Coming up with ideas

By Mike Smith

The most commonly asked question I get from readers is how do you come up with your ideas. The answer is a bit different depending on what I’m drawing.  Creating political cartoons relies mostly on a lot of reading in order to determine my point of view and to inspire creativity.  Creating a weekly Gearhead Gertie cartoon also relies on reading, but includes watching the NASCAR races and drawing on my experiences with NASCAR fans, the NASCAR community and my own views on the sport.  

Drawing political cartoons is reactionary in that I’m reacting to events in the news.  Drawing Gertie is about Gertie’s reaction, which requires an understanding of her personality to know how she will react to certain situations.