There are days when I come home from work and — it’s hard to describe what exactly it feels like — my brain is tired. I know it’s because of all the words, thoughts and information flowing through it.
It can be a challenge to still be creative, funny or serious when it comes to writing headlines, coming up with story ideas and how to display them in the paper —on a tight deadline — with all the other sometimes-tedious tasks on my plate throughout the day. But I love what I do. In cooperation with the Harbor History Museum’s “Outside the Lines” exhibit, which features our own editorial cartoonist Don Snowden, local youth have a chance to experience some of the journalistic — and artistic — elements that go into drawing an editorial cartoon.
Teens can visit the “Outside the Lines” exhibit, which runs Friday (Dec. 5) through March 15 at the Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor. After paying close attention to the thought process, evolution of the cartoon and the complete body of work as detailed in the exhibit through Snowden’s eyes, interested youth have the chance to sketch a cartoon of their own on a custom sheet, which will be handed out at the exhibit.
Entrants can take the sheet home and research, brainstorm and then sketch an editorial cartoon of their own. Museum staff members, along with Snowden himself and some of us here at The Gateway, will review all the entries at the end of the exhibit. The overall winner’s cartoon — which will be ultimately chosen by Snowden — will run in the March 18 edition of the Gateway, in the very spot we normally reserve for Don.
Of course, this contest was something that this newspaper is excited to get behind. It’s neat that Don is playing a key role in everything, even though he’s a humble guy who routinely shies away from media attention or talking about himself. The very process for selecting a topic for a cartoon, researching it, finding an angle on how to portray it and then creating it, align very closely with the process each journalist goes through when writing a story. And while most journalists aren’t talented sketch artists, a cartoon can have the same kind of affect on readers.
All the elements will be at play in this contest. I’m excited to see what kind of great cartoons are submitted. We’ll also feature the winner of the contest in an article that will run in the same edition as the cartoon so readers will get to know the winner and a bit about what makes them tick. Good luck!