Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dan Piraro - Cartoonist Survey #28

Dan Piraro, cartoonist, illustrator and painter is also the creator of the hilarious single-panel cartoon, Bizarro. Bizarro is published in over 350 papers worldwide. I have quite a few of his cartoons pinned to my cubicle wall at work. Dan has toured with his one man comedy show called “The Bizarro Bologna Show” since 2001. He is a strong proponent of veganism and has a lot of information about that on his website. He was awarded the National Cartoonists Society’s Best Newspaper Cartoon Panel Award in 1999, 2000 and 2001.

Dan has a blog and very fun website that offers many items for sale. I want some of those trading cards!

What is your favorite pen to use?
I use a small brush and india ink for my published cartoons. In my sketchbook I like to use a Koh-I-Noor rapidiograph.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
For things other than published cartoons, I use watercolor.

What type of paper do you use?
Average bristol board in pads, from an art store.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Crowd scenes are a hassle but can actually be fun if I have the time to get into it.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Some online, some from the art store at Pratt, which is a few blocks from my house.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I either listen to music, usually indie rock, or I watch sports on TV because I can listen and only look up when something good happens.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yes. Tumbleweeds was and is a longtime favorite. Great character design.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Get Fuzzy is my current fave. Very funny almost every day.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Hard to say. One Fish Two Fish by Dr. Seuss springs to mind.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Nope. I went to Washington University at St. Louis on a fine arts scholarship and quit after one semester. Too restrictive.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Love it. Wish I could find a way to make money on it, though.

Did either of your parents draw?
Both have better-than-average art skills but neither have ever used their skills for anything other than the occasional hobby.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Sort of. I don't draw in it all of the time or obsessively, but I do enjoy it from time to time. Just weird stream-of-consciousness kind of stuff off the top of my head.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Never done it. Applied for a job at an art school once but they wouldn't hire me because I have no degree.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
You’re dead in the water if you don't have both, so it's a toss up.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I abhor collections of any kind. It’s just more stuff you have to drag around if you move.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I'd like to be Superman so I could rid the planet of assholes.

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Play/sing in a band. I know that's not a "real" job, but neither is cartooning. : )

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I usually sit on the couch and draw on a board on my lap. I don't have a special area.

Do you play any musical instruments?

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Practice a lot and do work that appeals to you. Oops, that's two.

Who is your favorite artist?
Impossible to say.

Thanks a lot Dan. I've really enjoyed your work for years.

Next up is Marisa Acocella Marchetto.

1 comment:

P.L. Frederick said...

Well, I fell better already. If Dan Piraro draws sitting on the sofa, I won't be embarrassed about doing that myself any more. His work is amazing. How the heck does he pump out the cartoons so quickly? And they're so well-drawn..