Monday, April 19, 2010

Scott Metzger - Cartoonist Survey #112

Scott Metzger has been a professional cartoonist since 1996. He creates single panel cartoons for greeting cards which are distributed by Papyrus, NobleWorks and Just Wrong Greetings. His cartoons also appear regularly in Funny Times Magazine. From 2005 to 2006 Scott drew two strips, “Tree” and “Stewart”. “Tree” was about a walking and talking pine tree and “Stewart” was about a not-so-bright bison who lived in San Francisco. Scott works with Better World Advertising as the cartoonist for a syphilis prevention campaign called "Healthy Penis", which is sponsored by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. He belongs to the cartoonist collective, Tall Tale Features. He presently lives with his wife, daughter and three cats in Northern California. Visit Scott’s website here.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I draw my single panel cartoons on the computer so I don’t use pens very often. When I do, it’s usually a Uni-ball.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I draw in pencil first and use 5-B drawing pencils.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
On the computer. Most of the time, I color with Adobe Illustrator.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
It’s best that I never color by hand. No one wants to see that.

What type of paper do you use?
Strathmore Drawing Pad (14 x 17)

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

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I buy my art supplies at Dick Blick Art Supplies on Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. It’s a small chain.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I stare in the mirror and yell at myself until I’m all red-faced and pumped. Okay, that’s not true. I just wanted to give an answer besides “No I don’t do any rituals.”

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I do listen to music while I draw – either rock or country. I also listen to NPR (Fresh Air), Tall Tale Radio and Comics Coast to Coast.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Peanuts was my favorite comic strip when I was a kid.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Pearls Before Swine is my favorite comic strip today.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
As a kid, my favorite book was “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein. I loved the writing and drawings. His imagination was great. I still have the book.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I took a few art classes in college (UC Davis) but I wouldn’t call myself a formally trained artist.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
That’s a tough one. Overall, I think of it as a blessing but there are times (when I read some comments in forums and some postings on Facebook) when I think it’s a curse.

Did either of your parents draw?
My mom is creative but she doesn’t draw. My late father enjoyed writing but didn’t draw either.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
When I was a kid, my parents enrolled me in art classes and were very supportive. I also was lucky to have several teachers who were supportive. Today, my wife is a huge support for me. I run ideas by her all the time. She has a great sense of humor and she draws as well – so she occasionally gives me feedback on how to tweak or improve the art.

Do you keep a sketchbook?

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I have never done that but would love to someday.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Talent will only take you so far. You have to have a passion for it. Anyone can learn to draw at least moderately well. If you have a passion to draw and you practice; you’ll eventually get really good at it.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I don’t collect anything. Well, I do have an old collection of rejection letters from syndicates. Does that count?

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
When I was a kid, I was a dead ringer for Timmy on South Park.

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Well, along with marketing my cartoons, I work full time as a grant writer. So cartooning but it isn’t my main job. But if I didn’t draw cartoons, I’d probably try stand-up comedy.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
My wife and I share an office and that’s where I spend most of my time drawing cartoons (on the computer). But I sketch out ideas in the living room on the couch because it’s more comfortable.

Do you play any musical instruments?
From 6th to 12th grade, I played the trombone. I still have my trombone and the last time I played it was around 2002, while hosting a dinner party. I was drunk. My wife wants to get rid of my trombone.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Keep practicing and never give up.

Who is your favorite artist?
My favorite artist is Carol Aust. I love her stuff.

Thank you very much Scott.

Eisner and Harvey award winning cartoonist Brian Fies is up next.

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