Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Paul Garner - Cartoonist Survey #271

Paul Garner is a UK based illustrator, caricaturist, storyboard artist, performer and fine artist. He grew up building Aurora glow-in-the-dark monster models, watching late night horror movies on television, and reading MAD magazine. He studied at Nene College in Northampton and then honed his illustration skills while working in an advertising agency in London.

He has now been working for over 24 years as a freelance illustrator and artist. Paul’s monster and sci-fi themed creations appear on T-shirts, CDs, murals, sideshow banners, hot sauce labels and even human bodies, in the form of tattoos. A long time contributor to the weekly magazine Timeout London, his artwork is also featured in Famous Monsters of Filmland and SFX, the UK sci-fi magazine.

Paul has drawn concept art for TV, film and theater and is the house cartoonist for the Pleasance Theatre. He created the artwork for the iconic totem pole that is at the Pleasance Theatre in Edinburgh, Scotland, as well as the giant mural there.

In addition to his illustration work, Paul is also a founding member of Gawkagogo, an avant-garde pop-culture parody theatrical production. Together with Sarah Nield, Paul has designed, directed and performed for their live cartoon, puppet filled, comedy sideshows since 1990.

A member of the International Society of Illustrators, Paul lives with his wife and two children in Brighton, England. Check out his Paul Garner Art website to see many more examples of his work, and be sure to visit his store where you can purchase fine art giclee prints (I love the Son of Frankie one!). Then head over to the Gawkagogo website to sample videos of the show and to learn more about the Gawkagogo characters including The Human Fly, Dennis Hopperfield and Nosferatutu. You can also follow Paul here on Facebook.

What is your favorite pen to use?
Various black fineliners, but mostly for linework I photocopy HB pencil work to achieve that grainy, sketchy quality.

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

Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
Both, but more frequently by hand with Photoshop tweaks afterwards.

If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Magic markers or acrylic paint.

What type of paper do you use?
Bleedproof marker paper or acrylic paper.

What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
Cars, things with straight lines. Faces without character.

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

Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
If I did I'd never get started. But coffee, a lot of it, is vital!

Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
Yes- film soundtracks, rockabilly, lounge. I also put on DVDs and let them play in the background to give the room a pulse. I find it hard to draw in silence.

Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
'Shiver & Shake'- a UK-based publication featuring characters like "Frankie Stein'. Also MAD Magazine a bit later on.

What is or was your favorite comic strip?
Mort Drucker's movie spoofs in MAD Magazine.

What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
"Horror Movies' by Alan G. Frank. Still have the original copy. It has a distinctive smell which makes me nostalgic when I open it.

Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
Nene College, Northampton, UK... and then in the field, in an advertising illustration studio in London.

Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
A blessing and a revolution, particularly for finding useful reference.

Did either of your parents draw?
Yes, Dad.

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

Do you keep a sketchbook?

Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
No, but may do it some day.

Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
Passion and talent are both important.

Do you collect anything and if so what?
Monster toys, odd books, freakish ephemera.

If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Wile E. Coyote.

Are you a righty or lefty?

If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Maybe voice impersonations. I often do the voices of the people as I'm drawing them, with varying results!

In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
Mostly total chaos but pulled back to sanity between each job if at all possible. An old-school drawing desk and a new-school iMac. And lots of monster toys.

Do you play any musical instruments?
I have a ukulele which just hangs around never getting learned or played.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
Keep a sketchbook, draw all the time. Get every idea down because you never know when you might need inspiration in a hurry.

Who is your favorite artist?
Basil Gogos, Mort Drucker, Drew Friedman, Joe Coleman, Jack Davis

Thanks again Paul, I really appreciate your time!

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