Sunday, February 28, 2010

MJ - Cartoonist Survey #85



Creating comics since 1979, MJ, is the editorial cartoonist for The National Free Press. His cartoons have also appeared in The Nashville Free Press, Newropeans Magazine, The Houston Chronicle, The Indianapolis Star and many other newspapers and magazines. In 1988 he started his syndicated cartoon strip, FIDDLESTIX, which reached 20 years of publication in 2008. The original FIDDLESTIX strips were single panel and evolved into a multi panel format. MJ’s comics including his Sunday, full-color strip, "Welcome to the Jungle", are syndicated through Newsblaze Publications. Visit his studio's website here and then checkout his page at The National Free Press.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I have currently switched over to an all digital process. I use HP and Wacom/Cintiq products. If I do switch over to the old school method though I don't use anything fancy. Pilot V5 Precise, and Pentel Micro.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
If I am going old school I do use pencils first. General No.555 Layout, General 2H and HB, General No.497 5B, Berol 3B, and Mechanical Pencils from Pentel / Bic both HB 0.7.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I do all the coloring digitally. With software from Illustrator/PhotoShop/Arcsoft.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
All coloring is always done digitally. If I was forced to color by hand I would use watercolors.

What type of paper do you use?
I have been using Canson paper for a while now. 70lb, and 111lb. By the way white paper is best for cartooning, black seems to mask the linework.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I am not much for drawing trees, or feet. But I keep on trying.

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

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Not really, except for ensuring there is an ample supply of Pepsi available. Please feel free to send this to PepsiCo. I sure could use a couple extra pallets of the product laying around the studio.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
No, I prefer to have features spinning on DVD for ambient background noise. If I had to listen to music, Rock genre.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I read as many different comics that I could acquire. Preference was Marvel titles though. I recall, Spider-Man, The Fly, Iron Fist, The Spirit, Mad, Cracked, Crazy.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
My favorite always was and will always be Spider-Man. I have no Stan Lee autographed merchandise. Hello Stan! Please send me an autograph, there is no bigger Spider-Man fan walking the earth.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I actually do not recall a favorite book as a child. I would imagine it was a Winnie The Pooh title though. I do not have a Winnie The Pooh book on my shelf, but I do have a collection of them for my daughter.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I have no formal art training, by the time I did reach my Senior year in High School every single class was an art related subject. Unless I was at lunch, which I went to every lunch group available. When the counselors found out I was attending every lunch group, I was told I couldn't do that. So I graduated early and set off into the world.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
As it is right now you must have a presence available to the dedicated readers. It gives them a way to actually interact with the cartoonist. There seems to be a downside because everyone expects the material for free. I usually always give Editors/Publishers/and Syndicates first rights on publication so I'll post the material after publication. Occasionally though I'll beat the publications to the punch to give the readers a look at the freshest material first.

Did either of your parents draw?
Not that I'm aware of.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My wife is the most immediate supporter of the artwork, followed by my Editors/Publishers/Syndicates, and of course the dedicated readers who may not always agree with my views on the editorial cartoons, but keep returning to read the daily funnies.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes, I have sketchbooks. I use them for practice and keep them on hand for future references.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I have been asked by Museums to teach some cartooning/illustration classes. But have not done it yet. I'm sure I will eventually as I find this as an interesting project to do. So we'll see how that pans out.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
I feel the talent is a progressive process, but to progress you need a strong passion to be able to produce a continual product on a daily basis. Without the passion you may get into a "This is a job mindset" which I think would take the fun out of the entire creative process.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I collect a myriad of items. Comics, Toys, Original Artwork. Alright I admit it I collect almost everything!

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Well that should already be a given, Spider-Man! How cool would that be.

Are you a righty or lefty?
I'm a dedicated conservative independent with no right or left preference. As for drawing by hand, Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I would most likely be touring with a musical group. Mr. Bonamassa, I'm available for touring.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Massive desktop areas, with massive Digital drawing screens. Various projects laid out amongst the studio.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Professional Drummer since the age of 5 years old. Right now though I no longer tour.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Practice, Practice, Practice! Listen to Editors, they are the Powers that be in the print arena.

Who is your favorite artist?
Wow, that's a long list! I have no one favorite a few I really like though are Olivia De Berardinis, Sergio Aragonés, Nick Anderson, Gary Varvel, David Reddick, Lucas Turnbloom, Mike Witmer.

Thank you for answering MJ!

Next time on David Wasting Paper is Frank Page, creator of Bob the Squirrel.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Chris Houghton - Cartoonist Survey #84



Illustrator and cartoonist, Chris Houghton, lives in Detroit, Michigan. While studying for his Bachelors of Fine Art at The College of Creative Studies in Detroit, his gag cartoons and illustrations have graced the pages of the school’s student magazine. Chris is presently working as a freelance illustrator and cartoonist. He was the recipient of the 2009 Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship from the National Cartoonists Society. The Jay Kennedy Memorial Scholarship is an annual award established in memory of Jay Kennedy who is the late King Features comics editor. It includes a $5,000 scholarship and a trip to the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award weekend. In addition to his cartooning work he has done T-Shirt and logo designs. Last year he illustrated a 130 page NASCAR coloring book for Hendrick Motor Sports. Chris has been publishing the comic book, Reed Gunther, with his brother Shane. Shane is the author and Chris does the illustrating. Reed Gunther is geared to all ages and is about the adventures of a cowboy and Sterling, his trusty bear. You can learn more about Reed Gunther here. To see more of his Chris’s work visit his website and his blog. He is also a frequent contributor to Heeby Jeeby Comix. (Credit for the photo of Chris goes to his mom.)

