Robert Crumb drew characters and created odd shapes
While in England I purchased a sketchbook of Robert Crumb's. In his notebook he experimented with characters and odd shapes and inspired me to do the same. In a notebook or journal like Da Vinci you can place down your unresolved ideas without critics.
Drawing loosens up the brain
Drawing exercises another skill set in the brain. Transferring knowledge back and forth between brain cells I believe allows greater thinking. Your mind doesn't become trapped inside itself or in one area. It allows brain cells to make various connections that otherwise wouldn't have used. Drawing can help with difficult logic decision making because additional skill set has been added.
Illustration classes at Pasadena City College
Taking classes refined my drawing skills and introduced me to comic book layouts. My instructors was a professional artist and had us take a storyline and draw panels from that. He told me I had a classical style of drawing and my classmates were fascinated on how unusual my characters's faces were.
Everyone in class had their unique style. Some were influenced by superheroes, some by foreign animation styles and some like a young kid studying with his father was just learning the ropes. Our professor informed us that great animators like those who work for Disney for example would take figure drawing classes to keep their cartooning and illustration skills sharp.
Yes, nude women I would love being in that class. Since I haven't signed up for one, I conduct my own research. I have tons of pages of nude models ranging from Virginia Bell stripper in the 1950's to Yulia Nova a modern Russian nude model. I don't have a shortage of nude pictures to draw from. I take full advantage of it.
The best class I took on drawing figures was a plant illustration class where I learn how to use shadow and how to direct light. I was the only guy in the class drawing flowers but the lessons were taught by a professional illustrators and she felt that I had the right eye for my subjects.
I love comic books and artwork
I own hundreds of comic books and have attended the comic book convention in San Diego for several years. What attracts me to comic books is the artwork even over the story line. I search for independent comic book companies and I purchase books that have define ink drawings that are clear and detailed like Gilbert Hernandez's Luba's series.
Sending my ideas for publication
My cartoons have appeared on Yahoo.com/contributor pages when the site was still available and I've also been able to get them published in small newspapers and magazine. I've sent my cartoons out to Funny Times and few other magazines, but I don't push as hard with my illustrations as I do my writing.
Da Vinci never published anything according to some authors. Even when the printing presses were coming of age in his lifetime. His notebooks were where his true genius was and as we discover more of his note pages we are taken back on how brilliant this man was.