Ben Todd creates the Optimist’s cartoons

Have you checked out the Optimist’s opinion section recently? If not, I encourage you to take a look at the comics. Over the last two years, the Optimist has had a new cartoonist: Ben Todd, sophomore graphic design major.

069 UFO's for Escape

To see how Ben created this comic using Adobe Photoshop, check out the video below.

Meeting the Cartoonist

Ben is from Chiang Mai, Thailand, and came to Abilene to go to school. Attending ACU is a bit of a family tradition; both of his parents and his sister graduated from here.

Ben is very involved on campus, using multiple avenues to let out his creative juices. Some of these include swing dancing with ACU Swing Cats and acting or directing for FilmFest, ACU’s annual student film competition.

Working for the Optimist

Although Ben isn’t a student in the JMC Department, he had some connections that helped get him the job. His sister, Asia Eidson, recently graduated from ACU with a multimedia major. Asia recommended Ben to the Optimist staff, and they gladly welcomed him to the team.

Ben has found working for the Optimist extremely helpful in developing professional skills. At first he found working with deadlines a bit difficult, but now he appreciates it. Now he describes the most difficult part of his job as “creating funny material that is also relevant to the editorial topic.”

Having his comics in the school paper has also helped him get feedback. Optimist readers don’t always know who draws the comics, and Ben often overhears commentary on his work. Ben views the critiques as helpful and tries to improve his content to work with the audience.

Creating the Comics

Ben uses a few different approaches to drawing his comics. Sometimes he completes his creation traditionally, using ink and paper. Other times he will simply create sketches and go straight to the computer to finish the job. He prefers to use Adobe Photoshop, a graphic design program most commonly used for editing and manipulating pictures.

Check out the video below to see how Ben brings his comics to life.

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