What is your favorite pen to use?
Lately, I've really been enjoying the Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and have been using it for just about all of my inking. I also like using Microns and Uni-ball pens for details and touch-ups.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I use Prisma Color Col-Erase Light Blue pencils for practically all my penciling. I even have those girly squishy grips on the ends of my pencils so that I can easily be made fun of. I like that the blue pencil doesn't smear as much as graphite and how it the scanner doesn't pick up the blue when I scan my inks. It saves me having to erase a bunch of pages at the end of the day!

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Most of my coloring is done on the computer but I still like dabbling in acrylic and watercolors.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Acrylics and watercolors and I'm definitely more of a "colorer" than a painter!

What type of paper do you use?
Strathmore 100 lb. Bristol Board.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Hmm, I don't know if there is anything I hate drawing but I'm definitely not a big fan of drawing sleek cars or trying to capture someone's perfect likeness. That's tough stuff! But it's cool. This early into my career, I get a lot of jobs that demand work that I would never think of drawing or designing in my own time. Those types of jobs get me out of my comfort zone and always teach me something.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Besides my Pentel brush supplies, I can pretty much get everything from our art school store. Hot dog! ...Except hot dogs, they don't sell those.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Not really... Bummer! Maybe I should start with a good ol' fashioned flag burning or something.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Sometimes. If I'm doing any type of work that requires a lot of my brainpower (which is easily over-whelmed), I like to have the TV and music off. But once I get drawing or inking, I love listening to folk music, Steve Martin comedy routines, and NPR podcasts.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I read a lot of comics, mostly my brother's. I always liked a lot of the superhero comics but I also loved Uncle Scrooge, Airboy, and Sonic. I don't think I ever had a favorite really.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Calvin and Hobbes!

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I loved "Go Dog. Go!' but my copy is still at my parent's house.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I'm currently finishing up my last semester at The College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. It's been a great program and I've been lucky enough to have some incredible teachers and mentors throughout my four years.

I've also had a second schooling through mentors like Guy Davis and Pascal Campion. These two have pushed me and in even some cases gotten me work. With Guy living so close to me, he's really been willing to "take me under his wing" and show me a thing or two (or twelve). He even allows me to ask him an unimaginable amount of stupid questions.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
I think a little of both. There's no way I would've been able to meet so many artists and mentors without the Internet. The Internet has also allowed me to work freelance, which is great. However, since everyone's online, there's a lot of competition and at times it can be hard to stand out from the crowd.

Did either of your parents draw?
No, not too much. My Mom drew as a kid and has always been creative but mostly both my parents just nurtured my brother's and my interests.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My entire family was never not supportive of my art while I was growing up and now I'm lucky enough to have a fiancée that is also constantly supportive of my work.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I do but I don't draw in it as much as I should!

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
This past Summer, I taught two cartooning classes for Elementary/Middle School students. It was great! I really lucked out and ended up with some hard-working talented kids that turned out some really wacky comics.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
I think passion is more important. If you've got the passion, you'll develop the talent. I've seen classmates of mine flourish throughout school because they are so driven and I've also seen really talented kids become stagnant because they lose their passion.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Not really, I'm a poor college student. I wish I could collect food stamps!

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Now that radio is coming back again in the form of Podcasts, I wish I was Gerald McBoing Boing. That way, I could make a killing in the foley biz!

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty but my lady, Kassandra is a lefty so we have to be careful when choosing how to sit together if we're drawing or eating.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
An astronaut or a truck driver... or do something in between the two...

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Messy and fun. Also crowded because I share a room with 3 other artists- yikes.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I play guitar, bass, and drums and I'm just getting back into playing my saxophone.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Well, seeing how I'm just starting my career, I don't have much advice to give. However, I would point out that if someone is interested in comics and cartooning, they should contact their favorite artists. The cartooning community is extremely helpful and if the artists I've already met are a small glimpse of the industry, then we're in good shape!

Who is your favorite artist?
Too many to list but here are a few: Jack Davis, Alex Toth, Walt Kelly, Milton Caniff, Guy Davis, Bill Wray, Pascal Campion, Stephen DeStefano, Johnny Ryan, Pierre Alary, Stan Sakai, Stephen Silver, Bill Presing, and Kassandra Heller.

Thank you Chris.

Answers from MJ, the editorial cartoonist for the National Free Press, are next.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Piers Baker - Cartoonist Survey #83



British cartoonist and illustrator, Piers Baker, is the creator of the comic strip Ollie and Quentin. Syndicated worldwide by King Features, Ollie and Quentin is about the friendship between Ollie the seagull and Quentin the lugworm. Like most of the cartoonists I have questioned, Piers started drawing cartoons as a child. After completing his studies at boarding school, he did volunteer work in Egypt. He studied at the Epsom School of Art before getting a job in a small advertising agency. While doing work as a graphic designer one of his jobs was to create artwork for ice lolly wrappers (ice cream bars and popsicles). In 2000 he put it all on the line and went after his dream of becoming a cartoon illustrator. He illustrated a few children’s books and in 2002 he created Ollie and Quentin. Originally appearing in newspapers in England, Scotland and Ireland, Ollie and Quentin was launched internationally on January 7th 2008 and is still going strong. Piers lives just outside of London with his wife and their two children. Visit the official Ollie and Quentin website here. Piers also has his own website here and his blog here.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Rotring Isograph 0.5.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I'm a recent convert to the mechanical pencil. I write and sketch my strip in coffee shops so couldn't use a pencil and scalpel for fear of being arrested for carrying an offensive weapon. The scalpel, that is.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Computer. Best thing that happened to cartooning was the invention of the Apple Mac, PhotoShop and the Wacom Graphics Tablet. I hated marker pens and my brushwork was hopeless.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
My daughter.

