A day in the life of cartoonist Jenny Campbell? Now THAT is fascinating… After the dog kicks me out of bed around 7 (even if we didn’t GET to bed until 4), I nourish myself with a hearty breakfast of coffee, black. This is after feeding above dog, trudging out into the bleak Ohio winter (sometimes even in spring) to get the newspaper, and feeding and shooting (with insulin!) the diabetic cat.
The day starts with the paper and coffee -- the most peaceful part of my day -- and then a bit of musing over a notebook, and hopefully, producing some decent gag material (sometimes nothing comes; sometimes lots). Usually by 9 or 10, my dog and I are headed up to the studio over my garage, after first chasing a few squirrels around the yard (sometimes she does it alone, sometimes I help). Once upstairs, I’m usually distracted for far longer than I should be by emails, online detritus and FreeCell.
The length of my distraction depends on how much deadline pressure I’m feeling. Once I start actually working, my tool of choice is my handy black (.05) Pentel technical pencil (with a nice soft 2B lead). I’ve been using this pencil to do my preliminary sketches since I started freelancing in 1988, and while I can’t hang onto ANYthing, I have miraculously never lost this pencil. Of course, now I’ve said it out loud, so I’ve jinxed it.
My paper of choice: for my strips, I use Strathmore 500 series 2-ply plate finish… the only paper I’ve found that doesn’t feather when I ink it (with my Micron or Rapidoliner pens). If it’s an illustration job and I’m going to be using watercolor, then it’s Arches 90 lb. hot press watercolor paper, which handles the watercolor nicely, but also will handle pen and ink. Sometimes I use ink for my black line, sometimes a black Berol Prismacolor pencil… depends on the job and the look I’m going for./p>
For color work, these days I’m doing about half my jobs in watercolor, colored pencil or even crayon; and the rest of the time, I colorize my work (including my Sunday strips) in Photoshop with my Graphire graphics tablet. (this is when I’m not out of the studio, painting a mural on someone’s wall or schmoozing a client). Lunch? What’s that? My 84-year-old mom lives with me, so I do take frequent breaks to go back into the house and check on things. I usually stop working around 6, go inside and make dinner, serve it, clean it up, and then almost always head back up to the studio for a few more hours around 9 or 10. Sometimes I get to bed by midnight, but if I’m crazy busy (which is often), I work until 2 or 3.
As far as habits or hobbies, I play tennis two or three times a week; play full-court basketball with a group of aging jock women friends on Wednesday nights; ride my bike as often as I can when the weather’s not inclement (which in northeastern Ohio is about a three-week period in August). I take a water media class at a local art center, which gives me the chance to paint outside the lines and throw acrylics around with reckless abandon; and my dog and I sneak off at every opportunity to play with a couple of very close friends who live nearby.