Category Archives: art

How To Nurture Your Creativity

This week’s Dustinland comic is about nurturing your creativity. That means giving it love and helping it mature and develop. This is not about “making it.” It’s not about success or any of that. It’s about having something you enjoy, a creative form of expression, and figuring out how to give it the time and attention it deserves despite your busy life.

I know as well as most people do, that between work and family, once you have a few free minutes to yourself, it’s hard to use that time to be productive and artistic. Play music? Write? Draw? How about Netflix. But if you care—and a lot of people do—you have to try. That’s why I drew this week’s comic. It’s for all the people out there who have asked me how I do it. Week in, week out. 15 years. I draw comics. Why? I don’t even know anymore. It’s gotten to the point where it’s just part of my life. A part I couldn’t imagine leaving behind. You don’t have to be as devoted as I am, but if you enjoy photography, go take pictures. If you like to sew, go sew. It doesn’t have to be every day. But it has to become a routine. Otherwise all the distractions of modern life will eat away the few minutes of free time you have and one day you’ll wake up and the decades will have gone by and you’ll wonder why you stopped  _______.

Draw The Line

This week’s Dustinland comic covers my thoughts on the Charlie Hebdo killings. The comic is pretty much an illustrated op-ed piece, and I think I covered all my thoughts in there, so I’ll leave it at that. It’s a sad, scary world we live in, and I don’t see it getting any better, at least in terms of this issue.

The Hard Hello

Where did this week’s Dustinland comic come from? Well, not too long ago Frank Miller (writer, artist and creator of the Sin City comic book and movie series, in case you’re not into the whole comic nerd thing) did a IAMA on Reddit (an online Q&A, in case you’re not into the whole Internet nerd thing). Someone asked him about his favorite books and he recommended Red Harvest, a classic hard boiled detective novel that inspired him many years ago. I picked it up and started reading it, and it inspired me to write this comic—something I’d like to call Dad Noir. Oh man, that’s good.

Dad Noir ©2014 Dustin Glick    Dad Noir®     Dad Noir™

You heard it here first, folks.

How to be Popular on Instagram

I’m relatively new to Instagram, so perhaps this week’s Dustinland is a bit late to a subject other people have already touched on. Or maybe it’s totally original. Either way, I actually love Instagram and I’m not trying to poop on it. It’s just fun to find trends and patterns that people seem to obsess over—or really ways people game the system. I feel like everything about the Internet / social / mobile today is about gaming the system. “Best practices.” Tricks to get more followers. Maybe I’m just too cynical but it seems like for so many people, the fun is not in the doing but in the receiving of approval. I’ve touched on this before, and I’ll probably touch on it again, maybe because I feel the pull of vindication just as much as anyone else does. Otherwise I’d be drawing comics in a sketch book instead of posting them online, right?

Online Exposure

So, clearly in this week’s comic I am making fun of Buzzfeed, but I must admit, I don’t ever go to that site and they’ve never stolen my content. Some other big sites have though, and I think it’s all the same schtick. It’s not “stealing” if they give you attribution. That’s the theory. And, you know, of course exposure to a wider audience is great. The problem is that a very tiny percentage of these people will ever click through the links that make up these lists. Come on, you’re busy looking at “The 29 most interesting squirrels of the first half of 2013,” there’s no way you’re going to have the patience to learn more about one specific post on the list.

I will say though, it’s kind of a different topic, but it’s frustrating to see people call the Buzzfeed guy a genius. I mean, sure, he is a genius at making money but I think the Internet is full of sites that just aggregate pop culture references and memes and little tidbits that pander to the lowest common denominator… sites that gather rather than create. These sites know how to make money and make things go viral but it’s not art. It’s nothing new. No one gains anything from it. It’s just quick blurts of stuff, the equivalent of old school email FW: FW: FW: FW: chain letter often times. Meh, enough ranting. I think you know what I mean.

PS Most of these sites are super ugly as well. Just sayin.

White Whale

There’s a ton of Moby Dick inspired art online and I just happened to come across some recently, and that’s what inspired me to create this week’s comic. Which was really fun to draw, by the way.