What type of paper do you use?
Canson 250g/m2 Bristol Board when the ink flows smoothly. Sometimes a pad doesn't let my pen glide across it nicely and I have to dump it.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Dinner Plates and spoons.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Bit of both. If I buy in bulk I shop online otherwise it's a trip to the Art Shop in Guildford where the staff are creepily over-friendly but the place smells nice.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I could prevaricate for Britain. I'll check emails, read blogs, make coffee, anything to put off working. Thing is, when I start I always love it so I don't know why I delay so much.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I prefer BBC Radio 4 dramas, soaps and comedies.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
My grandmother bought me 'Sparky'. My brother had 'Dandy' and 'The Beano' so we'd swap. My cousin had 'Victor' which had the best character ever called Alf Tupper (The Tough of The Track).

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
A few years ago I was in Norway when a friend showed me a fantastic comic about a kid and his stuffed tiger called 'Calvin and Hobbes'. This comic isn't very big in the UK; do you have it in the States? It's really very good. Look it up.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Winnie the Pooh and yes, I have a couple of copies. The Hundred Acre Wood illustrations by Ernest Shepard are based on the woods where I run.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
One almost useless year at Epsom Art College (not the college's fault). The only lesson I remember was running up and down a hall pretending to be colors.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Blessing, definitely, although on my deathbed I'm sure I'll look back on all the hours I spent on it and think it was a curse.

Did either of your parents draw?
Yes, my father is a good cartoonist himself and my grandad was an incredible book illustrator and author.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Definitely not my school as I was made to do Geography instead of Art. That said I had a great English teacher who loved my cartoons and asked me to illustrate the school magazine. Thanks Mr.Hindley. Of my friends it would be the Askins family. I always have to draw for their lovely kids and anything I do is promptly framed and hung on the walls.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes, although I don't use it as much now that I'm syndicated. My doodles are nothing like my Ollie and Quentin artwork. You can see samples here.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes. I have hosted both adult and kids cartoon workshops. I've also done a couple of school art days. It's fun, very rewarding and I always learn something myself, but boy is it hard work. Who'd be a teacher?

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion...no, talent... hmmm... passion. No idea.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
There is no time to do something like that. I'm a slow cartoonist so tend to sleep, eat or run when I'm not drawing. I know someone who collects nuts and bolts, does that count?

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Wall.e.

Are you a righty or lefty?
In the UK this question belongs in the trouser department.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I'm fascinated by sleep and dreams, not in an airy-fairy arty farty way. I just think it's incredible that we switch off like we do. On top of that I'd love to know what our dreams are really saying about what's going on in our heads. Is that a job? If not, it would be the man in charge of the Hubble Telescope.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I've just moved house so my drawing space is temporary. It's a plain desk in our family room, which means I listen to the awful teenage TV that my daughter is watching. I know who America's, Canada's and the UK's next top models are.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I played the trombone when I was at school. All I remember is my friend falling off his chair laughing when I told the music teacher that's what I wanted to play.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Do it because it's the best job in the world but prepare to be poor.

Who is your favorite artist?
Richard Thompson of Cul De Sac fame. Just gorgeous pen work.

Thanks a lot Piers.

Chris Houghton, cartoonist and illustrator of the comic book Reed Gunther is coming up next.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Matthew Forsythe - Cartoonist Survey #82



Matthew Forsythe is a comic book artist and illustrator who lives in Montreal. As if that wasn’t enough, he is also the social media manager for the National Film Board of Canada and the editor of the illustration and cartooning blog, Drawn! He attended McMaster University where he studied religion and politics. He has traveled the world, working as a courier in England, a computer programmer in Ireland and a teacher in South Korea. In 2004, while still in South Korea he created his comic Ojingogo. Originally a serialized web comic about a little girl, her squid and their adventures, Ojingogo was nominated for an Eisner Award in 2005 and 2006. Drawn and Quartely published Ojingogo in 2008 and in 2009 it won a Doug Wright Award for Best Experimental Comic. Matt’s Illustrations have also appeared in Chickadee Magazine, The Walrus, and the Wall Street Journal. Check out his website here and also add Drawn! to your daily reading list.

What is your favorite pen to use?
No preference, really. I love the Pentel brush pens though.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Col-erase green and red.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Both. More and more by hand.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Gouache. Watercolour.

