Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Matt Buck - Cartoonist Survey #148

Matt Buck is an award-winning cartoonist, illustrator and journalist. He became interested in politics and journalism while attending Hull University in the UK and working on the student newspaper, Hullfire. Matt spent one of the years working toward his degree in the US at North Carolina State University. He drew cartoons for the student paper there as well. When he went back to the UK he earned his post graduate diploma in journalism at the University of Central Lancashire. He worked as a reporter for the Hull Daily Mail before moving on to create computer-generated editorial graphics for the Lancashire Evening Post and the Southern Daily Echo. Matt soon became a freelancer spending time on the national graphics desks of the Daily Express, the Guardian and The Sun.

In 1999 he started drawing for the Tribune and went on to win the Young Cartoonist of the Year award for 2000 in a competition run by The Cartoon Art Trust in memory of the late Times cartoonist, Mel Calman. His website’s name,, comes from the fact that he was trained as a journalist (hack being slang for a writer who produces mediocre work hoping to gain commercial success). Matt also supplies animated drawings to national publications, broadcasters and commercial and campaign groups. Some of the early versions of his animated work have been collected by the Cartoon Art Museum and the British Cartoon Archive at the University of Kent. His weekly animated narrative, The Opinions of Tobias Grubbe, appears at The Daily Telegraph every Monday. Check out Matt’s website and blog. You can see his, The Opinions of Tobias Grubbe, on the official website and over at the Telegraph.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Pentel Brush.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Everything starts with a pencil, usually of the stick-like variety.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Both - often at the same time.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Whatever is appropriate to what I am making at the time.

What type of paper do you use?
Whatever is appropriate to what I am making at the time.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I find this depends how mentally fresh I am feeling or how tired I think I am.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I tend to buy in person.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
One warm up drawing and the first one of the day is nearly always bad.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
This depends on mood. Perhaps I do this less than I used to.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yes, but no favourites.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Again no favourites. I enjoy variety.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Oooh, tough question. I was always fond of history and maps so maybe something like Charles Oman's "History of England."

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Only at school so effectively I am self-taught.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
It is a huge blessing and an enormous curse.

Did either of your parents draw?
My mother, on occasion.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Me, my shadow and my love. She knows who she is.

Do you keep a sketchbook?

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes. It can be fun but, it is hard work.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Neither. They are both essential and complementary.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Q&As. ;)

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
The eponymous hero from The Opinions of Tobias Grubbe.

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I'd just write words instead of both words and pictures.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Carefully structured chaos.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Not now but I used to play a mean brass French Horn.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Develop persistence and learn to think of yourself as a commercial business person. If you don't you'll starve.

Who is your favorite artist?
Rembrandt Van Rijn, Matt Groening, Edward Sorel - oh, I dunno, pick any one from thousands more...

Thank you Matt.

This must be “UK Cartoonist Week” at David Wasting Paper as the next participant, cartoonist and illustrator Steve Bright, is also from “across the pond.”

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