Freelance cartoonist, writer and illustrator David DeGrand was born in June of 1979. He started drawing very early on as a child and drew cartoons for both his high school and college newspapers. He graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2003 with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts.
David’s artwork is influenced by early underground comix such as Basil Wolverton, The Ren and Stimpy Show and MAD Magazine. He is now living one of his lifelong dreams of having his work published in MAD Magazine since 2011. He has been drawing and writing for United Plankton Pictures’ SpongeBob Comics for the past two years. David is also a contributor to one of my favorite comix, Heeby Jeeby Comix. Previous Heeby Jeeby Comix cartoonists featured here on David Wasting Paper include, Bob Flynn (Cartoonist Survey #67) and Chris Houghton (Cartoonist Survey #84).
Just a handful of David's other clients include, KaBOOM! Studios, Walt Disney Television Animation, Harper Collins, Yuck!, Puck Comic Party, The Fort Worth Star Telegram and The Grizzly Detail.
“Sweat Soda”, a collection of David’s personal art, was published by the Australian publisher Milk Shadow Books. This 28 page book of full color drawings has an introduction by the underground comix legend Kaz.
David lives in Weatherford, TX with his wife Kathy and their son Alex. When he isn’t drawing he enjoys playing classic video games, watching old cartoons and collecting toys. To see more of David’s work visit his DeGrandland website and his blog. Go to Milk Shadow Books to purchase David’s “Sweat Soda” book, and you can also buy t-shirts and stickers with his designs here.
Be sure to keep an eye out for David and his artwork as you never know where he’ll show up.
What is your favorite pen to use?
For doodling in my sketchbook I like using a Pilot Precise, I just really like the ink flow and line quality. When inking comics or illustrations I sometimes use Microns but I mainly like to ink with a brush.
Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard pencil or a mechanical one?
I pencil with non-photo blue lead with a mechanical pencil.
Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
I mainly color on the computer with Photoshop.
If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
Occasionally I will break out the watercolors if I want a different look than the flat, bold colors I use when coloring digitally.
What type of paper do you use?
What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
I really hate drawing cars and horses, both of which I had to draw for a recent book project.
Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go to?
I mainly buy from a local art store, but I order pencil lead online.
Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
Not really, other than just a few really loose warm up doodles.
Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
I pretty much have to listen to music to keep me focused. I mainly like drawing to film scores, 80's electronic music, old video game soundtracks and jazz.
What was the first job as a cartoonist/illustrator that you were paid for?
If I remember correctly the first time I received actual money for cartooning was when I was hired as the illustrator for my college newspaper.
Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your favorite?
Aside from MAD Magazine which doesn't really count as a comic, I didn't read many actual comic books. But I read a ton of the collections of Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield, and The Far Side.
What is or was your favorite comic strip?
It's a tie between Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes. I've never been able to pick between those two which I like more.
What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own a copy of it?
"Where the Wild Things Are" by far, I don't have the one I owned as a kid but I do have copy.
Did you have any formal art training and if so where did you receive it?
I majored in art with a concentration in drawing from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
It's been a huge blessing for me, I've been able to get my work in front of people I never would have been able to touch in the past.
Did either of your parents draw?
My parents didn't draw but they are both very creative. My mom sings and plays the piano, and my dad works with leather creating all kinds of cool stuff.
Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
No doubt it's been my parents, who supported me 100% and encouraged me to pursue whatever it was that made me the happiest, which was cartooning.
Do you keep a sketchbook?
I've kept a sketchbook for about fifteen years, I'm a compulsive doodler so I really can't live without one.
Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you enjoy the experience?
Not yet, but I would love the opportunity to do that someday.
Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in drawing?
I would say passion is more important, because if you don't enjoy what you're doing then talent just goes to waste in my opinion.
Do you collect anything and if so what?
I collect tons of toys (mainly cartoon characters and action figures from the 80's), as well as books on art, film and cartoons.
If you were an animated cartoon character who do you think you would be?
Probably Charlie Brown.
Are you a righty or lefty?
If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for work?
Man that's a tough one, but I think I would enjoy either being a librarian or a gallery curator.
In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
My awesome wife was kind enough to let me turn one of our spare bedrooms into a studio. I draw on an old banker's desk surrounded by my toy and book collection.
Do you play any musical instruments?
I don't have a single shred of musical talent so I don't play an instrument, but I would love to learn the piano someday.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
I hate to sound cliche, but draw every second that you have and constantly try to improve. Be your own harshest critic and draw what makes you happy.
Who is your favorite artist?
Boy that's another tough question, but if I had to choose a favorite I'd have to go with R. Crumb. The way he blends his influences into his own very distinct style was incredibly inspirational to me while I was learning to be a cartoonist.
Thanks again for taking the time to participate David!