Monday, March 1, 2010
Frank Page - Cartoonist Survey #86
Frank Page, creator of the comic strip Bob the Squirrel, is an illustrator and cartoonist living in New York. His “real” job is as a graphic designer and an editorial cartoonist for the Rome Daily Sentinel. The inspiration for Bob the Squirrel was an actual squirrel that was performing acrobatics on a power line outside his window. Frank’s strip records the life of Bob, a squirrel and Frank, an introverted human cartoonist. Bob represents Frank’s inner voice and he has no trouble saying what Frank wants to say, but wouldn’t. Other recurring characters are Frank’s dog, Lucy, his girlfriend Lezley, her daughter Lauren and Lezley’s dog and two cats. Many of the events in the strip are taken from real life, with no punches pulled. In August of last year Frank released his first full length graphic novel titled "Better Man". Go here to learn more about Bob the Squirrel and then check out Frank’s art blog here. You can get your very own Bob the Squirrel t-shirt here. Bob the Squirrel is syndicated through GoComics.com.
What is your favorite pen to use?
My latest love affair is with Pilot precise V5 RT retractable pens...I have a whole drawer full of them.
Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I draw in pencil first... non-photo blue pencils.
Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
All my coloring is done in PhotoShop.
If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Gouache with colored pencil does something for me.
What type of paper do you use?
Bristol 300 series, vellum surface.
What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
There’s nothing I hate to draw...although there are some things I need practice with.
Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I usually place three or four big orders with Dick Blick, although someone (hint, hint) just turned me on to JetPens.com.
Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I have to have a diet soda by my sides at all times. If a pen is in one hand, that Coke Zero needs to be in the other.
Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I actually like to listen to history channel documentaries while I draw...weird, huh?
Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I read everything--- mostly Superman. Then I discovered Calvin and Hobbes... I think that might be almost everyone's story.
What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Calvin and Hobbes...may be boring, but you can't beat a classic.
What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Superfudge by Judy Blume. Unfortunately I no longer have a copy.
Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I have a BFA in illustration from Cazenovia College, Cazenovia, NY. Currently, I’m in my final semester of Master's degree work at the Vermont College of Fine Art. I will graduate in August 2010.
Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Blessing. I essentially owe 80% of my career to it.
Did either of your parents draw?
Nope. I’m the purple sheep of the family, but my mom is an amazing cook.
Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Everyone was/is supportive. I think it has something to do with my ability to keep delivering the laughs.
Do you keep a sketchbook?
I have at least three going at one time. I prefer Moleskine sketch and notebooks....absolutely love the feel of the paper.
Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes, I would love to teach more. Hence my master's degree work.
Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion is much more important. Discipline; if you don't have that you're not going to go too far.
Do you collect anything and if so what?
Not really. I don't have the patience to collect.
If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Pepe Le Pew. I like his confidence.
Are you a righty or lefty?
If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
If I weren't an artist, I think I’d be a comedian or a musician (longshot).
In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I can do that in two words...creative chaos.
Do you play any musical instruments?
I play guitar and sing a little. I just purchased a baritone ukulele that I long to master.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Learn how to draw.
Who is your favorite artist?
Robert Crumb. You can't beat that man's line.
Thanks again Frank.
Up next is Mark Kennedy, Disney storyboard artist and keeper of the very informative blog, Temple of the Seven Golden Camels.