Friday, July 30, 2010

Steve Bright - Cartoonist Survey #149



Steve Bright is a freelance cartoonist, illustrator and writer. Originally from Perth, Scotland, he now lives in the West Midlands region of England. At age 18 he started working for the UK children’s comic, The Beano and spent the following six years writing and editing humorous comics before becoming a freelance cartoonist. Steve worked with John Geering to create the super hero parody Bananaman, which was launched in 1980 and became an instant and long-running hit. His cartoons have been published in Beano, Dandy, Beezer, Topper, Nutty, Hoot, Buster, Daily Record, Sunday Times, Funday Times, Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Glasgow Herald, Ben 10, Scotland's Runner and many others. His work has been exhibited at the Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival and other venues. Steve is a member of both the Professional Cartoonists' Organisation (PCO) and the Cartoonists' Club of Great Britain (CCGB). See much more of Steve’s work here at his website and follow him on his blog.

What is your favorite pen to use?
These days it's a Wacom Cintiq tablet pen. In the past, it was a dip pen with a Gillot 303 nib. Also love Zig Art & Graphic Twins, particularly the 'brush' tip.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Yes I do, but again, these days it’s the Wacom pen set to a low opacity. Before that, definitely mechanical - the first and most valued 'gadget' I ever used.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Computer, using Photoshop, but I still have to use my hand.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
That'll be my right.

What type of paper do you use?
Pre-Cintiq, I used bleedproof marker pads.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I've learned from experience never to disclose that, in case some sadistic editor/scriptwriter is taking note, but I'll give you bicycles and brass bands for starters.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
These days it's all online, and there are actually fewer and fewer supplies needed. It's all in the software and hardware. I do still enjoy the occasional nostalgic stroll around art stores when I go to town though, but rarely ever find anything I need to buy.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Coffee - always coffee!

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Rarely. I prefer talk radio. But if I do go for music, it'd be classic rock mostly.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Loads of them. I loved all super hero comics from both the big stables, but my favourite comic of all was the UK funny, Sparky.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Was Peanuts for the first half of my life. Second half, it's Beau Peep, written by my good buddy, Roger Kettle.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I don't think I had one, if I'm honest. I've never actually been much of a book reader (too busy with comics), and nothing's changed there.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
None at all. By an incredible stroke of luck, I walked straight into the job of office junior on the UK's biggest selling children's comic (The Beano), aged 18 - spent the following six years writing and editing humorous comics, then leapt the fence to become a freelance cartoonist using all the experience of those six years. It was infinitely better than any formal training could possibly have been for what I've been doing for the past 27 years.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Blessing, no hesitation!

Did either of your parents draw?
My father fancied himself as a bit of an abstract artist, but stopped drawing the moment it became apparent that I could draw better than him, aged about 7.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
The lady of my life, and best friend, Sam(antha).

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Never have, no.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I did a summer school once, and I've made the occasional visit to schools in my area. A lot of fun, but never enough for me to ever give teaching a serious thought. I don't have what it takes.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
I'm not sure you can easily separate the two, but if I was forced to choose, I think the job would be easier to do with talent minus passion, than passion minus talent. But no fun if either is missing.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Rejection slips and wrinkles.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Easy - my very own 'Bananaman' - the body of a man, with the mind and heart of a child, using my powers, badly, for good over evil.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty. Unless we're talking politics... ?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Coach of the Scottish Football (soccer) team.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I work on the same A0 sized draughtsman's board I've had from the start, literally held together with string. But although I still have boxes and desk tidies with pens and other stationery items, they are rarely used, and there is no paper to be seen. There are three screens, however - my Cintiq (12"), my Dell Studio laptop, and a 21" widescreen monitor. And coffee mugs.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Sadly, no. I'm very envious of those who can. I'm told I sing like an angel however. Or was that a dead person?

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Don't! I'm serious. Do it for fun, and train to be a lawyer or a car mechanic.

Who is your favorite artist?
Sebastian Kruger at the moment.

Thanks again Steve.

Can you believe it’s time to post the 150th Cartoonist Survey?! Be sure and check back to see who it will be.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Matt Buck - Cartoonist Survey #148



Matt Buck is an award-winning cartoonist, illustrator and journalist. He became interested in politics and journalism while attending Hull University in the UK and working on the student newspaper, Hullfire. Matt spent one of the years working toward his degree in the US at North Carolina State University. He drew cartoons for the student paper there as well. When he went back to the UK he earned his post graduate diploma in journalism at the University of Central Lancashire. He worked as a reporter for the Hull Daily Mail before moving on to create computer-generated editorial graphics for the Lancashire Evening Post and the Southern Daily Echo. Matt soon became a freelancer spending time on the national graphics desks of the Daily Express, the Guardian and The Sun.

In 1999 he started drawing for the Tribune and went on to win the Young Cartoonist of the Year award for 2000 in a competition run by The Cartoon Art Trust in memory of the late Times cartoonist, Mel Calman. His website’s name, MattBuckHackcartoons.com, comes from the fact that he was trained as a journalist (hack being slang for a writer who produces mediocre work hoping to gain commercial success). Matt also supplies animated drawings to national publications, broadcasters and commercial and campaign groups. Some of the early versions of his animated work have been collected by the Cartoon Art Museum and the British Cartoon Archive at the University of Kent. His weekly animated narrative, The Opinions of Tobias Grubbe, appears at The Daily Telegraph every Monday. Check out Matt’s website and blog. You can see his, The Opinions of Tobias Grubbe, on the official website and over at the Telegraph.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Pentel Brush.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Everything starts with a pencil, usually of the stick-like variety.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Both - often at the same time.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Whatever is appropriate to what I am making at the time.

