Scenes from corporate life

Here’s this week’s wry look at words in the workplace. See previous cartoons in the series.


This week I discovered Xtranormal, a text-to-video site that allows you to animate your ideas. Here’s the video version of the above cartoon. What do you think? Does it work?

Confident Writing blog. For the project, Joanna challenged her readers to experiment with writing for a new medium.

In line with the project’s rules, here are my reflections on what I learned from this experiment.

1. I got the idea for creating cartoons from fellow blogger, tweeter and cartoonist Brad Shorr. I never thought someone as artistically incompetent as I am could create cartoons until I learned that Brad collaborates with an artist to realise his ideas. The lesson? Writing’s often a solitary business, but interacting with others can inspire new ways of thinking.

2. I’m lucky to have a husband and business partner who’s visually literate – it meant I could realise my cartoons without having to pay an outsider.

3. I’m more creative than I thought I was. I always thought of myself as a critic rather than a creator. The cartoons allow me to do both.

4. Creativity comes in bursts for me. I bashed off more than a dozen cartoon ideas in a morning, but have done none since. I’m going to be running one cartoon a week, so hopefully I’ll have another creative spurt before I’ve featured them all.

5. I think this particular creative burst came from forcing myself to be disciplined about writing a set number of words for my blog every day, whether I was feeling inspired or not. The lesson? Write through the fallow periods and you’ll reap the rewards

6. Creative bursts can come at any time, but particularly when you’re half way between wake and sleep, or when you’re doing something else entirely. The lesson? Carry a notebook wherever you are.

7. Xtranormal is ridiculously, addictively good fun. Discovering it made my week. Don’t go there unless you want to be similarly hooked.

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6 comments so far . . . come and pitch in!

  1. Brad Shorr says:

    Clare, the cartoons are awesome, and this one is my favorite so far. I actually like your regular cartoon better than the animated version. The expressions on those two corporate faces are hilarious. Well done, all the way around!

  2. Joanna Young says:

    I loved the cartoons when they started appearing, and was delighted to read this post and find they were part of the Group Writing Project. I loved them all and they brought make so many ridiculous moments from my previous life in the corporate world.

    I also preferred your version to the animated one, though I can well believe it could be an addictive service, so not going there … yet 😉

  3. Moira says:

    Hi Clare. I think the cartoons are terrific. I don’t like the video very much. It’s fun, but it doesn’t get the message across nearly as well. I think this is because you can’t read the expressions of the cartoon characters and have no idea what they are going to say, so when they speak it is a bit of a shock. Keep up the cartoons – and well done to Dave! M

  4. Moira says:

    What are you going to do with the cartoons? I’m thinking card shops… Or even just postcards. I’d buy one! M

  5. Clare Lynch says:

    Moira, glad you like the cartoons – yes, I am thinking about getting some cards done. Just need to investigate the logistics. Good to know there’s a market of at least one out there!

  6. Clare Lynch says:

    Brad, Joanna and Moira – yes, I think the problem with the animated version is that Xtranormal isn’t sophisticated enough to do everything you want it to do. It’s great for last minute birthday greetings though!

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