BY CAROLINE SCHMIDT Local artist David Jablow’s latest project, “Do It Yourself Doodler” was inspired by a friend’s gift: a vintage novelty doodle pad from the sixties that featured an incomplete drawing of a woman on each page. With ink, white out, and no small amount of resourcefulness, Jablow has filled all 38 pages of the tablet with intricate illustrations, placing the doodler lady in comedic, quirky, clever, and occasionally compromising positions. He plans to turn the collection into a book. The project has generated a positive buzz and a lot of interactive response on the Internet, surfacing on blogs from Russia to Brazil. You can check out the collection at Bambi Gallery at the Piazza in Northern Liberties. There is an opening reception tonight from 6 to 10, but the show will be up until January 2nd. There will be original drawings for sale, as well as limited edition signed prints and a number of one-of-a-kind preliminary sketches for doodler drawings that never actually got made. Phawker got him on the horn and asked him a few questions about his new project.
PHAWKER: Is there any sort of a narrative connection between the drawings?
DAVID JABLOW: There is no narrative, whatsoever. Each one is just one way to deal with a half-gone woman, the doodler lady. Each one I just treated it as a new project. I mean, I tried not to repeat myself—I was thinking about the others when I was working on one—but no, there’s no storyline from one to the other.
PHAWKER: The project received a lot of internet attention—people making their own doodler drawings, etc—you in no way intended any sort of interactive response from this project, right?
DAVID JABLOW: No. It started out—there’s an alternative website run by a guy here in Philadelphia, it’s called meathaus.com and, I ran into him at the Philadelphia alternative comic con. […] He posted them on there and it just sort of went global. I got a lot of fan mail and feedback from pretty much everywhere on the planet.
PHAWKER: Has that interaction become a part of the project for you at all?
DAVID JABLOW: It’s really out of my hands. If people want to do it, that’s fine. […] I’ve been actually thinking about trying to get other artist friends to do maybe one a week, because I’ve got this blog up devoted to it, and there’s a lot of this sort of just weird cultural stuff that ties into it besides the actual project.
PHAWKER: How does this relate to the rest of your body of work?
DAVID JABLOW: You know, I’ve sort of grown up on stuff that looks like this—comics, and cartooning and Mad Magazine, and Saturday morning animated cartoons and all that. A lot of what I have done ties into that—has sort of a silly, cartoony look—I think the influences are pretty clear. I’ve done a number of paintings for years, and it worked into that; the influence is pretty consistent throughout a lot of what I’ve done.
PHAWKER: Who would you say has your influenced your work?
DAVID JABLOW: I would definitely say, my two favorites are also fellow Philadelphians: Robert Crumb and Joe Matt, definitely; I’ll pick up anything they do. There is a guy named Peter Bagge, and, there is plenty of fine art that has influenced me, in undergrad and grad school. I’ve looked at plenty of paintings in my time. I’m always getting influence from everything around me.