Sunday, March 27, 2011

Paul Fell - Cartoonist Survey #216

Cartoonist Paul Fell grew up in Massachusetts before moving to Nebraska to play college football and study art. He earned a BFA and BA from Peru State College and a Masters in painting from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. While teaching high school art in Auburn, NE, Paul began drawing editorial cartoons as a freelancer. In 1984 he became the editorial cartoonist and newsroom artist for the Lincoln Journal and continued in this position until 1992 when his staff position was eliminated. Since that time he has operated his own freelance cartoon and humorous illustration business, providing work for a wide variety of clients. When the Lincoln Journal merged with the Lincoln Star to become the Lincoln Star Journal in 1995, Paul was contracted to draw three editorial cartoons a week. He continued to supply the Lincoln Star Journal with cartoons until the middle of 2007.

Since the late 70’s he has been drawing cartoons that focus on the fans and players of the Nebraska Cornhuskers and these cartoons have been regularly published in the Huskers Illustrated Magazine. He has also been creating a weekly editorial cartoon for the Nebraska Press Association since the early 90’s which accompany the NPA’s weekly “Capitol View” column and is distributed to dozens of member newspapers throughout the state of Nebraska. Artizans Syndicate began distributing Paul’s award winning cartoons to newspapers in North America and worldwide in 2005. In addition to creating editorial cartoons he is a talented caricaturist and guest speaker whose presentation titled, "Life As A Cartoonist / Why Don’t You Get A Real Job?" has been enjoyed by groups of all ages and interests. Paul and his wife Arlene live in Lincoln, NE. Learn more about Paul and see many more examples of his work over at his Paul Fell Cartoons website.

What is your favorite pen to use?
I like the Pigma Micron fine tip pen and the Pitt brush pen.

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. I use a mechanical pencil (don't have to stop constantly to sharpen it) with HB lead.

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I pencil and ink my cartoons, then scan them into the computer and color them in Photoshop.

What type of paper do you use?
Strathmore 300 bristol. Smooth.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I like to draw everything.

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

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

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I listen to classical music on NPR during the day. In the evening I listen to a variety of musical styles on a local station.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
I didn't have the money to buy or collect comics when I was a kid, but I used to love to read the creepy ones, like "Tales From The Crypt".

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
I loved Walt Kelley's Pogo during its run. My favorite now is Non Sequitur by my buddy Wiley Miller.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I have a BFA and BA in art from Peru State College (NE) and a Masters in painting from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
More of a blessing than a curse.

Did either of your parents draw?

Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My wife. She encouraged me all during my career as a fine artist and then as a cartoonist.

Do you keep a sketchbook?

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
I have taught cartooning to all ages. I enjoy teaching it most to high school age and above.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion. I have met very few people who were truly talented who actually did anything with that gift.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
I have a bunch of cartoon originals from friends in the business hanging in my studio, but I'm not a real serious collector.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Donald Duck. My temper gets the best of me every so often.

Are you a righty or lefty?
I draw right handed. My politics lean toward the progressive side.

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
That's a good question. Art-related work, either from the teaching or from the creative side is all I have ever done. Maybe be a travel agent or a tour escort.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
It is located in the lower level of our home and shares space with the family room/TV/fireplace. I have plenty of space to work, and have to keep it reasonably clean and organized since it IS part of the house.

Do you play any musical instruments?

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Go for it. If you don't make a serious attempt to pursue your dream, you'll spend the rest of your life asking yourself "what it...?"

Who is your favorite artist?
The great illustrator N.C. Wyeth, father of Andrew Wyeth.

Thanks again Paul.

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