Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tim Whyatt - Cartoonist Survey #110

Tim Whyatt is an Australian cartoonist who was born in August of 1967. His cartoons have appeared in many publications and have been translated into German, Spanish and Norwegian. They currently appear in Mexico’s Reader’s Digest, Norway’s ‘Vi Menn’ magazine, (Dallas, Fort Worth) magazine and are on hundreds of greeting cards around the world. Tim’s very funny cards are distributed by NobleWorks Cards and are available in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and the US. Here in the US his cards are available in thousands of stores including Wal -Mart, Carlton Cards, Rite Aid, CVS, Spencer's and K-Mart. In Canada they are carried in Wal-Mart, Spencer's and Carlton Card stores. In the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, Whyatt greeting cards are known as the ‘Traces of Nuts’ line. If you don’t feel like going to the store to purchase his cards you can order them online here at NobleWorks. There are all kinds of Whyatt goodies available for purchase here on Tim’s CafePress store. Go to Tim’s website to see more of his work and then signup for his free newsletter.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I use a Unipin Fine Line 0.1.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Yes, I always draw in pencil first. I use a mechanical one only because I can't be bothered sharpening.

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

All of my coloring is done in PhotoShop.

What type of paper do you use?
I use HP Colour Laser 120g because it seems to prevent the ink from bleeding.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Mouths... so I usually just leave them out altogether.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Anywhere that's got the above-mentioned pens and paper on sale.

Are there any rituals that you do before you begin cartooning?
Yes, I have a strict daily pre-cartooning ritual that goes something like this...
6:30 - Wake up and head for the office.
6:31 - Arrive at the office (it's down the hallway).
6:32 - Read my e-mails while drinking industrial strength coffee.
7:30 - Think to myself, "I really should come up with some cartoon ideas."
7:31 - Decide to check out what's on YouTube instead.
11:30 - Look at my watch and realise I've been watching YouTube for nearly four hours.
11:31 - Think to myself, "I really should come up with some cartoon ideas."
11:32 - Decide to go downstairs and play pool instead.
1:30 - Look at my watch and realise I've been playing pool for nearly two hours.
1:31 - Decide to go to the library and see if I can come up with any funny ideas there.
1:45 - Arrive at the library and read a few golf magazines.
4:37 - Look at my watch and realise I've been reading golf magazines for nearly three hours.
4:38 - Decide to go back home, get out of my pajamas and have a shower.
5:00 - Think to myself, "I really should come up with some cartoon ideas."
5:01 - Decide to check out what's on cable TV instead.
9:59 - Look at my watch and realise I've been watching cable TV for nearly five hours.
10:00 - Go to bed and read 'How to Stop Procrastinating'.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yes, I grew up on Mad Magazine. Every month, my old primary school buddy, Martin Palm, would bring the latest issue to class and I was completely mesmerised by it. The artwork was amazing and the ideas were seriously funny. I've been a cartoon junkie ever since.

What is or was your favorite cartoon?
The Far Side. It's easily the finest collection of cartoons ever created. Gary Larson is to cartooning what The Beatles are to music.

What was your favorite book as a child?
The White Pages. It came in handy whenever I had a burning desire to ask a random stranger if their fridge was running.

Did you have any formal art training?

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
It's a bit of both really. On the one hand, it's a curse because copyright infringement is rife. On the other hand, it's a blessing because it provides artists with an instant worldwide audience. If it wasn't for the Internet, my work probably wouldn't be known outside of Australia.

Did either of your parents draw?
Yes. Dad used to be a graphic artist. My brother can draw. All of my uncles and aunties can draw. It definitely runs in the family.

Who in your life has been the most supportive of your art?
Allison Curnow. She was a manager at the greeting card company that first signed me up. She has always had 100% belief in my work and she is largely responsible for getting my work published throughout the world. She is still my mentor today.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes, I've got a bunch of sketchbooks full of all the cartoons that I'm either too embarrassed or too ashamed to submit.

Have you ever taught cartooning and if so did you enjoy the experience?
No, I wouldn't feel qualified. I'm still trying to teach myself.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in cartooning?
Definitely passion. To be honest, you don't need much drawing talent to be a successful cartoonist. It's all about coming up with ideas, which involves a lot of blood, sweat, tears and discipline. That's where passion comes in handy.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Gray hairs. I get a new one every time a deadline approaches and I haven't come up with an idea.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Spongebob Squarepants because I'm an eternal optimist and I have a friend called Patrick.

Are you a righty or lefty?
I'm a righty for all things except brushing my teeth, in which case I'm a lefty (for no apparent reason).

If you weren't a cartoonist what would you want to do for work?
I'd like to be one of those people who gets paid to sit in the gallery on Judge Judy.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
My drawing area is a lumpy gray mass of neurons located somewhere between my auditory canals.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I play the guitar badly and the piano even worse.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue cartooning as a career what would it be?
Cartooning is 90% writing and 10% drawing. If you have ten days to create a cartoon, spend nine days on the idea and only one day on the drawing.

Who is your favorite cartoonist?
The short answer is Gary Larson... The long answer is Gary Larson, Charles Addams, B Kliban, Nicholas Gurewitch, Matthew Diffee, David Griffith, Tom Cheney, Dan Collins, Clay Bennett, John Dempsey, Jim Unger, Norman Thelwell and many, many more.

Thanks a lot Tim!

Editorial cartoonist Clay Jones is up next.


Anonymous said...

You neglected to mention that your lifestyle is underpinned by a brilliant & hardworking wife?

P.L. Frederick said...

This is great. Thanks for introducing me to Whyatt's work, Dave. He's pretty funny.

Whyatt, your day schedule is hilarious.

Anonymous said...

When I came across one of Whyatt's cartoons on a Facebook post, I googled his name, clicked on images, and bam! instant comedy relief. I even came across a cartoon I've had on my wall for years that is one of Whyatt's. I love his sense of humor in the cartoons and interview responses (very funny daily schedule!), but the psychologist in me wonders why he's obsessed with male genitalia. That's one question I'd like to ask. Another is wether you are receptive to hearing people's ideas for cartoon humor.