What type of paper do you use?
Strathmore bristol, smooth. Arches Watercolour paper (whenever I can afford it) Sketchbook paper - especially if the final product is digital.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Cars. Crowds.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
A big chain. But also a few online shops for some of the Japanese nibs, etc.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
No.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Need silence while penciling. While inking I listen to anything. Lots of Creative Screenwriting podcasts. Radiolab. This American Life.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yes. When I was very young in England I loved Scream - a pulp horror comic, Star Wars comics, Dan Dare, Beano... and Conan. I read a ton of the Savage Sword of Conan.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Calvin & Hobbes. Peanuts.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
1984, George Orwell was one of the first novels I read. I doubt I have a copy of it anywhere.

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

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Blessing. Both. No...Blessing.

Did either of your parents draw?
No.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Probably my publisher; friends who are also artists.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes. I taught art to kids in Korea. I enjoyed it. I learned a lot.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
No. I hate our society's accumulation and dependency on stuff. I do have a lot of art books. But I only allow myself to buy a new book if I'll use it as reference. Otherwise, it goes to the library.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
That cat-bus in Totoro.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

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

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
A mess. Surrounded by amazing books.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Guitar.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Same advice I'd give to any artist. Do something else besides art for a while. At least at first. You'll be more interesting and have more to offer when you do try to create something.

Who is your favorite artist?
Right now: Jean Jacques Sempé.



Thanks again Matt!

Piers Baker, creator and cartoonist for the strip Ollie and Quentin is up next.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Brian Anderson - Cartoonist Survey #81

Cartoonist, writer and illustrator, Brian Anderson, started drawing cartoons in the second grade. His first published gig was in his grade school newsletter. His high school and college newspapers were soon to follow. After college he worked for a while as an editorial cartoonist for his hometown newspaper. During this time Brian also created his own comic book series, Absence of Light and worked as a screenwriter. After getting married in 2003 he got Sophie, a chocolate Lab puppy who was ended up being the inspiration for his daily comic strip, “Dog Eat Doug.” First appearing as an online comic in 2005, “Dog Eat Doug”, is now syndicated through Creators Syndicate worldwide. In 2008 he released his first “Dog Eat Doug” collection, “Dog Eat Doug: It’s a Good Thing They’re Cute” and a children’s book based on his strip, “Nighty Night, Sleepy Sleeps”. Brian also endorses JetPens and gets all of his pens through them. He is featured here on their website. Stop by Brian's "Dog Eat Doug" website and have a look around.

What is your favorite pen to use?
That's a tough one. I'm a pen addict. It really depends on the style I'm shooting for. Right now my all around sketch/doodle pen is the Pilot Slim Knock.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I use a UNI Kuru Toga pencil with blue lead. Then straight to inks.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I color the Sunday strips in PhotoShop.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
When I do color by hand, I use watercolors and acrylic inks. But that's generally for other projects.

What type of paper do you use?
I use the Strathmore sequential bristol board series.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Oh man, lot's of things. I force myself to use reference photos more and more when I come up against a challenging subject. Especially for tougher perspective shots.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
All my pens and pencils are from JetPens. I order my paper through Dick Blick. There aren't any decent art stores nearby.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I sacrifice a one horned goat, but I guess that's pretty common among cartoonists.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yup. I only listen to film scores when I write. I pick the soundtracks that fit the book I'm working on at the time. My playlist while working on the strip is all over the place: Metal, classical, Celtic, or whatever sounds good at the time.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes were the main two strips I read. Only after discovering my Dad's Peanuts collection from the 50's did I get hooked on Schulz's work.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
That's really hard. I love tons of comic strips and comic books. If I had to pick one cartoonist to stare at for eternity it would be Herriman.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Alice in Wonderland. Got hooked by the illustrations. Now I collect different versions of the book (and almost anything to do with Alice). I'd also have to list LOTR and "Great Expectations".

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
None. I was trained by wild ferrets in the hills of Central Mass.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Absolute blessing. It certainly cuts out the middleman for cartoonists. There's not a lot of overlap between my print and online audiences. However I interact everyday with my web readers. That and the Internet makes it a heck of a lot easier to hang out with other tooners.

Did either of your parents draw?
Both. My Dad is a straight up cartoonist. My Mom was more on the artsy side of drawing.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Certainly my parents. They had a few qualms when I wanted to pursue cartooning, but they would still do anything to support me.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I have one surgically implanted in my thigh. I'm never without one. I keep one for daily noodling and then one for each project.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I've done some tutoring here and there. I did love it. You really have to step back and refocus yourself on the basics in order to teach. That of course helps improve your own abilities.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
You need both. Passion, though, is what gets you through the tough times.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Comics and toys. Of course anything to do with Alice. I'm hoping to grow my original art collection soon.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I would love to be either Fanboy or Chum Chum for a day.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Lefty for drawing. For somethings I'm a righty. Scissors confuse the hell out of me.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I would love to be a flaming cat juggler. Not much of a market for it.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Pre-baby: An entire room. Post-baby: TV tray in the living room.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Not since the court order. The rest of my family has musical abilities coming out their ears. I'm tone deaf.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Never give up, but always be honest with yourself. You need to have a tiny Simon Cowell in your head.

Who is your favorite artist?
Man, this could be a huge list. Everyday I scan the web for new artists to drool over. However Vess, McKean and Tim Burton always make me hurl in the "awesomeness bucket".



Thank you for your time Brian.

