Sunday, November 29, 2009

Frank Dietz - Cartoonist/Artist Survey #7

Those of us who are Monster Kids surely know this next contributor, Frank Dietz. Frank has been involved in the film industry as a writer, producer, director, actor and animator. Frank worked at Disney as an animation artist and you can see his work in Hercules, Mulan, Tarzan, and many others. What I enjoy most of Frank's work though, are his drawing and paintings of Classic Movie Monsters. Frank won the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Award as "Artist of the Year" in 2006 and 2007!

and his Sketchy Things Store (great gifts for the classic monster lover this holiday season); http://www.cafepress.com/sketchythings .
The above picture drawn by Frank entitled, "Channeling Mr. Poe." gives you an example of what incredible work Frank produces. Now on with the Q& A.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I work mostly in pencils, but I'm comfortable with Pigma Micron pens.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I almost always start with a light pencil sketch, no matter what medium the piece ends up being rendered in. I traditionally use a Mars Lumograph 100 B, but I'll use whatever's available in a pinch!

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I've done both, but really prefer to do everything by hand.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
I love watercolor (although certainly challenging at times!), oil pastels and colored pencils. The fabulous Jeff Preston got me into Prismacolor markers not long ago, so I've been playing around with those. And I've been known to use good old Crayola crayons from time to time, just for fun.

What type of paper do you use?
High quality animation paper. An addiction created during my Disney years.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Rooms and buildings, unless they're highly stylized. I'm first and foremost a character artist. I have very little patience for backgrounds, which is probably why I never attempted to become a sequential comic book artist.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
There are quite a lot of local art stores here in the Burbank area, so I can usually get what I need within an hour of needing it. I'm also an impulse buyer, so having so many stores in such close proximity is both a good and a bad thing!

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Sacrificing kittens became too messy. Besides, the neighbors started complaining about the noise and I'm pretty sure the local pound was getting suspicious. So now I settle for cracking my knuckles and drinking coffee.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I have a computer monitor set up to the left of my art table/animation desk. I almost always have a movie playing while I work. Otherwise I'd probably never see any movies! It's only difficult with foreign and silent films - anything with subtitles!

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Dell and Gold Key comics are the ones that really stick out in my mind. Tarzan, Space Family Robinson, anything with crocodiles or monsters. Later on I enjoyed the DC Adams/O'Neil Green Lantern and Batman stuff. Oh, and MAD magazine, of course!

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
The early Peanuts strips are still fascinating to me. So simple, yet so insightful. Later on, as it became more sort of self-aware, I kinda lost interest. But happiness is still a warm puppy. And Gary Larson's Far Side strips are still the funniest comic strips ever.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
It's a toss-up. Either "Green Eggs And Ham," by Dr. Suess, or "The Frankenscience Monster" by Forry Ackerman. I still own both.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I didn't have much formal training until right before going to Disney. I took life drawing at the Animation Institute in North Hollywood. Once I was at the studio, we had weekly open classes taught by great old Disney story guys like Walt Stanchfield. After Disney I had some training in oil painting, which I had never done before.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
I doubt I could have achieved the success I've have without the Internet. Being able to promote "Sketchy Things" to a world-wide audience has opened doors I could never have even known about. Of course there are downsides, but what doesn't? Let's just say I would rather have it than not have it!

