Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cartoonists I Like: Lynda Barry

Lynda Barry is one of my favorite writers and cartoonists. I'm really looking forward to getting her new book, What it Is.

There's a six page preview of it here.

Another article tells how she picked up the brush because she got frustrated with writing on the computer. It's just too easy to delete what you've written before you get a chance to see what it might become. Creativity in writing is very connected to handwriting for her. She says,

When I was a kid, I never wrote without first having a book to write in. The simple act of folding sheets of paper and stapling them inside a construction paper cover was the first step in writing a book. The second was the movement of a pencil on paper. For most kids, once the experience of writing or drawing is over, the story itself isn’t so important.
Some studies show that for children, handwriting and stories are intertwined. The very motion of writing by hand encourages creativity. The same is true for drawing. It’s only later in life that action and intent part ways.

About her series of monkey paintings, she says,

The vehicle of ink and brush is available to anyone. The picture you make is not so important. Move your brush not to make a picture, but make a picture in order to move your brush.

1 comment:

Marek Bennett said...

Yay, Lynda Barry!

I often think of our ARTS in terms of Multiple Intelligence theory -- these new digital modes of production dramatically LIMIT the ranges of sensory and bodily-kinesthetic stimuli. (That's why long-time computer users get carpal-tunnel problems and eye problems and so on!)

We need that resistance and stimulus of paper, ink, mess, dirt, sweat, paper-cuts, tears, crumbs, bugs, pollen, weather, etc. ...

It's good to see this work just spilling out onto the lined paper! Lynda Barry puts us in touch with our inner kids.