Machines Alive

As an art student with a passion for animation, I can find inspiration in almost anything on earth. Once something mundane, like a vacuum cleaner, comes alive, it automatically is imbued with humor. It has to do with the unexpected and turning the ordinary into entertainment. Some call it “making the familiar strange.” It is the heart of creativity. I also just love drawing and enjoying the variety of images I can produce. I do it for myself, but if I can get an audience someday, so much the better. I will make the content richer as time moves on.

I am working on a comic strip now featuring household items that come to life, which is why I mentioned a vacuum. I have this big upright fellow dancing about the house trying to overpower a mop and a dustpan and broom. They are in a race to see who finishes first. It is a silly competition to be sure, but there is so much you can do when machines come alive. They can make noises, talk with an accent, flirt with other devices or just wreak havoc on the family.

I have based this current work on real items in my house. I collect old stuff so it will be there when I need ideas. I am getting to be a junk collector and someday the pickers are going to come around. With this in mind, and the thought of making a little money to further my career, I am acquiring things that aren’t just utilitarian. To be sure a vacuum cleaner reigns supreme in any household no matter what kind of floors there are. It can tackle carpet, tile, wood and more; plus it can prance lithely up the stairs with a little prompting. That has got to be in my strip, which I will likely call The Clean Home. But beyond the vacuum, which happens to be an old model (they don’t make them like this anymore says my mom), I have assorted clutter on my shelves in the form of bric-a-brac and cast off refuse.

All kinds of things like teapots talk in films like Beauty and the Beast, so why not a clock, a radio, a toaster, andirons, or what not. I love book ends and have quite an array—some in the form of animals. What would a junk collection be without ceramic pets or toon characters? My Disney group is going to be quite valuable someday since I have raided old antique stores for some pretty old loot. A lot of these rare items are hard to find with all the collectors out there hunting. As they say, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. People can make a living this way as you see on cable TV.

When I juxtapose several dissimilar items, wonderful things happen in my comic strips. I am going to specialize this year in repurposed trash. Great cartoon characters should emerge if what I have in mind comes to fruition.