Next time on David Wasting Paper is Matt Forsythe, illustrator, comic book artist and editor of the very popular illustration and cartooning blog, Drawn!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kevin Pope - Cartoonist Survey #80



Kevin Pope is a cartoonist, illustrator and animator who has a very distinctive style. His character designs are really something to be seen. He graduated from Indiana University in 1981 with a BA in art. He has created characters and cartoons for clients all over the world. He has worked with animation studios, non-profits and Fortune 500 companies, illustrating advertisements and even greeting cards. Since 1997 he has contributed to MAD magazine, drawing the Melvin and Jenkins series of behavioral guides which are written by Desmond Devlin. He also draws his own one-panel cartoons called Fishstiks. To see tons of his work including character designs, advertisements, animations and licensed products, go to his website immediately. And, you can see his very funny and off-the wall Fishstiks cartoons here.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Pigma micron 01, 02, or traditional Speedball old-timey pen with Hunt 001 nib.

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

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Both. For efficiency I will use Adobe Illustrator, I also paint by hand.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Dr. Martin Inks and Dyes, liquid acrylics, and gouache.

What type of paper do you use?
With Pigma Micron pens, I use traditional Hammermill 8.5x11 laser copy paper. Painting, I use a Strathmore 400-500 series, smooth.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I cannot draw very well, horses and bicycles. I usually make up all mechanically moving machines.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Small art store, or a chain, whichever is closest.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I close my eyes and wish upon a star, that what I am about to draw, what I have imagined will look like it when I start.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Anything. I used to like experimental, music, Brian Eno, now more low key, Iron and Wine, Calexico...and crap that Dave Coverly sends me.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Fantastic Four, and the magazine Cracked, and National Lampoon.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Didn't really have one. I liked Herman, and then anything Kliban or Gahan Wilson did.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I really didn't have a favorite. I read a series on famous Americans, from Jackie Robinson to Teddy Roosevelt.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I have a BFA degree from Indiana University.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
It's a blessing and a curse...

Did either of your parents draw?
No, but my great uncle was a good illustrator, and woodworker.


Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My grandfather at first, both parents later and then of course my wife.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes, many...

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
No, but it would be fun. I draw outside the box, no traditional big round eyes, and structurally correct dimensions. I cheat.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
You need both. I see people with passion that cannot draw, and people with no passion who can.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I collect vintage Americana stuff. Not on an obsessive level, but unique items, such as airline tags from the 30's, great designs during that time period, letterheads, etc.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Droopy Dog. Loved that guy.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
A farmer who is a jack-of-all-trades guy, or perhaps a marketing rep for a low minor league baseball team, every Wednesday, haircut night.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Sometimes messy, sometimes in OCD order.

Do you play any musical instruments?
No, but I can in Garage Band.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Cliched, but just draw and keep at it, seek out advice, go to school for training etc.

Who is your favorite artist?
Tough question. For cartoonists, B. Kliban, for illustrators-Ralph Steadman, for fine art/painting- John Copeland.

Buy Kevin's newest book at Lulu.com.

Thank you very much Kevin.

Brian Anderson, the creator of "Dog Eat Doug" will be next.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Kevin Frank - Cartoonist Survey #79



Born in 1962 (the same year as yours truly), illustrator and cartoonist, Kevin Frank, started drawing cartoons at the age of 10. Throughout school he would delight his classmates with his humorous drawings, even creating his own comic book, “Captain Clod”. His first published cartoons were in his church’s newsletter, being mostly illustrated Bible verses. After high school he moved from Peoria, Illinois to Chicago. His strong Christian faith led him to work at an inner city missions organization which served the poor through a soup-kitchen, homeless shelter and thrift store. In 1982 he became a staff artist for Cornerstone Magazine. Kevin created a two page comic feature for Cornerstone in 1984 entitled, Oboe Jones, which ran until 1998. While working in Chicago he met his soon to be wife who is Canadian and eventually they moved up to the Great White North. In 2002 he released the comic strip, "True North" which was syndicated through Universal Press. “True North” was based on his own experience of being an American transplanted to Canada and the cultural differences he was coping with. He now draws the faith-based, Sunday feature, “Heaven’s Love Thrift Shop” which is internationally syndicated by King Features Syndicate. He has also published two books, “Balaam’s Chicken” and “There’s a Monster Under My Bed”. For all things Kevin Frank, visit his website.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Fine-point Sharpie!

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Pencil first, then I trace it over a lightbox.

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

What type of paper do you use?
Cheap bond for roughs, and slick glossy stock for the inking.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Animals.

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

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Well... Coffee!

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes, all kinds of stuff. Mostly oldies.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yep--I liked the old army stuff ( SGT. Rock) and the funny ones like Plasticman.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Peanuts.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Can't remember, --no.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Nope.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Curse so far, but am hoping that will change.

Did either of your parents draw?
Yes, My dad is quite good.

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

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I have a book of gag ideas, with rough sketches, but nothing more than that.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I've done a couple of things at our local library for kids. I'm not good at it. The kids just seem to want to see me draw "Spider-Man" and I'm trying to show them some old Zippatone dots ( which was my biggest question when learning to draw, "how do they get those grey tones...")

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
50/50.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
No.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Ha!

Are you a righty or lefty?
Right.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Unfortunately that's all I know how to do.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Messy, cluttered, with a lot of drawings from my kids on the walls.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I pretend to play the guitar.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Go to college!!!

Who is your favorite artist?
Edward Hopper.



Thanks very much Kevin.