What type of paper do you use?
Whatever is appropriate to what I am making at the time.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I find this depends how mentally fresh I am feeling or how tired I think I am.

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

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
One warm up drawing and the first one of the day is nearly always bad.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
This depends on mood. Perhaps I do this less than I used to.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yes, but no favourites.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Again no favourites. I enjoy variety.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Oooh, tough question. I was always fond of history and maps so maybe something like Charles Oman's "History of England."

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Only at school so effectively I am self-taught.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
It is a huge blessing and an enormous curse.

Did either of your parents draw?
My mother, on occasion.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Me, my shadow and my love. She knows who she is.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Yes. It can be fun but, it is hard work.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Neither. They are both essential and complementary.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Q&As. ;)

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
The eponymous hero from The Opinions of Tobias Grubbe.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I'd just write words instead of both words and pictures.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Carefully structured chaos.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Not now but I used to play a mean brass French Horn.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Develop persistence and learn to think of yourself as a commercial business person. If you don't you'll starve.

Who is your favorite artist?
Rembrandt Van Rijn, Matt Groening, Edward Sorel - oh, I dunno, pick any one from thousands more...

Thank you Matt.

This must be “UK Cartoonist Week” at David Wasting Paper as the next participant, cartoonist and illustrator Steve Bright, is also from “across the pond.”

Monday, July 26, 2010

Noel Ford - Cartoonist Survey #147



Noel Ford is a cartoonist who was born in December of 1942 in Nuneaton, England. He had always wanted to be a cartoonist but while attending Birmingham College of Arts and Crafts was told that he could never make it as a full-time cartoonist. He left school and spent a couple of years touring as lead guitarist for a traveling rock band and writing fiction for magazines and BBC radio. In 1975 Noel changed his focus and became a full-time cartoonist. He started sending out cartoons to various publications and was determined to be published in Punch. After submitting 10 cartoons a week for a year he finally saw one of his cartoons printed in Punch. He soon became one of the magazine’s regular contributors and went on to illustrate over 30 covers for them. Noel became an editorial cartoonist on the Daily Star in 1979 and continued working there until 1992. In addition to the Daily Star, he has also been the editorial cartoonist for the Church Times since 1989.

His cartoons have appeared in Spectator, Truck & Driver, The Golfer, Private Eye and many other magazines. He has done advertising work for clients such as Guinness, Mercedes Benz, Digital, British Telecom, and Coopers & Lybrand. Noel has illustrated hundreds of books for others and has written and illustrated many of his own, including “Golf Widows”, “Business Widows” and the children’s books, “Nuts”, “The Lost Wag”, “The Greedy Ghost”, “Limeroons” and “Diary of an Alien”. Most recently he has co-authored two books for New Holland Books, “Draw Cartoons” and “Draw Caricature”. He has won numerous cartooning awards and is a member of The British Cartoonists Association (BCA), The Cartoonists Club of Great Britain (CCGB), The Federation of Cartoonists Organisations (FECO) and The Cartoonists Guild. In 2003 he was elected a Fellow of The Royal Society for Arts. Since 1998 he has worked completely digital using a Macintosh and Wacom tablet; sending out his work via email. In 2000 he moved to the Welsh countryside where he still resides. Visit
Noel’s website to see many more examples of his work.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Wacom Digital Stylus.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I work entirely digitally (and have done for over ten years). I will often do a rough layout on a layer and then do the finished artwork on a new layer.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Everything on computer, using Corel Painter.

What type of paper do you use?
Working digitally, I don't normally use paper. On those occasions that I need hard-copy (exhibitions, cartoons for presentations, etc.) I use either a water-colour inkjet paper or photo paper.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Used to be horses and cats, but I got over it.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I buy most consumables online but also use a local retailer on occasion.

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

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
No. Where music is concerned I'm more a player than a listener. Music distracts me when working.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Beano, Dandy, and my favourite, ironically, was the Wizard which was mainly stories (written, not drawn!)

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
My favourite would have to be The Creature Feature by my late friend and colleague, Dave Follows. Not because he was a friend but because it was a wonderful strip.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
"Raiders of the Fells" by Arthur Waterhouse, published in 1948. I recently managed to find a copy and re-read it. Still like it. I also loved Richmal Crompton's "Just William" books.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I did attend Birmingham College of Art, very briefly. Cartooning was strongly discouraged and I was told that I could never hope to earn a living drawing cartoons. I left and, after a few years playing music, have been drawing cartoons for a living since 1975.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
A blessing! I used to waste hours in libraries trying to find references, and I love being able to deliver roughs digitally and receive instant feedback. Same goes for delivery of finished art. And how else could I do several topical editorial cartoons working from home?

Did either of your parents draw?
No.

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

Do you keep a sketchbook?
No.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I helped create, run and tutor a distance learning cartooning course. I enjoyed it but it was much harder work than just cartooning.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Talent but, even more so, persistence and luck.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Vintage guitars.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
It's a horrible thought, but, apart from the gender, I might easily be Marge Simpson!

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

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

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
A home office, with a window overlooking open countryside. Computers at the window end but an ever-advancing music area rapidly encroaching from the other.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Did I mention the guitar?!

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Do it part time while gaining lots of experience which will be invaluable if you are ever able to make it a full-time occupation.

