Saturday, January 23, 2010

Chris Sabatino - Cartoonist Survey #53

Chris Sabatino is a full-time freelance cartoonist illustrator from Canton, MA, working mainly in children's publishing. He has created artwork for such clients as Crayola, Howard Johnson's & Girls' Life. He's produced cartoons for countless Complete Idiot's Guides as well as the illustrations for the best selling "Big Book of Boy Stuff". He created an activity book for Gibbs Smith Publishers called "Pocket Doodles for Boys" that will be in bookstores March 1st (and you don't have to be a boy or have pockets to enjoy it)!

Chris was nice enough to provide me with his own bio above. His book "Pocket Doodles for Boys" is already available for purchase through Amazon, so go take a look and buy it. You can see more of his work on his website. Oh yeah, Chris also just started a spankin' new blog, so stop over and say hello to him.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I have always used rapidographs, but recently Cartoonist Extraordinaire, Bill White (from Cartoonist Survey #1) turned me on to Pigma Micron Pens and I LOVE them!

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I always draw in pencil first and, because I have never met a pencil I didn't like, it changes daily.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I used to color by hand, but clients have forced me to color completely by computer now (in PhotoShop).

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
I used to color with watercolors. I've bought some very expensive watercolors, but the thing that worked best for me was a Snoopy Watercolor Set that I bought at CVS.

What type of paper do you use?
Strathmore 500 series Bristol Plate.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I hate to draw cars & motorcycles. I was hired to illustrate The Complete idiot's Guide to Motorcycles and found creative ways not to draw any for the book!

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I used to always buy my stuff at a local art store hoping to keep them in business. Then I discovered the owner was evil so now I order online from Blicks...or take a trip into Boston to go to Blick's super store there (which is like a trip to Disneyland for me).

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Before I start a new project, I always clean up my studio and empty all the trash barrels.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
No, I keep the TV on. I find it very lonely to work alone all day, I miss having coworkers. The TV keeps me company, although I barely ever look up at the screen. I have Boomerang on a lot.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Big comics fan...mostly Marvel. Favorites were X-men, Fantastic Four & Avengers. Favorite characters were Yellowjacket, Quicksilver & Phoenix.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
I think Robotman, which isn't around it's Monty.
My all time favorite TV cartoon was Frankenstein Jr. & the Impossibles...just like the guy that runs this blog!

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
As a kid, I had every how-to-draw book I could find. My favorite always changed, I had no attention span...still don't.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I am a 1984 graduate of the New England School of Art & Design (now part of Suffolk University). I majored in both Graphic Design & General Art (Illustration).

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Blessing! My kids don't realize how lucky they are to have the entire world's information at their fingertips! Remember what it was like to look something up in an encyclopedia???

Did either of your parents draw?
I didn't find out until late in life that my Dad, who was a cop, was actually a very talented artist!

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
By far it has to be my wife. After graduating art school I took a job at a local defense plant. The pay was good, but it was destroying my soul. Even though we had two kids and a mortgage, my wife totally supported me quitting my full time job to become a full time freelance illustrator/cartoonist. She even had to go back to work full time so we could have health benefits!

Do you keep a sketchbook?

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
No! Hated school. I get nauseous just going to parent/teacher conferences.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
PASSION! I believe that all art is the expression of emotions. Drawing is just one way people let their feelings & stories be told. There are many ways of expressions in the world and all start with passion.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Bobbleheads, toys, and action figures.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
"Schleprock" from Hanna Barbera's Pebbles & Bamm Bamm (1971)

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Write comic books.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I have a wonderful studio right next to our house. It is filled with toys & books.

Do you play any musical instruments?
No. I can't even listen to music well.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Go for it! I listened to all the people who said I couldn't make a living at this and when I finally got the courage to try (at age 36), it took off!

Who is your favorite artist?
Bob Staake. His book "The Complete Book of Humorous Art" inspired me to quit my job and become a full-time artist!

Thanks again Chris.

Next up are answers from the cartoonist Rina Piccolo.

1 comment:

Bart King said...

Chris rules. He can take the most half-baked idea and turn it into something clever... or throw it out and come up with something better!