Bryant Arnold, also known as “Cartoon a day, is on a mission to create unique, interesting, and educational cartoons for free every single day. Why you may ask, because he can! Bryant Arnold is a resident of Las Vegas and has been designing art for over 20 years. He is a writer, photographer, illustrator, and also a print, web and logo designer. And I may be leaving out something, but he is a very industrious and prolific individual. I was able to catch Bryant and have him answer some questions for me. Here’s the man behind “Cartoon a Day”.
David: You are a very prolific artist: painting, cartooning, illustration, photography, writing are just some of the artistic avenues you take. Let me know a little about you as a creator and business owner and how all this can shape your daily life and how you categorize a daily routine with so much to manage?
Bryant: I’d categorize my daily schedule as managed insanity. I work a full 8-hour a day job with an internet development company as a consultant. I also spend 7-10 additional hours at the drawing board for various causes, clients and blogs. Additionally I spend time each day writing, and squeeze in photography on the weekends. I’ve discovered, after many years of trial and error, how to pack every ounce of life into my waking moments every day. I’ve learned to schedule myself and push, push, push. My early career as an artist, I spent a lot of time dreaming, and less actual doing. It was very difficult to motivate myself each day. Today, I’m more into motivating myself just for the next hour. Then, it seems, the following hours take care of themselves. Sure I’d rather watch TV sometimes, but not without a sketchpad in my hands.
David: One of the titles you hold is “Cartoon a day”, and in a way it’s like the daily comics, which I am faithful to check yours every day. Some say that comics are an artistic/visual out let while others say it is a statement. So do you consider your cartoon a more political/social statement or something that is more artistic and left to how you are feeling and affecting you that day?
Bryant: Cartoonaday.com is my morning motivation. I created the website as a blog of my mind. My intention was to 1). Create a brand new piece of artwork every day; 2). Share my gifts or insights freely with other artists; 3). Bring National and Global topics closer to the everyman, so they can stay informed and current with issues I think are concerning. As a child, I would read the political cartoons section of the newspaper before the funnies. I remember even then, much of the political cartoons were too complicated to understand, or I just didn’t have the required background to get it. I want to draw political cartoons for readers who don’t have a PHD in Political Science. I try to break up topical or current event cartoons with a taste of just things I like to draw, or topics completely unrelated to stresses of the environment. Sometimes I just need to draw a zombie fighting a unicorn.
David: The World Wide Web is packed with comics and web comics. The internet is a great way for cartoonist to reach an audience in years past you couldn’t. For anyone who might be interested in doing their own website or comic, what are the main or preferred tools you work with on “Cartoon a day” and any suggestions for anyone wanting to “do it on their own”?
Bryant: Creating a website or blog is the easy part. There are hundreds of tools and resources to start one, but you can only rely on your own goals and determination to build content in one… especially content people want to see and return to. But herein lies the crux of the problem; Artists, for all their wonders- are typically the exact wrong type of personality capable of creating, building, installing and managing the complex file structures and language of internet web code. But relax; there are tools to bridge the gap between creativity and not having to hand-code a php, datase-driven website. If I had to suggest a platform right now, I’d say try WORDPESS. For all its faults and limitations, a creative-type can create a fairly rich, complex, and great-looking website in a matter of hours. I built Cartoonaday.com on WordPress, though it’s since been highly modified and reprogrammed to suit my needs.
David: What comic has had the greatest influence on you and what are some of your favorites of the newer comics?
Bryant: If I had to choose any one comic book, strip or what have you, I guess it would have to be Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson. It hit the papers when I was a kid, just around the right time in my life to push out my previous favorite Charles Shultz and Peanuts. Calvin and Hobbs was that kind of magical daily journey I hope to someday hit upon myself, but seriously doubt I ever will. As for newer comics, I can’t tell you because I don’t know any. I stopped reading paper and digital strips about ten years ago, when I’d failed for the millionth submission of several of my own. I get told nearly every day, “Hey! You should start a cartoon strip or something with that character..!” And I have several ideas on my plate. But from experience, the workload of a new, fresh, unique comic strip would bury me. I’ve skimmed a few of the supposedly “top strips” and wasn’t impressed. I’m sure they’re great if I gave them a chance.
Bryant: A million visitors a day would make me happy. I’d love to walk down the street seeing one of my toons on a t-shirt. Translate CAD into every known language would be sweet. Positively touch every person on the planet? I don’t know for sure. Whatever the future holds for CartoonADay, I hope it’s big.
Bryant Arnold has many resources available for customized or commissioned art. Find more of Bryant Arnold at these links and contact him for anything you may need.