Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rama Hughes - Artist/Cartoonist Survey #19

I first saw the work of Rama Hughes when Danny Gregory spotlighted some of his sketchbook pages in the book, "An Illustrated Life." Rama's illustrations have appeared in many magazines including, Found, GQ and Seventeen. His clients also include many major corporations such as, Converse, Simon and Schuster, Inc., Barnes and Noble and Harcourt Brace. Check out his work at;

The drawing of his I used at the top of this post is from the bio page of his site. I probably should have used one of him as an adult, but I love this one as it is so fun.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I use a speedball pen and nibs or microns.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I usually draw in pencil first. I use a standard number 2 pencil.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I color by hand and/or on the computer depending on the project.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
I usually color with acrylic paint and ink but I’ll use any medium I need to get the effect I want.

What type of paper do you use?
I do most of my final illustration work on Strathmore smooth bristol paper.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Nothing leaps to mind. I like drawing. Period.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I usually go to local art stores but I do have a favorite website and catalog.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
No. It's usually a race to grab my sketchbook before the moment I want to draw passes.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes. I listen to lots of different kinds of music but, more often than not, I’m listening to the radio or an audio book.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Definitely. Spider-Man was my favorite childhood comic. Then sandman. now it's Spider-Man again.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
My current favorite is Cul de Sac by Richard Thompson.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I had a lot of favorite books. none of them stand out among the others but, yes, I do still own many of them.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Yes, I received a formal art education at the Maryland Institute, College of Art.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
The Internet is a blessing.

Did either of your parents draw?
Both of my parents draw. So do my sibling, my grandparents, my uncles, my in-laws, and my wife.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
I was blessed with a very supportive family. My grandfather and brother were probably the most supportive though.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Absolutely, I keep a sketchbook.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes, I teach art regularly and teach occasional cartooning class at art center here in Pasadena. I enjoy the experience enormously. In many ways, it is as rewarding as making art of my own.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion is more important than anything. What good is talent if you don't use it? Put those hands together though! Talent plus passion is an amazing blessing.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I collect action figures, or used to before my son was born. Now, I am giving them all to him.
If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I would be an animated cartoon version of myself. (I have been an animated cartoon version of myself.)

Are you a righty or lefty?
I am a righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I would be a teacher. An art teacher though.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
My drawing area is a cleared off space wherever I need it to be.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I do not play any musical instruments well.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
If you don't already enjoy drawing every day, don't bother trying it as a career.
If you do enjoy drawing every day, don't give up. I honestly believe that that is all there is to it.

Who is your favorite artist?
My favorite artist is me. I know that sounds cocky but it has taken me a long time to feel that way. So, I’m not embarrassed to admit it.

Thank you Rama.

Check back soon for answers from the cartoonist and fellow Red Sox fan, Mike Marland.

No comments: