How to work in an office while dreaming about life on a goat farm

Back in the early twenty-tensies I had my 15 minutes of fame with a project called Yelping With Cormac. As I described here, my creative spark for that project disappeared one day, never to return. But I quite missed the Internet love, so I set about starting another project. Around this time I rediscovered drawing.

When I was I kid I made drawings almost every day. My dad brought home reams of printer paper from work. I drew castles, tanks, warships. I jealously hoarded left-handed pencils.

Fast forward to adulthood, and a couple dispiriting years in art school, and I was burnt out. I stopped drawing for about 10 years. When I was around 30, my artist girlfriend at the time inspired me to begin drawing again. So when Cormac stopped yelping I turned to my sketchbook.

My first project was Say It With Sea Otters, in which cute animals related life’s hard, bitter truths. It elicited a sort of sad laugh in me, and in some number of people on the Internet. Maybe you can tell it was not a happy time for me.


So I moved on to a more uplifting* idea. *ish, see below.

I have always loved strange rabbit holes in the design world. One of my favorites is the airline safety card (and the even more delicious airline safety video). I love airline safety videos so much that I made a parody safety video for the San Francisco Ballet Green Team.

So I thought—wouldn’t it be funny if there were safety cards about how to live, especially about how to navigate life’s imponderables.

Enter Instructions for Life (Now With Pictures).

Some of my favorites:

How To Work in an Office While Dreaming About Life on a Goat Farm

I have since lived on a goat farm, and loved it… This comic was a big hit with goat bloggers. Goat bloggers are a thing.

How to deal with loneliness

A reflection of my state of mind in 2014. I still long to meet Nell, the 29-year-old textile artist.


How To Fall in Love

Ouch. I needed like 10,000 hugs. This was more or less what went through my mind when I wandered the streets of Oakland. An impoverished social life meant I fantasized about the dizzyingly attractive baristas in my neighborhood. But even my fantasies had sad, hard endings.

How to apologize to the whales for everything

Yeah, ouch. Even closer to home now that I live on Orcas Island and the Southern Resident Killer Whales are good-naturedly starving to death on my doorstep.

How to stop worrying

My favorite. My neighborhood in Oakland was ghost town during the day. I knew this because I worked from home. On my regular walks, I would talk to the neighborhood cats. Then I wondered, what if they talked back?


I still get a laugh out of these comics. And I’ll add that I drafted them with the intention of using them as video storyboards, if ever the opportunity arose. Still a goal of mine: To make instructional videos for life’s imponderables.

Evan Wagoner-Lynch is sponsored by Standard Rainbow

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