Monday, November 15, 2010

John Pound - Cartoonist/Artist Survey #188

John's randomly-generated "Self Portrait #1"

MAD magazine #294 back cover

John Pound is an illustrator and artist based in California. When he started out drawing as a child he was inspired by Disney comics and early MAD magazines. As he got older he found inspiration in the underground comix of the day including the work of artists such as Rick Griffith and Robert Crumb. John began his career creating covers and stories for underground comix. In 1984 he was contacted by Art Spiegelman to do some Wacky Packages paintings including one that was a Garbage Pail Kids doll in its box. With the Cabbage Patch Doll fad in full-swing Topps decided to do a spin-off of Wacky Packages and released the first series of Garbage Pail Kids trading cards. The whole first run of Garbage Pail Kids cards were drawn exclusively by John with later series including artwork from Tom Bunk (Cartoonist Survey #31) and Jay Lynch (Cartoonist Survey #57). Other trading card projects he has worked on include Meanie Babies, Trashcan Trolls and Mars Attacks. John has created illustrations for MAD magazine, JUXTAPOZ, Business Week, HomePC, BLAB! and many others. He also writes computer programs that “randomly combine words, colors, shapes, figures, objects and scenes into comic images and pages. The programs also make random text stories, random cartoon drawings, and random comic books.” Many of these randomly created comics have been printed in newspapers and magazines and have been shown in art galleries. Checkout John’s website to see much more of his work and be sure to read through this great Art Process page.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Pentel 5mm mechanical pencil. Scan and convert it to vector art. No inking needed.

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?
Paintings by hand, drawings on the computer, in Illustrator.

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

What type of paper do you use?
Plain paper and vellum to draw, cardstock to paint.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Superheroes. Anything that's not cartoony.

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?
Meditate 15 to 20 minutes to clear my mind and clarify the image.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Alternative, trance, pop, psychedelic.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Uncle Scrooge, by Carl Barks. Also MAD.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Current favorite is Lio.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
My Dad's "I Go Pogo" (by Walt Kelly). I got one a few years back.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Five semesters at San Diego State, two semesters at Art Center (Hollywood).

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Both. I mostly enjoy it.

Did either of your parents draw?

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My wife.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes, loose-leaf binders of drawings in sheet protectors. Easier to scan or show.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
One year as assistant to a teacher of a high school art career class. It was OK. I liked the field trips but I didn't want to be a teacher.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion, but you need both.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Art books -- cartoon, graphic design, and computer art books.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Jim Woodring's Frank.

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Write code for experimental computer graphics.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Small room with a low-end stereo.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Radio, CD player.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Draw every day, from imagination, with no reference.

Who is your favorite artist?
Tobot (Henning Wagenbreth)

Thank you John!

Comic book creator Batton Lash shares his answers next.

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