Did either of your parents draw?
Not that I was aware of.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My childhood friend Jonathan Guildroy was my "mentor," even though he was only a year older than me. He was/is a remarkable talent, whose work always inspired me to do better.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I always have one handy, but these days I'm usually too busy with real work to doodle much.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I taught drawing and painting to teens and adults for a little more than two years. It was highly rewarding, especially when an adult student would realize that they did have the ability to create, even if they'd been told their whole lives that they didn't. I left teaching because I had too many personal projects in motion, and could no longer give it the attention it needed, and what the students deserved.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion, without a doubt. Talent is just mastery of learned skills, and almost anyone can do it if they try. But only those with a passion for creating and self-expression will triumph.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Sculptures of classic horror characters and actors, books about other artist's work, autographs of actors and writers who have inspired or thrilled me, and, to some degree, the toys I enjoyed as a kid.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
In my head I'll always be Jonny Quest.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty. I only use my left hand to wave to the papparazzi.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
The two things I do now when I'm not drawing - screenwriting and acting.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
An animation desk/drawing table surrounded by two computers, a painting easel, busts of Karloff, Lugosi, Chaney Jr. and Price, some plastic crocodiles, a Peter Cushing autograph, original art by my pals Bill Stout and Bernie Wrightson, a picture of a naked woman, a "Mark Of The Devil" promotional vomit bag, my vintage Jonny Quest P.F. Flyer decoder ring, and my two Rondo Awards.

Do you play any musical instruments?
No, but I can kick out a mean karaoke tune when cornered.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Draw and draw again. There's no such thing as a bad drawing, you learn something from every sketch, whether you realize it or not. And get your work out there! Use that Internet!

Who is your favorite artist?
That's a toughie. I don't think I could pick an absolute favorite, but the short list would include (in no particular order) Mort Drucker, James Bama, Basil Gogos, Jack Davis, Reynold Brown, Frank Frazetta, and Bill and Bernie, because they all are known for subject matter that is close to my heart.
Thanks very much Frank!
Are you a cartoonist/artist and want to be included in the survey? Just send me an email at; dmp1234@yahoo.com and I will rush out the form.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Day Weather Journal

Here is the entry from my weather journal for yesterday...and yes I did look like that.

Kent Archer - Cartoonist Survey #6


Next up is Kent Archer. Kent is another local artist, who creates some incredible art. His work has been published by Image comics. He is presently teaching a course in comic art at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Do yourself a favor and check out some of his artwork at http://www.kentarcher.deviantart.com/ . Be sure to go through both pages of his gallery. He is also taking commission requests, so stop by and buy something.

What is your favorite pen to use?
When I'm inking I mostly use rapidograph pens, but if I'm doodling I really like the "Graphic 1" by Pigma Micron. It has a nice bullet tip.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I definitely draw in pencil first and I usually use both standard and mechanical. I typically use an 2H lead for the standard pencil to get my structure drawing...it allows me to be looser. I then go in and do all the detail with the mechanical pencil...usually an HB lead.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I usually color by hand. If I know I'm going to be making prints of the work, I'll color it with the computer.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
I use Prismacolor and AD Chartpak markers...mostly. Colored pencil and paint sometimes come into play.

What type of paper do you use?
Bristol board...plate finish. The ink doesn't absorb into the plate finish as much as it does the vellum finish...this helps with keeping the ink looking black rather than grey.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
The other eye.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Both. When I can I like to go into Boston and go to Utrecht or Dick Blick, but sometimes they don't carry the brushes I like. (Raphael 8404)

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Other than cleaning off the desk and making sure I have all my supplies in front of me...no

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes, usually the radio (101.7 WFNX) Alternative Rock I guess it's called.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I remember one Christmas (I think I was 9) when my parents got me a big variety pack of Marvel comics. For months I had no interest in them, but one Saturday morning I woke up to news that I had to have 4 teeth pulled. Needless to say, I was nervous and mad at my parents for not telling me earlier. So I went to my room and started to read through those comics...I was hooked at that moment. Eventually I started to go to a comic book store in town. Venom Lethal Protector #1 is my favorite book I own.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
I don't think I ever had a favorite strip. I was never into the funny pages.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I really liked The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I think a lot of kids fantasize about finding a new corner in their house that leads to a new world.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Yes. I went to the School of Visual Arts in NYC.