MAD magazine cartoonist and the creator of Fishstiks, Kevin Pope is next.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Patricia Storms - Cartoonist Survey #78



Ever since she was a child, illustrator and cartoonist, Patricia Storms, has loved to draw and write. Her passion for books influenced her decision to work in libraries for 10 years before becoming a full time illustrator. Her specialties are humorous illustrations and children’s books. A member of the National Cartoonists Society, the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators and the Association of Canadian Editorial Cartoonists, she has done work for Barnes & Noble, The National Post, American Greetings, Chronicle Books and Owlkids Books. A few of the children’s books she has illustrated include "13 Ghosts of Halloween", written by Robin Muller and "Good Granny/Bad Granny", written by Mary McHugh. In September of last year she illustrated and wrote her own picture book, “The Pirate and the Penguin”. Visit Patricia’s website to see more examples of her work. She also maintains a really fun blog called BookLust, which is “A bibliophile’s musings on books, cartoons, art and stuff.”

What is your favorite pen to use?
I don’t use a pen; I use a #2 Cotman Winsor & Newton brush & I love it!

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I use Strathmore HB pencils.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I colour using PhotoShop.

What type of paper do you use?
Often basic bond paper, or Strathmore smooth bristol.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Bicycles, elephants, bare feet.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I go to a local one called Woolfitt’s in the west end of Toronto.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Good question! I always have to clean the pencil I am using with soap and water, as well as my drawing hand. I hate any feeling of greasiness when holding a pencil.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes. Mostly Classical music, you know, Mozart, Beethoven and Bach, those old dudes.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Read lots of comics, and really hard to name a favourite, sorry. Loved Peanuts, Pogo, MAD Magazine to name a few. Also loved old British Punch cartoons and the classic cartoons of the New Yorker.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Toss up between Peanuts and Calvin & Hobbes.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
The Nutshell Library collection by Maurice Sendak, and yes, I still have it! It has a place of honour in my library.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Taken life drawing courses at Dundas Valley School of Art & Toronto School of Art, & have Graphic Design Diploma from Seneca College, Toronto.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Both. Great way to market yourself, but you run the risk of your art being stolen, and well, the best thing about the Internet is that everyone can contribute, and the worst thing about the Internet is that everyone can contribute. Of course, the Internet has done severe damage to Newspapers & Comic Strips, but it just means that cartoonists have to start thinking about new creative business models.

Did either of your parents draw?
Years ago mother used to do oil paintings, and long time ago my father did some miniature paintings, but neither pursued it seriously, or as a hobby. I did have a cousin who was a talented political cartoonist, and an aunt who was a commercial artist in the 40s.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Definitely my husband Guy. I would be nowhere without his never-ending support. My parents are big fans, too. And I must give a callout to Hamilton artist/cartoonist Steven Toth, who many years ago was the first professional to give me encouragement and support during a time when I really needed it.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I have many!

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes, I have taught cartooning. I didn’t enjoy it when it was set up as a structured course, but I LOVE doing cartooning demonstrations for kids in schools. That is pure joy.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Sorry, can’t pick one over the other.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Lately I’ve had a thing for penguins. Plus our house is chock full of books.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I’ve always been partial to Bugs Bunny, because he’s so smart and witty.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Some sort of job that involves creative writing. Or working in a bookstore. You know, the big moneymaking gigs.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
A complete mess.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Nope.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
I’ll give two pieces of advice. Have a thick skin, and a very curious mind.

Who is your favorite artist?
Can’t just name one, I’m afraid.



Thank you Patricia!

Up next is another Canadian cartoonist and illustrator, Kevin Frank.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Renee Kurilla - Cartoonist Survey #77



Renee Kurilla is a children’s book illustrator and animator. Her love of Saturday morning cartoons, Pixar movies and Disney led her to her career in art. She studied illustration and graphic design at The Art Institute of Boston. After graduating she spent a few years working as a freelance illustrator and then at an animation studio. Now she works at the Boston-based FableVision studio. Some of the companies that Renee has designed and animated projects for are PBS, The Cartoon Network, Columbia University, Scott Foresman Publishing and the Girl Scouts of America. Be sure to check out the examples of her fun illustrations on her website. She also has blog which she updates quite regularly.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I actually love drawing with those blue Papermate pens. You know, the ones that come 2,000 to a pack. :) They slide along on the paper just right.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I usually do sketches in pencil if I'm going to transfer the drawing to the computer. One thing the blue pens don't have the ability to do is erase, so pencil is nice. I have a mechanical pencil with .07 lead. My dad used to have tons of them when I was a kid, I stole them all the time.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I color everything on the computer, for now.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
My preferred medium is surprisingly oil paint. It's been years, though... nowadays I use watercolor when I can.

What type of paper do you use?
I either draw in a moleskin sketchbook, or just on regular old printer paper.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I hate drawing bikes, cars, planes, trucks, vehicles. Just vehicles. I am so bad at it.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I buy mostly from Dick Blick, but recently I purchased new watercolor brushes from Cheap Joes .


Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I have to have a clean space around me, then I have to check my facebook, twitter, email, flickr....Then 2 hours later, I'm ready to go. (I'm only sort of kidding...)