Who is your favorite artist?
Renoir



Thanks again for taking the time to answer Noel.

UK Cartoonist, illustrator, animator and journalist Matt Buck provides the next set of answers.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

David Collier Comic In Luke Doucet's Electronic Press Kit For "Steel City Trawler"

Here's the EPK for Luke Doucet's new album coming out August 24th, "Steel City Trawler". It features artwork from none other than David Collier (Cartoonist Survey #133). "Steel City Trawler" will include a comic book created by David.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Mark Anderson - Cartoonist Survey #146



Cartoonist Mark Anderson was born in June, 1971 in the town of Donahue, Iowa. His first published cartoons appeared in his high school and college newspapers. Wanting to become a jazz trombonist, he majored in music at college. In 1997 he gave up playing music professionally, got married and moved to Chicago. Throughout this time he still continued drawing cartoons and started submitting them to magazines. His first sale was to Funny Times and soon other magazines such as Reader's Digest purchased his work. He held a couple of different office jobs, drawing cartoons early mornings, lunch hours, and into the night until he was able to build up a large enough clientele. After his first child was born, Mark quit his day job and become a stay-at-home dad and full time cartoonist. Over the years he has built up his "Andertoons" website into an extensive searchable cartoon archive. Mark's cartoons have been printed in “The Wall Street Journal", "Barrons", "Forbes", "Good Housekeeping", "The Saturday Evening Post" and many more. His corporate clients include IBM, General Electric, McGraw-Hill, Walgreens, Morgan Stanley, FedEx, US Airways, Microsoft, Wells Fargo and numerous others. Mark lives in the Chicago area with his wife, their children, two cats and a dog. Oh yeah, he is a huge Lego fan! Stop by his Andertoons website and follow him on his blog.

What is your favorite pen to use?
The Faber-Castell Pitt brush pen. It's just the best.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I LOVE pencils! I use a really nice one from ForestChoice. I buy them in bulk.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
On the computer because I'm not at ease with my color choices and that undo is nice to have.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
I think we've been over this. Are you listening?

What type of paper do you use?
Borden & Riley Bleedproof paper for pens. It takes my markers nicely.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Cars, horses, caricatures, and caricatures of horses driving cars.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I order from Dick Blick online. Easy peasy.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
It involves a chicken and that's all I'll say.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I tend more to watch TV (listen to, really) while I work.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Peanuts & Spider-Man. BTW, how come they never had a crossover?! That would have rocked!

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
My favorites currently are Speed Bump, Sherman's Lagoon and Frazz.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Flat Stanley, and it's still around here somewhere.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Nope none at all. I'm entirely self trained and it shows.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Total blessing. It's how I earn a living drawing funny pictures!

Did either of your parents draw?
My mom does, but not cartoons.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Definitely the Mrs.. She's not only my biggest fan, but a great editor!

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Nah...

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Never tried it, but maybe someday.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Persistence. Draw a lot, then draw more. And write even more than that.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
LEGO! I have countless LEGO littering almost every available space in my office.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Stinky McDonutpants.

Are you a righty or lefty?
This is getting a wee personal dontcha think?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
LEGO master builder. Definitely.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
How about a haiku:
My drawing board is
Filthy with marker and tape
It shames me daily


Do you play any musical instruments?
Yep, I majored in trombone in college. Also piano & tuba.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
It's not a career for mediocrity. Be really good as often as you can.

Who is your favorite artist?
Arno. Definitely.

Thanks again Mark!

Next up is UK illustrator and cartoonist Noel Ford.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ben Towle - Cartoonist Survey #145




Ben Towle is a freelance artist and cartoonist who lives and works in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Ben started drawing comics at a very young age and had his first published work appear in his elementary school’s newspapers. He went to Davidson College and after graduating in 1992 with a B.A. in philosophy he joined the rock band 'Come On Thunderchild' . The band released an indie label record and Ben and the band toured the Southeast for a couple of years. While touring with the band he produced a series of full-page comic strips based on his experiences on the road for an alternative-weekly newspaper in Charlotte. Deciding to go back to school and more formally study comics and cartooning he enrolled at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

In 2002 he received his MFA in Sequential Art and started working as an art instructor at the North Carolina Governor's School, headquartered at Salem College. Since then Ben has taught cartooning and comics at workshops, libraries and schools such as The Sawtooth School for Visual Art, where he still occasionally teaches. He is also the co-founder and assistant director of the
National Association of Comics Art Educators. NACAE is a non-profit organization that offers online comic and cartooning resources for educators and provides a list of available speakers across the country. Ben’s first full length comic “Farewell, Georgia” was published by Slave Labor Books in 2003. His other solo work includes the graphic novel “Midnight Sun”, a fictional account of an actual expedition by an Italian airship to the North Pole and many short stories published in various comics anthologies. He recently illustrated “Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean” and is currently working on his re-telling of "The Count of Monte Cristo" and illustrating a book about the turn of the century Oyster Wars of Chesapeake Bay. For more on Ben checkout his website. You can also see some of his work here at ComicSpace and on his online portfolio TrainedChimp.com.

What is your favorite pen to use?
If you mean literally "pen," then that'd be my Rotring Art Pen. If you mean, "What is your favorite way to get ink on a page," that'd be a #4 Rosemary & Co. Series 22 Designer brush.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I do draw in pencil first--with wood (non-mechanical) pencils. Usually I rough with a non-photo blue Prismacolor colored pencil, then light pencils with a Derwent Graphic B or 2B, then tighten up with an H.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Mostly with the computer, but occasionally by hand.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Watercolor paint.

