We have a Flickr photostream (you can also access it from the RSS feed to your right)which has up till now not been very active. However we are going to start posting sets there in the weeks to come. To get us started, I just posted a whole bunch of weird and excellent comics done by School of Visual Arts cartooning majors over the last few years in a class of mine called Obstacle Course. In the class I present them with a series of assignments based on creative rules or constraints.
If you’re familiar with my personal work you will already know this is approach—closely associated with the French literary group Oulipo—is key to my own work. You will also notice its influence throughout our work in Drawing Words & Writing Pictures: the directed jam comic in chapter 1 and the Comic with no pictures in chapter 7 are two examples.
The idea behind using constraints to make art is that by giving yourself arbitrary limits you will exercise creative problem-solving muscles you didn’t know you had. And the results, as you will see, are some great, unusual comics that these kids would never have dreamed up otherwise.
The first part of the set consists of one-page assignments, the second part consists of longer pieces delving deeper into a particular constraint. Each new comic has a description and, if necessary, explanation (with links) of the rule used to generate that work.
If you like what you see and live in the NYC area, I will be offering a several-week workshop on this topic at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) in the spring. Details to follow. (Of course, if you are an SVA student and are reading this you an sign up from my class this spring or next year!)