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

Did either of your parents draw?
Both, and all of my grandparents.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My parents have always allowed me to pursue art.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I don't.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes. I've taught at the North River Arts Society in Marshfield, MA and I'm currently teaching a comic art course for the continuing education department at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
With passion, talent can be learned. Without passion, talent is wasted.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Action figures.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Spiderman

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Probably something with science. Maybe cryptozoology? Or maybe I'd investigate UFO's. Or maybe I'd try to reach the depths of the oceans. I love the unknown.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
My drawing area is a cozy nook in my studio. Everything I need like computer, scanner, printer, lights, reference, and supplies are all within reach.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Piano...a little.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Instead of focusing on the starving artist possibility, enjoy not being a 9-5 robot.

Who is your favorite artist?
Probably HR Giger.

Thanks a lot Kent and the fact that he is sporting a Boston Bruins hat in the above picture makes him A-OK in my book!!
Today is a special day at David Wasting Paper. This is the 100th post!

Be sure to check back soon to see more Cartoonist Surveys.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Randy Martinez - Cartoonist Survey #5


Today Randy Martinez, creator of the book, Creature Features, and artist extraordinaire takes some time to share his answers.

Be sure to visit both his website; http://www.randymartinez.net/
and his blog; http://randymartinez.blogspot.com/

What is your favorite pen to use?
It all depends on the job. Different pens work well with different mediums and surfaces. I use about 4-5 different brands of pens. I have yet to find one pens that works well with everything...But I'd be happy if someone made one.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Most of the time I do an under drawing in Pencil. I have met very few artists that just start with inks. Even if it's just a rough layout in blue non-photo pencil. It's really just a guide, to make things easier. With a Pencil sketch you can be really loose, and look at the whole composition better. Then you come in and focus on details with pen or darker pencil.

Sometimes with Cartooning, you want that looseness, so penciling things in first can work against you. Sergio Aragonez for instance, will do a rough layout sketch when he does those HUGE splash pages with thousands of little people all over, but nothing more than composition guides. Part of Sergio's greatness is the fact that he draws as quick as he thinks. He's like an improve comedian. If he were to pencil out every single character before he inks it, he would not be able to draw in the little jokes he's thinking of while he draws. On the other hand, for the quick gag cartoons, like the marginals in MAD Magazine, he just starts drawing with ink. Amazing to watch.

Oh, and I use a No.2 or HB Pencil, Regular or Mechanical. What ever is in reach.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Both. Again, it depends on the job and the client. For instance, the work I do for Playroom Ent. (Games) they prefer the way digital color prints out for their games, so I use photoshop to color that work in. But most everything else I prefer to do by hand. Just my preference. I like to get my hands dirty.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Markers, Colored Pencils, Acrylic Paint, Water Color, Colored India Inks. Again, it all depends on the job or the look I'm going for.

What type of paper do you use?
In general, I try to do as much work as I can on Bristol. It's nice and rigid with a nice tooth to hold my pencil work well. I will use Illustration board when I use wet media.
I do all my sketches on regular old printer paper.


What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Circles. I have some sort of defect in my wrist that does not allow me to make good circles.
I don't know if that is medically true, but I have just never drawn a good circle. Weird.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I like to physically go into art stores. We have about 3 major stores in our Hollywood Area. They all seem to carry different things I need so sometimes we have to spend all day getting across town to each store. But it's cool. It's a good excuse to go for a drive with my girlfriend.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Usually just a lot of procrastinating:)
Not really. Doing my art is like breathing to me. I don’t even really think about it. I can do it in any situation, and nothing really disturbs me. In fact I seem to draw a little better when I'm not too focused. So I actually draw while I watch Laker’s games. My rituals really only come into play when I need to focus a bit more and I can't. I usually need to release some energy so I'll sometimes play my guitar and sing until I feel relaxed and ready to draw or paint. Problem is, sometimes I get into it and use up all my energy making music:) But I love it, what can I do? :)


Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Oh Yes, I'm one of those artists that needs to have some background noise. Whether it's music or something on TV, or a movie. I am a Rock n Roll guy, but my iTunes library is made up of everything from Rock, to Jazz, to movie soundtracks. I hit scramble and let it play. But it's amazing how quickly I get through thousands of songs. At least it feels that way. So I've discovered Pandora on the Internet. It's a kind of Internet Radio. I've discovered a lot of new music on there, and some of it is music I wouldn't ever buy, but I like to hear every once in a while. I love Music, and it goes hand in hand with art. So I NEED IT!!!!!

