A conversation with Tommy Kane from “An Illustrated Journey”

Here’s the next interview with the contributors to my new book An Illustrated Journey: Inspiration From the Private Art Journals of Traveling Artists, Illustrators and Designers


Tommy Kane is one of my oldest and bestest friends. And he’s a genius too.  You’ve seen Tommy’s work all over, including in my books ( An Illustrated Life and The Creative License). It’s observant, it’s bold, it’s witty, and it’s endlessly inspiring to me.


And hopefully you’ve seen his blog and his movies too (and his star turn in Red Hook, the film Jack and I made last year).


And now he has more amazing drawings in An Illustrated Journey.


When I interviewed Tommy for this project, he was on one of his innumerable business trips to Korea.


Here’s an excerpt from Tommy’s contribution to the book:

“I have drawn every brick, cinder block and lamppost in all of New York City. Google earth didn’t need to go around and photograph every building in Manhattan. I would have given them all my drawings instead. They could have saved a lot of time, money and effort. All of this has created a dilemma for me. The Big Apple all looks the same to my eyes now. I can even say I’m bored of drawing New York. As I ride my bike around, I whisper to myself, “did that, drew that, sketched that, painted that.” My wife and I discuss moving out of New York someday. Mostly I discuss it. It wasn’t until I started to write this, that I realized the real reason is that…” (continued)


A conversation with Lapin from “An Illustrated Journey”

Here’s the next interview with the contributors to my new book An Illustrated Journey: Inspiration From the Private Art Journals of Traveling Artists, Illustrators and Designers


Lapin is an extraordinary artist, a Frenchman who lives in Spain and travels the world. His work is unique and bound to inspire you. First of all, the man can draw anything and give it enormous character and wit.  Secondly, his pages are uniquely his — he draws in old (decades and decades old) lined, ledger books, in ink and watercolor. He has published several books of his work, beautiful replicas of his journals exactly as he created them on various trips .

bJjUCM08reqPY1-kKbxX6131IAvttrgKcZpuKnG7qJs%2C2SLd5rhaNIrUUxY0eipO524n_JDkjSY9No8EmTAa4YQ%2CRCA7k-Yau_T25O3KR02oSWQ2pvJ28Ur9YnnJAN6sIqw%2CU14TB5QCcBqcrt2b2EgNKlJ3CXxw9ndnmH5_qeXsGJA XT1HGIpGGYPBGkcwg-bQTH8rWtf_8wljbu_eteQ4cDM%2CyaaYf684UTVulbVH6Jj8Twwef5RrLBJ6mhB0nQcz1LA%2CMejvklqhoSBu_Qx3NmEGExtA_GIXxTmkEKMX6HLXtT8%2CvwC1KVcDukuJBk4S_k_-RPd-bq_iHlmUS27qTIVghR4

Lapin discusses his history and technique at length in the book. Here’s an excerpt:

“I grew up in Bretagne near Saint-malo, and now I live between Barcelona and Paris. I started drawing in my very first sketchbook when I was around 4 years old. It was a small notebook with penguins on the cover. All the pages were fully doodled with planes, houses, people, even a “man-house” only sketched with ball point.

Then, as far as I remember I’ve always had some drawings in my school notebooks, and caricatures of the teachers. I sketched some horses to please the girls, some…” (continued)


We had a great, far-wheeling chat in this video and immediately after I started looking for new and interesting surfaces to draw on.  He’ll get you going too.


See more of Lapin’s work on his blog and his website.

A conversation with Prashant Miranda from “An Illustrated Journey”

Here’s the next interview with the contributors to my new book An Illustrated Journey: Inspiration From the Private Art Journals of Traveling Artists, Illustrators and Designers

prash-1I just love Prashant Miranda for so many reasons. First of all, I love his freedom — he travels through India, apparently sleeping on couches and beaches while using his art to serve others. Then he pops back to Canada, works on animation and illustrates books, and as soon as it gets cold, he heads back to India.  His paintings are full of love and color with a gentleness and wit in every panel.  And, as you’ll see in this video, he is a supremely happy and contented person who makes me feel happy and relaxed whenever I talk with him.

prash-2I have included Prash’s work and story in several of my books — you will remember him from An Illustrated Life and The Creative License. But it is as a traveller that he is most inspiring and exemplary and I hope you will enjoy his work in my newest book, An Illustrated Journey.

prash3I chatted with Prashant when it was well after midnight in his temporary home in Goa. He was sitting on a balmy verandah by the sea, an owl roosting in a tree behind him. I was  hunkered down in frigid New York, envying him once again.

Prash shares a lot more in my book. Here’s an excerpt:

“I am a migratory bird. I spend my summers and autumns in Canada, and when it starts getting cold, I travel to India. And within Canada and India, I travel around.

Travel is a very important part of my life because it is a dose of reality, widens my perspectives and gives me an objective viewpoint of the places that I live in. Like not taking for granted that we get fresh drinking water out of our taps here in Canada, hot water too! And when I’m in India in certain places I’m thankful for that!

Often when I draw while travelling, it attracts…” (continued)


(See more of Prash’s work in the book and on his blog — it’ll make you rethink your own journal, I promise).

Up in the air! It’s a bird, it’s a plane … no, it’s just me.


I did a fun interview with Andrea Scher recently. She’s an artist, photographer, jeweler, and creative coach who runs a wonderful blog which encourages people to be their own superheroes.

Her questions ( What is your superpower? What are your obsessions? Tell us about a time when you had to practice courage. What did you believe as a kid that you no longer believe? etc)  were stimulating and challenging and I ended up saying things I’ve never thought of in quite the same way before. I hope you enjoy it.

I also came across a lovely tribute to my work by Illustrian.

EDM #49: The contents of my refrigerator

There’re few things as depressing as a bare fridge. It’s the cliché of the single person you always see in movies: a few moldy Chinese takeout containers, a half-empty jar of mayonnaise, a box of baking soda, a six-pack.

But shopping for one is tricky. These days, I do tend to eat at home and to cook more than I did when I had a teenaged roommate. But I have to be careful not to be too ambitious and to fill my kitchen with stuff I’ll never have time to eat. I hate throwing out stuff that survived past its due date: a head of cauliflower, a half-gallon of milk, some cheddar that’s turning into bleu cheese. Still, I’d rather waste food than face an empty larder.

Whenever I do a drawing in indian and sumi ink, I think of Ben Katchor. For years he did comics in the Daily Forward that had a bleakness and everyday decrepitude that made a big impression in me. His weltschmerz came out in a sigh of grey washes, a shrug of indifferent lines and cramped composition. These days as he branches out to publications with bigger budgets,  he uses bright colors but his work still has a lovely unsavoriness to it that smells vaguely of sour milk and unwashed socks.