Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Marisa Acocella Marchetto - Cartoonist Survey #29

Marisa Acocella Marchetto is a cartoonist for The New Yorker and Glamour magazine. Her work has also been published in The New York Times, Modern Bride, ESPN magazine and many other publications. Her first graphic novel, "Just Who the Hell Is SHE, Anyways" was published in 1995. In 1998 her cartoons started appearing in The New Yorker magazine and still do.

She battled breast cancer from 2004 to 2005 and created a graphic memoir about that battle titled, "Cancer Vixen: A True Story." Marisa donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of "Cancer Vixen" to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. She is also a strong advocate for early breast cancer detection and founded a fund that provides free mammograms for uninsured women called the Cancer Vixen Fund at Saint Vincent's Comprehensive Cancer Center. So far she has raised over $1,000,000 for cancer research.

Now more than ever it is vital that women get proper screening for this awful disease. Especially with this garbage about The United States Preventive Services Task Force raising the age to have a mammogram from 40 to 50. Women who detect breast cancer early have a 98% chance of survival!

Check out Marisa's website here. The Cancer Vixen Fund site has information about the fund and has ways to donate. You may also go directly to the Saint Vincent's Comprehensive Medical Center to contribute. A few more important sites related to breast cancer are, BreastCancer.org , The American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen For The Cure.

Sorry to get all preachy on you, but especially at this time of year when we all gather with friends and family, it's important that we all take a minute to be thankful for our blessings, including our health.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Rapidographs since I was a teenager.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
No, Rapidograph, and then if I need to, I trace.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Both, although I am loving painting in color again--love seeing the hand in the art versus the machine.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Watercolors.

What type of paper do you use?
Heavy vellum.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Animals aren't my favorite.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I physically go to Sam Flax. I need to hold the tools in my hand that I will be working with.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
A cup of tea and a prayer.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
No. Silence. But when I am on a New Yorker deadline, sometimes I watch CNN on low and let topical events seep in my head.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Not really.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Tiffany Jones. It was a strip in the Newark Star Ledger. She was a fabulous fashion photographer in swinging London in the late 60s-early 70s. Then I would read Brenda Starr, and then the sports page to see how the Knicks and the Yankees were doing.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Harriet the Spy. I just got a new copy a few years ago. I am Harriet. If Harriet grew up, she'd be a New Yorker cartoonist.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Yes. Started at 4. Then art classes all through school. I even started drawing from a live nude model in life drawing when I was 11. I went to Pratt Institute.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Both. It's a blessing because you can research everything in seconds.

Did either of your parents draw?
My mother was a shoe designer for Delman, the Bergdorf Goodman line. She would draw fabulous women drawing her spectacular shoes. I imitated her and here I am.

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

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Always. I go through one a month.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I did. I didn't like it. I would rather do than teach.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
All is important, but I hate that bad drawing seems to be OK when I have worked so hard at my craft. It pisses me off.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I would animate myself.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I have a fund where I raise money for women who are uninsured so they could get mammograms. Maybe I would do that, or maybe I would have a column about truth. I hate when people bullshit me. Come to think of it, good cartoons do tap into our subconscious truths, in a way.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Male-female relationships. Women. Fashion.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Piano, guitar, bass guitar.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Get your ass in the seat and work.

Who is your favorite artist?
Paul Cezanne. The Father of Modern Art.



Thank you very much Marisa.

Christmas Eve's post will have answers from Dan Reynold's, who was nice enough to provide some Christmas related cartoons.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of the very best cartoonists in the business. Contrast her easy, magnificent style with the horrific drawings of Roz Chast.

Mrs. Marchetto did work hard at her craft. Chast, despite a degree in fine arts, is an awful cartoonist and gets far too much time in the New Yorker. I loathe her cartoons: they are poorly drawn and never funny.

Now, Mrs. Marchetto can draw and is worthy of study; she always evokes interest. I wish she would get as much or more attention than Chast and some of the other marginal humorists at the New Yorker.