Saturday, June 11, 2011

Anita Kunz - Cartoonist/Artist Survey #228

Artist and illustrator Anita Kunz was born in Toronto, Canada in 1956. She graduated from The Ontario College of Art in 1978. In addition to Toronto she has lived in New York and London and has contributed to magazines and worked for book publishers, design firms and advertising agencies throughout the world. Anita’s clients include Rolling Stone, Time, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, GQ, The New York Times, Sony Music, Random House Publishing and many others. She has also illustrated more than fifty book jacket covers and created cover art for numerous magazines such as Sports Illustrated, the Atlantic Monthly, Newsweek, The New Yorker and Rolling Stone.

Anita has been honored with many distinguished awards and medals. Her artwork has appeared in galleries and museums worldwide, including the Norman Rockwell Museum, the Teatrio Cultural Association in Rome, Italy, the Creation Gallery in Tokyo and the Society of Illustrators Museum of American Illustration. In the fall of 2003 she was the first woman and first Canadian to have a solo show at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. Permanent collections of her work are housed at the Library of Congress, the Archives of Canada in Ottawa, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, the Musèe Militaire de France in Paris and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

Anita often teaches workshops and lectures at universities and institutions including the Smithsonian Institution, the Illustration Academy in Sarasota, Florida, the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington DC, the Masters of Art degree program at Syracuse University and online through TAD. In 2009 she was one of the 100 artists chosen by Google to contribute an image for Google Chrome. She has been named one of the fifty most influential women in Canada by the National Post newspaper and that was backed up in 2009 when she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Being named an Officer of the Order of Canada is Canada’s highest civilian honor and is the Canadian version of knighthood. Anita is in good company as other Officers of the Order of Canada include Wayne Gretzky and Neil Young. Last June her alma mater, the Ontario college of Art and Design in Toronto presented her with an honorary doctorate degree. Visit Anita’s website where you can view her portfolio, fine art and also purchase prints and books. You can also follow Anita on her blog here.

What is your favorite pen to use?

I don’t use pens...acrylics and watercolours.

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


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

By hand.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?

See answer #1.

What type of paper do you use?

Crescent board #110.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?

Business men shaking hands.

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

The art store beside OCADU.

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

I worry.

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?

Sometimes...whatever. Usually radio.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?

No...just MAD magazine.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?

So many...

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?

"Stranger than Science"". I used to love books where people spontaneously combusted. Scared the crap out of me. No I don’t have the book any more.

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


Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?


Did either of your parents draw?

Nope, but my uncle did.

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

My partner.

Do you keep a sketchbook?

No but I have a box full of sketches.

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?

Yes I teach. It’s difficult but I love it. I teach online with TAD.

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


Do you collect anything and if so what?

Too much stuff...I’m trying to get rid of it.

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

Boo-Boo bear.

Are you a righty or lefty?


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

I can’t do anything else.

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.

Drawing board.

Do you play any musical instruments?

No. I used to play the accordion but thankfully my parents let me stop the lessons. It was traumatic enough.

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

Work hard and listen to your inner voice.

Who is your favorite artist?

Too numerous to mention.

Watch this TAD video where Anita discusses her idea process and conceptual portraits.

Thank you again for your time Anita.

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