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Painted Brain | Lawrence Rozner – Superpower: Creativity
We're bridging communities and changing the conversation about mental illness using arts and media.
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From Larry's cartoons
  • August 9, 2017

Lawrence Rozner – Superpower: Creativity

Lawrence Rozner – Superpower: Creativity

     Lawrence Rozner was a recent high school graduate when he first joined Painted Brain as a cartoonist. In fact, he was present at Daniel’s Place in 2005 when we chose our name! Lawrence’s work became a high-profile part of Painted Brain’s public face even before we decided to make his drawing of a brain using its nerve endings to paint a canvas our official logo.

 The original idea of a brain painting on a canvas came from a drawing by Hector Chavez, an early Painted Brain contributor. Hector’s rough sketch was an entry in a coloring contest we held to select our logo. He discussed the idea with Lawrence and invited him to take it to the next level.

     Though Lawrence is not particularly social, he enjoys working in proximity to other people. He is insightful and articulate when participating in Painted Brain’s community meetings, as well as on rare occasions when he appears as part of our speaker’s bureau.  Lawrence is extremely gentle and somewhat nervous around others.  Always willing to take on myriad finely detailed and subtly nuanced projects, he brings each to fruition on-schedule and with great care.  I am still sitting on an unmade animatic – a cartoon storyboard about an unlucky guy’s vain attempt to play a prank on his neighbor by zapping him in the butt with an electric charge through his car seat!  

     In most social situations, Lawrence makes only limited eye contact, he always seems eager to get away and return to his work.  His warmth bubbles to the surface whenever he is around animals, especially dogs.  His joie de vie sometimes makes the rest of us at Painted Brain a little bit jealous.  Exuding both empathy and great intelligence, he is positively brimming with arcane Hollywood minutiae and obscure facts about the history of animation, but his real superpower is his creativity.  Over the years, he’s created an entire cast of characters to accompany The Brain  –  The Nose, The Drone, and Jarney, Barney the Purple Dinosaur’s less well-known relative.  

     Lawrence is a master illustrator in his own right, bringing a personal style and personalized playfulness to even the most serious subjects.  He is currently working on the fourth installment of a cartoon version of the DSM or The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, pairing his drawings with the content of NIMH pamphlets about Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Autistic Spectrum Disorder.  Painted Brain is about to publish a coloring book devoted exclusively to his work to celebrate his creative genius.  One drawing in particular deserves special mention – a tribute to the Sgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover featuring a gathering of Lawrence’s cartoon characters created during the past decade. 

     Larry has been an integral part of Painted Brain since its inception. Sometimes it seems as if we built the community around him. 

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