Every evening the news editor sends a list of stories for the next day and there is always something interesting for a cartoonist to sink their teeth into. I prefer to focus on stories that are very prominent in the news cycle and readers might care about. Once we have a story to focus on, I think about all the issues surrounding the story and what I want to say about it.
For coming up with ideas I look for clichés and situations that can be easily recognised as part of everyday life relating to the story like being caught in traffic or grocery shopping. Over the years I've built up a massive list of these situations and clichés all categorised according to common topics. Sometimes putting two lists together about two different topics and finding common elements can create interesting ideas. After everything is listed, then comes the hard part of finding a twist on those situations using incongruity and hyperbole so we can communicate our message in a humourous way.
Before moving to digital art, Indian ink and paper on an angled drawing board was all I had. It could get pretty messy and used up a lot of correction fluid when fixing mistakes. Now I use a Wacom Cintiq 22 drawing monitor and Clip Studio Paint software making it much easier to meet deadlines.
For the process of drawing the cartoon I start with a draft layer. I try not to worry about the detail but just draw in a relaxed manner and feel out where I want everything to go. When there's enough to work with I create a new layer for the black linework and loosely follow the draft making changes as I go. Once the linework is completed the rough layer is hidden and a new layer created for flat colour underneath the linework. For the finishing touches I add some half tone over the top of the colour on its own layer.
The whole process from receiving the news list and coming up with ideas to a completed cartoon can take anything from half an hour to several hours depending on the story.