Sunday, January 3, 2010

Barbara Dale - Cartoonist Survey #36

Cartoonist Barbara Dale's line of alternative greeting cards is edgy and funny. Her drawings have been on millions of Dale greeting cards, mugs, calendars and gift products. Barbara is the co-author of "The Joys of Motherhood." Her work has been published in newspapers and magazines such as The L.A. Times, The London Herald, Redbook and Cosmopolitan. She is currently working on creating children's books. Stop by her website and then go to her cafepress store and buy something.

What is your favorite pen to use?

When I'm drawing with a pen on paper, I use an old dip pen with a nib on it manufactured by Esterbrook, which has been out of business for many years. I have a lifetime stash of the nibs, though. I've collected and hoarded them.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Sometimes, I draw with pencil first, just a regular pencil, and sometimes I don't need the pencil. These days I'm mostly drawing on the computer using a Cintiq 21UX.

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

I color on the computer.

What type of paper do you use?
I used to draw on bristol board, but now just any kind of paper.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I hate to draw mechanical things, like cars and machinery. Water wheels are pretty bad, too. Lots of buildings in a city, ugh!

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I go to my local art supply store.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Before I start to draw, I fix the feeling of the character on my face and feel it throughout my body. It helps me to get the expression right.

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

Sometimes I listen to music. Either Motown or classical.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?

I did read comics as a kid. I liked all of them. Particular favorites were Superman, Archie and Richie Rich.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I read the Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew. I don't have any of those as I raised a boy.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I attended Cranbrook Academy of Art and The Seattle Academy of Realist Art. I believe deeply in education and having a full toolbox.

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

I am hoping that the Internet will save all of us, once people figure out how to monetize it.

Did either of your parents draw?
My father drew cartoons.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
I have many friends who support me in my work.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I have many, many sketchbooks.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I have taught cartooning once a year at a local middle school, which has a writing festival.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I collect vintage cartoon characters and advertising figures.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
If I were an animated cartoon character I would be Tweety Bird.

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
If I weren't a cartoonist I would be an interior designer, flower arranger, or pastry chef.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
My drawing area for the computer is a laptop on a desk with the Cintiq to the side. My drawing area for pen and ink is a drawing board with pictures and signatures of famous cartoonists above it.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I used to play guitar.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
I have absolutely no advice for someone who wants to pursue drawing. Wait, I'd tell them to connect what they do to the Internet...and hope for the best!

Who is your favorite artist?

My favorite artist is Saul Steinberg.

Thank you for your time Barbara.

The wonderful caricaturist Joe Bluhm will be up next.

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