Monday, August 23, 2010

Harley Schwadron - Cartoonist Survey #157

Harley Schwadron is a freelance cartoonist and illustrator based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College in Maine and also holds a Master's degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley. Starting out as a reporter for the Hartford Times he became a writer and law school alumni magazine editor at University of Michigan News & Information Services. In 1985, after 20 years as a writer and editor he became a full-time cartoonist. Harley was a cartoonist for England’s Punch magazine for 15 years. His freelance cartoons are regularly published in Reader’s Digest, Playboy, Harvard Business Review, Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, National Law Journal, Forbes and many others. His cartoons and illustrations have also appeared in newspapers such as USA Today, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Hartford Courant, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Christian Science Monitor and the New York Times.

Harley’s book illustration work includes, No Husband Should Be Without a Wife; The Money is the Gravy: Finding a Career That Nourishes You; Holy Hilarity; Ann Arbor Writes: A Community Memoir; 101 President Jokes; 101 Cat and Dog Jokes; as well as appearing in more than 25 Chicken Soup for the Soul books. He draws the daily syndicated business panel, "9 to 5", for
Tribune Media Services. Originally syndicated with Davey Associates in 1990 as BIG BIZ, Harley’s “9 to 5” cartoon is mainly a business satire, but it also “pokes fun at technology, relationships, dogs and cats, and life in general.” Visit Harley’s website to see more examples of his work. You can read “9 to 5” daily, here at GoComics.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Koh-i-noor # 3 and # 2 1/2

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Draw in pencil first, use mechanical.

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

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Watercolors and brush.

What type of paper do you use?
Use typewriter paper. For color, use card stock or bristol board.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Too many to mention (i.e., Eiffel tower etc.)

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

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Yes, sitting down for several hours to come up with ideas. This is hardest part of cartooning for me.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Occasionally, usually classical or blues.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Francis the Talking Mule by Cliff Rogerson, editorial cartoonist at Newsday in Garden City, NY. I visited him many times and he taught me everything I needed to know about cartooning, such as materials, inks and paper.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Grin and Bear it by George Lichty.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Can't remember.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
No formal art training.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Both. Takes up a lot of time to scan cartoons, but cartoonist can send them out faster.

Did either of your parents draw?
Nope. Father was an accountant/lawyer in NYC. Mother was a public school teacher in Queens, NY.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
No one in particular. I'm still waiting for someone to step forward, particularly receptive editors.

Do you keep a sketchbook?

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Taught cartooning in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Found that students needed very basic guidance.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Don't know. What is needed most is endurance.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I have a nice collection of rejection slips.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I'm not a big fan of animation.

Are you a righty or lefty?
I draw lefty, throw righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I would be a newspaper reporter because this is what I actually did for 20 years before doing cartoons full time.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I built a big room on my house as an art studio. It has lots of windows. Unfortunately, this means I need backup heat in winter.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I play the piano a little…

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Draw the kind of cartoons you like, try to find your niche, and pray a lot.

Who is your favorite artist?
George Lichty, Saul Steinberg, Joe Mirachi, Henry Martin.

Thanks again Harley.

The next set of answers are provided by artist and illustrator, Russell Stutler and come all the way from Tokyo, Japan.

1 comment:

P.L. Frederick said...

I love Harley's black and whites! They're hilarious to look at, even without words.

Why, I hadn't realized such talents were in Ann Arbor when I was there. Of course, I hadn't yet evolved enough to appreciate cartoons. Thank God for gettin' old.

This is my favorite: "Q: Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing? A: What is needed most is endurance." This is great. I'm going to use this. Endurance. Perfect.

P.L. Frederick (Small & Big)