A Day In The Life…

I’ve been wanting to do a blog for a while where I chronicle what my typical day is like as a stay-at-home dad/cartoonist. The caveat being I didn’t want to plan it.

I didn’t want to decide what I was going to wear, or what I was going to do, or what day might be the most interesting. That just seemed like cheating. So, I shelved it for a while and figured I’d get to it sometime down the road.

Well, yesterday was the day. It hit me early in the morning after the day had begun and I just sort of went with it.

So, here’s a pretty typical day:

5:00 Alarm goes off. Curse daylight, roll out of bed, and put on my sweats.

5:10 Check email and website/blog stats.

5:20 Walk the dog, drink coffee.

5:45 Shower/breakfast/CNN Headline News/more coffee. (I have an idea for a business cartoon involving a souffle in the shower, but the more I think about it the worse it sounds. I scrap it.)

6:30 Wake up Henry. Get a load of diapers washing. (My wife and I use cloth diapers, so I wash a load just about every other day. It’s not as bad as it sounds. You’d be amazed at what you can get used to.)

6:50 My wife heads to work and I feed the boy.

7:05 This is where I officially had the idea to document my entire day. Track down the camera. (I had to sort of backtrack for the first few hours, but it’s pretty right on.)

7:20 Clean up Henry, take the first picture, and get down to play-time.

Me in the office

Me in my office

8:15 Vacuum the house. I try to get my head in cartoon writing mode, but nothing comes.

8:30 Run to the bank to deposit some cartoon checks. Drop by Krispy Kreme and pick up donuts for my father-in-law. (He’s coming over to watch Henry so I can go to the dentist.)

8:58 I sold a cartoon! An industrial sweeper/scrubber company purchases this cartoon for an upcoming presentation.

9:00 More play-time.

Cowboy Mark

Howdy! (Playing with hats.)

9:15 My father-in-law arrives and we both marvel at Henry.

9:35 The dentist. The hygienist asks why I’m taking pictures of myself. I try to explain, but I don’t think she understands.

At the dentist

I stared at this for an hour.

10:37 Off to Subway to pick up sandwiches for my father-in-law and myself. (I almost always get seafood with lettuce, onion and pickles for those of you playing at home.)


Driving to Subway.

11:00 Chit-chat with father-in-law. Continued marveling at Henry.

11:30 Lunch.

12:00 My father-in-law heads out and Henry and I head outside to, as my Mom puts it, “blow some stink off.”

12:30 Back inside for play-time and stories.

Santa washes the dump truck

Santa Claus driving his dump truck.

12:55 Henry goes down for his nap and my cartooning day officially begins. I waste some time checking my email and surfing.

1:15 Actually get down to work. I usually write first because that part is the most difficult for me. I’ve gotten a lot better over the years, but there’s still no real method. I sit and think about stuff and try to let my brain run free.

1:35 Everything I’ve written is crap sp far. Here are some examples:

Businessman to other – “I’d love to show you my business model, but the glue isn’t dry yet.”

Worker at auto dent removal place to customer – “Sorry, we don’t do pocketbooks.”

Old man to another – “You know what I miss? Nostalgia.”

Grocery clerk to kangaroo – “Paper or pouch?”

I get up and start to walk around to try and jumpstart my brain.

1:50 I get my first decent idea.

Female snail on couch next to salt shaker remarks under breath to another female snail seated across from her – “I’ll change him.”

New Writing

Today’s writing.

1:52 Another decent one.

Owl on couch to psychiatrist – “Anymore I just don’t give a hoot.”

I just need one more idea, but the last one always comes slow. (I try to write as many cartoons as I plan to draw for the day. Today I’ll be doing three.)

2:05 Got it.

Ostrich in emergency room to ostrich with head stuck inside hourglass – “I told you that thing was trouble.”

2:10 Pick out three older gags, get Ed Wood going on the DVD, and sit down and start to sketch my cartoons for the day.

Sketch 1

Sketch 2

Sketch 3

2:25 Sketches went relatively quickly today. I start inking.

2:55 The time I save on sketches I more than made up for in inking. Two cartoons got drawn three times each to get them right. I start shading the final inks.

3:10 Shading is all done and I take a second to check my email.

3:20 Scan in the cartoons, make changes and add captions in Photoshop.



3:30 The mail comes and I resist the urge to jump up and get it.

3:45 All three cartoons are finished and I allow myself to get the mail. (I’m a mail junkie!) There’s nothing good today.

Final 1

Final 2

(In case you can’t read it, one basket says “Frying Pan” and the other says “Fire”.)

Final 3

(Again, in case you can’t read it, one pump says “Fulfilling” and the other says “Self-Fulfilling”.)

4:00 Get Henry up from his nap and give him a snack.

4:20 Margie comes home and plays with Henry. I get some housework done; the sink in the kitchen gets a good scrubbing.

Look at that sink!

Look at that sink!

5:15 Dinner. (Beef stroganoff, Jell-O and some crescent rolls with apple butter. Yum-yum!)

5:55 Upload pictures and get them ready for the blog.

6:40 Dessert!

6:45 Play-time with Henry and Margie

7:15 Margie reads Henry his bedtime stories and I begin blogging in earnest.

9:00 The blog is finished and I’m done for the day.

See you tomorrow...

See you tomorrow…

9:15 Now for some reading and some well-deserved sleep.