Saturday, July 10, 2010

Drew Brophy - Cartoonist/Artist Survey #141

Renowned surf artist Drew Brophy was born in Myrtle Beach, SC in 1971. Self-taught, he got his start as a young boy painting surfboards and dreaming of becoming a professional surfer. Drew traveled the world surfing and created artwork to offset the cost of his trips. He spent several years living and surfing in Hawaii until he moving to California in 1996 where he now lives with his wife Maria and their son Dylan. Known as the artist who pioneered the artwork of surfboard painting his art is recognized and collected internationally. His surfboards are sold in stores and art galleries around the globe and are collected by people such as Eddie Vedder, Uncle Cracker, Kid Rock and Vince Neil from Motley Crue.

Drew licenses his art to over 30 companies who print his artwork on greeting cards, t-shirts, stickers, fabric designs, tattoos, CD covers, shoes and much more. He has painted everything from large wall murals to guitars, motorcycles and cars. Managed and represented by
Son of the Sea, Inc., a family owned business, Drew creates the art and his wife Maria runs the business. Often giving seminars and workshops at schools & colleges, Drew loves sharing his painting techniques and secrets of success. His recently published book, “How to Draw with Drew Brophy” is a great introduction to Drew’s style. See much more of his work here on his website, and visit Maria’s site often, for tips and advice on selling your artwork.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Uni Posca paint pens.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Any pencil on my desk. Usually standard.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer? Most everything is done by hand.
Computer work isn’t fun for me!

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Uni Posca water based paint pens. They are awesome. Once you try them, you’ll be hooked.

What type of paper do you use?
Most of my work is on large canvas or wood. I don’t work on paper too much.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
People’s dogs! And anything that I don’t like. I’m fortunate that most all my clients hire me to paint what I enjoy.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Most of my supplies are from San Clemente Art Supply, a local store near my studio. For big jobs, I’ll buy wholesale online at SLS Arts.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I listen to music. I’ll choose a song or an album for a project, and then listen to it over and over again until the job is complete. Drive my wife nuts!

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Rock and metal. Led Zeppelin’s my favorite. Right now I’m listening to AS I LAY DYING, a California metal band.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I’m a surfer, so I really liked Rick Griffin’s comics in Surfer Magazine.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
My favorite is BALDO. Read it every week in the paper.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
As a kid my parents had a huge stack of National Geographic magazines – like a hundred of them. I loved to read those. I have a subscription to National Geographic now, and it’s still my favorite read. A book that made big impact on me out of high school, and I still have it, is CREATIVE VISUALIZATION by Shakti Gawain. You could say it changed my life and I probably owe my career to it. You’ll have to read it to see what I mean…

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
No, although I was accepted into some good art schools. Just couldn’t afford them. So instead I took a job painting surfboards in Hawaii. It was the right decision for me at the time.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Absolute blessing. Before the Internet it was very difficult to reach people who liked my art. It’s a million times easier now. It’s a million times easier for everybody – so if you do the work to reach people, your art career will take off.

Did either of your parents draw?
My mother’s a pianist and my dad is a great artist. But he didn’t go in the art direction. He got into the flooring business instead. He still draws incredibly well.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My wife, Maria. She’s my business partner and I get to sleep with her! Seriously, though, she has always seen my greater potential, even when I didn’t. She pushes me to be better and better.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I always have sketchbooks lying around with no real organization to them. I’ve always kept a written journal, too.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I give “Paint Pen Techniques” workshops a couple times a year for adults and then drawing classes for kids. I never planned to teach people, but I sort of got drawn into it. And then my wife and I give business of art lectures at trade shows and other venues.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Both are important. Without passion, you’re missing life. Someone can be a technical artist and have all the skill in the world to paint beautifully, but their paintings can be dead, lacking life and energy. I see this all the time. And then you can see a passionate child with crayons create a masterpiece with all the expression in the world.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Surfboards – I have about 40 right now. Some are works of art on the wall; some are collectors’ items and the rest I ride.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I’ll have to think about this one for awhile….I’ll get back you on it!

Are you a righty or lefty?
Right handed.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I’d mow lawns!

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I draw where I’m comfortable, usually the couch in my studio.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I play the guitar, both electric and acoustic.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Don’t give yourself a plan B. Without a Plan B, you’ll be forced to make your plan to be an artist work. And get yourself educated on business. It’s as important as the art itself.

Who is your favorite artist?

My 8 year old son, Dylan. He’s getting good.

Thanks Drew!

Jeff Corriveau, television comedy writer and cartoonist for the strip DeFlocked, shares his answers next.


Unknown said...

Your artwork is amazing and absolutely beautiful!

Josh Dickerson said...

You're work is sick man. How much do you charge on the average for a full surfboard piece? Or do you? Because I would gladly show off your colors when I surf!