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Feeling Down? Well, if You're in the UK That Makes Sense: It's The UK Mental Wellbeing Ranking Has Fallen! One Nations Misery Is Another One Nations Happiness, Right?  Let's face it, life here in the UK isn't always sunshine and beer gardens. A recent study ranked us second to last in terms of mental wellbeing—ahhh! But before you book a one-way ticket to Benedorm, there's more to this. . .  The Telegraph points to a few possible culprits we could blame for these collective blues. One big finger points to the internet and social media  with its constant barrage of negativity and unrealistic portrayals of perfection. It aided the economic woes that put retail mostly online, providing many thriving towns into empty building projects and charity shop high streets! That's before we even get into culture wars, and wokism. It looks like we're turning into a  digitised national echo chamber, teeming with  screen addicts, who, on average, now spend less time making

Cartoony Archetypes and Characters

Archetypes and Cartoons

Well, hello there! Today I came across an interesting blog by Annie Weatherwax about archetypes in relation to illustrations and cartoons. This piece grabbed my attention, given my own, previous blog on archetypes and, uh, well—I like to dabble with cartoons. 

Two cartoons with badly drawn head disorder

With regards to a lot of media, especially cartoons, creative types automatically use archetypes. I agree with pretty everything her blog says. If we get scientific about it, could we suggest archetyping has always been our natural way of identifying social roles? Take the archetypal doting mother; it could only have been accepted as a 'thing' after people had spoken about the 'those types' of mothers who excessively nurture. We've been tokening archetypes over our history. I've probably missed something somewhere, but cartoons do play on them. 

Cartoon about taboo subject of colour

It's like, before a psychiatrist brands a patient with a mental condition, many of the DSM-V boxes will need ticking first. A tad like how new archetypes have to be recognised, and then tokened as a 'human thing' before it goes viral, like with the modern 'Karen,' or those overly 'analytical atheist' types, for example. It's swings and roundabouts. 

Farting cartoon

Hold on, uh, don't think I'm saying all cartoonists are mentally ill. A few of us are quite normal. I'm just saying there're other tantalizing things to incorporate into your work other than an archetypal model. I'll admit to gladly enjoying cheeky stereotypes and vulgarity when I do a cartoon. Parody is another word for it according to the great Instagram. I might try a touch of satire, in all fairness, I only tend to do gag cartoons. 

Slightly vulgar cartoon

Annie's blog explains Jungian prototypes very well, but I'm not of the initiated, I view what Jung called the 'collective unconscious' in a different way to how he did. I see the collective unconscious in the same light as I see human morality: without mystery; socially constructed and existing in the human mind and accepted as some inherent nature when it's not. Cross pollination of culture could also explain aspects of the collective unconcious, historically spreading deep symbolic themes and values across the world. 

Cartoon about mind eating aliens

When I create a cartoon, I find amusement in emphasising societies common forms of ugliness, our dibsh***ery. I try to promote our lack of grace, the human screwball scramble. It can be a challenge to accurately turn my stupid mental imagery into an picture. 

TikTok Dancing cartoon

My previous blog about archetypes agrees that they are exaggerated characters that deliver that punch of inspiration. I posited the idea that we, as  people, do the same. Almost every boy, years ago, wanted to be Han Solo. I saw many of them modify their behaviour to mirror that lovable rogue. Well, before Star Wars, those qualities were recognised by George Lucas in Errol Flynn, James Dean and Humphrey Bogart. They shaped Han Solo. My friends who practiced the Han Solo swagger, were unknowingly strutting like James Dean. Okay, so did I! 

Irresponsible dog owners cartoon

All that caricaturing; mannerisms, villainous squints, the intense stare, tough guy side glances, the put-on manly voice, all these idiosyncrasies that personify our character development aren't archetypes themselves. Wallace and Gromit wordlessly purvey inner thought very well. Wallace has many archetypes but his soul comes from how he carries them. 

Cartoon duck reads the news nihilistically

We enjoy artistic content when there is something that resonates with us, it's immersive. I believe artistry is not simply relatability alone or indeed, solely archetypes, but rather how they are brought to life. We gauge our environment going on how relatable things are for us. Wallace is a loveable waffling character: a genius inventor, typical English man, but only because it's how he is animated, designed, postured, voiced and facially expressed. This artistry is key above all else, but that's only my opinion. 

Cartoon of a bored oap oblivious of monsters

To sum it all up, I'll appeal to Caravaggio's powerful art. He will grasp the viewer, because of his very realistic human physiology, well composed scenes of drama and tragedy. His art is pure immersion, because he put meat on the bone, then gave it emotion. 

Slightly vulgar cartoon of a man excreting his own head

Most art based on humans naturally contain something archetypal, the challenge may be to try one without any archetype or stereotype, just to see how hard it could be. 

Vegan preaching bird sitting on crocodiles mouth

Highly intelligent swine at the troughs


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