March 14, 2013
Mister G Kids @ 1 – Artists
And I’m just a guy making a comic. Continuing the week-long look-back at a year of Mister G Kids, I’d like to re-share with you this comic, Artists, originally posted April 30, 2012.
When I had an undergrad semester distraction of thinking I was going to major in studio arts, I was mostly depressed with the static despondency of my professors. The studio arts department was in the basement of the fine arts building. Upstairs it was all wood grain and dappled sunlight for the rarefied folks studying 19th century Belgian architecture. But for those of us getting our hands dirty, it was the basement we called home.
It was like taking class in a tomb. Or a Vegas casino. No windows, no sense of time passing. It was an appropriate setting for the calcified collection of broken dreams that was the faculty. Most of them really got me down. My adviser, with humor more bone dry than the corpses surely buried under the basement floor, once sarcastically asked me, “What’s your hurry?” when I told him I was hoping to graduate by the time I was 26.
There was one professor whose world view changed my attitude about being an artist. After I had moved to the theatre department to take up studies there, I came back to visit him. He asked how things were going. In the middle of giving some murmered non-answer, he cut me off to ask simply, “Are you making stuff?” And I was elated to answer “yeah.” Whether it was a monologue I was working on or a comic for the school paper, or a tomato salad, he got me to realize in that flash of interruption that an artist’s life can be full if one is just making things. It doesn’t matter if it’s important, valuable, or for pay.
So in the years since, I’ve moved back and forth between the stage and the studio, and now I find myself in front of a piece of paper again. To me, it’s all one. It’s making stuff.
To return to this comic, Artists… Here were a couple of kids just making stuff in school, and the one kid was the voice of the perfectionist, the careerist, the man who counts the years he has left to make his mark. And the other kid just brought it down to earth.
In the end, we’re all just kids colorin’. There are larger forces at work that decide whether the stuff you make is worth a damn, worth a dollar, worth praise, or worth scorn. It feels good not to be in control of that.
So here I am, just a guy making a comic. I earn little more than pennies a day on ads. But it gives me joy to share my day with you. And that’s another special thing that separates this comic from my other comic projects. I don’t write the jokes. Virtually all of the comics really happened. Taken as a year’s worth of work, all these comics are really just a journal, a couple hundred moments of sitting still to jot down a snapshot of a day’s work.
I don’t do it for the money, because there isn’t any. I do it because I like making stuff, and giving it to you.
Kids are smarter than I am in their direct unequivocal observations, and at their age with their potential unfulfilled, they are better human beings than I am. That’s why I love being around them. And why I can’t wait to share what they say with the lot of you who only spend your time around adults and may have lost a little faith in mankind.
I leave you with the words of a wise old painter years before he got old and wise and painted a bunch of pictures:
“What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone? How else can we put ourselves in harmonious relation with the great verities and consolations of the infinite and the eternal? And I avow my faith that we are marching towards better days. Humanity will not be cast down. We are going on swinging bravely forward along the grand high road and already behind the distant mountains is the promise of the sun.” – Winston Churchill, 1908
About Matt Gajdoš
I'm a cartoonist and elementary substitute teacher. Kids make me laugh and inspire me to be like them. MisterGkids.com
View all posts by Matt Gajdoš
March 14th, 2013 at 12:44 am
Thank you for sharing this piece of you with the rest of us.
March 14th, 2013 at 1:31 am
My pleasure. Thanks for reading it 🙂
March 14th, 2013 at 1:50 am
Reblogged this on RebellRed and commented:
ain’t that the truth
March 14th, 2013 at 3:03 am
Yay, thank you so much!!! And yeah it’s the truth! 🙂
March 14th, 2013 at 1:33 pm
Reblogged this on Kid's Ministry: God's Word in rich soil and commented:
Kids make beautiful pictures don’t they?
March 14th, 2013 at 11:26 pm
Thank you and yes, kids make the best stuff!
March 15th, 2013 at 2:34 am
Yes kids do make the best stuff, but you also do a good job of mimicking their wonderful scribblings and scratchings.
March 15th, 2013 at 3:18 am
If only I could be so good!
March 14th, 2013 at 7:59 pm
I sometimes feel as if I have both these kids in my head arguing with each other day in and day out. thanks for sharing.
March 14th, 2013 at 11:24 pm
Well put, very well put. I concur! It’s my pleasure, thank you for visiting.
