Artist Statement

Jonathan Plotkin, Spontoonist

I have been drawing in one shape or form nearly all of my life. Born in Chicago toward the end of Eisenhower's first term in office my family moved east to Longmeadow, Massachusetts when I was eight years old. I came of age during the volatile 60’s when all rules and conventions seemed to be tossed out the door. The great underground Comics of the day, Zap, Bijou Funnies, The Furry Freak Brothers and some of their contributors, Robert Crumb, Gilbert Shelton and Art Spiegelman have all influenced my work and motivated me to become an editorial illustrator and cartoonist. Thomas Nast, Herbert Block, Saul Steinberg and the great Editorial cartoonists of the day Paul Conrad, Jeff MacNelly and Paul Oliphant also informed my art as well as my political and social opinions which for the most part have not waivered for over 50 years.

As a child and to this very day I have been a prolific doodler. Just ask my wife or kids.  There is not a piece of paper in the house that doesn’t have something scribbled or drawn on its surface. Growing up it would be years before I realized that doodling in school actually helped me to learn by allowing what I was hearing in class to be imprinted into the images I was creating. But help it did! I am a firm believer in the power of doodling to assist kids and adults of all ages to retain information especially if they are inclined to be visual learners as I am. The Spontoonist, or spontaneous cartoons, is a direct result of this effort to teach and inspire others to pick up a pencil or pen and allow their minds eye to register and retain information through the magic of drawn images.

I am a nationally published editorial cartoonist, illustrator, educator and patron of the arts in all of its many forms. I firmly believe in the power of art to enlighten and nurture communities across the human spectrum in an effort to find beauty and truth in their everyday world.

–Jonathan Plotkin