Welcome to Zen Pencils!
Wow, I can’t believe I’m writing this post. I’ve been working on this site for a long time and to finally have it go live is both thrilling and scary.
First of all, let me tell you what this site is all about. Each week, I take three of my favourite quotes from famous and inspiring people and adapt them into a cartoon. Some quotes are long, some are short, but they’re all about inspiration and positivity. The cartoons and comics also vary in length – some are just a single illustration to complement the quote, some are totally typography-based and some are longer narrative comic strips. There is no set format – I just draw whatever the quote dictates and in whatever style I feel like.
Ok, now for a bit about myself and why I’ve created this site. Some of you may know me from my previous comic strips, Dan and Pete and Boys Will Be Boys. I was producing two weekly comic strips for nearly 5 years, but I wasn’t enjoying it anymore, mainly because I was still working a normal 9-5 job as a graphic designer and the comics themselves were becoming a weekly grind. So last year I retired both of the strips and took a break from cartooning to see whether I could think of a new project or just give up the dream of becoming a professional illustrator and instead settle in for a nice, comfortable life at a job I hated.
I’ve always loved reading biographies, history books and spending hours and hours on Wikipedia and Wikiquotes, discovering interesting and inspiring people. The idea to somehow combine my interest and admiration for great people and my love for illustration and design was the basic idea for this website. This idea slowly planted itself into my mind until it was all I could think about. It become something I HAD to do. I quickly drew a few test cartoons and showed them to some friends. They loved the idea and that was it. I knew what my next project was.
This time, instead of just working on the site in whatever spare time I had from work, I decided to leave my job to totally dedicate myself to this project for at least 6 months. Or at least until I run out of money and have to sell my body on the streets.
So that’s it. I really look forward to sharing my work with you and I hope you enjoy the cartoons and maybe even get some inspiration yourself. You can subscribe via Twitter, Facebook, RSS or Email and you can find out more about the site on the About page.
PS – As you can see in the pic above, I had a few ideas for what to name this website. I had settled on the name Cartoon Liberation. I registered the domain and everything. Then my friend Andy saw the logo and said I should totally call it Zen Pencils. She was right.