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yes I did. But the funny thing is I really didn't get into them until 6th or 7th grade. And then I quite reading them when I got into High School. I know what you are thinking, I let peer pressure get to me, but that's not it at all. Besides being a really good artist when I was a kid, I was an even better athlete. My focus quickly became Basketball and nothing else as I entered high school. I still did art, but I just went through the motions. I liked picking up comics here and there, but I just didn't have time to keep up.

Comics for me were like text books when I was really little. I loved Spider-man, and the Hulk but I never READ them. I studied the drawings and copied them. Once I got to Jr. High I really became obsessed with learning to draw better, and that is when I got REALLY into comics. Started to read them a little, but I was drawing from all of them till I could draw my own versions of them with out looking. My favorite then was by far the X-men. I think I liked the variety of characters. Fun stuff.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Hmmm, good question. I used to read comic strips all the time. It's one of those things that have gotten lost with the invent of Internet news. No more news papers for me. I really liked the ones that were really funny. I grew tired of mild comedy in strips like Beetle Bailey and Peanuts. I remember really liking the "Born Loser" comic strips. Funny stuff. I also liked the "Far Side".

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Don't really have a novel or a story book that was my favorite. My favorite book was "The Art of Star Wars", which I still own:)

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Both of my parents are artists, so I grew up around it, and learned from the time I could pick up a brush. I soaked up art styles and mediums like a sponge, plus my parents always encouraged me to try new forms of art and learn different techniques. Seemed we always had some sort of artist friend around, so I would learn from them too.

I went to and graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute. Art School was okay, not great. I learned a lot about myself there, but I was pretty much already on my way. Going to Art School was almost like a formality. I had a couple great teachers who acknowledged where I was as an artist and instead of trying to teach me how to make art they posed a lot of difficult philosophical challenges. Which I really didn't realize they did until years after I graduated.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Oh it's a total blessing. Sure it has changed many things. But life is constantly changing. The Internet has opened things up for artists of all kinds. I think it's like anything thing else in life. It all depends on your outlook on life. To me the Internet represents endless opportunities. It's great!

Did either of your parents draw?
Yes. My Dad was an Illustrator/Cartoonist, while my Mom is a high school art teacher.
Much of my foundation comes from my Dad. He was an amazing illustrator, and knew how to use just about every medium there is to know. The gift I received from him was learning at least the basics about everything he knew. But in most cases I learned much more than just the basics. My Mom was more into art forms like stained glass, mosaics and stuff. She hates the word "Crafts", as do I, but for a lack of better terms...
She always introduced me to new forms of art, which helped me develop the ability to express myself in all kinds of different ways. My Mom has gotten back into painting as she gets closer to retirement, but often I end up tutoring her. It's kind of surreal. Full circle, whatever you want to call it.


Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My parents of course. While I may have had a rocky childhood in every other facet of life with them, they always, always supported my art. It was always like at the end of the day, no matter what happened, my art came first. But, everyone my entire life has been supportive. Even rotten kids at school, they all loved my art... especially when I gave some to them. Which I was always happy to do. In my Adult life my biggest support is my girlfriend Denise Vasquez. She too is an artist, but I think sometimes she believes in me more than I do, and I'm pretty damn confident.:)
She is awesome.


Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yeah, kind of. Funny thing is since my business has picked up in the last 3-4 years I don't draw in a sketch book as much. I "work" so much that when I'm not doing art work for jobs, I don't even want to think about drawing. Sometimes that is a problem on a whole other level. But I enjoy the "work" I'm doing so it's no big deal. But I keep one around just in case I think of an idea while I'm "working" that I don’t want to lose. I keep all my old sketch books, because they are filled with ideas that I draw from now.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes, I have taught cartooning many times. I actually do "How to Draw Star Wars" classes to kids at different conventions and stuff. But I've also taught at high school art classes (as a guest) and even helped teach my dad's College Cartooning Class (back when he used to do that).

