Friday, March 12, 2010
Ann Telnaes - Cartoonist Survey #95
Editorial cartoonist, Ann Telnaes, was born in Stockholm, Sweden. She attended the California Institute of the Arts and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, specializing in character animation. After college she worked as a designer for Walt Disney Imagineering. She started her career as an editorial cartoonist in the early 90’s. Her print editorial cartoons have been published in numerous newspapers such as, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, USA Today, The New York Times. Ann has made many television and radio appearances including, NPR, The Newshour with Jim Lehrer, C-Span, and BBC radio. In 2001 she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. Her work was shown in a solo exhibition at the Great Hall in the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in 2004 as well as in Jerusalem and Paris. She switched from doing printed editorial cartoons to animated ones in 2008 and they are posted every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday on The Washington Post's website. Ann is a member of the National cartoonist Society and the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband. Visit her website here and her blog here. See here animated editorial cartoons here at The Washington Post.
What is your favorite pen to use?
I use a brush for inking- Winsor Newton series 7, #2. Sometimes I'll use a brush pen, too.
Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
For my rough sketches I use a non-photo blue (or any light color) Prisma pencil.
Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I color in PhotoShop.
What type of paper do you use?
For my inked finals, a 2-ply bristol, vellum.
What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
There's nothing I really hate to draw, just things I'm not very good at drawing. Anything mechanical.
Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I order online. I'm usually in a place where going physically to an art store is too time consuming.
Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
No, just can't do final inkings first thing in the morning. Have to have coffee first.
Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
No, I listen to C-Span.
Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I read Peanuts, but my favorite was Thelwell's pony cartoons.
What is or was your favorite comic strip?
I don't really follow comic strips now. Love the art of Wiley, Watterson, and Richard Thompson.
What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I still have a boxed collection of Thelwell.
Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I studied character animation at California Institute of the Arts. I was extremely fortunate to have both Bill Moore and Bob Winquist as teachers- learned everything I know about design and color from them.
Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
For me, overall it's been a blessing. People could access my work even when print clients chose not to publish my editorial cartoons and I can reach international audiences more easily. Also, the ability to gather reference material is invaluable for a freelancer like me.
Did either of your parents draw?
No- but my uncle, who died before I was born, did paint.
Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Do you keep a sketchbook?
Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Both are important; I've known several people who were incredibly talented but without the passion and drive, went nowhere.
Do you collect anything and if so what?
I wouldn't say I collect them, but I have lots of books about art and cartooning.
If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
A UPA character.
Are you a righty or lefty?
I'm right handed.
If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Probably work in wildlife conservation.
In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I have two- a large kitchen counter and a big, open studio with a great view.
Do you play any musical instruments?
No- it would be painful if I did.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Really love what you do because you probably won't make a living at it- much less become rich and famous.
Who is your favorite artist?
One of my favorites is Alexander Calder.
Thank you again for your time Ann.
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist, David Horsey is on deck. What are the chances of having two Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonists in a row?