If you are stuck, start listening to your drawing

Artwork by JunMing // Reference No.: JM0093

No matter how seasoned a cartoonist you are, you will always find yourself stuck on a drawing or an idea from time to time. These could be in places that you thought you had it sorted out from way before. In my case, most of it happens in the initial stages where I am usually drafting and setting up the cartoon. It could be an annoying scenario where it works perfectly in my mind, but somehow when I start to put the pen to it, the magic just doesn’t seem to work anymore. The perspective, the posture, the placements… And I often find myself just hopelessly trying to whip everything into shape by adding more lines or diving deeper into the same set up.

Having learnt some tough lessons through experience, I found that the better way to get ‘un-stuck’ is to stop digging down the same spot, or at least change a digging device. To be more precise, start switching a perspective or experiment with a new start picture set-up. Sometimes, the drawing itself is trying to tell us whether if a perspective is right or ‘less’ right. As cartoonist, we just need to train ourselves to be aware and be flexible to change when it is not getting us anywhere.

In short, we need to start ‘listening’ to the drawing. It could be telling you where things are going wrong. Much like the piece above, maybe it is not a question of destiny but simply a change of location.