Friday, March 5, 2010

Rick Stromoski - Cartoonist Survey #90

Self-taught cartoonist and illustrator, Rick Stromoski, was born in 1958. He grew up in a family of 12 kids, giving him plenty of fodder for his career as a cartoonist. His humorous illustrations have appeared in national magazines, children's and humor books, licensed products, newspapers, network television and national advertising campaigns. His work for greeting card companies such as Paper Moon, Recycled Paper Greetings and Renaissance Greetings, won him four Louie Awards for outstanding greeting card design and the Reuben division award for best greeting cards twice. He also won another Reuben division award in 1999, this time for Gag Cartoons. Rick has been a board member of the National Cartoonist Society since 1997 and in 2005 he was elected as their president. He worked on the comic strip Mullets with Steve McGarry (Cartoonist Survey #60) for a while and then in 2000 he debuted his comic strip Soup To Nutz. Syndicated by United Features Syndicate, Soup To Nutz is still going strong. In addition to being an award-winning cartoonist he is also an award-winning winemaker. Rick lives in Connecticut with his wife, daughter and various pets. Check out Rick's website here.

What is your favorite pen to use?
The Bic-Pastis limited edition.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
A 2B Staedtler.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Watercolor, Dr Martin Dyes, Prismacolor markers, Derwent color pencils, gouache.

What type of paper do you use?
3ply Strathmore cold press.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Cars, crowds, crowds in cars, monkeys and penguins in cars.

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 independent art store.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I sing the Canadian National Anthem or Alfie depending on my mood.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I listen to podcasts...usually science-oriented stuff...or This American Life on NPR.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I liked Little Annie Fanny the best.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
My favorite comic strip was Smokey Stover...I'm convinced Holman was on acid when he drew that strip.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
The 500 hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Ted Geisal. I still have a copy of it.

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?
Both. A blessing for the porn but a curse for the cartoonist chat sites.

Did either of your parents draw?

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My wife. My Mom a close second.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Several...they're mostly note books...gag ideas.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes and yes.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing? can have all the passion in the world but if you suck, you can suck passionately.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Stork Club memorabilia, wooden boxes, cast iron doorstops, original comic art, and dust.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Wimpy...I like hamburgers.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Depends on what I'm doing with my hand.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Olympic Curler.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
9x12 cell.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I play a mean spoons.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Animation...that’s where all the money is going.

Who is your favorite artist?
Stan Laurel...nobody funnier before or since.

Thanks again Rick.

Up next is cartoonist, animator and creator of Red's Planet, Eddie Pittman.

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