Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dick Gautier - Cartoonist Survey #4

Today we have a real treat, none other than Dick Gautier. He created the role of Conrad Birdie from the Broadway musical, Bye Bye Birdie (one of my wife's favorites). Those of us who grew up in the sixties would immediately recognize him as Hymie the robot on the TV show Get Smart. Not only is he a singer and an actor, but he is also a very talented artist and cartoonist!

Please be sure to hop on over to his website, and purchase some photos or books. I highly recommend his book, The Creative Cartoonist which he will personally sign for you.

Now on with the question and answers.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I love Flairs and Sharpies. I also have some for finer work.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Sometimes yes and sometimes no. It depends on how involved the drawing is.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Color by hand, I’ve never gotten the hang of using the computer to embellish my handiwork.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
I color with Acrylics, water colors, pen and ink or colored pencil. Again the subject matter dictates what to use.

What type of paper do you use?
Water color paper, sketching tablets with a good ‘tooth’ and vellum for tracing an existing drawing that I’ve done.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I’m terrible at machines, cars, airplanes and all technological and technical stuff.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
A local store. I show up in person. I like the experience, sometimes you see new state of the art stuff you never knew existed.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
No, just feed my face, inhale and go.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I don’t make it a habit, if it’s there I enjoy it. Usually jazz or classic pop, blues and rock.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I loved comics, Plastic Man with Woozy Winks, anything by Will Eisner or Hal T. Foster (Prince Valiant) also Basil Wolverton (Lena the Hyena).

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Powerhouse Pepper by Basil Wolverton, all the dialogue was in alliterative sequences.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I have no copies of anything. I have no books from my childhood; they were all burned by a little Nazi boy who lived next door. Only kidding!

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Other than high school..none, I’m a self-made man which is horrible example of unskilled labor.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
The Internet is valuable if you use it properly, just don’t waste your time on Facebook, etc. when you could be drawing.

Did either of your parents draw?
My mom was a seamstress and my dad was a humorless carpenter and then a grip at MGM studios. The answer is “No.”

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Only my high school art teacher.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Sure. Whenever I go to lunch by myself I sketch people.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I only taught it through the books I have published, (seventeen so far) most of them are teaching instruments.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Talent. I can be so passionate that I’ll only turn out crap and then think it’s good.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I collect masks from all over the world. I love masks, they’re fascinating. I have a bout 30 or 40 so far. I also have a collection of canes, sword canes, booze canes (plastic vials hidden inside the shaft) all shapes and sizes.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Since I’m a bit of a smart ass, I guess Bugs Bunny would do.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Definitely a lefty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I’d go back to acting and singing and performing.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I have a nice office, computer at one end, art table at the other.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I tried keyboard, couldn't cut it. I’m now studying guitar. Wish me luck.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Never imitate. Your uniqueness is the one quality that no one can take from you. Use it. Style takes a while to develop but keep drawing, it will emerge in spite of you.

Who is your favorite artist?
George Bellows from the Ashcan School and a few more whose names escape for the moment (a senior moment obviously) Jack SOMETHING who injected whimsy and humor in his work.

Thanks Dick, it has been an honor to be able to post your answers here at David Wasting Paper!

1 comment:

Kathy Prario said...

This is so cool. I remember Hymie the Robot, I always watched Get Smart. Bye, Bye Birdie, where has the time gone? It seems like a whole other lifetime. Nice additions to your blog, David. Love Kath.