My natural style, I guess, is a bit cartoony. My people never look like real people, my subject matter runs toward the fantastic, and I tend to add a lot of words. I wish that my work looked serious, but this is what I have. The artist Phil Foglio (whose work I didn’t appreciate when I first saw it in conjunction with Robert Aspirin in the 80s, but later enjoyed on Magic: The Gathering cards, and now, naturally, adore on Girl Genius) is famously quoted as saying that his art career originally stalled because publishers found his work “too cartoony” (except for cartoon publishers, who told him he wasn’t cartoony enough) after which he and his wife won so many Hugos that they had to refuse the nomination to give someone else a shot at the award.
Even when I wasn’t doing a lot of art, I was always doodling in margins. This kind of work is less polished, but sometimes it seems to have more life to it than some of the stuff I worked at.
It’s almost a nervous habit; if there’s a pen in my hand, I want to use it. I think this is actually some of what Bantock was getting at in The Trickster’s Hat. If you can draw like this, without any attachment to the outcome, but a unshakeable attachment to the process, then you can keep yourself from getting hung up on whether or not it’s good enough and just make art all the time.