What type of paper do you use?
2-ply Strathmore 500 Series Bristol board.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Motorcycles are painful and never turn out looking good. I'd turn down a gig drawing "Ghost Rider" for sure.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Pretty much everything from DickBlick.com. Unfortunately, there's not an art supply store near here.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
No, but after I complete a project, I ritualistically clean my whole studio.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
If I'm thumbnailing or writing, I need silence. If I'm actually drawing (or inking) I'll listen to NPR, comic’s podcasts, or music. I like a lot of different types of music and don't have any particular genre that I favor for drawing.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yeah, I read a lot of comics as a kid. I think maybe THOR during Walt Simonson's run was probably the one I was most passionate about as an early teenager.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Currently it's probably a toss-up between MUTTS and CUL DE SAC. Of all time, it's THIMBLE THEATER/POPEYE for sure.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I had too many favorite books as a child, and I still have a ton of them that my daughter reads. If I had to narrow it down, I'd say it'd be the works of Tomi Ungerer: stuff like THE THREE ROBBERS, EMILE, CRICTOR, and RUFAS (all of which I still have).

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I have a MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
On the whole a blessing for sure, but definitely a potential time-waster. I'm apparently the last person on the planet with neither a Facebook nor a Twitter account, and yet I still feel like I spend too much time in front of a monitor.

Did either of your parents draw?
Yes, my mother is a very good artist and is an art therapist by trade. My father can draw as well, but never pursued it seriously.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Probably my wife, who actually puts up with my vein attempts to make a career out of this. (And she has to put up with me talking about comics all the time as well.) She deserves a medal.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes. I've kept a sketchbook ever since I was a little kid. I have them all piled up in a cabinet in my studio.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I've done lots of teaching, although not much lately. I really, really enjoy it.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
I feel that hard work and focus is more important than either.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I collect old and out of print how-to books on cartooning and linear perspective.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I'm not sure... Some days I feel like I'm the Pink Panther from that episode where he has a storm cloud that follows him around raining in his head, though.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I probably would have made a good veterinarian, or maybe a lawyer.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I have a fantastic drawing space: a big upstairs room on the rear of our house that's mainly just my drawing area. I've got a big drafting table, my desktop computer, and built-in book shelves and cabinets that hold all of my art supplies as well as all of my graphic novels. If only I could figure out something to do with these ugly "longboxes" that make the place look like The Android's Dungeon...

Do you play any musical instruments?
I currently play ukulele, but I played bass guitar for a long time and could probably pick that back up if I decided to.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
1) Draw. 2) Draw more.

Who is your favorite artist?
Favorite artist? Or favorite cartoonist? My favorite artist is probably Chuck Close. My favorite cartoonist currently is Christophe Blain, but I definitely go through phases with cartoonists. As me again in a couple of months and it's likely to be someone else.



Thanks a lot Ben!

Cartoonist Mark Anderson of Andertoons is up next.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Stephen DeStefano - Cartoonist Survey #144

Photo credit: Stephen's wife Siobhan.




From the upcoming graphic novel, 'Lucky in Love.'

Storyboard artist, character designer and cartoonist, Stephen DeStefano has been drawing professionally since the age of 15. He began his career in the mid-1980's working for DC comics where he contributed to 'Blackhawk' and 'House of Mystery’. In 1986 DC started publishing the series 'Mazing Man’ which Stephen penciled and co-created with Bob Rozakis. When ‘Mazing Man’ ended its run in 1990 Stephen and Bob teamed up again and created the limited series, ‘Hero Hotline’. During the early 90’s he also worked on Disney Comics, Marvel’s ‘Bill and Ted’ and Dark Horse’s ‘Screwball Squirrel’. From 1992 to 1995 he worked at SPUMCO as a layout artist and background designer on the Ren and Stimpy cartoons.

Over the years, Stephen has worked on many other animation projects including storyboarding and character design for Nickelodeon, Universal, the Cartoon Network and Warner Brothers. He was the storyboard artist on the first season of Adult Swim's ‘The Venture Brothers’, and later returned to oversee the storyboard department, as well as manage the character and prop design department. As the licensing artist for King Features Licensing, he creates images of Popeye the Sailor for a wide variety of merchandise and products. There is a great interview with Stephen about his work drawing Popeye in issue #16 of Hogan’s Alley magazine. Stephen’s most recent project, scheduled to come out this September, is the graphic novel, ‘Lucky in Love: Volume One: A Poor Man’s History’. He co-created and drew ‘Lucky in Love’ with scriptwriter George Chieffet for Fantagraphics Books. Stephen lives in New Jersey with his wife Siobhan. You can see more of his work here on his blog.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Off the top of my head, I can't think of the nib #. I prefer a stiff, sturdy nib, something that will give me a bold pen line.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I most definitely begin with a pencil sketch before I go onto inks. I switch off between standard and mechanical pencils. When drawing for animation, I used to prefer a very soft, dark Tombo pencil, like a 4, 5 or 6 pencil.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I was never really comfortable working in color. I respect color so much; I'm almost frightened of it. I did very minimal color work in the past, although the computer has loosened me up a bit, so if I do any color work today it's usually on the computer.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
I used to be most comfortable working in marker and colored pencil.

