|Cartoons by Nancy Husari||
I know my Facebook friends are probably sick of looking at this self portrait by now, but I want to blog about it a bit. (Pretty self-absorbed, aren't I?) I really like this self-portrait, and it was fun getting feedback on it on Facebook yesterday. I have hated self-portraits in the past. I did my first one in an art class when I was in my early thirties. I was horrified because during the critique, I was told that I made myself look younger than I actually looked. I hadn't realized that I looked older than my younger self until that moment. After that, whenever I had to do a self-portrait, I drew every crows foot, and made myself look about a hundred years old. Fast forward to yesterday, and I really feel like I captured my essence in this self portrait. It seems pretty ageless, and at this point, who cares if I make myself look young? I've earned the right to make myself look young if I feel like it. I also like it because I look serious without looking like a sourpuss.
It's been quite a week. I was trying to recover and catch up from APE, but I was given the opportunity to submit a piece to the 40th Anniversary of Wimmen's Comix Exhibition. The catch was that I had to find my one Wimmen's Comix piece (from 1992) and get it framed by Saturday (yesterday). I managed to do that, but midway through the week, I found out I also had to do a self-portrait, and I had to bring the framed piece and the self-portrait into San Francisco at 6PM on Saturday night. (For those who live in the East Bay, you know what the traffic is like at that time). I did the self-portrait on Saturday morning, and my friend, Andrea, DROVE me into San Francisco. She should be nominated for sainthood for doing that. We left Richmond at about 6, and got to Trina Robbin's house at about 7:30. Trina has a fantastic cat named Winston, by the way. Andrea and I went out to dinner and went back to Richmond via The Richmond (and the Golden Gate Bridge). I got home at 10PM. Oh, what we do for art. The panel to the left is the title panel for the comic.
Here I am at the beginning of the APE weekend, looking much more refreshed than I did at the end. APE was fun, educational, and exhausting. I learned a lot about what to do next year (APE 2013 if the world doesn't end in 2012). I still haven't quite come down from the art-workaholic high. Today, after teaching all day, I hightailed it over to Berkeley to get a comic from 1991 photocopied and framed to meet a Saturday deadline for the Wimmen's Comix exhibit in the SFPL (November). Time to rest. One cat is sleeping on the ironing board, one cat is lounging on the double wide cat scratcher, and one cat is eating. I need to learn from my cats' behavior more often.
Yesterday was Day One of APE. It was pretty overwhelming. I haven't sold a lot (yet), but I've made some good contacts, and I've been giving free copies to publishers. I also reconnected with Trina Robbin of Wimmen's Comix, and if I can get it together to find and frame the one cartoon that I did for the last issue of Wimmen's Comix way back in the early 90s, I can be included in the Wimmen's Comix exhibit at the SF Public Library in November. (Details to follow.)
The most gratifying moment of Day One came at the very end. A security guard (named Reina) stood at the door near my table all day from 8AM until 7PM. As I was packing up my stuff, she asked if she could see my book. She had been looking at my banner for 11 hours, and she was curious about what it meant. I brought her the book, and I talked to her about what the title (Mother Earth Says Wakey Wakey) and the image mean to me, and she wants to buy a copy of my book.
And now it's Day Two.
I've been very focused on getting ready for A.P.E., and I've gotten a lot done this week. I also went to a great panel discussion by several cartoonists at the Contemporary Jewish Museum today. When they were asked the eternal question, "How did you get published?" their answer was that's it's best to self-publish a book, and then get a table at places like APE, so I guess I'm doing it right.
In the meantime, it's increasingly important to spend some of my weekly art time on goal-free art, like the pastel drawing on this page. This is the kind of stuff I work on while listening to jazz at the end of the day. This pastel drawing isn't for any purpose. No frames, no price tags, no meaning. When I do these goal-free drawings/paintings, they often have a few things in common. They're usually in color. These shapes seem to recur. Is it an artistic theme or is it OCD? I still like the black lines too. I suppose that's a nod to cartooning and/or childhood coloring books.
P.S. My goal was to do 5 hours of art this week, and I succeeded. No time commitment for the coming week. I'm going to be spending all day Saturday and Sunday at APE. That's enough of a commitment.
I can't resist sharing about how much progress I made in APE (Alternative Press Expo) preparation today. The floorstand arrived in the mail (to display my poster) and the sample grommets fit the hooks on the floorstand, so I can go ahead and have Kinko's make the poster. I also ordered a smaller (8 1/2 x 11) poster of my book cover and 2 coffee mugs (with same image) from zazzle, and the biggest coup---I went to Office Max and bought address labels so that I can put new information on my leftover postcards from Zinefest. I "made" the template myself through trial and error, and the postcards look great, if I do say so myself. Yay me! Now I need to remember to carry the postcards around with me (as they are now like business cards) and give them away to anyone who's willing to take them.
This is my first blog ever. I think that I'll write about my history as a cartoonist. Feel free to join in the conversation about your creative process.