This creative life – June 2014

Posted on: June 14, 2014

In which I launch my Brand New Thing, four months later than expected.

I know I said that I’d be launching Brand New Thing in February 2014,  the thing that is to replace my sweet old Cartoon Topic of the Month, which served me so well for 14 years.  But here it is already June, circumstances having very much got in the way. My year so far has been pretty much taken up with illness and having to move my studio/office, both of which gobbled up far more time than they deserved, and trying to keep my work going around both those things.  There wasn’t much time left over. My particular illness was shingles, which not pleasant, although there is a certain fascination in watching its blistery progress.  And moving – well, we all know what moving is like. You can say ‘cathartic’ and ‘cleansing’ as many times as you like – moving is always tiring, chaotic, disruptive and just generally awful.

Anyway, late as it is, here is the Launch of My Brand New Thing, which is also cleverly functioning as the First Brand New Thing Itself.  I plan to write a piece each month, maybe more often, called ‘This creative life’. It will be about stuff I’m doing or things I am thinking about, in my professional life as a cartoonist and a creator of children’s books, a producer of greeting cards, and an occasional exhibiting artist.  The many wondrous ways that I cobble together a living as a freelancer, and the ways I attempt to maintain a flow of ideas. The reader may well find some handy hints, along with some ‘Danger – here be dragons’ messages.

As to the title, ‘This Creative Life’ – it’s the best I could come up with (Titles are hard).  It’s descriptive, but you can also take it as a teeny bit ironic – there is so much in keeping a freelance life going that is not at all creative.  Perhaps it is even also a bit aspirational – that by writing about things  I might find my own way to a better balance of creativity and administrivia.  It’s also the best I could come up with, even after all this time. (Titles are hard)

Enough talking. Time to put it in the world and see how it goes.


P.S. Here’s a list of some of the things I might write about in the future, just to give you an idea (I also reserve the right to also be a bit random in my choice of topics – after all, ‘lateral’ is in the cartoonist’s job description.)

‘Titles are Hard’

‘Illustrating a picture book – 32 pages doesn’t sound like that many’

‘Why I’ve always worked in a studio somewhere other than home’

‘How long will it take me to easily have ideas in a new space?’

‘The trials of being funny about things that are far from funny’

‘Deadlines, can’t live with them, can’t live without them’


  1. -ken , says:

    Yes! Good to hear that you are up and fighting again. So glad that I found you a few years back. If you keep me in stitches, I’ll keep you in my prayers.
    Take Care & God Bless.

  2. Henry Porter , says:

    Welcome back Judy!
    The second cartoon reminded me of the sweet song “Out of Bed” by Adam Cohen (Leonard’s son).
    Stay well,

  3. Angela , says:

    Dear Judy, I do hope that you are feeling strong again. And that there is no pain. As a cautionary tale to guard against a repeat dose later in life here’s my story. In 1978 I had just moved, had three boys 10 and 7 years and 8 months, husband was at sea, daytime temperature for ten consecutive days was 40°C in Perth, the two boys just caught the bus to new school together for the first time…and I had the shingles. The two older ones caught chicken-pox from me and then the baby did from them! It took me a year to recover. About three times since I have had an itchy suspicious looking spot on my back…quickly to the doctor who diagnosed it as another beginning of the wretched shingles…bingo! caught in time with some wonder drug which fools the body and stops the shingles becoming fully blown. Take care! May you never get shingles again. It is lovely to have your cheerful drawings again. I’m glad you have risen above the horrid thing! Cheers Judy.

  4. maria pallotta-chiarolli , says:

    Hi Judy,

    great to have you back! Congrats re “Yellow” and keep well!


  5. Purcelle , says:

    Hey Jude,

    I wondered what had become of my monthly laugh. Hope you’re feeling better soon – and moving – well, it is, what it is.

    Purcelle (Tassie) – remember me?
    Thanks for the laughs!

  6. Juliet , says:

    Lovely to hear from you again. I am so sorry about the shingles and hope they are quite better now. Congratulations on Yellow! All the best.

  7. Hilary Mallela , says:

    Hi Judy from B’ham, U.K. Missed you and glad you have returned to us! Vaccination available for Shingles, had it x 2. Chocolate and red wine do it for me. XX

  8. Marg , says:

    Oh this is indeed a delight. So look forward to reading your pondering so to add to my enjoyment of your cartoons, which always manage to hit the spot and help us survive the tragedies we deal with every day. So sorry to hear about the shingles, they are horrible and enervating. Moving house comes after death of a loved one I think, on the scale of stress inducing life events, so understandable that you’ve been a bit delayed with your new big thing…..

