Saturday, July 7, 2012

An *Actual* Chicken Cartoon

I love it when I get into the cartooning mood and this morning, I woke up with a couple of crazy ideas for cartoons. Cartoons involving chickens.

But before I get to that, I'd like to present a little Two Beans Or Not Two Beans trivia factoid for you lovely readers: did you know that if Hanny the Coffee Bean hadn't had the brilliant idea of using Microsoft Paint, my blog posts wouldn't have had cartoons at all?

I'm not joking about that.

At the very dawn of founding our corner of the Internet, I expressed to Hanny that I wanted to have cartoons to explain my blog posts. Actual pen-and-ink drawings that I crafted with my own hand.

However, I fretted about it due to one minor technicality: I didn't own a scanner.

"How am I supposed to make cartoons if I can't scan them?!" I asked my partner-in-crime. "Do I draw them and then take pictures with my camera? Do you know how dumb that will look? I mean, who wants to see a picture of a drawing?"

"Just use Paint," Hanny coolly reasoned.

It's hard to believe, but until that painfully obvious suggestion came, I had not even considered making my cartoons using a computer. It was a foreign concept to me and a daunting one at that. Ditch paper and pencils for pixels and a keypad? Will I even be good at it?

Turns out that I don't do such a terrible job at it and I have since embraced being able to make full color cartoons in a few clicks without developing a severe, crippling cramp in my right hand.

Lately, though, I was at a loss for doing that. Even if I had an idea, no matter how insignificant it was, I couldn't be bothered to open Paint to make the cartoon. It wasn't until I woke up this morning when it hit me. Just for once, I'd actually like to make a cartoon by hand, not on Paint, as if I wanted to get back to my cartooning roots. It's just what felt right and realizing there are no paradigms to creativity is something that I have to constantly remind myself.

So, for the time-being, here is one of the dumb cartoons that popped into my mind. 

(Oh, by the way, even after so many years of living in a world filled with technological advances, I still don't own a scanner. In the end, I've taken a photo of a drawing, the very thing I avoided doing right from the origin of this little blog. Ha. Ha. HA.)

Sorry, son. You've been cock-blocked.

I'll admit that I wasn't trying hard to make an excellent cartoon. But I came to the realization that my artistic skills are a bit rusty, meaning they have totally deteriorated to a level which embarrasses me. Here are some drawings from my past so you can compare them to the simplistic chicken and rooster:

Sea turtle

Multi-tasking octopus. I remember that the word "multi-tasking" was very in vogue back in the day.

A lobster and a shrimp (prawn)

Even Atlanteans need a few arrows of love.

A Florida Marlin. Gotta root for the home team.

Clown fish with an anemone, circa post-"Finding Nemo"

Sea slugs that are clearly snails *head desk*

A Flamenco dancer to represent Spanish class...

...and a frog to represent French class. This was WAY before I realized I would one day live in France and come to utterly despise the whole frogs = France stereotype. 

This Killer Whale/Orca was my favorite of the cartoons. Probably because it was a bitch to color in all the dark areas and it gave me a sense of accomplishment after it ate up two ballpoint pens in the process. 

I did these drawings for my high school's nautical-themed yearbook when I was a Senior. I was seventeenTurning into a responsible adult who can't even draw a below sub-standard chicken makes me want to tear my hair out.

Anyway, I did say I had ideas for chicken cartoons (plural). Whether or not I will express myself by sitting down and drawing them, or chicken out and rely on Paint once more, will be determined in the future. Rest assured, though, I will continue to make all the lovely, wonky pixelated illustrations you've grown to love.

Translation: that means that I'm too broke to buy coloring and art supplies, let alone a scanner.

Barb the French Bean


  1. Barb, you are quite talented!! keep it up!


  2. YOU SUGAH YOU, very enjoyable read before I get to my NAP time! luv @grammakaye on twitter.

  3. I love the drawings. I especially loved the whale. He was rather cute :3 I'm glad that Hanny did make the suggestion because the cartoons I've seen on here have given me many a laugh. I'm sure with some practice your art can improve. It's already way better than mine. Art is one of those things that can't really be taught.

