Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Royston Robertson - Cartoonist Survey #21

Royston Robertson, based in the county of Kent, England, is a cartoonist and illustrator whose work has been published worldwide. Private Eye (a British satirical/current events magazine), Reader's Digest and the National Lampoon are only a few of the magazines his cartoons have appeared in. He has also provided cartoons for Scholastic Children's Books and the Children's BBC. He has a website; http://www.roystonrobertson.plus.com/ and a blog; http://roystonrobertson.blogspot.com/.

What is your favorite pen to use?
A refillable Pentel brush pen. Also the Faber Castell Pitt brush pens, though I find they wear out pretty quickly.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I use a standard pencil. Then the drawing goes on a lightbox and I do the inking on a separate sheet.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
On the computer usually, with Adobe PhotoShop. Sometimes I break out the watercolours, for exhibition cartoons for example.

What type of paper do you use?
Good quality copier paper. Anything of higher quality would prove a bit too expensive as drawings often get screwed up and hurled across the room in frustration.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Bicycles. Always bicycles.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
A bit of both.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I pray to the Gods of Gag Cartooning to make me funny.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I listen to music when drawing up and inking cartoons but never when trying to think of cartoon ideas. I like all kinds of music but with an indie/alternative bias.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yes, the Beano (editor's note; Beano is a British children's comic book which has been running since 1938 and recently published their 3500 issue http://www.beanotown.com/

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
I've never really had a favourite as such. But like most cartoonists I’d have to say Calvin and Hobbes is pretty hard to beat in terms of both Bill Watterson's artwork and writing.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Nothing beyond A-level art at college and some life-drawing/oil painting classes as an adult.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Both. It means people can find you, see your work and commission you. But they can do the same with thousands of other cartoonists. And there’s always someone willing to do the job for ridiculously low fees or even (I shudder at the thought) “for exposure”.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
It’s more of a notebook. I jot down joke ideas and themes, scribble rough sketches of them. But it’s not usually for public consumption, not the kind of thing I show on my blog. It’s fun to look through them afterwards and see the embryonic ideas which became published cartoons. Also, sometimes when you look at a rough idea after a while away from it, you can find a way to make the joke work.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I once did a couple of talks/workshops at my nephew’s primary school. It was fun. Kids and cartoons is a bit of a no-brainer.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
I’d have to say both, and throw persistence into the mix.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Rejection slips.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Homer Simpson.

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Internationally adored pop star.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Messy. Very messy.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Other than the kazoo, no. Hence, a problem with the whole international pop star thing.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Keep on truckin’. Persistence is vital in cartooning.

Who is your favorite artist?
It changes so often! I've already mentioned Bill Watterson. Hmm, if I'm picking out one I'd have to say Robert Crumb. His work is always a joy to look at.

Thank you Royston.

Cartoonist and librarian Kevin Moore's answers will be the next set posted. Check back soon.

Oh yeah, if anyone out there reading these surveys is enjoying them, please leave me a comment.

1 comment:

David said...

I am reading and loving these posts. In particular, the similarities strike me. Rejection, mixed with persistence and passion seem to be shared by most. Mmmm, life-like!
David E.