On Gifts and Being Gifted

December 13, 2009 · 10 comments

Rick has been drawing since he was old enough to hold a crayon and cartooning since he was about seven years old.

I don’t know what his medium of choice was back then. I’m guessing it probably was a 2B lead pencil and the margins of those stinky mimeographed math worksheets. In any case, I’d trade a week in an invisibility cloak at Walmart with my camera for the chance to see some of those early toons.

Since I’ve known him, he uses whatever paper is at hand when the muse strikes, a fine black Sharpie, and a bucket of about 70 colored pencils.

That’s why today is such a momentous day.


Well, okay, there’s that, and a very Happy Birthday to you, my darling!

But that’s not what I’m talking about.


The reason today is such a ground-breaker is that Rick drew today’s cartoon in an entirely new medium.

He cracked open his new Wacom Intuos4 pen tablet, plugged ‘er in to his Mac, and coaxed the software to install more or less where he wanted it. Next, he loaded one of his birthday gifts, Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro 2010, to same said machine.

And he started to draw.


It’s really fascinating to watch a 50-year old hand-eye-mind habit enter an entirely new physical modality, layered on top of a brand new piece of unfamiliar software.

Yet, within just a couple of hours, he navigated both so successfully that he produced this four-panel cartoon in a style that is immediately recognizable as his.


I gave him a birthday present, and with it, he gives the world thoughtful whimsy and wit and a reason to smile. And that, my friends, is the parallel between receiving a gift and being gifted. I can’t WAIT to see where he takes this next.

Happy Birthday, Pookie!

P.S. More Toons by Rick.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Guri Stark December 15, 2009 at 11:31 pm

So, happy to see that you are using one of my companies cool product. Sketchbook Pro has been one of my favorite Autodesk products.
BTW – it is also available on the iPhone for $2.99. Try it. it is very cool.

Hope to see some of your future Autodesk-enabled art.



rickandkathy December 16, 2009 at 7:05 am

Thanks so much Guri. Sketchbook Pro is fabulous — simple, intuitive and responsive interface (love the lagoon!). Literally digital paper, as advertised. Kathy gave me the software on Saturday afternoon; I was literally out of bed and on my Mac at 5:00 am Sunday morning because I was too excited to sleep. Like having a new bike. Can’t wait for the weekend so I can take it for another spin!



Dad December 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Wacom Intuos$ pen tablet, Autodesk Sketchbook Pro 2010?? Wow, n’here I thought EtchaSketch was high tech! ‘Course that was 70-odd years ago.


Debra December 14, 2009 at 10:06 am

Very Cool! The colors seem more vibrant too! I love the cartoon of Hopes and Dreams…interesting the images you chose to include in that one. Happy Birthday to ya too! 🙂


keith December 13, 2009 at 9:22 pm

This is why we love Rick so much..he is at peace with his muse(s) and is able to share his creativity with the rest of us mortals. The fact that he does this in such a down home fashion makes it that much more enjoyable.
Kathy….you’re the perfect creative foil. What a pair!


Summer June 10, 2016 at 7:25 am

Four score and seven minutes ago, I read a sweet artecli. Lol thanks


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Louise December 13, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Happy birthday. Have fun exploring your new toy. New mediums often lead to new above medium creations 🙂


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