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
In all forms of art, Passion is by far the most important. Talent can take you so far, but if you have nothing behind it, if there is no love, then it's empty...lifeless. Denise and I were talking about this the other day. If you go into a Gallery and you have a painting that is technically painted perfectly. Tons of detail, perfect color, I mean who ever did this studied their ass off learning how to paint. They probably took a year to paint all the detail. But next to it you have a Van Gough painting. A painting that probably took him a few hours. Personally, I appreciate the technically painted piece, but the Van Gough is the one I will remember. Why, because Van Gough put 100% passion into his work. He's by far not the best draftsman, but it doesn't matter. He's in touch with his passion, and that is what makes great art in my opinion.

Yes, you do have to have some talent, but with out passion...what is the point?
Take Janis Joplin for instance.
Nobody went to see Janis because she was this ultra talented singer with great range. In truth Janis's voice was raspy, and she didn't have a HUGE range. Janis was great because she poured her passion out through her music. Regardless if she was singing the right words, or even on time, the passion is what grabs us, touches us, and we remember that.


Do you collect anything and if so what?
I used to collect a lot of Star Wars stuff. But it gets expensive and I have no room.
So I have narrowed it down to one thing. Star Wars Galactic Heroes. They are like little cartoon versions of Star Wars. I love them. I take them out and play with them too. My Nephew LOVES to come over and play Star Wars with me:)


If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Wow, good question. Probably Bugs Bunny. He's funny, a smart ass, and very creative in how he gets under peoples skin...for better or worse.

Are you a righty or lefty?
I'm a Lighty.
Ha, no I'm a Righty


If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
A Rock Star. No Question.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Organized Chaos.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Yes, I play Guitar and Bass Guitar. I play out from time to time with Denise. In fact we are playing NAMM this year. It's like comic con for musicians. With any luck, I'll get my first album together in 2010, but I've been saying that for two years now:)

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Get your head examined:)
Ha ha, no. Really, the secret to making art your career is you have to love it. Because it gets REALLY REALLY tough sometimes. Financially, mentally, and sometimes physically.
You have to love it so much that you will never give up on it, even if you tried. It has to be the most important thing in your life, like breathing. But if you love it, then it's not really a struggle.

The greatest thing about art, of any kind is no matter what happens in life no one can ever take it away from you. You may lose all your money, you may even lose your health, but you'll always have the art in you.
(Editor's note: I love those last two sentences! It is so true. The same goes for music.)

Who is your favorite artist?
I love them all. It's the other thing I love about art. It's a never ending ocean of ideas, styles, and inspirations. Each and everyone one of them has their own greatness.

Thanks Randy, I still refer to your Creature Features book all the time!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dick Gautier - Cartoonist Survey #4


Today we have a real treat, none other than Dick Gautier. He created the role of Conrad Birdie from the Broadway musical, Bye Bye Birdie (one of my wife's favorites). Those of us who grew up in the sixties would immediately recognize him as Hymie the robot on the TV show Get Smart. Not only is he a singer and an actor, but he is also a very talented artist and cartoonist!

Please be sure to hop on over to his website,
http://www.dickgautier.com/ and purchase some photos or books. I highly recommend his book, The Creative Cartoonist which he will personally sign for you.

Now on with the question and answers.


What is your favorite pen to use?
I love Flairs and Sharpies. I also have some for finer work.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Sometimes yes and sometimes no. It depends on how involved the drawing is.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Color by hand, I’ve never gotten the hang of using the computer to embellish my handiwork.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
I color with Acrylics, water colors, pen and ink or colored pencil. Again the subject matter dictates what to use.

