Tom Stiglich is a cartoonist, illustrator and graphic designer who was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1966. He started drawing when he was very young, and while he was still at Northeast Catholic High School, had his first cartoon published by the Philadelphia Daily News. After high school he studied at the Art Institute of Philadelphia and graduated with a degree in Visual Communications in June of 1988.
Now working at a weekly newspaper in Philadelphia, Tom has had his editorial cartoons printed in most of the major papers including, USA Today, The New York Times, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer and many others. His cartoons have been featured in numerous magazines such as Time, Newsweek, Newsweek Japan, Mad Kids, Funny Stuff and Comic Relief. In addition to magazines and newspapers, his editorial cartoons can be found in J.P. Trostle’s “Attack of the Political Cartoonists” and also regularly appear in Charles Brooks’ annual book series “Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year”. Tom has been awarded the United Nations’ Citation of Excellence three times, and has had his work displayed at the Charles M. Schulz museum in Santa Rosa, California.
Tom’s work isn’t limited to cartooning. He has created illustrations for various children’s books such as “Woe is I Jr.: The Younger Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English” and both “Goin’ To The Zoo” and “Hate That Thunder” for the bi-lingual Mandy and Andy series of books.
A member of both the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists and the National Cartoonists Society, Tom was recently nominated along with Nick Galifianakis and Kevin Kallaugher (KAL) for the 2012 NCS Divisional Award in the Advertisement Illustration category. Visit Tom’s website where you can see more of his editorial cartoons, read his two strips, ‘Uncle Joe’ and ‘Disconnected’ and order prints. There is also a Tom Stiglich CafePress store where you can purchase t-shirts, hats, mugs and other goodies.
What is your favorite pen to use?
Believe it or not, Papermate Black felt tip. I've tried some of the finer pens and I've stayed with these.
Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
Yes, standard yellow #2 pencil.
Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Color with Corel Draw and Photoshop
What type of paper do you use?
Anything I can steal from the office. That stuff adds up.
What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Horses. Damn horses. The legs seem to be going the wrong way.
Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
Usually Blick and Utrecht here in Philly.
Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Have a clean art table, bottle of water and turn on the music.
Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Music is a must. Rock and Blues. Mostly Eric Burdon and the Animals, The Doors, Stones, Springsteen, Ray Davies and The Kinks, RL Burnside, Muddy Waters, etc.
Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Yes, Sgt. Rock.
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?
The "Stand", Stephen King. Yes, still have a copy. I was amazed how much fun reading was when it wasn't required reading from school.
Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Yes, Art Institute of Philadelphia.
Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
Both. More exposure than ever before, yet, leading to the ultimate demise of newspapers.
Did either of your parents draw?
Yes, my mom was a huge influence.
Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
My girlfriend, Audrey.
Do you keep a sketchbook?
No, I should. Mostly scraps of paper that I stole from work. Recurring theme here.
Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Both. There has to be some talent there to start, then passion will play a big part. How bad do you want it?
Do you collect anything and if so what? I collect too much junk.
Lots of Peanuts merchandise and Bobbleheads all over the place. Do you have any extra space I can store my stuff?
If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Cuckoo Man from The Mighty Heroes.
Are you a righty or lefty?
If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Play basketball overseas. Need to work on my jump shot.
In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Organized with lots of pens. HATE looking for something when I'm drawing.
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?
Work hard, dedicate yourself and you'll see results. I would steer them towards animation only because, working at a newspaper company really gives you a sense of where everything is going. Print isn't dead but it's on life support.
Who is your favorite artist?
Charles Schulz. An amazing cartoonist and an even better person.
Thanks again for your time Tom and enjoy the Reuben’s!