Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jack Pittman - Cartoonist Survey #34

Jack Pittman started out working for the Raleigh, North Carolina newspaper, "News and Observer" as an illustrator, cartoonist and also as a courtroom artist. His client list is like a Who's Who of Fortune 500 companies including Kellogg's, Time Warner Cable, Coca-Cola, Newsweek magazine and the National Geographic Society. He is a three-time winner of the National Cartoonists Societies Reuben award, twice for Best in Advertising Illustration and once for Best in Magazine Feature Illustration. He has a great website. I really enjoyed looking at the Cartoon Maps that are in his Portfolio section and his Sloth Races cartoon is now taped to my refrigerator. Make sure you also check out Jack's blog.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Gillott 290.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
For sketches, an HB. For final drawing to be inked, a 2H.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I work in both traditional media and with a Cintiq.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Winsor & Newton watercolors, and FW acrylic inks.

What type of paper do you use?
For sketches, laser copy paper. For finished art, Strathmore 500 series and Fabriano hot press watercolor paper, 300lb.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Can't think of anything I really hate to draw. I suppose drawing for clients who don't have a clear idea what they want so that many unnecessary revisions are involved.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Both, but mostly local Jerry's Artarama.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Maybe a few warm-up sketches.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yes, Spider-Man.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Thomas Craven's Cartoon Cavalcade. I still own it.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I think cartoonists are mostly self-taught. But I did take the Famous Artists Schools cartooning course and won a scholarship for the Art Instruction Schools advertising illustration course. My degree is in architecture and included drawing classes.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Very much a blessing for reference. But it has vastly impacted the artist profession and led to the demise of many print markets.

Did either of your parents draw?
Both could draw somewhat, but not professionally.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My parents and my children.

Do you keep a sketchbook?

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes. I've found I enjoy teaching/mentoring advanced students more than those who are just beginning.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Talent is more important for artistic rendering, but passion is more important for persevering and achieving financial goals.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Books, original art, DVDs.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Charlie Brown.

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I also play in a blues band. I would either do that or play with a symphony.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
It's a converted dining room with French doors to the deck. My 5-foot drawing table and flat files are on one wall and my Cintiq/computer is on the opposite wall with the stereo.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I play percussion semi-professionally, and play piano and guitar for personal enjoyment.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
I generally advise young people not to go into art unless they absolutely must. There is so much rejection and difficulty in earning a living, and it requires a thick skin and self-confidence. I figure those who will ignore the discouragement will have the tenacity and passion necessary to succeed. I also advise those who are serious about it to learn as much about all types of subjects, in addition to art, because the cognitive skills will be more important in communicating to a larger audience, and also give them an edge when competing against equally-skilled draftsmen.

Who is your favorite artist?
So many... hard to narrow it down to one. Jack Davis, Walt Kelly, Mort Drucker, Heinrich Kley, Willard Mullin, Hal Foster, Lee Lorenz, Gene Colan, Bernie Fuchs, Dean Cornwell, Charles Dana Gibson, James Montgomery Flagg, Frank Frazetta, Bob Peak, Mark English, Andrew Wyeth, Alma-Tadema, Bougereau, Vermeer and Bernini.

Thank you Jack!

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