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Love. Music. All kinds. I like Pandora because of the variety. I have Pandora stations ranging from Passion Pit to Django Reinhardt.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Always. Mostly the Sunday Funnies. I used to fall asleep reading them in the chair at my Grandmother's house. I love the dry humor of Garfield and the whimsical silliness of Calvin and Hobbes, the wisdom of Ziggy... I could go on and on. Hmm. I haven't gotten the Sunday paper since I moved to Boston, I should.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Oh I guess I got ahead of myself... Garfield was my favorite. Now I'm more of a graphic novel girl. Raina Telgemeier's comics bring back some of that old feeling.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I have a really thick book filled with literary gold. It's called the Illustrated Treasury of Children's Literature. It's falling apart. I wrote my name all over it when I was five and wrote my E's backwards. It's filled with fun pictures, classic stories, comic strips, and vignettes.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I went to the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University where I earned a Degree in Illustration/ Diploma in Graphic Design.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
The Internet has opened up so many doors for me, introduced me to loads of new artists, and provided me with endless inspiration. It's a blessing. It's the social networking sites that are a mini-curse...because they keep me from being productive.

Did either of your parents draw?
My mom used to paint ceramics when I was little, and she was also a florist. My dad is a photographer. Art sure runs in the family...but drawing was only me.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My parents. They were reluctant at first about art school, but they've seen how happy art has made me. I couldn't ask for any better support.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yup! Moleskin. I'm currently trying to keep two at a time. And fill them. Wish me luck.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
My career actually started with me hosting weekly drawing workshops for kids. That was 8 years ago...and nobody ever signed up. So...no. :)

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion. You have to work hard to succeed in this field. Really, really hard.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Mugs. Don't know why. I love coffee and tea. Nothing makes me happier than drinking from a fun mug. Weird, I know.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Any of the following: Goofy, Stimpy, Pinky, Bugs... I have a little bit of all those characters in me. I'm clumsy, goofy, boring, scattered...I've come to terms with that. :)

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Easy, I would be a florist. Though, flowers require an eye for art as well. I spent 3 years in college working at a local flower chain called, Kabloom. I loved that job. If I didn't have other ambitions, that's where I'd be. But I'm open my own store.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Cozy.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I sort of play guitar. It's a separate passion that I never really followed through with.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Never forget that feeling you got as a kid. That innocent view of the world and the desire you felt to grow up and live your dreams. It's so important. I find myself getting more and more in touch with my inner child as I grow.

Who is your favorite artist?
Hard question. I'm going to have to go with Nate Wragg. In general, though, I am a huge sucker for all the Pixar concept artists. They really know what they're doing.

Thanks again Renee.

Patricia Storms, illustrator and cartoonist from Toronto, Canada shares her answers next.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Am A Pen-A-Holic.

If you've been reading the Cartoonist Surveys you have noticed that the first question I ask is, "What is your favorite pen to use?" The reason for this is that I love pens! I love the way they feel in my hand and the way they can turn a blank sheet of paper into a work of art. I get giddy when art supply catalogs show up in the mail and must immediately stop everything to peruse them. Well, if you too share my love of pens, pencils and their accessories than you have to check out JetPens. They are a company based in California that sells all kinds of Japanese pens, pencils and such. I have ordered from them many times so I can attest that their prices are great with fast shipping. And if your order is over $25, shipping is free! Take a minute to check them out and tell them David Wasting Paper sent you.

Sandra Bell-Lundy - Cartoonist Survey #76



Canadian cartoonist, Sandra Bell-Lundy, is the creator of the popular comic strip, “Between Friends”. She started out drawing comics for newspaper ads and her university’s newspaper. After creating her comic, loosely based on a group of her friends, she self-syndicated to some Canadian daily newspapers for four years. In 1994 King Features picked up “Between Friends” and it started running in papers such as, the Calgary Herald, the Toronto Star, the Seattle Times and the Houston Chronicle. “Between Friends” is now published in over 130 newspapers worldwide, appearing in countries as far away as Australia, South Africa and Jamaica. Sandra’s strip focuses on the lives of three professional women in their early forties who have been friends since high school. “Between Friends” covers topics like dating, child rearing, personal time and aging. It has been collected in two anthologies, “Hello, Daughter” and “Coffee, Tea and Reality”. Sandra presently lives with her husband, two children and their doggie, Newman, in Southern Ontario. Stop by Sandra's website and then visit her blog.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Right now I'm using a Pentel brush pen but I prefer to use a C-5 speedball.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I do pretty tight pencils first...I use whatever pencil is handy.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I colour on the computer using PhotoShop.

What type of paper do you use?
2 ply smooth Bristol.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Cars and animals.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I'm having trouble buying supplies lately...the third and last art supply store in my area has closed...so next time I need to restock, I'll either drive 45 minutes out of town or I may purchase through a website.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Make coffee.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I draw in silence, music distracts me while I'm drawing. When I'm PhotoShopping though, I always listen to podcasts.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
From the newspaper, I loved Peanuts, B.C. and Winthrop.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
It's hard to name a single favourite, I enjoy so many all for different reasons.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I liked reading the Nancy Drew mysteries. I think I might have a few copies somewhere.

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

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Except for the time-wasting element, I think it's a blessing.

