It's Monday, so let's start the week off right with some housekeeping details.
First, the list of newly-confirmed 1,000 Knitters shoots for March and April wasn't all-inclusive; it included only several dates that had just landed on the calendar. The April 19 shoot at Wool Gathering in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania is still very much on. Poor Jackie was slammed with e-mails asking whether it was cancelled. Nope.
If you're ever curious, the complete list of public shoots (past and present) is available on this page of the project blog.
Second, on a related topic, I swear I'm not deliberately ignoring London; Atlanta; New York City; Washington, DC; Seattle; or Portland, Oregon. Please...how could I? Here's the deal.
When I started 1,000 Knitters, it never occurred to me that the project might involve travel. I assumed I'd work on it slowly, with knitters sitting as they happened to visit Chicago or when I happened to be on the road with my camera for other reasons. So there's no underlying grant support (or small, private fortune) to pay for traveling shoots. They happen if/when I'm contacted by a host who feels the cost of sponsoring me is worth the fun of participation.
I've had requests to visit from bunches of knitters in the cities above, but haven't had any offers to host. As new shoots are confirmed (and now that March and April are settled I'm focusing on a few other offers for the future), you bet I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, I appreciate all the support and the interest more than you can imagine.
Now, about the photograph vs. cartoon portrait question. The publisher's vision for the little mock-up they'll use for publicity–calls for a drawing rather than a photo. That's all. Interweave didn't tell me my actual face would break the printing press. They just asked for a different take on the concept. A cartoon portrait for a book of cartoons. I'm fine with that. They know what they're doing. They've sold more books than I have and they fairly ooze talent.
I never realized until I finding myself in the thick of it what a relief it is to not be in charge of every single thing about the book. I'd learned from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee that an author doesn't have control over many things you would think s/he might, including the title and the cover design. That seemed hideously unfair until I realized that when you're up to your neck in making the content, the last thing you want to deal with is the container.
Speaking of the content, I got a really amusing question via e-mail the other day from somebody who wanted to know how many cartoon ideas I come up with every day. Heh. Heh heh. Heh heh heh.
Here's how I work. I draw every day, which does not equate to necessarily drawing a cartoon every day. I wish...oh, how I wish...that each morning around 8:30 a fully-formed idea would pop into my head, whereupon I would sit down at the drawing board with a cry of "Eureka!" and put it on paper. I would then send it to Interweave, which would respond with shrieks of laughter and the adjective, "perfect."
Also, I wish I had a pony and a second home in the Kentish countryside.
I draw every day, no exceptions, in small sketchbooks. Sometimes at the end of the day all I have are a buncha pages that look like this.
We call those "bad days."
But I have to do it because it's like calisthenics. The humorous and graphic faculties are mental muscles. If you exercise them, they grow. If you don't, they atrophy. And the mindless, stream-of-consciousness doodling does with surprising regularity lead to a finished idea. There's even one cartoon in the book that arose six weeks later from a nearly incomprehensible doodle one inch square.
Sometimes the doodles even look a bit like a finished cartoon, though I don't really know what the joke is. Here's an example.
If you have any idea what's happening here, feel free to chime in.
And now I have to go doodle.