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On the Creative Process

Posted: 2015-04-11

Ohanian Comment: This insight about the creative process comes from Back to the Drawing Board: An interview with Bruce Eric Kaplan, whose BEK cartoons are omnipresent in The New Yorker. Read this in the context of all the blather about schools teaching thinking, critical or creative.

Heintjes: Describe the writing process for a New Yorker cartoon. Do you hear or read a phrase that strikes you as possible cartoon material?

Kaplan: If you're asking how I get my ideas, the answer is I never, ever get ideas. I mean, nothing ever simply strikes me as a possible cartoon. I have to sit at my desk and dredge up every memory, thought or thing that̢۪s ever happened to me and see if anything at all strikes me as being interesting. Usually it doesn̢۪t. More often than not, I randomly start drawing something and hope that might lead to a thought. Again, it usually doesn̢۪t. But if I log in a lot of hours at the drawing table, by some miracle I end up with a few ideas that might be worthwhile in some way.

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