Friday, July 23, 2010

Mark Anderson - Cartoonist Survey #146

Cartoonist Mark Anderson was born in June, 1971 in the town of Donahue, Iowa. His first published cartoons appeared in his high school and college newspapers. Wanting to become a jazz trombonist, he majored in music at college. In 1997 he gave up playing music professionally, got married and moved to Chicago. Throughout this time he still continued drawing cartoons and started submitting them to magazines. His first sale was to Funny Times and soon other magazines such as Reader's Digest purchased his work. He held a couple of different office jobs, drawing cartoons early mornings, lunch hours, and into the night until he was able to build up a large enough clientele. After his first child was born, Mark quit his day job and become a stay-at-home dad and full time cartoonist. Over the years he has built up his "Andertoons" website into an extensive searchable cartoon archive. Mark's cartoons have been printed in “The Wall Street Journal", "Barrons", "Forbes", "Good Housekeeping", "The Saturday Evening Post" and many more. His corporate clients include IBM, General Electric, McGraw-Hill, Walgreens, Morgan Stanley, FedEx, US Airways, Microsoft, Wells Fargo and numerous others. Mark lives in the Chicago area with his wife, their children, two cats and a dog. Oh yeah, he is a huge Lego fan! Stop by his Andertoons website and follow him on his blog.

What is your favorite pen to use?
The Faber-Castell Pitt brush pen. It's just the best.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I LOVE pencils! I use a really nice one from ForestChoice. I buy them in bulk.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
On the computer because I'm not at ease with my color choices and that undo is nice to have.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
I think we've been over this. Are you listening?

What type of paper do you use?
Borden & Riley Bleedproof paper for pens. It takes my markers nicely.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Cars, horses, caricatures, and caricatures of horses driving cars.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I order from Dick Blick online. Easy peasy.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
It involves a chicken and that's all I'll say.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I tend more to watch TV (listen to, really) while I work.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Peanuts & Spider-Man. BTW, how come they never had a crossover?! That would have rocked!

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
My favorites currently are Speed Bump, Sherman's Lagoon and Frazz.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Flat Stanley, and it's still around here somewhere.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Nope none at all. I'm entirely self trained and it shows.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Total blessing. It's how I earn a living drawing funny pictures!

Did either of your parents draw?
My mom does, but not cartoons.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Definitely the Mrs.. She's not only my biggest fan, but a great editor!

Do you keep a sketchbook?

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Never tried it, but maybe someday.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Persistence. Draw a lot, then draw more. And write even more than that.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
LEGO! I have countless LEGO littering almost every available space in my office.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Stinky McDonutpants.

Are you a righty or lefty?
This is getting a wee personal dontcha think?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
LEGO master builder. Definitely.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
How about a haiku:
My drawing board is
Filthy with marker and tape
It shames me daily

Do you play any musical instruments?
Yep, I majored in trombone in college. Also piano & tuba.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
It's not a career for mediocrity. Be really good as often as you can.

Who is your favorite artist?
Arno. Definitely.

Thanks again Mark!

Next up is UK illustrator and cartoonist Noel Ford.

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