What type of paper do you use?
Depends on the job. If it's a job for animation, I'll use punched-animation paper, or "storyboard" paper, which has storyboard panels printed on it. For comics I'll use a sturdy bristol board, switching between vellum and plate finishes. The majority of my graphic novel (LUCKY IN LOVE, coming out this September from Fantagraphics Books) was drawn on high quality recycled paper, although sadly I can no longer find it. I must admit, the paper that I've been finding since I consider to be really, really poor in quality.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I really, really stink at perspective. Consequently, the majority of scenes that I draw are exceptionally claustrophobic.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
It depends. If I'm walking near an art store and recall needing a supply, I'll stop in. If I want something specific, I may order it online.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Other than procrastination, no.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Again, whether or not I'll listen to music depends on the job. If it's straight technical drawing, like inking, or designing a character, prop or background for animation, I'll listen to pretty much anything in my iTunes catalog. If, however, I'm trying to figure out a bit of storytelling, or laying out from a script or plot synopsis, I can't listen to music at all. Then I need as much silence as I can get.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
OH, did I read comics as a kid! Batman was my absolute favorite character. I religiously collected DC's BRAVE AND THE BOLD. I also adored JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and WORLD'S FINEST. Although I primarily followed DC comics, I also collected Marvel's CAPTAIN AMERICA, the AVENGERS and an occasional SPIDEY or two.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
I loved reading the Sunday Funnies as a child, although I'm totally drawing a blank trying to come up with my "favorite". For whatever reason, MOTLEY'S CREW keeps popping into my mind, so I'll stick with that.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
Absolutely. My favorite book was D'AULAIRES GREEK MYTHOLOGY. I think I now own two copies of it. When I was thirteen, I bought THE SMITHSONIAN BOOK OF NEWSPAPER COMICS, and I was mesmerized by it. I think I own two copies of that as well today.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I attended New York City's HIGH SCHOOL OF ART AND DESIGN for one year. That's about the length of my formal artistic training.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Depends! I recall when I first got to DC Comics as a teenager, Joe Kubert lectured me on starting my reference file. This way, no matter what I wanted to draw, I always had a photo to reference. In this age of Google Image Search, the idea of a reference folder seems positively quaint! In terms of research, support and networking, the Internet is a miracle. Of course, if you're a perpetual procrastinator, or someone in constant need of distraction (my hand is now raised), it can be a curse.

Did either of your parents draw?
No, neither of my parents had much interest in art or culture.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My wife Siobhan! And my cats. My wife and my cats. And my friends! My wife, cats and friends.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I keep several. I just don't ever draw in them. I don't enjoy recreational drawing at all. For me, drawing is work. If I'm working, I'm drawing. If I'm not working, I'm not drawing.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I've never taught professionally, other than training people who've worked on my staff at various jobs in animation. I'd love to teach someday.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
A little bit of both helps. Honestly, I think more important than either is discipline. If you want to draw, you just have to draw, and draw, and draw, and draw some more. You have to share your work, be open to criticism, and then draw, draw, draw and draw.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Oh, gosh, every week I find myself bringing home graphic novels, and hardcover collections of comics, and I can't figure out why because I have no space in my home to put them.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Jeez Louise, I dunno. Popeye the Sailor, maybe? I'm not that strong, but I like spinach and I can be scrappy. I hates unkindness to animals. I hates bullies. I'm short, and my language skills are limited. Probably Popeye. Which is good, because I've made part of my living for the last 20 years drawing him for King Features licensing.

Are you a righty or lefty?
I am a righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I've always said, I would've liked to bake bread professionally. Or have been a doorman at a swanky hotel.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Books and papers everywhere. Often there's a cat on top of something it shouldn't be.

Do you play any musical instruments?
No, sadly I've zero musical talent.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Start drawing, and don't stop.

Who is your favorite artist?
Can't possibly pick one. Can't possibly. I've three favorite artists. E.C. Segar, Milt Gross and Harvey Kurtzman. They're my three favorite cartoonists.



Thanks again for your time Stephen.

Next time on David Wasting Paper is freelance artist and cartoonist Ben Towle.

New Comic Strip Postage Stamps - "Sunday Funnies"

You should head down to your local post office and grab yourself a sheet of these new "Sunday Funnies" postage stamps. Read the USPS's press release here and for a short history of cartoons and stamps read this article by Mike Rhode of the great blog, ComicsDC.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sage Stossel - Cartoonist Survey #143




Executive editor of The Atlantic Monthly Online and cartoonist, Sage Stossel grew up in the Boston area and majored in English and American Literature and Languages at Harvard University. While at Harvard she drew the weekly strip about college life, “Jody” for the Harvard Crimson newspaper. After college she took a temporary job at The Atlantic Monthly and soon became a full time employee, contributing Web site reviews, authoring interviews, illustrating, hosting message boards and producing the digital edition of The Atlantic on the Web.

Her weekly editorial cartoon which appears on The Atlantic Monthly Online, “Sage Ink” was launched on Election Day in 1996. Sage’s cartoons have been featured by CNN Headline News, The Boston Globe, The Provincetown Banner, the New York Times Week in Review, Cartoon Arts International/The New York Times Syndicate, The Palm Beach Post, Nieman Reports and many others places. She has created two children’s books, "We’re Off to Harvard Square" and "On the Loose in Boston". Her work is also in, "Attack of the Political Cartoonists" and the 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010 editions of the "Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year" books. Sage works in Boston and lives in Cambridge, MA. You can see many of her cartoons on her website and over at The Atlantic Monthly Online.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Uniball Roller Grip 0.5mm

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I use standard pencils (I can’t seem to draw with a mechanical pencil without breaking the lead.)

