Thursday, August 19, 2010

Joseph Farris - Cartoonist Survey #156

photo © Anne Hall

Joseph Farris is a cartoonist, illustrator, painter and sculptor who grew up in Danbury, CT. He has been providing The New Yorker with both covers and single panel cartoons since 1971. In addition to The New Yorker, he has created covers for the ABA Journal, Barron's, Indiana Alumni, Harvard Magazine, Industry Week and many others. Joseph has had two syndicated features, FARRISWHEEL for the Chicago Tribune Syndicate and PHIPPS for United Features Syndicate. His cartoons were featured in Stern, a German weekly news magazine, for almost twenty years. Phobias and Therapies, A Cog in the Wheel, They're a Very Successful Family, and Money Inc. are just a few of his cartoon books that have been published. He has also illustrated many books such as, The Latin Riddle Book and Loose Leaf.

In 2007, Joseph had a very successful one-man show titled, ‘Two Sides of Joseph Farris’. The show was held at the
Karpeles Museum in Newburgh, NY and showcased seventy-five of his cartoons from The New Yorker and over seventy of his paintings. The Center for New Media & the Arts in Bethel, CT hosted a large one-man show of his cartoons, paintings and sculpture in 2009 and permanently named their gallery "The Joseph Farris Gallery.” In addition to being a talented artist, Joseph is also a writer, having recently completed his memoir, Elm Street, about his teenage years growing up in Danbury. He presently lives in Bethel, which is just a short drive from Danbury. See more of Joseph’s work here at his website.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Sharpie ultra-fine point.

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

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

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?

What type of paper do you use?
Strathmore Charcoal sheets.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?

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

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Wake up.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Did read - no favorite.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Aesop's Fables - don't own it any more.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Whitney School of Art, New Haven, CT

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?

Did either of your parents draw?

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Richard Taylor and myself.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Usually, when traveling.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Taught drawing and art in general, not for pay. Yes, enjoyed it.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Both important but drive a necessity.

Do you collect anything and if so what?

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Haven't a clue.

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Flat door size desk.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Harmonica, badly.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Be prepared for rejection but pursue anyway.

Who is your favorite artist?
Probably Degas.

Thank you very much Joseph.

Freelance cartoonist and illustrator Harley Schwadron shares his answers next.