Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wardell Brown - Cartoonist Survey #206

Wardell “War” Brown is a freelance illustrator, cartoonist and comic book artist who works out of San Diego, California. He is known for his “neo-retro” style vector cartoons and illustrations. He began drawing cartoons and comics as a child and was heavily influenced by Chuck Jones and Tex Avery. He continued drawing cartoons throughout high school and spent time studying with cartoonist Bebe Williams, creator of the ‘Bobby Ruckers’ comics. Wardell graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1998 with a BFA in Illustration and moved to San Diego, CA to begin his career as a freelancer.

In 1999 he started an online weekly comic strip, ‘Spifficated’, about an angry mouse named Miles who has been committed to an asylum for having radical opinions. The first four years of the ‘Spifficated’ strips were collected into a single volume collection in 2004 titled, Spifficated: Sometimes You Just Have To Shout! The same year he also published his first sketchbook, The Art of War: A Wardell Brown Sketchbook. The Art of War features animal sketches, caricatures, original character designs and pin-ups. A second volume of The Art of War was issued in 2008. Other books by Wardell include his The Nice Guy's Guide to Dating Women, Doodle Buggy and War!: Veni, Vidi, Vector. As a freelancer he has created illustrations for magazines, animation, custom web site designs, logo designs, t-shirts and skateboard decks. To see more of Wardell’s work check out his website and his two blogs, War! Sketchpad and MariosHammer.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I don't know that I have a favorite pen. I like Zigs, Pilots, and Microns but I wouldn't call any my favorite.

Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Yes, I always draw with pencil and paper first. I use both standard and mechanical. I usually start with a rough sketch using a color pencil and tight up the drawing with a mechanical one.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I do both. Professionally, I usually use the computer to ink and color.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
When I color by hand I usually use marker or watercolor.

What type of paper do you use?
I don't know the name of any paper I use. Usually it's just copy paper or illustration board when I paint.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
While there is nothing I hate to draw I won't enjoy drawing cityscapes and buildings as much as figures and vehicles.

Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I usually get my supplies online or at the local Dick Blick store.

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
No. I don't think I have any rituals before I draw.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes, I do listen to music. It's usually a mix of Hip-Hop, Rock, Pop, Jazz, Latin, Alternative, R&B even some Country every now and then.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yes, I read comics as a kid. I was more a Marvel guy then DC with Spider-Man being my favorite.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
My favorite comic strip of all time is Calvin and Hobbes.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
My favorite book as an adolescence was John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" and yes I still own a copy of it.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Yes, I have a BFA in illustration from the Rochester Institute of Technology and I have studied character design at the Animation Academy.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
The Internet is definitely a blessing. I find it levels the playing field and allows me to work with people all over the globe.

Did either of your parents draw?

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My mother has always been my number 1 fan.

Do you keep a sketchbook?

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
No, I have never taught cartooning or drawing.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion is way more important than talent. No matter how talented you are, without passion you will not have the patience and discipline to be successful in the long run.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I don't really collect anything currently. As a teenager I collected comic books but I've not bought a comic book in years.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
I would definitely be Popeye the Sailor.

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
I think I would be a writer or photographer.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
I have a drawing table across from my computer.

Do you play any musical instruments?
No, I do not. I played the clarinet as a kid but not anymore.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
My best piece of advice would to be to never get discouraged when a drawing doesn't turn out the way you wanted it. You can always draw it again.

Who is your favorite artist?

My favorite artist is Chuck Jones.

Thanks again Wardell.

Up next is political cartoonist Steven Artley.

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