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
By hand, but sometimes I make adjustments afterwards in Photoshop.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Usually watercolor.

What type of paper do you use?
Regular printer paper.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I especially dislike drawing cars, which I'm embarrassingly ignorant about. Earlier this year, an editor sent a cartoon back to me because I’d accidentally drawn a car's door opening backwards.

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

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I entice the cat over to keep me company.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I usually listen to NPR on my laptop.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I was into Peanuts and Garfield and the Asterix books.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Probably Peanuts.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
I used to love a book called the Christmas Cat, by Tasha Tudor and her daughter Efner Tudor Holmes. I also loved Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. (I still have copies of both.)

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
No formal training, but after college (where it hadn’t occurred to me to take art classes) I took some adult education classes at the Museum School in Boston.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
It can be an addictive time-sink, and it's certainly taken its toll on the publishing industry, but I can't imagine not being able to look things up instantly, or work on projects and collaborate with people remotely.

Did either of your parents draw?
No, but my father’s mother was an illustrator.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My Dad started egging me on to do cartooning after I made him a humorous comic book for his birthday when I was twelve.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I usually have a Mead 4 x 6" spiral-bound book of index cards (blank on one side) in my bag or coat pocket.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I taught cartooning to junior high and high school kids a few years ago. It was nerve-wracking, because the junior-high kids would get crushes on each other and express it by hitting each other over the head and so forth. But I learned a lot in the course of preparing to teach them about different facets of cartooning, and gathering examples. I also learned from the kids - like about Manga, which most of them were really into. And one kid was a graffiti artist, who would tell me about the world of tagging. He wanted to develop signature characters that could be drawn with a flowing line really quickly (presumably before the police could catch him). So I brought in a book of Al Hirschfeld caricatures for him to look at, which he loved. (He was convinced that Hirschfeld must have been a master tagger.)

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
I think it takes a combination.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Nothing intentionally, though I do end up with a lot of books.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Maybe Casper.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
My non-cartooning job is as an editor, which I enjoy.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I sit or lie on the living room floor, with pens, pencils, erasers, and scratch paper spread out around me, and my laptop nearby.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I used to play the piano, but I don't have one at the moment.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Do other things, too, so it’s not just you and the Blank Page.

Who is your favorite artist?
I like Ed Sorel, Sempe, Red Grooms, Maira Kalman, Ludwig Bemmelmans, Winslow Homer, John Sloan, and lots of others, but I don’t have one favorite.



Thank you very much Sage.

Up next is Stephen DeStefano, storyboard artist, character designer and cartoonist.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Do You Keep A Sketchbook? - Cartoonist Survey Answers Compiled

Here are the compiled answers to the question, Do You Keep A Sketchbook?

The results are based on the answers provided by the first 100 cartoonists/artists.

Do You Keep A Sketchbook?

Yes - 67
No - 33


“My sketchbook is a witness of what I am experiencing, scribbling things whenever they happen.” – Vincent van Gogh

"You can't do sketches enough. Sketch everything and keep your curiosity fresh." - John Singer Sargent


"Do not fail, as you go on, to draw something every day, for no matter how little it is it will be well worth while, and it will do you a world of good." - Cennini

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jeff Corriveau - Cartoonist Survey #142




Television comedy writer turned cartoonist, Jeff Corriveau grew up in a small New England town. Like many kids his age, he spent hours poring over ‘Peanuts’ collections dreaming of creating his own strip. After graduating from college Jeff moved to Los Angeles and spent some time working in a couple of mystery theaters, while at the same time writing comedy. He sent out some of his writing and within a few weeks he heard back from Craig Kilborne, then Saturday Night Live and Jay Leno. Soon he got his big break and was hired as head writer for the Emmy-winning cable comedy show, Talk Soup. Jeff has written for many celebrities including, Sarah Silverman, Kevin Nealon, Jaime Pressley, Colin Quinn, Brooke Burke, Jenny McCarthy and many more.

While still a head writer for Talk Soup and contributing to SNL’s “Weekend Update”, he realized he wanted something more. He began working on his own comic strip and in 2006 DeFlocked made its debut in the La Canada Valley Sun newspaper in California. DeFlocked is set on an old farm and follows the adventures of Mamet, a self-absorbed sheep, Cobb the dog, Rupert his younger brother and Tucker, an 8-year-old boy who was raised by the dogs. The strip is based on Jeff’s love of ‘Peanuts’ and Norman Lear’s, ‘All in the Family’ sit-com. Syndicated by King Features in May of 2008, DeFlocked is still going strong and has gained a large fan base. Being a strong supporter of animal rights, Jeff has created a spin-off strip, ‘10% Wool’ exclusively for PETA and their campaign to end the abuse of sheep in Australia. '10% Wool' appears biweekly and can be seen here on PETA’s blog. Jeff currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. See more of DeFlocked here on the official website and also over at King Features.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I use mostly Microns to do my drawing, and Rotring lettering pens for my dialogue. My favorite pen is this fat ink stick buried in my art box called a Permaball. It’s the first rollerball pen to use permanent ink, and it truly is like writing on water. The ink is very dark and rich. I have the extra-bold 1.3mm version, which is impossible to find, unfortunately. I use it for loud dialogue or visuals that need a lot of extra emphasis.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I’ve used the same purple plastic mechanical pencil since I started writing my strip. It cost 99 cents, it’s dirty, with a chip missing off the point, but I can’t let go of it. It’s a very abusive relationship. I don’t use a regular pencil, because I couldn’t imagine having to stop every five minutes to sharpen it.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
All Photoshop, man. It’s what allows me get 5 hours of sleep a night instead of four. I hear there are some guys who still hand-color their strips, though. Which astounds me.

