day.
Last night, I didn't have any great ideas for a cartoon. Some days are like that. I'd struggled all day to find a story that really clicked in my mind. I struggled to make a connection between two stories. I knew I wanted to draw the Clintons but it was only at midnight that I'd settled onto an idea I had about the Apple Watch, which, I think, was launched yesterday. I thought of Hillary using the watch to cover Bill's open mouth, given that Bill's open mouth will not be one of her best assets in the forthcoming election. It probably doesn't work but that's the nature of the game. You learn by your mistakes more than you learn by your successes.
I think my failure to come up with a better gag was down to my having eaten a cream cake earlier in the day. I rarely eat cream cakes and I think the 'Cream Crisp' had disagreed with me. I had lost all energy, which is always my key indicator for when I've eaten something bad. Then, when I slept, I had the craziest dream. It was the kind of dream that you don't shake off by simply waking up, walking around the room, or banging your head against the wall. When I went back to bed, I had exactly the same dream. It carried on all night. Nigel Farage was inside the Minecraft universe. 4.30 this morning it was really freaking me out.
Today I want to crack on and put the Clinton cartoon behind me. I want to follow Stu's advice and split this blog apart. I've been wanting to do something like this for a while but never before had I such a clear sense of what I want to achieve. Part of it, I guess, is sheer egoism. I realised the other day that I should put my name more prominently in the title. I should try to be more professional about what I do and try to keep my doubts and grumbles away from the things I produce. I should try to promote my work and try not to promote my gripes with everyday things. I suppose I'd previously thought of myself as merely being an 'honest blogger' and that anybody who might enjoy my more 'polished' work, might also appreciate when I'm just being myself. But I guess life isn't like that. You have to present yourself as something better than you really are.
So, hopefully, by Monday, my new blog will be up. Anything I produce which I think is quality, will go over there on my new 'Cultivated Weirdness' blog. The Spine will continue to host the more 'prickly' side of my character and anything specialised like my occasional obsessions with programming. I'll see how things go for a month or so. Perhaps there won't be much difference. I'm hoping that being more myself will help me to invest more time into writing funny things. Perhaps I'll do more podcasts. I guess I'll see how I feel once I realise that I'm getting two hits a day...