Helena man strives to give doodles a life of their own
By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist
Welcome to a world where dinosaurs, robots, worms and bugs (and sometimes monkeys, dogs, cats and people) cavort daily and pontificate on the happenings of the Kent household in Helena.
Samuel Kent first began drawing his lunchbox cartoon series as a way to stay connected with his sons Andrew, 8, Toph, 5 and Xander, 3. On his website at i.droo.it, you, too, can share his humor and “weird tech and extroverted geek” creative expressions. He also is on twitter @LunchboxDoodler. “My ideas may come from something that makes me laugh or from a silly thought; I might ask myself random questions like, what would happen if a hippo and a monkey played soccer? What happens to the fruit in my kitchen if I am not there? Do they party? Maybe they just rot,” Samuel said. “Or they try to eat each other.”
Kent’s website also documents “How A Doodle Comes to Life.”
“You can put a lot of expression into a noodley, appendeged robot,” he said. “And we are big on vocabulary at our house and the cartoons have evolved into ways to expand that for the boys, as well.”
Kent said he first began writing poetry at 15, then segued into the world of technology and the Internet in 1994. He presently works as a software designer at MedSeek in Hoover.
As of late, his earlier interest in poetry and literature has come full circle and into his cartoons.
“Poetry requires and teaches strong vocabulary, rhythm and math skills and it helps students grasp onto other subjects,” he said.
Kent has read his work to his children’s classrooms and especially enjoys participating when the class studies a poetry unit. Check out his entry on Sept. 27, 2012, as he explores iambic pentameter in that daily cartoon.
One of Kent’s poems hangs in a classroom in Ireland. And he is currently in discussion with literary agents who have expressed interest in his doodles for children’s books. Kent is looking forward to reading his work at an upcoming Birmingham Public Library Open Mike Night as well as locally at Jane Holmes Public Library.
Kent offers his doodles for sale on Etsy.com/shop/ArtOfSamuelKent.
Laura Brookhart is a community columnist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.