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decembre 8, 2007:
Message from the cartoonist VD:
(please be indulgent: my english is like my cartoons: not perfect and funny !)

     Many people ask me: "How much time you need to make a cartoon ?" or "How you make a cartoon ?"

     I reply: if it's just for fun, it may take 5 to 10 minutes. But if it's to be published in the journal, it's another story: I will take more time.  But still, it depends of the subject, it depends how I feel. If I'm tired, I don't feel like drawing much.  If I already have an idea, the job is already half done for me, perhaps more.  If the subject is not too complex, not too much scenery or background, and if I don't put too much finishing touches, it may take from 1 to 2 hours to make a cartoon.

     Just to get an idea, it may take 2 or 3 days. Sometimes, I have to rack my brains. But sometime, I have like a "flash of lightning" and I find it in few minutes, even in few seconds.  Also, I have friends who give me good ideas, which I can modify if needed. Often I don't modify, I draw the way they tell me.

     But let's speak only about the drawing.  If I put a lot of finishing touches, it may take from 1 to 2 full days.  If no finishing touches: about 1 hour. 
     (I do less and less finishing touches with years ). 

     By example, this cartoon (note that I draw them totally by hand, I use computer only to scan them):

     This one took 1 hour and 15 minute to draw. I had already found the idea, I include only the time to draw, to do some research, imagine, think how to put everything.

     The butcher: I totally imagined him.

     The woman: I got a little inspiration from a comic. Not copied but inpired, it's not the same thing !  As I already said, at 10 years old I learned by myself with comics, then it's normal I continue to get a little inspiration from it.

     The scale: I searched on the internet and I chose this one. I have not everything in my head !

     The meat and the desk: I drew them by heart, they were in my head.

     Mostly, I draw 2 or 3 sketchs with no details, with a ball-point pen or a pencil, to put peoples and their movements, scenery and background.

     I drew the first sketch in 20 minutes:


     I drew the second sketch in 5 minutes, this one I only did small changes on the woman:


     I drew the third sketch in 10 minutes:


The last but one step is "to put ink" on the third sketch, but not directly on it.  I put it on a luminous table, then I put on it a good paper so I can see through, then it's easy to draw with 2 or 3 different size black felt-tip pen. Since my sketch under is not perfectly finished, I have to improvise a little bit.  I drew this step in 25 minutes:


     The last step is to make the final cartoon: I add the gray tones on the previous step cartoon.  No color because the journal is not printed in color.  I just do it with...a simple lead pencil.  I did it in 15 minutes:

     Total time to draw this cartoon: 1 hour and 15 minutes, only for the drawing.

      Sometime one tell me that some details are not logical.  By example on this cartoon, one cable of the scale should go this side of the meat, but the 3 cables are on the back.  I know but I want it like that !  I tried but it did not give a good look. The same for the small paper, if I would put a cable on the front, the small text would be difficult to read.  I say: it doesn't matter, this is only small details.  A cartoon is not supposed to represent perfection but to imitate reality.....it makes it funnier ! 

     But, if mostly a cartoon exaggerate or ridicule a situation, sometime it's not the case.  Sometime it's to draw a serious and true story, to get the attention of the reader, to encourage to read a serious text, as it's the case in this example.

     I put this cartoon on this page of my website, so you may read the text under it.

     Thanks a lot !   VD

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