What type of paper do you use?
2-ply Bristol Board. Rough finish. It holds the ink well without looking too “perfect.”

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Humans and cars. My inability to design a decent-looking homosapien is why I originally chose to populate my strip with animals. If you look through my first two years of strips, every human character looks like they were drawn by a different person. I’ve tried so many different styles. And cars are just maddening. If I don’t have a reference picture in front of me, all my cars look like they’re being driven backwards. I hear most people iron out these issues long before being professionally published, but I never like to follow the herd. I can’t draw herds either.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
There’s this big independently-owned art store in my town where I buy most of my stuff. They’re a little more expensive, but they have big twice-yearly sales where I get to stock up on all my kneaded erasers and Hello Kitty notepads.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I’m not much into rituals. I would hate to be in an art form where you’re conditioned to do the same thing day after day after day.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Drawing is a mechanical process for me, so I can do just about anything. But the writing and penciling are a different story. It has to be like a crypt in my head before I can write anything I’d sign my name to. I have a ferocious self-editor, and it would be a lot tougher if he had to fight for my attentions with the lyrics of Right Said Fred’s “I’m too Sexy.” Just as an example.

I’ve heard of people who like to work in public places like malls or have the stereo blasting while they create. And, to a person, I can always tell. Their work generally seems more distracted and the writing more obvious.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I loved newspaper comics as a kid. Like most people, I had a set routine of which comics I read, in which order, and which comics I didn’t even glance at. I honestly can’t remember what one was my favorite, but I do recall having a very strong affinity to Fred Bassett. Which is shocking to my fans, who know my kind of dark pop-culture humor. But, coming from a broken home, I think I was drawn to the comfy hominess that always seemed to pervade that strip. Plus, the dog looked sad. I don’t think more than a handful of American papers even carry that strip anymore.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Peanuts is why I made the choice to do my own strip. It was an indelible part of my childhood. I devoured those books, checking the same ones out of the library week after week, and buying any new paperbacks I’d see in the stores. I discovered Calvin & Hobbes in college, long after I’d stopped reading comics, and it gave me those same feelings I had as a kid. Before puberty, of course.

But Peanuts is like that favorite old shirt that you can’t ever throw away, no matter how dated and tattered it is. It’s a part of my literary and emotional fabric. And DeFlocked was my tribute to Charles Schulz’s masterwork. I actually received a very nice note from Jeanne Schulz – Charles’ widow – when my strip premiered.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
“Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing,” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” Two amazing pieces of storytelling. I don’t think I have my childhood versions, but whenever I visit my old hometown in Massachusetts, I visit the local library which still has the dog-eared 1970’s copy of “Charlie,” which I grew to adore. There are some benefits to local municipalities being broke.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
None. And now cue the chorus of comic fans chanting “True Dat!” I actually had a lot of drawing talent when I was a kid, but, like my ability to nail a birch tree at 30 yards with a shuriken, some things didn’t transcend into my adulthood. Like Neil Young said, “You can’t be twenty on Sugar Mountain.” Someone should put that idea into song.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Like most paradigm shifts, you can’t fully assess them without a full generation or two of context. It’s obviously hurting newspapers, and, by extension, comics. See me again when we can read emails by wealthy Nigerian princes straight from our corneas.

Did either of your parents draw?
My mom drew a little when she was younger. She was good, too. Her style was very cartoony. I never saw any of that growing up, though.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
I had a Jr. High art teacher named Mr. Devine who used to shake his head whenever he would see me walk by in the hallway. I later learned from others that he was so disappointed that I was throwing away my natural artistic talent by not seriously pursuing art. I guess that’s a kind of support. Sort of like those girls who punch you because they secretly like you. I had a lot of secret admirers.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I do, but it’s filled with writing instead of art. I have four books filled with material for DeFlocked. But I’m constantly adding to it, so I never get to go back and mine the gold. Or at least the gypsum.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I would report any parent who let their child learn to draw from me.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
There are a lot of unsuccessful talented people in the world. Less so unsuccessful passionate people. For the most part, you can learn talent.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I used to collect old books and toys from my youth – 70’s and 80’s. But then I became a Dad. So now I don’t have to live vicariously through myself anymore.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Jeckle from “Heckle and Jeckle.” My other passion is singing minstrel songs in a Southern black accent. You’d be surprised how few outlets there are for that kind of talent.

Are you a righty or lefty?
Righty.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I traveled a lot of the country in my 20’s, and I happened upon this Amish community in the heart of rural Ohio. I was greatly affected by this visit. I was taken by the strong community these people engendered and the simplicity in which they lived their lives. And the amazing part is that their numbers are growing, not dwindling like you’d expect. I felt very much at peace there. As if it was a reminder of what we all once had and subsequently lost. If I didn’t yearn like a vampire to become a millionaire through my art, I’d probably turn Amish and build houses and plant crops for a living.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Portable drawing board. Dining room table. Crap everywhere.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I played drums in high school.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Whenever I take on a goal in life, I always approach it like the Vikings who used to burn their ships behind them when they went into battle, so they couldn’t retreat. I have to be the best at whatever it is I do. And it’s helped me attain most of what I’ve accomplished in my professional journeys. If you truly want to do this, you have to approach it like a serious life choice. You have to be all in. You must tell yourself, “I’m going to be the best comic book illustrator. Or greeting card cartoonist. Or oil painter.” And then do that very thing. And if you need training or other areas of help to achieve that, do it. I mentioned a vampire analogy before, and it’s true. You have to have a bloodthirst for this stuff. And I don’t necessarily mean financial success. You have to be the very best at your vocation. No excuses. Anything less is called fry cook.