Did either of your parents draw?
No.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My mother has always been very supportive...also my husband.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I keep a lot of my brainstorming books of ideas for strips...these have a lot of doodles and sketches in them...but I wouldn't really call it a sketchbook.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I've taught a few classes here and there, mostly for my kids' schools. Nothing very regimented...just lots of drawing and fun...I enjoyed it but wouldn't want to do it as a career.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Both.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Original comic art, signed cartoon collections.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Is this the Barbara Walters' "what kind of tree are you" question?

Are you a righty or lefty?
Right.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
That's a hard question because I'm doing exactly what I want to do for work...there are other things I'd like to try...write a play, do a graphic novel...but those are just random things I'd like to try.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Small room, drawing board with a plastic side table of 4 drawers that holds my tools, inks, etc, L-shaped table with computer, scanner, telephone, I have a wall covered in cork in front of my drawing board with a large calendar, production schedule and various other papers, a small filing cabinet with my printer sitting on it...lots of books, paper supplies around...I need more shelving and cupboards...some framed original strips, a big pile of my dailies and a big pile of my Sundays that will be packed away at the end of the year.

Do you play any musical instruments?
No.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Try to get advice from several cartoonists (artists) in your field, be persistent and be willing to listen to constructive criticism.

Who is your favorite artist?
I couldn't say just one...same as with favourite strips, I like many for different reasons.

Thank you for your time Sandra.

Children's book illustrator and animator, Renee Kurilla, will be next.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thank You!

Having just posted my 75th Cartoonist Survey today, I wanted to take a minute and thank everyone who has participated and also everyone who has visited David-Wasting-Paper. To make it easier for you to find your favorite cartoonist's answers I have added their names to the post titles and moved the "Blog Archive" higher up on the right-hand side of the page. You can click the black arrows to expand or close the list. I hope that everyone enjoys reading these as much as I enjoy posting them.

Thank You!

Kim Warp - Cartoonist Survey #75!



Kim Warp is a cartoonist living in Virginia with her husband, two daughters and kitties. Originally from Seattle, she grew up studying her parent’s copy of cartoon collections entitled, “Colliers Collects It’s Wits”. Filled with work by such greats as Charles Addams and Whitney Darrow Jr. it was quite the education in cartooning. In 1999 Kim joined the National Cartoonist Society and the very next year won their Gag Cartoon Division Award. Kim’s cartoons regularly appears in The New Yorker and she is also featured in the New Yorker’s compilation books, “Funny Ladies: The New Yorker's Greatest Women Cartoonists” and both volumes of the “New Yorker Rejection Collections”. In addition to the New Yorker her drawings have appeared on Hallmark greeting cards and have been published in numerous publications including, TV Guide, the National Lampoon, Barron’s, Reader’s Digest. See more of Kim's work at her website.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I like to use a Pentel Uniball for roughs, a Pigma Micron 05 for finishes, and lately I’ve been enjoying my Namiki Falcon fountain pen, which has a nice flexible nib.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I usually draw in pencil first. I use a Pentel Twist-Erase mechanical pencil. I like it because of the cushy grip and the big fat eraser which I use a lot. Plus, I don’t have to stop to sharpen.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I color in PhotoShop.

What type of paper do you use?
I use paper for finishes for less and less. If I’m doing a traditional finish I like Fabriano paper. For roughs I like really smooth paper like Paris Bleedproof or drawing directly on Clearprint gridded vellum.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
My first try at everything is usually pretty ugly.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I use the local stores for what I can but have to order some of my favorite papers and vellums online from Dick Blick.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I like to sit in the sunny spot in the kitchen. So I have to wait for the sun to get there. Once I get to the desk stage, I have to unbury it first.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Sometimes, mainly the blues and alternative, although an old show tune might sneak in there. Once I get focused I tend not to hear anything so music is just kind of white noise.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I read Archie Comics. In the paper I read Peanuts, Dondi and Family Circus.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
The Far Side.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
‘Sinbad and Me’ and I can’t find it lately. This is the Kin Platt (who was also a cartoonist) book about a boy and his bulldog, not a story about a sailor.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I have a BA in art from Western Washington University, which is in Bellingham, near the Canadian border.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
The Internet is great for talking to cartoonists and editors and doing research, but it’s also possible to waste vast amounts of time dinking around.

Did either of your parents draw?
My Dad took some art in school and did mechanical kind of drawings, Mom painted and did lots of arty crafts.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My parents and my husband have all been very supportive of my art.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
No. I usually buy a new sketchbook to entice myself to draw every week and burn through it in a week. I get roughs and bits and pieces I’ll use out of it, not keepers. I would be afraid to draw if I thought I had to do good drawings I had to keep.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I haven’t ever done that.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
I think you need to have enough talent to give you the stick-to-it-ive-ness to keep going.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Stuffed monkeys, okay? I also have a lot of cartoon books but wouldn’t say I collect them, I just keep buying them.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Daffy Duck.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty, unless you’re talking about politics.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Something without deadlines, preferably high paid, with minimal hours.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Well, I have two desks, one has my computer, scanner, Wacom tablet and phone. My drawing desk has cups full of pens, a lightbox and B-movie monster figurines. Both are usually covered with roughs, eraser crumbs and cast off drawings. And a cat or two.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I play a tiny bit of guitar.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
That the only way to make progress is to draw a lot and let yourself be bad and make mistakes.

Who is your favorite artist?
I like Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keefe and too many cartoonists to name.



Thank you Kim!

Next up, Sandra Bell-Lundy, creator of the comic strip "Between Friends".