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A Cartoonist at Heart

Kayla Mitchiner

“You never know what you are going to be drawing,” says cartoonist and kid-at-heart, Ed Stein. He began drawing in third grade when he was supposed to be doing cursive writing. Young Stein drew a beautiful duck and realized he had a talent for art. Then, he continued to draw more and more and developed this budding gift. His teacher noticed and even though she got him in trouble for doing the wrong thing in class, she talked to his parents about his artistic skills. Stein was always doodling in class and soon signed up for art lessons. He improved, “...by drawing all the time. I was obsessed. I would draw all the time.”

In high school, Stein began drawing for the school’s newspaper. Soon he got into the University of Denver and majored in fine art and received a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. Unfortunately, his parents were conflicted. They knew he was good, but they also knew that it was hard to find a career in cartooning. But Stein would not give up. Eventually, he made his own comic strip called Freshly Squeezed and continued writing/drawing strips and gags. Plus, he has a website about his life called Sleeper Ave.

Stein also said that, “The idea doesn’t just come to you like lightning.” He said that he would often have to think for a very long time before coming up with an idea. After half a day, an idea would pop into Stein’s head and it was usually inspired by his family. He would do a thumbnail sketch, or small sketch first, then do a better pencil drawing after that. Finally, he would put ink on the comic and color. Stein became a cartoonist because he was excited to find out that he was good at something and his parents encouraged him most of the time. Additionally, he can “remember what being a kid feels like.” Stein teaches people to know a lot about everything, do what you love, and have fun!