I love how much Sebastian is losing his shit here. These panels were tremendously fun to draw.
I had the best time drawing on Picture This the other week. For those who don’t know, Picture This is a live comedy show where standup comics do their sets while cartoonists draw ridiculous pictures on a screen behind them. The comedians can then riff on the drawings and back and forth it goes. It’s a hilarious and original show and if you’re in NY, LA, or SF you should check it out.
The first time I was asked to do it was for SF Sketchfest, which is a yearly sketch comedy festival I’ve long been a huge fan of. My immediate response to the e-mail was to laugh out loud and think “No fucking way! That’s the most terrifying thing I’ve ever been asked to do!” About an hour later I was responding with the truth, that I’d love to do it. I have a deep love of comedy and realized I was only scared because I wanted to do it so badly and I desperately didn’t want to mess it up. I also realized that the amount of fear I was feeling meant I had to do it. Usually, if you run towards fear, that’s where you find the most growth.
When I got to that Sketchfest show, I saw they had a Intuos tablet and not a Cintiq. I hadn’t touched a tablet since I traded my car for a Cintiq years earlier and when I went to draw a circle it came out an oval. Fuck! I can’t even draw a circle on this thing and I’ve got to draw jokes off the top of my head in front of a live audience! The realization that there was no chance of doing well put me into the calmest state I had ever been in. There’s nothing to fear if failure is guaranteed because there’s nothing to mess up. That calm state made me do great. It was the most fun I ever had and I knew I had to do it gain.
Happily I’ve been asked back twice since then and of course I’m now prepared for the Intuos tablet. The recent show went amazing as well. I got a bunch of laughs and the comedian I drew for, Joey Devine, gave me a hilarious story to work with. I chose to go in completely blind, only asking if there were any celebrities he was going to mention in case I needed to look up reference photos of how they looked. Going in blind was definitely the right move. With no preconceived notion of what I would draw I could keep my art loose, we could play off each other, and I was able to stay in the moment the entire time. I was laughing at Joey’s jokes as I was drawing and it made the whole thing impossibly fun.
I had so much fun performing and hanging out with the comedians and other artists that I felt too amped up to go home. I wanted to jump up and down, meet up with friends, and stay out all night. That’s such a rare state for me to be in. I usually need to recharge by myself after long periods in public. Making an audience laugh is a strange and magical thing.
The show has consistently sold out so it seems likely that I’ll get to do it again. I really hope that’s the case since it’s my favorite thing I get to do. Sometimes being an artist is really neat.