Artist Stops Googling and Finds Meaning

James Sturm is halfway through his summer without the internet. Oddly enough, he is writing an illustrated journal about the experience for the online magazine, Slate. You can find his work in their offline section.

Art from his Slate online journal about being offline ©2010 James Sturm

Anyone interested in graphic novels should know James Sturm. He is an award-winning graphic novelist and a founder of the Center for Cartoon Studies. His book, The Golem’s Mighty Swing, about a barnstorming Jewish baseball team in the 1920’s was called the the best graphic novel of 2001. His work is an extraordinary contribution to the field of illustration. His meticulous research and sold drawing skills evoke a sense of time and place that is truly remarkable.

Some of us from Kutztown met James Sturm on a field trip to the Newark Museum for their exhibition, Masters of American Comic, back in 2006. His offline experiment has revitalized his work. He notes that he is experiencing more moments of ‘synchronicity,’ finding connections between things that unfold before him naturally. It is rather mind-bending to sit at a computer, reading online, about the magic life that comes from being offline.

Besides reading more, I am more productive when at my office. Letters get written, calls get returned, and reports get finished. I am drawing more. My days don’t begin and end with me staring at my laptop. I don’t constantly feel humiliated by my inability to refrain from compulsively checking my e-mail. I feel less anxious as I move through the day. A certain texture has returned to my life…

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