Art is a biological function. #LyndaBarry @ideaprogram

Two artists are my greatest influences: Frida Kahlo and Lynda Barry.  Both are tatooed on me.  It’s serious business.

Recall my post the other day: Lo and behold, my greatest hero, Lynda Barry, is in town.

Being able to attend Lynda’s lecture at IDEA, Capilano University Friday evening was a dream come true. And Lynda delivered.  WOW.  What an experience it was.

Her whole thesis resonated with me and the work that I do- my own art, my work with Dad, art therapy, crafts… whatever.


Unless we have this place, the image world, and we can work stuff out there, which is what part of our biological makeup gives to us, then I think that we’re fated to try to date them or marry them.

A scientist named V.S. Ramachandran has done some astonishing work with neurological problems he’s actually solved with a mirror. He had a patient who had lost his hand, but the patient’s experience was that the hand was still there, and not only there, but it was in a really tight fist — you know, painfully tight. This guy was miserable; he couldn’t get away from that feeling. Ramachandran made a box, tilted the mirror in there, and then he put a hole in the other side. He asked the guy to stick his hand in the hole, the fist that was still there, and look down. So what the guy saw was his fist and then the reflection of it, which was like his other hand. Then, he told him to open his hand, and what he saw was the reflection of his other hand opening, and it solved the problem.

That’s a perfect example of what images do. My feeling is that in the course of life there are certain things for us that are like phantom limb pain, like a horrible, horrible parent who dies before you ever work things out with them. And I think the only way that those things can be worked out is through something that’s akin to that mirror box — except it may be a fairy tale, or it may be a painting, or it may be a song you can remember from when you were 14 and you had to play the same song over and over and over again, like 400 times in a row. Yeah, what are you doing there? You’re opening your fist. You’re looking at a reflection.

– LYNDA BARRY, source:

Lynda gave us more than expected and I laughed and cried, applauded, nodded, and all that good stuff.  As she ran overtime, there was no time for meet and greet, but I managed to thrust a bag in her hands as she ran by me (fittingly, a Frida Kahlo sock monkey and Frida Kahlo street art… naturellement).

There she is!!! “No cameras allowed” was then announced. Sigh.

A signed copy of her latest book, EVERYTHING, is, well… EVERYTHING!!!

My current Lynda Barry collection:

This post is dedicated to my little brother, Fred.  We obsessed over Ernie Pook’s Comeek together and felt it illustrated our lives perfectly.

#LyndaBarry is in town! @ideaprogram

Lo and behold, my greatest hero, Lynda Barry, is in town.

I am a tad overwhelmed to say the least.  She is always my inspiration.  My idol.  My number one.  The greatest- PERIOD.

One of the most successful alternative American cartoonists, Lynda Barry has blazed many trails over her 30 year career. Best known for her Ernie Pook’s Comeek about family life from the perspective of pre-teen girls; Freddie, Arna and Marlys, the syndicated strip ran for two decades in non-mainstream weeklies. Barry is also a painter, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher. source

Lynda will be participating in several events on campus from Sept 24 to 28, culminating in a free public event on Friday Sept 28.

Details here:

Lynda Barry has worked as a painter, cartoonist, writer, illustrator, playwright, editor, commentator and teacher and found they are very much alike. She is the inimitable creator behind the seminal comic strip that was syndicated scross North America in alternative weeklies for two decades, Ernie Pook’s Comeek featuring the incomparable Marlys and Freddy, as well as the books One! Hundred! Demons!, The! Greatest! of! Marlys!, Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel, Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies! Naked Ladies!, The Good Times are Killing Me which was adapted as an off-Broadway play and won the Washington State Governor’s Award. Her bestselling and acclaimed creative writing-how to-graphic novel for Drawn & Quarterly, What It Is, won the Eisner Award for Best Reality Based Graphic Novel and R.R. Donnelly Award for highest literary achievement by a Wisconsin author. D+Q plans to publish a multivolume collection of Ernie Pook’s Comeek, Barry’s next prose novel, and the follow up and creative drawing companion to What It Is, November 2010’s Picture This: The Near-Sighted Monkey Book.

What It Is is based on “Writing the Unthinkable” which is based on a tried-and-true method creative method that is playful, powerful, and accessible to anyone with an inquisitive wish to write or remember. Lynda explores the depths of the inner and outer realms of creation and imagination, where play can be serious, monsters have purpose, and not knowing is an answer unto itself. Barry currently offers her workshop “Writing the Unthinkable” all over the place. Source

My son just brought back this beautiful Lynda Barry Tote from Montreal!

Recommended Lynda Barry links:


Creativity, imaginary friends, writing, memory, inspiration, mental health, the importance of play…

I’m actually digging menopause by the way…

At the centre of any artwork we do there is something alive…


“When it comes to writer’s block, author Lynda Barry believes the key to unblocking your thoughts is right in your hands.”

Hands are the original digital devices run on biofuel.


HER SPECIAL DAY Video excerpt from Comic Book Confidential (1988)

Studio visit!  See PICTURE THIS originals!  VIDEO