You know, most successful webcomics stick to some sort of theme, some kind of subject matter. I don’t. And I’m sure it turns some people off, people who find the site by reading some comic I did about boobs might not enjoy coming back the next week to see a political rant, and someone who likes my comics about the environment might not be into weird mini-whale on man love strips. But the nice thing about doing comics for fun and not for money is that it’s not a job. I do it for fun, so I can do whatever I want. Whether it’s “marketable” or not, meh. Basically, things are usually way more fun to do when you don’t have to worry about them paying the bills.

But back to Moby Dick. Great book! Really, it’s a bit of a slog, I know, but the good parts are incredible. It’s almost like a work on non-fiction at points, in its description of whaling. Man, next time you complain about your job, learn a little about what it was like to work on a whaling ship in the 1700s. It was probably even worse than being a whale.

Sounds of the Kitchen

I like these music-based art projects. The last time I did one, it was about colors. This one is about food—it’s an illustration of 49 band names that include food or some sort of kitchen item.

I’m sure I missed a few, and I’m also the Internet will let me know which ones. A few I left out on purpose, like The Flying Burrito Brothers. That was pretty weird, and once I ran out of room in the freezer, I thought it would have been weird to have a few burritos flying through a kitchen. I guess I could have stuck Leftover Salmon in the fridge to make more room, but I wasn’t really that awake yesterday.

That’s another nice thing about this. I made the list long ago, so I could just draw and relax and lose myself in the art. I mean, not that this is the kind of art you really lose yourself in, but still, when you’re totally burnt out, it’s a lot nicer to draw this than think of jokes. Good times.

In With The New

I think everyone has a little Andy Rooney in them. That’s the subject of this week’s comic. Well, the subject is really our tendency to dismiss things that are new and different before truly giving them a chance and taking the time to understand them. I think whenever there’s a major change out there, whether we’re talking art or technology, for many of us, we want these things to be bad because we deep down inside, we don’t want to have to change. We’ve been doing something well for a long time, we’re used to it, we’re comfortable, and it works really well. Now all of a sudden some jackass has to come along and change everything! Well, I hate it!

And like I said in this week’s comic, the success of Twitter is what opened my eyes to this trend in myself. Musically, I’m pretty open minded, but I guess with technology it’s a different story. I’ve always been a late adopter, and now I realize why. With Twitter, I judged it without understanding how people use it. Now, it’s one thing to understand something and pass judgement. But I was truly ignorant about it. And once I realized how it works, I realized it’s a very valuable tool. Not a necessity for everyone, but something that can be really fun and useful.

Another personal example was Kid A. When it came out, I was pissed. I loved OK Computer. Then they follow it up with some bleeps and bloops. What is this pretentious crap? I want more Pink Floyd stoner rock opera! But then I took a step back, listened to it without comparing it to its predecessor, and grew to love it. But first I had to understand it. And that’s the key. You can go through life trying to understand things so you can appreciate them, or finding excuses to hate things so you never have to change.

April fools

In terms of this Dustinland.com satire site, I would just like to say this: I think it’s great when anyone is able to make a living through comics. Good for them. However, I also think that the comics is a great art form with a lot of potential— as well as a medium that’s been slow to get its due respect. So I find it frustrating to see so many popular webcomics featuring stick figures, sometimes without even facial expressions. It brings up the question: What is a comic?

Again, nothing wrong with presenting a good joke online. I think a lot of people have been thinking up some pretty funny stuff and are just trying to express themselves in a more visual manner. After all, content is king. But it also seems to me the word “comic” is being thrown around pretty easily these days, and that saddens me since I know just how amazing comics can truly be.

Rockstar Thanksgiving Recipe Cards

A bunch of indie rockstar types sent some Thanksgiving recipes to my peeps at MTV Hive. I drew them and their dishes and made some sweet recipe cards out of them. Check em out here.

The full cast: Kidz in the Hall, Tune Yards, Marissa Nadler, A Place To Bury Strangers, Clams Casino, Jonathan Coulton, Escort, as well as Matt Pinfield and the glamorous MTV Hive editors.