What type of paper do you use?
Water color paper, sketching tablets with a good ‘tooth’ and vellum for tracing an existing drawing that I’ve done.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I’m terrible at machines, cars, airplanes and all technological and technical stuff.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
A local store. I show up in person. I like the experience, sometimes you see new state of the art stuff you never knew existed.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
No, just feed my face, inhale and go.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I don’t make it a habit, if it’s there I enjoy it. Usually jazz or classic pop, blues and rock.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I loved comics, Plastic Man with Woozy Winks, anything by Will Eisner or Hal T. Foster (Prince Valiant) also Basil Wolverton (Lena the Hyena).

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Powerhouse Pepper by Basil Wolverton, all the dialogue was in alliterative sequences.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I have no copies of anything. I have no books from my childhood; they were all burned by a little Nazi boy who lived next door. Only kidding!

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Other than high school..none, I’m a self-made man which is horrible example of unskilled labor.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
The Internet is valuable if you use it properly, just don’t waste your time on Facebook, etc. when you could be drawing.

Did either of your parents draw?
My mom was a seamstress and my dad was a humorless carpenter and then a grip at MGM studios. The answer is “No.”

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Only my high school art teacher.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Sure. Whenever I go to lunch by myself I sketch people.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I only taught it through the books I have published, (seventeen so far) most of them are teaching instruments.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Talent. I can be so passionate that I’ll only turn out crap and then think it’s good.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I collect masks from all over the world. I love masks, they’re fascinating. I have a bout 30 or 40 so far. I also have a collection of canes, sword canes, booze canes (plastic vials hidden inside the shaft) all shapes and sizes.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Since I’m a bit of a smart ass, I guess Bugs Bunny would do.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Definitely a lefty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I’d go back to acting and singing and performing.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I have a nice office, computer at one end, art table at the other.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I tried keyboard, couldn't cut it. I’m now studying guitar. Wish me luck.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Never imitate. Your uniqueness is the one quality that no one can take from you. Use it. Style takes a while to develop but keep drawing, it will emerge in spite of you.

Who is your favorite artist?
George Bellows from the Ashcan School and a few more whose names escape for the moment (a senior moment obviously) Jack SOMETHING who injected whimsy and humor in his work.

Thanks Dick, it has been an honor to be able to post your answers here at David Wasting Paper!

Larry Gonick - Cartoonist Survey #3


Today we hear from the creator of the very successful, Cartoon History series of books, Larry Gonick. He has published Cartoon Histories of the Universe, the Modern World, the United States, and also many Cartoon Guides to science books. If you haven't checked out his series of books you are really missing out. Make sure you stop by his site at, http://www.larrygonick.com and buy something!

What is your favorite pen to use?
For the Cartoon History series, I used a brush. Winsor Newton Series 7 number 2. Best brush ever. Springy, excellent point. Until recently. The last few have had an irritating tendency to fork. I don't know if this is bad luck or a trend. For everything else I use a dip pen, but the nib is too encrusted with ink for me to read the model number. And I've always loved Speedball nibs.

You missed the big question, though: what ink? It's been really hard to find a deep black, permanent ink lately. Everything seems to be made for technical pens now, so it's runny and thin. Pelikan isn't available any more. Sennelier is good for a while, but it turns to sludge. I've started using some Chinese stuff somebody gets for me from an Asian stationery store. It smells a little funky, but it does the job.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Yes, pencil. I used to use Dixon Ticonderogas. What a great pencil, with a great eraser. Here again, things are going downhill. They've started using some horrible wood (probably too young) that splits when you sharpen it. Completely useless. So I've switched to artists' pencils, Prismacolor Turquoise, F.

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

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
N/A. I have used Dr. Martin's synchromatic dyes in the past.

What type of paper do you use?
Strathmore Bristol, Series 5, 2-ply. Plate finish for pen work, Vellum for brush.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Anything with right angles.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Lately, from web sites.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
No.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Something with drive. Rhythm and blues.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
My favorites as a kid were Uncle Scrooge and Little Lulu. In college, I went for Marvel. (That was the age of the modern, and very trippy, Jack Kirby/Stan Lee masterpieces. "I am EGO, the Living Planet!")