March 15th, 2013 at 12:00 am
[…] Part Three […]
March 16th, 2013 at 2:22 am
that is some good math, I both love and appreciate your usage of color in your artwork. truly inspiring.
March 17th, 2013 at 9:42 am
Thank you! My favorite candy is skittles because of the colors and not the taste! I love color!
March 19th, 2013 at 2:11 pm
Kids do indeed say the smartest things, if you’re able to break what’s said down to it’s basest ingredients…….good cartoon and sentiment!
March 20th, 2013 at 7:20 pm
well, that’s the trick. sometimes they say too much to fit in a cartoon bubble, so i have to boil it down to the essence. it makes for a funnier more succinct comic i think as well. thanks for your comments!!
March 31st, 2013 at 2:28 am
Wonderful! I look forward to reading more of your stories…and comics!
March 31st, 2013 at 2:54 am
March 31st, 2013 at 6:04 am
I’m reading every single one of your comics in chronological order, and it’s taken me a few days to get through your first year’s worth – but here’s a belated congratulations! Love your short films (Duck Actually was fantastic) but my absolute favourite, probably obviously to you, is this one – We just kids colorin’.
March 31st, 2013 at 7:21 pm
Daeshin – you are dedicated or OCD, maybe both! I can’t believe you read them all! Well, I hope you enjoyed the magical mystery tour and didn’t mind the strange Brechtian moments like the vampire zombie ones that made people feel uncomfortable. That’s how I roll. Thanks for watching the short, too. Thank you thank you thank you, and don’t forget to send me more of your comics!
March 31st, 2013 at 9:40 pm
A little bit of both, or so they say. Yes, the vampire zombies were troubling. Personally I love your essays – the autobiographical/theoretical/behind-the-scenes stuff reminds me of the Pre-History of the Far Side, or Bill Watterson’s 10th anniversary C&H collection… The peeks into the mind…
March 31st, 2013 at 11:24 pm
Unintentional loquaciousness I think is my disease when it comes to those “few sentences” that turn into an essay, haha! As for the vampires…I try not to be so strict with my mission statement. I’m still an artist with a dark side, so I need to let it out sometimes. It can’t all be twee! RAWR!
March 31st, 2013 at 12:34 pm
Hi Matt, and thanks for visiting my blog. Your cartoons are great; the one (top 10) with the “time-out” chair almost made me fall off mine! Even a grown-up can relate to that feeling! Mary
March 31st, 2013 at 7:21 pm
I’m glad you enjoyed them! The time-out one is cool because that is a story another teacher told me that I made into a comic – I think that one’s really funny too 🙂
April 9th, 2013 at 12:23 am
That’s all I am too – I’m 46 but I’m just a big kid coloring. I tell people in my art class at a resort and when I do art with patients at the hospital that it’s not about how good you or whether you went to art school or if you’ve never drawn or painted before – all that matters is that you try and then have fun and relax while doing it.
April 9th, 2013 at 1:37 am
so right! thanks 🙂
May 4th, 2013 at 4:02 pm
[…] Artists […]
May 4th, 2013 at 4:48 pm
I love this observation you made “Whether it was a monologue I was working on or a comic for the school paper, or a tomato salad, he got me to realize in that flash of interruption that an artist’s life can be full if one is just making things. It doesn’t matter if it’s important, valuable, or for pay.”
I enjoy creating, but sometimes I get hung up on why and lose the joy in it. This is a good reminder!
May 4th, 2013 at 4:57 pm
thank you. it’s just like being a little kid – at some point, everyone else is too busy and we just have to entertain ourselves, on our own. it can make you happy 🙂
July 6th, 2013 at 11:06 pm
[…] Mister G Kids @ 1 – Artists | Mister G Kids […]
July 6th, 2013 at 11:10 pm
Liked your little toon.
Referred to it in my own blog here: http://fromunderthetree.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/dare-to-do-it-awfule/
July 7th, 2013 at 9:41 pm
I appreciate that!
September 2nd, 2013 at 5:58 pm
Kids are the best comedians without really knowing when, why or how they do it! Amazing comics by the way really enjoying reading them!
September 2nd, 2013 at 6:51 pm
thanks for visiting and I agree!
September 2nd, 2013 at 9:59 pm
I love this. Thank you for dropping by my blog so I could find yours. I’ll be hanging around. There is nothing more sobering than a child telling you like it is.
September 3rd, 2013 at 12:01 am
You can say that again! And thanks back at ya!