Profiles of autodidacts

An Interest with Zeal: Christina Spiegel’s Comic-a-Day

This is the first post in a series at Intrinsic Lifestyle about hobbies my friends do with Zeal!  Given my explanation for self-directed learning here, I’m glad to finally share:

Christina Spiegel’s Comic-a-Day  

Christina’s skill at comics developed in front of my eyes. I first saw Christina’s comics on Facebook. Later, when I joined Instagram, I noticed she was sharing them there too.   Her written content is often dark humor, as evident by the comics I’ve included in this post. They’re philosophical, witty and funny.IMG_1315

Of course I wanted to feature her here because her activity, her hobby, her passion, whatever you want to call it, is an example of the very sort of thing that excites me. What I’m interested in discussing is her ‘self-directed learning.’ What are the things she has to know and be good at in order to create comics? It’s sort of a game to interpret her learned behaviors. Feel free to fill in what I’ve let out, in the comment section. Anyway, I sent her a direct message and asked her a few questions. Her responses are in the yellow boxes.

"You asked about what I've learned from my process.  I'm not quite sure how to answer that but I can tell you why I started doing it.  I was missing being a creative person.  In the past I have enjoyed writing, stand-up comedy, photography, and usually making art of some variety.  For me, motherhood and homeschooling take most of my energy.  Drawing cartoons is something I can do wherever I am; and I can spend however much time I have working on them.  Our whole family likes to draw so we often hang out together at the kitchen table and scribble and chat."

And in another email I asked Christina, what is your source for content, the words in your comics? She said,

"The words are occasionally based on things that I have overheard, definitely observational but usually from my imagination.  My words are from life, real or imagined."

Do you read the paper, or anything that might give you ideas for your comics?  Please share your resources, if any.  Christina wrote:

"I don't really have any print resources that inform my cartoons but I have always been a fan of Lynda Barry and Roz Chaste.  I don't think I'm similar to them but they both have qualities that I admire.   Roz Chaste is smart and urbane.  Lynda Barry is very poignant and often anti-joke."  Best,  C

Please enjoy three of Christina’s comics.  By the way, her comics may not be reproduced without her expressed permission.

bloodymary 001

tats 001


So here goes..

With her art, comes Christina’s understanding of the elements of art, including: composition, line, shape, pattern, perspective, light and color.

This seems obvious but it’s a learned skill. She’s using her hands to ‘make’ something, demonstrating a kinesthetic style of learning by controlling her hand movements with a pen. Drawing requires Christina to have a knack for spatial judgment; an ability to visualize an image from her mind’s-eye to the page.

Her medium, a pen, requires an understanding of how to employ the pen and ink techniques below: penandinktechniquesImage above from The Virtual Instructor

Her comics have words associated with her image.  Her use of words suggests she has a high verbal-linguistic intelligence.

Her words are a type of creative-writing style.   Christina’s written content is articulate and funny at the same time. I’ll bet she’s good at reading, writing, and telling stories as well.

She has developed an understanding and careful observation of people’s moods, feelings, temperaments and motivations, as evident by her comics.

By doing a comic-a-day, she’s showing her commitment, persistence, and time management skills.


Christina Spiegel making a comic.

Christina could have taken a class to learn how to make comics, but she chose to do it on her own at home.  She’s resourceful and practical.  She had a desire to be more creative again.  She went for it and has grown from the doing.   I hope her comics get published in magazines and I wonder where she’ll take this next…

Follow Christina Spiegel at



Look forward to a variety of posts about interesting self-directed learners like Christina Spiegel.   Please follow me by email. You may sign up on my Home page in right column of the blog.

Sources:  Multiple Intelligences Oasis, Howard Gardner’s Official Site for MI Theory

5 Responses to “An Interest with Zeal: Christina Spiegel’s Comic-a-Day”

  1. patricia

    Chris’ comics are hilarious. I love that dry sense of humor. (What was Astrid thinking? Ha.)

    I’m always inspired when people take on a challenge to do something regularly–daily!–and then keep up with it. That’s how you get better at anything, but it can be so hard to do. The two of you are nailing it!

    • Kristin

      Hi Tricia,

      Cheers to dry, witty humor and to word play!

      I’m referring to Christina’s comics and to your knack for writing non-fiction essays.

      With regard to your comment about keeping up with your *interest* on a daily basis…

      I agree it’s hard to do! Especially because a ‘hobby’ is an add-on to everything else in one’s life which demands our attention.

      (I don’t really like that word hobby. When a person works at their ‘interest’ as hard as a job, it’s not a hobby anymore. But, I can’t think of a better word, can you?)

      And as far as the “getting better” part of the equation you mentioned–thinking about that is too overwhelming.

      I propose:

      Let all of us SDLs trust that the getting better part is inevitable from the doing. And let’s accept that mistakes will happen; and although it’s seems trite to mention this, our mistakes will be our lessons learned and make us all the better at doing what we are passionate about in our ‘free-time’.

      (I say ‘let’s’ because, you, my Dear Friend, have a self-directed writing interest you’ve been working on for the eighteen+ years I’ve know you. You’ve honed your skill and you have a talent!)

      Anyway, if we get too hung up on the outcome or achieving perfection before we start; we might stop trying.

      And if we wait for ideal conditions, we might not begin. And, and, and…

      Let’s just keep at it Gals!

      Nice of you to drop in and comment.

      Thank you!

  2. Tami Dillon

    This is so well done. Kudos to both Christina and Kristin! I love reading about others interest and their skills in this way. Thank you for this gem. -Tami

    • Kristin

      You’re the gem, Tami, for dropping in and taking time to leave a sweet comment. Now if I could only get you to let me profile you and your exercise obsession;-)


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