  9. Maria-Eleni , says:

    Welcome back Judy! Such a surprise to read your news as I am travelling in Tibet. Best wishes in your future work – I look forward to reading your inspiring writing. And may you heal well. Blessings from Tibet!

  10. Cathy Drinkwater , says:

    Welcome back to the web Judy. It’ll be good to see more of you 🙂

  11. Melba , says:

    Wonderful work, Judy – I’m sorry you were sick, and happy that you’re better. 🙂 I’ve greatly admired your work for many years, and wish you were as famous as you deserve to be – then I’d see your work more often!

    Best wishes from Melbourne. 🙂 xo

  12. Byronical , says:

    Great to see your creative stuff again! Reminder: Call on your angel(s) for help on maintaining good health. This is a free will planet and they need your OK before intervention.

  13. Shelley , says:

    Yay! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  14. maggie , says:

    Thank you Judy. Missed you heaps!

  15. T Koenke Diaz , says:

    Yay, Judy is back!

    I happen to be moving in August, so your timing in describing the moving experience was uncanny and, let’s just say about moving, I hear ya!

    I want to recommend to you Biosuperfood algae for staying extremely healthy (nope, I don’t sell it – wish I could but only licensed professionals can). I’m a cancer survivor who used to get colds 3-5 times a year and haven’t had a cold since starting on this wonderful product. Wonderful antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-this-and-that properties!

    So glad you have a monthly post again!

    With Love from surely one of your biggest fans in the States! -T

  16. Shirley , says:

    As a fellow shingles sufferer and frequent mover, dont know how you did it

  17. Mex , says:

    Welcome back, we’ve missed you!
    I’m about to move in two weeks and dreading it!!
    Stay well

  18. Gabriele , says:

    Great to have you back! Always enjoy your insights and outlook on life. Hope you are fully recovered and settled into your new studio/office.

  19. Patrick Speed , says:

    It’s so good to have you back in my room, dear Judy.
    You are a light and an inspiration –
    you are truly a human gift of sanity and serenity.

  20. Sonia Ewald , says:

    Thank you for your slices of life delivered on your colorful cartoon platter – makes a cheery begiining (middle, end) to my day!!! Sonia

  21. Anne-Marie Peeters , says:

    Good to see you are back on board.Progressing with my novel and am in a writers’ group. Keep the cartoons flowing.

  22. Patricia , says:

    Horrible affliction is shingles. You will need that old fashioned thing, CONVALESCENCE!!!! No one acknowledges the need for restoration after an illness. Children come wanly back to school too soon and
    get another sickness. Adults struggle back to health when an extra day would be miraculous! Our bodies need nurture. It took me 80 years to learn that. There it is, a bit of wisdom , gratis

  23. Jane Austin , says:

    Looking forward to even more inspiration from you Judy – shingles – what a pain – and loving the proposed future topics – I occasionally ask my teen-aged kids if they think I’m funny and they absolutely die laughing telling me I’m not – and then I ask them, then why are you laughing? And then they laugh harder and I end up so confused… 🙂

  24. Tiang , says:

    Thank you for sharing your life’s journey. Better late than never,glad that you made the decision to “appear” in public. Our days, at least my days are brighter after reading your articles and cartoons especially during my studies in Australia. Meanwhile stay healthy and looking forward to “This Creative Life”.

  25. Anniken , says:

    Yey. Welcome back. Missed you. Need to get some girl power back online.

  26. Liz , says:

    Welcome back, Judy! I’ve missed you; can’t run my life without your monthly words of wisdom.

  27. Wendy , says:

    Hi Judy,
    Great to have you back. Really sorry about the shingles, reputedly a result of being “run down” so keep resting as necessary!
    Your volumes of cartoons are among my most treasured possessions, and I am currently browsing them yet again with many chuckles coming from the littlest room in the house as a result!!
    Don’t forget to wear your biggest pads on your heaviest days!!!
    Cyber hugs!

  28. Nancy Earth , says:

    Welcome back, Judy! We missed you!

    Sorry to hear about your illness: Sending Giant Healing Vibes out to you right now! And yes, moving is a drag but new space/place = new energy/possibilities SO looking forward to your new ‘creative life’!!!




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