Back in 1991, I got a freelance assignment illustrating an article on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for a local paper. Everybody knows what OCD is now, but I was unfamiliar with it at the time. It seemed that new manias and dysfunctions were being created and constantly shilled by the many daytime talkshow of the day. OCD was just another craze, and I had no idea what to do. I asked the art director for some direction, but she wasn’t sure either. She said something about repetitive hand washing which I didn’t think would make much of an illustration. Who wants to see a cartoon of somebody washing hands? I certainly didn’t want to draw it. It was suggested I read the article so I did.
Shudder. Lurid, but it gave me a direction.
It was fascinating, and I always wondered what became of this woman. I think she had a lot more going on than just OCD! A lot more! There is a made-for-TV movie somewhere in there! If she has somehow survived, I wonder how she would hold up nowadays.
That bit of freakishness was all I needed so I charged ahead using my weapon of choice at the time which was technical pens. Technical pens were meant for technical work like drafting and mechanical drawing, but I always used and abused them forcing them to bow to my scratchy style.
I still have those pens, but I can’t remember the last time I’ve put ink in them. There is now a wide variety of markers which provide a similar or superior line to the finicky refillable pens.