Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sandra Bell-Lundy - Cartoonist Survey #76

Canadian cartoonist, Sandra Bell-Lundy, is the creator of the popular comic strip, “Between Friends”. She started out drawing comics for newspaper ads and her university’s newspaper. After creating her comic, loosely based on a group of her friends, she self-syndicated to some Canadian daily newspapers for four years. In 1994 King Features picked up “Between Friends” and it started running in papers such as, the Calgary Herald, the Toronto Star, the Seattle Times and the Houston Chronicle. “Between Friends” is now published in over 130 newspapers worldwide, appearing in countries as far away as Australia, South Africa and Jamaica. Sandra’s strip focuses on the lives of three professional women in their early forties who have been friends since high school. “Between Friends” covers topics like dating, child rearing, personal time and aging. It has been collected in two anthologies, “Hello, Daughter” and “Coffee, Tea and Reality”. Sandra presently lives with her husband, two children and their doggie, Newman, in Southern Ontario. Stop by Sandra's website and then visit her blog.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Right now I'm using a Pentel brush pen but I prefer to use a C-5 speedball.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I do pretty tight pencils first...I use whatever pencil is handy.

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

What type of paper do you use?
2 ply smooth Bristol.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Cars and animals.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I'm having trouble buying supplies lately...the third and last art supply store in my area has next time I need to restock, I'll either drive 45 minutes out of town or I may purchase through a website.

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

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I draw in silence, music distracts me while I'm drawing. When I'm PhotoShopping though, I always listen to podcasts.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
From the newspaper, I loved Peanuts, B.C. and Winthrop.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
It's hard to name a single favourite, I enjoy so many all for different reasons.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I liked reading the Nancy Drew mysteries. I think I might have a few copies somewhere.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Except for the time-wasting element, I think it's a blessing.

Did either of your parents draw?

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My mother has always been very supportive...also my husband.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I keep a lot of my brainstorming books of ideas for strips...these have a lot of doodles and sketches in them...but I wouldn't really call it a sketchbook.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I've taught a few classes here and there, mostly for my kids' schools. Nothing very regimented...just lots of drawing and fun...I enjoyed it but wouldn't want to do it as a career.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Original comic art, signed cartoon collections.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Is this the Barbara Walters' "what kind of tree are you" question?

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
That's a hard question because I'm doing exactly what I want to do for work...there are other things I'd like to try...write a play, do a graphic novel...but those are just random things I'd like to try.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Small room, drawing board with a plastic side table of 4 drawers that holds my tools, inks, etc, L-shaped table with computer, scanner, telephone, I have a wall covered in cork in front of my drawing board with a large calendar, production schedule and various other papers, a small filing cabinet with my printer sitting on it...lots of books, paper supplies around...I need more shelving and cupboards...some framed original strips, a big pile of my dailies and a big pile of my Sundays that will be packed away at the end of the year.

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?
Try to get advice from several cartoonists (artists) in your field, be persistent and be willing to listen to constructive criticism.

Who is your favorite artist?
I couldn't say just one...same as with favourite strips, I like many for different reasons.

Thank you for your time Sandra.

Children's book illustrator and animator, Renee Kurilla, will be next.

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