Drawing with the Cartoon Dude


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"Cartoon Dude's number one rule is stop asking the question 'Can I?' and to begin asking the question 'How do I?' Dave Miller, the artist of Draw with the Cartoon Dude explains. “The one difference between a person who draws and a person who doesn't is that somewhere along the way, someone told that second person they couldn't do it. Cartoon Dude tells kids they can.”

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How did Miller get the name Cartoon Dude in the first place? “Like many of the great things in my life, the kids gave it to me,” he explains. “In the first drawing class I taught, I told my students they could either call me Mr. Miller or Cartoon Dude. Guess which one they chose? It stuck.”

Draw with the Cartoon Dude gives easy, step-by-step instructions and tips for beginning, intermediate, and even advanced artists. Designed to look like an artist’s sketchbook, Cartoon Dude shows how basic shapes serve as building blocks for drawing faces, buildings, and even robot sharks. Miller's encouraging tone helps grow a budding artists' confidence. “I want Cartoon Dude to be a cheerleader for them and their artwork. If you feel good about your drawings, you'll keep at it.”

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Miller began teaching cartoon classes after he took his son to kindergarten and discovered that the school's art program had been cut. “These classes need to be available. Kids need to learn how to be creative. Imagination is like a muscle. The more you flex it, the moreyou use it.” Miller teaches his students that imagination begins with a pencil in their hands.

“It's the smallest thing in your imagination that can lead to the biggest thing. Disney was on the cusp of failure, and he was on a train back to the West Coast to throw in the towel when he drew a mouse. How did we land on the moon? Before physics and NASA, someone used their imagination to dream it up. Doodling encourages that kind of problem-solving and creative thinking.”

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Ironically, Miller doesn't doodle much himself. “But I've been drawing since I was two years old. It's the best kind of natural instinct I have.” Miller teaches kids to develop their own instincts and to let them thrive – and run wild. At the end of the day, Millerhopes Cartoon Dude teaches one key lesson: “If you can dream it, you can draw it.”