  4. You're drawings are so beautiful! I especially love the french frog.

  5. Great drawings! Seems to me you'd do well in animation or T-shirt design.

  6. Hell, you can have my scanner. I never use it.

  7. I'm glad you are beginning to break through the chicken cartoon block. I hope it will turn out to be an eggshell!

  8. Wonky pixelated illustrations are the foundation stone of blogging artwork everywhere! Be proud!

  9. Aw, I love these. I think I like the fish-Cupid best. :)

  10. Damn gurl! That orca is duh sexy!

    Seriously, they all are pretty nice. If this ain't your 100%, I seriously wait for it. It'll be great!

  11. guess im an old soul but totally prefer the drawings. they're brillliant.

  12. not that i dont like the mspaint stuff..oh u know what i mean.

  13. The flamenco dancer is my fave, with all the moving leg positions at the bottom :) I also prefer the old pen and paper to microsoft (or in fact, real) paint. Keep up the good work :)

  14. Oh Barb, I just love these! All of them, old and new, pen and ink as well as your new digital art. You’re a very talented bean, whether it’s art or your writing.

    We creative people tend to have fragile egos and are often our own worst critics. Over many years of writing and creating art I’ve learned the importance of embracing our skills and talents, and having FUN with them as we express ourselves, instead of critiquing the hell out of the finished piece.

    We may not love every drawing we create, but that’s okay. We’re not perfect. As long as we’re doing what we love…doing what makes us happy, that’s what really matters. And if what we create can also bring a smile to someone else’s day, then that’s the icing on the cake.

    And YOU, my little French Bean, always bring a smile to my day! Keep up the wonderful work and ENJOY the creative process! :D

  15. Fun! You're quite the artist! I have found that I draw better on Ipaint than I do on paper anymore.

  16. The chickens made me laugh so much

  17. Make "Pity the Pooh," the sea turtle, and the killer whale into t-shirts, and you've got yourself a paying customer.

    Those are excellent drawings. You can buy a garbage scanner for like $40. I know that's not very cheap, but I don't care because I want to see more drawings.

  18. Hah, I love the chicken cartoon. Great post :)

  19. VERY talented mademoiselle! I particularly LOVE the turtle and octopus, gorgeous! :o)

    Time to practise some more, don't let Paint dominate your life! :p

  20. your drawing are very cool. I draw and take a picture and post the picture on my artwork post all the time, even though I haven't been inspired for awhile. you draw well and are very creative. what's not to like?

  21. At first glance, when I saw the Florida Marlin, I only saw the bat, not the ball, so I thought he was some kind of badass dolphin hitman.

    I love the drawings, and also echo everyone else's pleas for more.

  22. I really like your cartoon pictures! And here's a secret: just crop your picture of a picture, and no one will know that you didn't scan it! I actually follow several bloggers who do their pictures by hand and then either scan or photograph them. So - although I LOVE your paint drawings - there was really no reason to fret. ;)

  23. Those are fabulous! I like the Finding Nemo inspired one especially, since I loved that movie when it was new. Now, if only you could get hired by Starbucks and do a few of their chalkboards. ;)

  24. The drawings are amazing! I do everything on a Wacom tablet now and love it.

  25. You are the princess of poultry, the countess of cartoon, the ... , okay sorry, I like your drawings.

  26. Wow, your 17-year-old drawings are great! The chicken isn't bad, but not as good as the others. Just one of the many side effects of technology...

  27. I "try" to do cartoons myslef in ms paint but I'm no A beer for the Shower! I find the work to be a bit tedious and time consuming so I have been shying away from them a bit.

    I need the motivation to keep doing them because some people actually like my blog for my childish scribbles!

  28. thank you very much for sharing the information ... god bless you


Apparently, leaving comments on this blog is a hit-or-miss game of Russian roulette: you are either lucky and can comment away, or you are required to log in when the settings are CLEARLY set to allow trouble-free commenting (sorry 'bout that, folks). If anything, the Facebook page is always a viable option. :) -Barb