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Word Balloons As Art

This piece of cartoon art is how people talk to each in comics: the balloon simply points to its speaker. But as we all know, we are capable of much more complicated emotions than those that result in words. That is, how can we represent three different feelings (say, fatigue, hunger, and anger) all in the same balloon? Answer: you make a complicated design in the word balloon that represents that complicated feeling.

Why should these bloated shapes that represent speech be limited to just containing words? Think out of the box (or out of the balloon, so to speak) and treat the word balloon as the frame of an illustration. Word balloons can be totally whimsical: just enjoy the process of drawing.

The Surrealists called it “Automatic Drawing”. Automatic Drawing is actually with doodling is: it’s drawing with the mind turned off. That is, the aim is the draw freely, in a way that doesn’t allow the conscious mind to censor or edit the work. Once you feel relaxed enough, and you’re able to persuade yourself that you drawing is just a sketch, the it’s okay to “make a mistake”: that’s when your artwork will look the best!

But remember, we’re not just drawing anything: we’re drawing something very specific! So draw a word balloon–go ahead! But then go back into it and doodle all over it; through it, in it, around it…have fun with it! As you go back into your drawing, scribbling and doodling, you’ll notice that your drawing will start to remind of things: mine reminded me of a turkey with its tail feathers sticking up.