New Yorker Cartoonist Conducts Workshop/Talk with Upper School

“You can’t wait for inspiration,” The New Yorker magazine’s Matthew Diffee told Upper School students on Friday, May 6. His talk – part of a new Distinguished Speaker Series at Ranney aimed at growing students’ understanding of the world around them – centered on his work as a national cartoonist, TEDx speaker and what he refers to as the “Idea Factory.”

Mr. Diffee used his experience—and a series of sample cartoons—to impart to students the importance of trial and error and of having a disciplined routine when working in a field that requires a constant feed of new, marketable ideas. He explained how his approach to evoking creativity, which features an “add-subtract-switch-invert-mashup” methodology, can apply from everything to writing music to generating a research paper. He also stressed the value of feedback and review of one’s work—essentially the “inspection” part of the idea factory—before finalizing a set of ideas or projects (view his takeaway message).

After his talk, Mr. Diffee conducted an hour-long workshop and Q&A session with Middle and Upper School art students. Mr. Diffee is editor of "The Rejection Collection" and author of the new book, "Hand Drawn Jokes for Smart Attractive People." 

Ranney School

235 Hope Road
Tinton Falls, NJ 07724
Tel. 732.542.4777
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