Sunday is a Good Day to Visit a Museum: Part Three

This is the final part of a series of process meditations inspired by a trip to The Rubin Museum of Art in NYC. Catch up with Part One: Ritual in Preparing the Space/It’s the Simple Things, and Part Two: Meditation on the Grid/Free Your Mind


Part 3: Pass the Mic/Other People’s Processes
For the final installment of the series reflecting on my visit to The Rubin Museum of Art, I posed a question to MariNaomi, Simon Hanselmann, Sophie Yanow and Vanesa R. Del Rey:
Will you share any ritual, meditation, or devotion in your artistic process?
Inking/Work in Progress by MariNaomi

MariNaomi‘s most recent memoir comic is Turning Japanese (2dcloud, 2016). She is the creator and curator of the Cartoonists of Color Database and the Queer Cartoonists Database.

I’m not sure that I have any kind of ritual/meditation per se, but I am very habitual in my work days. Basically I start the day with an early-morning jog (at 6:30), then breakfast. Then I take care of things that might otherwise distract me: dishes, bills, emails. I don’t really get creative until after lunchtime. I’m generally in the zone from the afternoon until evening when my husband gets home at 7 or 8. If I’m on deadline (or super inspired), I’ll eat dinner with him, then get back to work until bedtime at 10:30 pm.
I used to beat myself up about not working in the mornings, but I’ve finally accepted that it’s my routine.
Oh, and my talisman is drinking lots and lots of tea.
Untitled Strip by Simon Hanselmann
Simon Hanselmann‘s most recent collection is Megg & Mogg in Amsterdam (And Other Stories) (Fantagraphics, 2016). Megg, Mogg & Owl is updated Wednesdays at VICE.
my main ritual is trying to clear my mind so i can focus and be fully absorbed by the project at hand.
i usually try to clear my inbox in the morning before i start working otherwise i’ll feel guilty and flustered all day.
cigarettes are a huge part of the ritual. also red bull, sadly.
i really need to change up my rituals to something a bit more healthy…
fuck it though, as long as the work is getting done and i’m hitting my deadlines.
i will most likely be dead in a few years…
I’m on day 10 of no red bull.
I am a recovering energy drink addict.
Journal Comic by Sophie Yanow from
Sophie Yanow was the 2014-15 fellow at The Center for Cartoon Studies. Her most recent book is War of Streets and Houses (Uncivilized Books, 2014).
The one thing that I do that has kind of become a “ritual,” is when I do journal comics, I do them on graph paper, and I draw 6 square panels out on the graph paper before I start drawing or writing. I generally draw/write directly in the squares. The journal comics are always in a 6 panel grid, so I’ve considered printing out paper that has the 6 panel grid already on it, but I think that drawing the grid
out gets me into the proper state of “I’m going to draw/write a journal comic now.” It’s like a trigger. So drawing the panels first is the ritual/meditation that starts the journal comic.
Jana, Warm-up drawing by Vanesa R. Del Rey
Vanesa R. Del Rey is an artist and illustrator for Hit comics (Boom! Studios). Her artwork has also been in Marvel, DC and Dark Horse comics.
My artistic process – Discipline. I work 6 days a week for about 10 hours a day, this is a constant but my schedule is kind of organic, it changes every once in a while. I usually do chores and have breakfast/check emails before I sit down to draw. Sometimes I work out before sitting down too. My ritual to get the juices flowing involves smoking ganja and doing a warm up sketch. This warm up sketch can be anything. It’s just a thing to unclog my mind and loosen up my joints. I just spill something out… I give myself about an hour or so. This happens usually when I’ve just started working on a book. After a couple of weeks I skip on the warm ups and dive straight into my pages when I sit down. I get faster as I progress, the shapes become familiar therefore I don’t have to spend as much time searching for them. Once in a while I also do cool down sketches after a day’s work. They are usually just ideas I have floating around that I use to not get bored. For example if I’m working on the computer for a long period of time I like to switch it up and start a painting or do a sketch in my sketchbook.

I guess the constant factor to begin for me is the ganja, I’m a big smoker. I would call it a ritual/meditation. My creative energy is unpredictable, it drives me and not the other way around, but my ritual is the method I have found to channel that energy, to make good use of it. It’s an incredible help for the stress of deadlines too! I’m always on a tight deadline.
Devotion is a given to me…doing my work is my life. I wouldn’t do anything else.
Alyssa Berg makes comics in Brooklyn, NY. You can find her work HERE.
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