anyone can draw cartoonagrams
In October of 2008 I published my first
book, "Anyone Can Draw Cartoonagrams." The
book is a how-to-draw guide using a method
of teaching I developed while working with
hospitalized children at Hasbro Children's
Hospital in Providence, RI.
"Anyone Can Draw Cartoonagrams" teaches
cartooning using letters of the
alphabet linked to a key word or phrase.
The Cartoonagram characters
are both easy to learn and easy to
remember. The book is designed for
anyone who knows the alphabet, generally
five years of age and up.
Since 1991 I have been the Resident
Cartoonist at Hasbro Children's drawing
with children at bedside, I found that
traditional methods of instruction were
not sufficient to teach most patients to
draw. By using letters I discovered that
all patients relaxed and felt more
confident in making the shapes necessary
to create a Cartoonagram. This resulted in
kids who never believed they could draw
discovering that they could—and having a
lot of fun in the process.
"Anyone Can Draw Cartoonagrams" features
26 characters. It is published in
paperback and was first introduced to the
public at the 2008 Scituate Art Festival
in Scituate, RI, where it was very well
received. In addition to it being available for
purchase online,the book is also available at
several bookstores in Rhode Island.
FOR THE BOOK
My professional cartooning career began
with guidance from two of my favorite
cartoonist/illustrators: fellow Dartmouth
College alumnus Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr.
Seuss) and celebrated Rhode Island
cartoonist Don Bousquet. I first
corresponded with, and met, both mentors
in 1984. They helped coach me towards a
cartooning career that has included
national as well as local publication. I
remain in touch with Don, who is quoted on
the back of my book.
"Anyone Can Draw Cartoonagrams" developed
over many years as I worked on perfecting
a book presentation for my Cartoonagrams
drawing method. Two years ago I began
collaborating with my editor and longtime
college friend Richard Goldman on a
digital, press-ready version of the book.
Richard's computer expertise and design
skills brought the book to life.
I am proud to be known as the "Cartoon Guru"
at The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp in
Ashford, CT—Paul Newman's original camp for
children with life-threatening illnesses.
While spending a day drawing cartoons at
camp in the summer of 2007, I was summoned
by Mr. Newman. He let me know that he had
heard of my Cartoonagrams book project and
wanted to assist me in getting the book
published. He believed it would be something
that would be "great for the kids." That
offer quickly inspired a prototype for the
book and its delivery into Mr. Newman's
hands, then his agency's. Despite Mr.
Newman's intentions and efforts, the project
stalled with the agency in the summer of
2008. I then decided to publish the book
Beyond teaching students a desirable, fun,
lifelong skill, "Anyone Can Draw
Cartoonagrams" is also helping to support The
Tomorrow Fund for Children with Cancer.
Based in Rhode Island, it is the
only local nonprofit
organization that provides daily financial
and emotional support for
children with cancer and their families. A
portion of the proceeds
from the book is being donated to The
Fund, with whom I have a long
and ongoing association. Every week I am in
the company of Tomorrow
Fund kids and families, drawing
Cartoonagrams—and receiving inspiration
to create more.
"Anyone Can Draw Cartoonagrams" not only
teaches drawing skills. It can also be
used as a means to get kids focused on
learning and practicing their letters. In
the short time the book has been
available, I have been delighted to hear
reports on how kids have surprised their
parents with not only their new-found
drawing skills, but also their direction
following and letter making.