Friday, November 5, 2010

Peter de Sève - Cartoonist/Artist Survey #185

Peter de Sève is an award winning illustrator and character designer. Born in New York in 1958, he graduated from the Parsons School of Design, NYC. His illustrations have appeared in many publications including Newsweek, Time, the New York Times Magazine, Entertainment Weekly and Premiere. He has been creating cover art for The New Yorker since 1993. Peter recently collaborated on the children’s books The Duchess of Whimsy with his wife Randall de Sève who is an author. He is one of the foremost character designers in the animated-film industry having worked on “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “The Prince of Egypt,” “Mulan,” “Tarzan,” “A Bug’s Life,” “Finding Nemo,” “Robots” and as the sole character designer on the “Ice Age” series.

His many awards include: a National Cartoonist Society Magazine Illustration Award, a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement on an Animated Television Series, a Clio Award, the Hamilton King Award from the Society of Illustrators, Spectrum Annual of Fantastic Art gold medal and a Soleil d'Or award from the Festival de la BD Sollies Ville in France. A Sketchy Past, a collection of his sketches was recently published by Akileos and is available for purchase through Peter’s store. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife and their two daughters. Check out his website and his blog. You can also see more of his work including sketches and a show reel over on his page at Hornet Inc.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I used to use a crowquill but now ink with a brush. When I sketch, I like the micron pens.

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

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

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Winsor and Newton inks.

What type of paper do you use?
Fabriano watercolor paper.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Cars, computers and cars. Oh, I said cars twice.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Big chain and have it delivered. But I find myself in little shops often.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Too many. One is making sure I have a clean folded paper towel under my brushes. Kooky.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Bad singer songwriter stuff and alternative instrumental.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Warren comics from the seventies and the Gwen Stacey Spider-Man arc drawn by Gil Kane.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Calvin and Hobbes bar none.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Comic books all of which I still own.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Art Students League in High School. Life Drawing.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
BOTH. That's why it's impossible to live without.

Did either of your parents draw?

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

Do you keep a sketchbook?

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Not really.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Talent without passion is useless.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Old toys, original artwork.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Bugs Bunny.

Are you a righty or lefty?

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

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
A neat bomb site.

Do you play any musical instruments?

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Never ask an artist for "tips" in how to get work in the business and draw what you love to draw and find someone to pay you for it.

Who is your favorite artist?

The other piece of advice would be to never ask an artist who his favorite artist is. An impossible question at best.

Thanks for taking time away from your busy schedule Peter.

Next time on David Wasting Paper is British cartoonist, author and television screenwriter Andy Riley.


Robin Cain said...

Oh baby, that was a feast for the eyes!!! Thanks to both of you for the post!

David said...

Yes, incredible work huh Robin?! There are some great process posts over on his blog...