18 Tips for Comic Book Artists by Jean “Moebius” Giraud
A Brief Manual for the Cartoonist
Xurxo Penalta translated (and then revised) Moebius’ list of advice for artists from Spanish to English. I thought I would do my own translation of my friend’s words and then annotate them. Xurxo’s translation can be found at:
The original August 18, 1996 lecture (compiled by Perez Ruiz) appeared as a post in Spanish on the internet at:
I could be wrong, but I believe the lecture was made at a convention in Mexico City.
Jean and I each considered the other to be a genius (I was right, Jean was wrong). I think you’ll find these observations by Giraud, at the very least, stimulating food for thought. Jeans observations are in bold; my annotations aren’t.
1) When you draw, you must first cleanse yourself of deep feelings, like hate, happiness, ambition, etc.
These feelings are typically emotional prejudices that function as a block to creativity.
This was something I learned from drawing and hanging out with another Frenchman, the brilliant cartoonist-illustrator (and regular Atlantic Monthly contributor) Guy Billout, when we were traveling together in Antarctica and Patagonia back in 1989. Until I spent time with Guy, I had no idea how many pre-conceived notions and assumptions I held within me regarding people and situations and what a block they were to the flow of my creativity.
Divorcing yourself from such emotionally blinding pre-conceptions allows you to see things with fresh eyes. Solutions and ideas then flow with much greater ease. I have noticed with all the creative geniuses I have met that they all share a childlike delight with whatever or whomever they encounter in life (they can even find amusement in life’s villains). For them, all creative barriers are down; life and creative problem solving for them is like constantly playing. They gush great ideas all day long like a fountain.
Next: Technical Skills