Who is your favorite artist?
Grandma Moses. I love her work. The way she approached folk art was incredible. I look at her paintings and they stir me. And her grandson Will later developed a similar style that evoked her sublime talents. He still paints today.



Thank you very much Jeff!

Up next is Sage Stossel, editor and cartoonist for the Atlantic Monthly Online.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Drew Brophy - Cartoonist/Artist Survey #141



Renowned surf artist Drew Brophy was born in Myrtle Beach, SC in 1971. Self-taught, he got his start as a young boy painting surfboards and dreaming of becoming a professional surfer. Drew traveled the world surfing and created artwork to offset the cost of his trips. He spent several years living and surfing in Hawaii until he moving to California in 1996 where he now lives with his wife Maria and their son Dylan. Known as the artist who pioneered the artwork of surfboard painting his art is recognized and collected internationally. His surfboards are sold in stores and art galleries around the globe and are collected by people such as Eddie Vedder, Uncle Cracker, Kid Rock and Vince Neil from Motley Crue.

Drew licenses his art to over 30 companies who print his artwork on greeting cards, t-shirts, stickers, fabric designs, tattoos, CD covers, shoes and much more. He has painted everything from large wall murals to guitars, motorcycles and cars. Managed and represented by
Son of the Sea, Inc., a family owned business, Drew creates the art and his wife Maria runs the business. Often giving seminars and workshops at schools & colleges, Drew loves sharing his painting techniques and secrets of success. His recently published book, “How to Draw with Drew Brophy” is a great introduction to Drew’s style. See much more of his work here on his website, and visit Maria’s site often, for tips and advice on selling your artwork.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Uni Posca paint pens.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Any pencil on my desk. Usually standard.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer? Most everything is done by hand.
Computer work isn’t fun for me!

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Uni Posca water based paint pens. They are awesome. Once you try them, you’ll be hooked.

What type of paper do you use?
Most of my work is on large canvas or wood. I don’t work on paper too much.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
People’s dogs! And anything that I don’t like. I’m fortunate that most all my clients hire me to paint what I enjoy.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Most of my supplies are from San Clemente Art Supply, a local store near my studio. For big jobs, I’ll buy wholesale online at SLS Arts.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
I listen to music. I’ll choose a song or an album for a project, and then listen to it over and over again until the job is complete. Drive my wife nuts!

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Rock and metal. Led Zeppelin’s my favorite. Right now I’m listening to AS I LAY DYING, a California metal band.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I’m a surfer, so I really liked Rick Griffin’s comics in Surfer Magazine.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
My favorite is BALDO. Read it every week in the paper.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
As a kid my parents had a huge stack of National Geographic magazines – like a hundred of them. I loved to read those. I have a subscription to National Geographic now, and it’s still my favorite read. A book that made big impact on me out of high school, and I still have it, is CREATIVE VISUALIZATION by Shakti Gawain. You could say it changed my life and I probably owe my career to it. You’ll have to read it to see what I mean…

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
No, although I was accepted into some good art schools. Just couldn’t afford them. So instead I took a job painting surfboards in Hawaii. It was the right decision for me at the time.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Absolute blessing. Before the Internet it was very difficult to reach people who liked my art. It’s a million times easier now. It’s a million times easier for everybody – so if you do the work to reach people, your art career will take off.

Did either of your parents draw?
My mother’s a pianist and my dad is a great artist. But he didn’t go in the art direction. He got into the flooring business instead. He still draws incredibly well.

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My wife, Maria. She’s my business partner and I get to sleep with her! Seriously, though, she has always seen my greater potential, even when I didn’t. She pushes me to be better and better.

Do you keep a sketchbook?
I always have sketchbooks lying around with no real organization to them. I’ve always kept a written journal, too.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I give “Paint Pen Techniques” workshops a couple times a year for adults and then drawing classes for kids. I never planned to teach people, but I sort of got drawn into it. And then my wife and I give business of art lectures at trade shows and other venues.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Both are important. Without passion, you’re missing life. Someone can be a technical artist and have all the skill in the world to paint beautifully, but their paintings can be dead, lacking life and energy. I see this all the time. And then you can see a passionate child with crayons create a masterpiece with all the expression in the world.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Surfboards – I have about 40 right now. Some are works of art on the wall; some are collectors’ items and the rest I ride.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I’ll have to think about this one for awhile….I’ll get back you on it!

Are you a righty or lefty?
Right handed.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I’d mow lawns!

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I draw where I’m comfortable, usually the couch in my studio.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I play the guitar, both electric and acoustic.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Don’t give yourself a plan B. Without a Plan B, you’ll be forced to make your plan to be an artist work. And get yourself educated on business. It’s as important as the art itself.

Who is your favorite artist?
My 8 year old son, Dylan. He’s getting good.



Thanks Drew!

Jeff Corriveau, television comedy writer and cartoonist for the strip DeFlocked, shares his answers next.