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Pogo, but only when collected. It's much better when it runs together as stories. I also love Dilbert.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I can't remember! Maybe Asimov's Foundation. But I don't think I ever owned it.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Just high-school art classes, and one excellent summer drawing class at the Westside Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Blessing. I love Wikipedia.

Did either of your parents draw?
My father was a "Sunday painter."

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

Do you keep a sketchbook?
No.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I've tried teaching cartooning, and I'm not sure it's even possible.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Drive is more like it.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Accumulate would be more like it. I have a lot of books. Also a select assortment of figurines, including some prized dinosaurs from my childhood.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Was "Oblomov" ever animated?

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty. Very.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I'd probably be a math professor.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
It's comfy like an old shoe. Drawing board in one corner with a side table covered with ink, paper towel roll, and pens. Computer diagonally opposite. Huge bookshelf on one wall. A very worn leather easy chair where I think, write, and nap. Mostly nap.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Piano, rarely any more.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Make sure you have a source of ideas.

Who is your favorite artist?
Cimabue

Who will be next in the Cartoonist Survey? It could be you! Just send me an email at dmp1234@yahoo.com .


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mat Brown - Cartoonist Survey #2


Today we hear from cartoonist Mat Brown. I attended a cartooning class taught by Mat (with special guest instructor Bill White) that was one of the best classes I've ever taken. Be sure to visit Mat at
http://www.matbrown.net/

What is your favorite pen to use?
I’m always experimenting...but right now, I like the 5-pen fine marker set (005, 01, 03, 05, and 08) made by prismacolor. I also like a Windsor Newton series 7 brush #3. I just found some old steel penpoints , but it’s too soon to tell whether I like them or not.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Yup: a prismacolor col-erase (blue) . I started because I thought the blue wouldn’t photograph (It will) But I use it now because you can drop out the blue marks when you scan your picture and use photoshop (Image>adjustments>Black& White...)then punch up the black (Image>adjustments>levels....)

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
For the most part I use the computer...and for color studies. But when the client wants the original, I use watercolor (cakes), pastels and colored pencils.

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

What type of paper do you use?
Strathmore 2ply bristol when the client wants the original...
Cardstock for stuff that I’m going to scan.


What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Bicycles and tables with 4 chairs and nobody sitting in them.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I’ve tried the Art stores (I can’t walk past one) and the one in Stoughton, MA(which I don’t like...limited stock) the catalog I use (and like) is http://www.cheapjoes.com

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
No I just start. The first two or three pictures won’t be as good as the ones I do when I get in the zone.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
No music for ideas and layout. Music accompanies inking. Swing, Sinatra, Classic Country, Circus and Calliope music.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Oh Yeah: I read them all, ’cause we traded back and forth. My favorite? Captain Marvel.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
As a Kid: Lil’ Abner and Dick Tracy because they were such wonderful draftsmen. ..But I liked them all. Today, Not so much: Dunesbury for the writing, The best artist was Wasserman...now, I don’t know.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
The Handy Book for Boys ...cool old illustrations. I still have it.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
None.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Oh it’s a blessing! Just to Google an image of what you’re trying to draw or caricature lets you junk all those clippings and books you used as a morgue.

Did either of your parents draw?
I can remember my Father drawing me a picture of a horse when I was sick with the Chicken Pox. His brother who died before I was born was a ‘good drawer’.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Me...and the people who gave me work.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I’m spoiled: everything I draw is sold. (or given away)

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Oh Yeah: The last time I did it was the most rewarding. I learned more than any of the students did! As you know, we’re still in touch and we’ll collaborate on the next course.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion is everything. “Talent’ means you like something more than other people do and work on it more than other people do...an pretty soon, those people accuse you of being ‘Talented’.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Really don’t collect anything...but I don’t throw anything away, either... That came in handy when I made my UMASS movie with pictures and sounds from fifty years ago. (available on my website www.matbrown.com ..in the ‘Bottom Drawer under ‘videos’)

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Foghorn Leghorn.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Teach Math in High School

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Cluttered, but with a drawing area and a computer area, and materials at hand. Half of the area will be squared away soon...as soon as the rush is over.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Not really...but I can play the harmonica.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Marry money.. But seriously, you’ve got to draw a lot. (read Malcom Galdwell’s The Outliers...He shows how you’ve got to put in 10,000 hours to be really good at anything.

