Tag Archives: POAL

Improv Illustration

I consider myself fortunate to be able to do what I love in order to pay the bills. So when I have the opportunity to work with talented and creative people, it’s a bonus. And a very enjoyable one.

Last year my friend Mark Peters asked me to illustrate his book Bullshit: A Lexicon, which was a blast to do. Soon after, Cathy Salit asked me if I wanted to draw cartoons for  a book she was writing about how learning the principles of improv can boost your job performance. I was happy to say yes.book cover

Cathy is the CEO of Performance of  Lifetime, a group of individuals grounded in improvisational theatre who help companies to take their work to the next level through an understanding of performance. A few of us cartoonists had performed at a POAL event, so I knew her already. She told me that the book was based on the Becoming Principle, the paradoxical idea that we don’t discover who our authentic selves are until we are allowed to play and improvise, trying on different roles in life.

I’ve never taken an improv class, but I knew that one of the core ideas is that, by saying “yes, and…” to your teammates (and by them saying it to you) you can safely venture past your self-imposed limits and into unexplored territory. I told Cathy that, although she might have initially hired me to read the chapters and then draw cartoons reflecting the concepts within them, I thought it would be fun to try something which honored the spirit of the book – something improvisational. Maybe something I, or we, had never done before, kind of figuring it out as we go. Maybe create a new form of illustration!

I met with Cathy and her team and we came up with a bunch of interesting ideas click here to read the rest of this post

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