Monday, July 5, 2010

The Power of the (Wacom) Pen


The Power of the (Wacom) Pen

This one's gonna be a long one.

A couple of months ago I got nominated for a project involving Jonathan Barnbrook, a top UK designer. I posted a strip about my concerns as Israeli, as I was about to apply for a project with a very politicly aware artist. My concern was that, according to my experience, artists who approach the Israeli Palestinian conflict tend to favour the Palestinian side, and I didn't want it to affect my chances to be accepted to the project.
I got accepted and had my first meeting with the group and with Mr. Barnbrook, who turned out to be a very pleasant and knowledgeable guy. He actually told me that the reason I got accepted was that I'm from Israel and have army experience, and that I can contribute my personal experience to this emotionally charged project. I left the meeting feeling relieved and a bit foolish, worrying for so long about a guy who turned out to be much smarter then I gave him credit for.

I woke up today to see I have a new comment. As I'm used to getting the comments from my mum and my brother, I was shocked to see a comment by a Mr. Jonathan Barnbrook. You can read it on the post's page, trust me, it's not pretty.
I was accused (rightly so, I guess) to having prejudices. I guess I do have a few demons I need to get rid of, but I don't see them as prejudices. I see it as being cautious. Driving past anti-Israeli protests, hearing friends' horror uni stories and just following the news is enough to make anyone paranoid. I guess I let it all get to me and was quick to judge a person I don't know. All I can do is keep an open mind and allow my views and opinions to change, a process I went through when I met Jonathan.
The next part is a bit embarrassing: That post was all about me lying in my application, or at least stretching the truth a bit. The joke didn't go over very well, and I can understand why: I would've not been happy to see the guy I just accepted to my project showing off online about how he lied in his application. I do that a lot, not lie of course, but use my cartoon counterpart to say those things I'd never say myself, things I full heartedly disagree with. I use 'the fool' as a story telling device where, by definition, the fool says the opposite of what I believe in, and by anchoring those things down to a character I allow people to react to those opinions and have some emotional response to them. It doesn't always work, but I guess it's a learning curve.

I'll finish with 3 more things:

1. I can't believe a world famous designer actually took the time to find my strip, look at it, decide that it is worth reading, read it, read the blog, and after all that find some more time to comment. I feel like my blog suddenly have real world weight, as if there is something that ties it down to the ground. With all of my over 100 strips so far, this is what gives this blog the right to exist.

2. I guess now after I upset one celebrity, I'd go for all the marvels and see if I can rock Britney's boat. You never know...

3. I have no idea what will happen with the project now, but in 6 months when all these strips will find a permanent home in a book, I'll have the perfect quote for the back cover:

"hi just found this. hmmm"
Jonathan Barnbrook

3 comments:

  1. I just read that post again (the original) and don't think it was that bad. I don't use the name gal israel when applying to jobs because hey - u know what, gal israel doesn't get interviews, the same CV with a different surname does.

    It doesn't mean that I think everyone is antisematic or anti israel - it's just that i want the job and I want them to give me a fair chance - and experience always come over first. I get the job and tell them my real name and they find it weird I had to lie - but i felt that i did - because the world isn't fair, bla bla.

    I also don't think his response was bad, he was right, and fair, and not heartbroken. ;)

    I think it's the start of a very nice relationship full of debates. And comics. ;)

    Not sure if britney will respond to you, not yet, anyway :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. hey, nice of Jonathan to even see your comic strips!!!!let alone comment on one of them!!!!
    I re-read both the strip and the comment, I have the feeling that you were misunderstood. You did say that there are artists who are biased to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, as there are more people in the world who are biased to it then there are people in the world who keep an open-mind and know the majority of the facts, but you definitely DID NOT say that Jonathan is one of them.
    I don't know of Jonathan's political agenda but I understand that he was offended by your strip. It's a shame. Anyone who looks at your strips knows that you stress the humor and ridiculous side of every story and situation. So if Jonathan is reading this comment: please learn Varig's (Omri) sense of humor and I hope you'll enjoy his work.

    I suggest you look at one of his strips where he ridicules one of his teachers...and of course - himself - by the way, this same teacher showed the strip in class...
    I hope that you will enjoy getting to know Omri as I'm sure he will enjoy working at your side and learning tremendously from all that you can teach him

    ReplyDelete
  3. hey, nice of Jonathan to even see your comic strips!!!!let alone comment on one of them!!!!
    I re-read both the strip and the comment, I have the feeling that you were misunderstood. You did say that there are artists who are biased to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, as there are more people in the world who are biased to it then there are people in the world who keep an open-mind and know the majority of the facts, but you definitely DID NOT say that Jonathan is one of them.
    I don't know of Jonathan's political agenda but I understand that he was offended by your strip. It's a shame. Anyone who looks at your strips knows that you stress the humor and ridiculous side of every story and situation. So if Jonathan is reading this comment: please learn Varig's (Omri) sense of humor and I hope you'll enjoy his work.

    I suggest you look at one of his strips where he ridicules one of his teachers...and of course - himself - by the way, this same teacher showed the strip in class...
    I hope that you will enjoy getting to know Omri as I'm sure he will enjoy working at your side and learning tremendously from all that you can teach him

    ReplyDelete