Saturday, February 20, 2010

Patricia Storms - Cartoonist Survey #78

Ever since she was a child, illustrator and cartoonist, Patricia Storms, has loved to draw and write. Her passion for books influenced her decision to work in libraries for 10 years before becoming a full time illustrator. Her specialties are humorous illustrations and children’s books. A member of the National Cartoonists Society, the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators and the Association of Canadian Editorial Cartoonists, she has done work for Barnes & Noble, The National Post, American Greetings, Chronicle Books and Owlkids Books. A few of the children’s books she has illustrated include "13 Ghosts of Halloween", written by Robin Muller and "Good Granny/Bad Granny", written by Mary McHugh. In September of last year she illustrated and wrote her own picture book, “The Pirate and the Penguin”. Visit Patricia’s website to see more examples of her work. She also maintains a really fun blog called BookLust, which is “A bibliophile’s musings on books, cartoons, art and stuff.”

What is your favorite pen to use?
I don’t use a pen; I use a #2 Cotman Winsor & Newton brush & I love it!

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I use Strathmore HB pencils.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I colour using PhotoShop.

What type of paper do you use?
Often basic bond paper, or Strathmore smooth bristol.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Bicycles, elephants, bare feet.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I go to a local one called Woolfitt’s in the west end of Toronto.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Good question! I always have to clean the pencil I am using with soap and water, as well as my drawing hand. I hate any feeling of greasiness when holding a pencil.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes. Mostly Classical music, you know, Mozart, Beethoven and Bach, those old dudes.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Read lots of comics, and really hard to name a favourite, sorry. Loved Peanuts, Pogo, MAD Magazine to name a few. Also loved old British Punch cartoons and the classic cartoons of the New Yorker.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Toss up between Peanuts and Calvin & Hobbes.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
The Nutshell Library collection by Maurice Sendak, and yes, I still have it! It has a place of honour in my library.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Taken life drawing courses at Dundas Valley School of Art & Toronto School of Art, & have Graphic Design Diploma from Seneca College, Toronto.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Both. Great way to market yourself, but you run the risk of your art being stolen, and well, the best thing about the Internet is that everyone can contribute, and the worst thing about the Internet is that everyone can contribute. Of course, the Internet has done severe damage to Newspapers & Comic Strips, but it just means that cartoonists have to start thinking about new creative business models.

Did either of your parents draw?
Years ago mother used to do oil paintings, and long time ago my father did some miniature paintings, but neither pursued it seriously, or as a hobby. I did have a cousin who was a talented political cartoonist, and an aunt who was a commercial artist in the 40s.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Definitely my husband Guy. I would be nowhere without his never-ending support. My parents are big fans, too. And I must give a callout to Hamilton artist/cartoonist Steven Toth, who many years ago was the first professional to give me encouragement and support during a time when I really needed it.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I have many!

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes, I have taught cartooning. I didn’t enjoy it when it was set up as a structured course, but I LOVE doing cartooning demonstrations for kids in schools. That is pure joy.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Sorry, can’t pick one over the other.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Lately I’ve had a thing for penguins. Plus our house is chock full of books.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I’ve always been partial to Bugs Bunny, because he’s so smart and witty.

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Some sort of job that involves creative writing. Or working in a bookstore. You know, the big moneymaking gigs.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
A complete mess.

Do you play any musical instruments?

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
I’ll give two pieces of advice. Have a thick skin, and a very curious mind.

Who is your favorite artist?
Can’t just name one, I’m afraid.

Thank you Patricia!

Up next is another Canadian cartoonist and illustrator, Kevin Frank.


Vlad Kolarov said...

I LOVE the fact that I am the first to say: Great interview!!!

TJ Lubrano said...

Hello! I love all the information you provide on your blog! From art supplies to useful and inspiring links to cool interviews ^_^! Simply perfect!

I will check back often! Keep it up!

David said...

Thank you very much for your kind words!