It’s funny how people are programmed to pigeonhole the world around them. Almost certainly a deeply rooted survival trait. Which would explain why the stereotyping, bigotry, and profiling issues are as issue-ful as they are. And also explains why people are so amazed when Gomer Pyle turns out to have an operatic baritone and the guy who played Archie Bunker is actually a tree hugging liberal. They’ve filed away “a reality” based on some experience and their mind recoils from the thought that that might just be a single facet of the whole.
It was brought home to me yesterday in physical therapy. They know I’m a cartoonist and have seen my toons. But yesterday I got to talking and the receptionist wanted to know what kind of dog I have. I figured I’d just look for some pics on the iPad I had in my hands but I couldn’t find any photos. However I did see a digital painting I’d done of Buzz. So I brought that one up.
Their reaction was intense. “OH MY GOD! That’s amazing! I’d have thought that was a photo! I knew you were a cartoonist but I never thought you could do stuff like THIS!”
I guess I shattered their image of what a “cartoonist” can do. Shock of shocks, someone who draws stick figures isn’t necessarily limited to that. What’s next, football players who enjoy ballet?!