From when her mother gave her a book of James Thurber’s cartoons, Liza Donnelly has expressed her wit and rising political consciousness through pencils, pens, watercolors, and now through her live drawing on an iPad at the Oscars, the Democratic National Convention, other marquee events for CBS.
On this episode, Liza traces her journey from Washington, D.C. to New York, with an impactful year-long layover in Rome, where she explored a new sense of freedom and immersed herself in the arts, especially the drawings of Leonardo Da Vinci.
In New York she used her artistic skills behind the scenes at the American Museum of Natural History. But her goal always was to get her cartoons in The New Yorker which she did through dogged determination despite all the rejections—but she’ll tell why she needed to go out on the streets of New York to sketch parking meters before the magazine published her first cartoon.
Liza reveals how the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. sparked her growing political consciousness and why she saw her art as the best way to add her voice to the cause.
While it was in New York that Liza began to feel Irish, that feeling intensified in her first trip to Ireland where she found a warm welcome, new inspirations for sketching, and a kinship with the people from a shared passion for politics and love of poetry—because for Liza Donnelly cartooning is a form of poetry.