Jester cartoon sketch by Joana Miranda

In spite of working long hours as a freelance musician, I make an effort every day to create a new cartoon.  Whether that be a cartoon with a gag or just a funny caption-less drawing (or “cartoonopic” for my Instagram account), my process always starts with a word, story or concept.

Here’s a collection of caption-less drawings I did this past weekend in the short breaks during my 4 Wicked shows.  The inspiration for each drawing came as a unique process.

For the first cartoon, the “light bulb moment” came when I glanced at the title of the next number…

Funny circus trapeze act cartoon by Joana Miranda

(By the way, in spite of having subbed on Wicked for over 3 years, I have yet to actually see the show.  That said, I do know that the plot has nothing to do with a circus!)

In Saturday night’s show, the fatigue of a double-show day was starting to set in.  When the concertmaster sneezed, my first instinct was to pass him a tissue.  The second instinct was to create this drawing…

Cartoon drawing of sneezing box of Kleenex

As the show proceeded, I wondered how many people were looking forward to a late night reward…

Cartoon of drunk martini glass by Joana Miranda

(Though we musicians are all mindful of course of the far more healthy benefits of hydrating with water!)

Water bottle cartoon by Joana Miranda

Then, as my luck would have it, my stand-light started flickering before it suddenly died.

Cartoon of dead light bulb by Joana Miranda

On Sunday, I returned refreshed and ready to tackled another two shows.  However, in the first show, the only idea that initially came to mind was an “S-shaped” gesture line on the page.  Then a violinist colleague turned and asked, “Do you have ideas in mind before you start drawing?” To which I responded, “Mostly, though sometimes I start with just a jester. [sic]”  My accidental play on words made me laugh and the S-squiggle turned into this little guy…

Jester cartoon sketch by Joana Miranda

By the end of Sunday night’s show – an 8-show marathon of a week for us all – I was feeling haggard, a little punchy and ready to fly from my perch.  Not surprisingly this is what emerged…

Witch cartoon by Joana Miranda

If you like my cartoons and know of someone who might like them as well, please feel free to share this page (or follow Joana Miranda Studio on Instagram or Facebook.)


  1. Helen Reich says:

    Fun to see the ideas develop! We have a polar vortex day off tomorrow. I’m looking forward to staying at home, but since I work for the Hard Music Philharmonic, there’s something awful to practice 😾

    • Joana says:

      Hi Helen, We’re getting a bit of the same cold, but nowhere near what you guys have gotten. I hope you’re finding ways to pamper yourself at home even if you have to do some wood shedding for the Hard Music Philharmonic! Meanwhile, I’m enjoying a bit of a break from participation in the hard music club. I did sub at the ballet this week (got a sub in to play one of my Wicked shows), but the rep at the ballet was all stuff I’ve done before. Stay warm, dearie! xox – Joana

    • Joana says:

      Yes, Ma’am – I played ALL the notes I was supposed to (and as beautifully as I could, too!) XOX – J

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