I’m rapidly becoming the cloud guy. That’s fine by me.
But has anyone ever wondered why I draw purple clouds? Why my books are under a “Purple Cloud Publishing” head?
Here’s your “other” answer. (You’ll understand that in a bit) I’m totally blowing my spot up by explaining this… so here goes.
Purple clouds are a thing of mine. They’ve been a thing of mine since high school. I could lie and say that the genesis of my purple cloud thing was sincere. It was not. (And it had NOTHING to do with Prince.) It was a reaction to something I saw someone else do. They had a symbol so I needed a symbol. Theirs wasn’t a cloud…it wasn’t even purple.
So, I started with purple clouds. Here and there I’d fit one in. I never had a good explanation as to why, I would just say, “I like purple clouds.” They had no real meaning… other than the meaning I was too embarrassed to admit to. I was copying someone else. I was taking someone’s idea and manipulating it. Eventually, I came up with an explanation. Purple clouds only happen once or twice a day – at sunrise and sunset. They’re unique, they’re special… that’s why I draw purple clouds. People bought it… but selling it made me feel like sh-t. If I was going to do this a s a career…if I wanted to earn the respect of readers and my fellow cartoonists, is this the was I start it all off?
Here’s the real reason I draw purple clouds: to remind me to NEVER copy someone else. If it’s not my idea, it’s not my idea. It’s fine to be inspired by someone’s work, but don’t copy it. EVER. That stuff is crass and low… and I work too hard to stoop that low. The purple clouds remind me to ALWAYS work my own idea. Always. That’s why it’s called “Purple Cloud Publishing.” That’s why I had a sketchblog a few years back called “mypurplecloud.com.” That’s why I went so far as to have a purple cloud tattooed on my right arm – which also happens to be my drawing arm.
Purple clouds are great ideas… just like the actual purple clouds in the sky. They’re fleeting and temporary and they need to be admired and appreciated while they’re there.
That’s what the purple clouds mean. Just in case you were wondering.
Just kinda shocked that Prince is gone. 57 isn’t that old.