Don't forget if you want to be featured on this site just shoot me an email (dmp1234@yahoo.com) and I'll send out the form.

Bill White - Cartoonist Survey #1


I sent out the following questions to some cartoonist that I know and also to some that I don't know. The first one to respond was Bill White so he gets the honor of being posted first. Be sure to check out Bill's site at; http://bwhitecartoons.blogspot.com/ and say hello. Now without further ado here are the questions with Bill's answers.


What is your favorite pen to use?

My favorite pen is the Flair Papermate pen. It doesn't have archival ink, though, so I like to use Microns. The .05 and .08, to be exact.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Except when doing caricatures "live", ALWAYS pencil first. I like the TOMBO™ 2B. At Building #19, I used the Col-Erase blue pencil. That worked well, too.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
By hand, but I must use to learn Photoshop, as that is becoming the industry standard.

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

What type of paper do you use?
The BEST you can get! Strathmore 3-ply is the preferred choice. For quick stuff, index card stock is good.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Any two wheeled vehicle. Bikes, motorcycles and the like.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Once I find something I like, I can order online, but I like to get the "feel" of something before I buy it.

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

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
No. See the comment Disney Great Milt Kahl said in Richard William's "Animator's Survival Kit". I couldn't agree more!

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Of course! The Harvey comics were my favorites, especially when drawn by Warren Kremer (my hero!) and Ernie Colon. I also loved Bark's Ducks, and all the Archie comics. I also loved all the Marvel and DC superheroes. You know what? There wasn't a comic book I didn't like.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Lil' Abner. Best. Strip. Ever. No discussion.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
The Cat in the Hat. I have a new copy.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I went to the Kubert School, but it didn't feel very "formal".

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
It's a curse in that it can suck up more of your time than TV, but a blessing in terms of all the information you can access that as a kid I would have killed for.

Did either of your parents draw?
My Dad was a wanna-be cartoonist. He was really good too! He spent a lot of time drawing with me as a kid. I wish I still had some of those drawings...

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Everyone in my life has always been really supportive of my cartooning. The only ones that weren't were some of my high school art teachers. "You are so talented, why do you waste your time drawing cartoons/", was a typical comment. One I'm sure a LOT of cartoonists have heard.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
No. I should. I draw all the time, but on loose sheets of copy paper. When enough pile up, I chuck 'em.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes I have, and I love doing it. You really do learn a lot explaining what you do to others.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
There is no such thing as talent, as Mat Brown has said. You draw well because you have the passion to do it a lot, and by doing it a lot, you get better.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Toys! Action figures to be exact. Doctor Who figures are my current obsession, but I have plenty of vintage Star Wars and superhero toys decorating my shelves.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I would like to be Bugs Bunny, but I'm afraid I'm Daffy Duck.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty. Interestingly, I have noticed that there are a lot of talented artists that are leftys. Must be some right brain/left brain thing.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Something that made me a lot more money than being a freelance cartoonist does!

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Right now, it is in a state of transition, as I fight for space with other members of my family. Ideally, it is a bunch of different desks, all set up for different stages of the drawing process. The work area is also very, very messy.

Do you play any musical instruments?
No. I love to sing, though.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
As Kyle Baker said, if you want to do it, do it. Don't worry about a back-up plan. Pursue your passion!

Who is your favorite artist?
Warren Kremer


Thanks a lot Bill and check in tomorrow to see the answers from Building #19's own Mat Brown!

If you are a cartoonist or draw and you want to be included in this survey just send me an email( dmp1234@yahoo.com )and I will send you the secret form for you to fill out.

Monday, November 16, 2009

One Flu Over The Cuckoo's Nest

Sick with the flu last week. It was NOT a fun experience...so wash your hands!