In our last question for August, Bloghorn asked our Artist of the month, Steve Bright, what is the future of cartooning in the digital age?
I think (with some sadness) that the future of cartooning IS the digital age. Not only do I supply almost all of my artwork in digital format these days (and other than my caricature gig work, it’s 100%),
but almost every client I’ve worked for in recent times has wanted it that way.
Perhaps that’s not entirely surprising, since in most cases they find me via computer technology, and my website in particular. But none the less, even the older traditional markets such as the Beano and Dandy now receive their artwork digitally as the norm, and put up with physical pieces of artwork cluttering their desks only because some of the artists they still favour (I’m no longer one of them), who are not computer savvy, are worth the inconvenience.
From a nostalgic viewpoint, I much prefer the vision of the office in the “olden days”, with artwork adorning every desktop, and the smell of Cow Gum fighting with cigarette and pipe smoke for dominance. But in the later years, when all they wanted from me was a high resolution jpeg, I got to keep all my original artwork. Before that became the norm, I, along with every other freelancer, was sending them page upon page of original art every week, never to be returned to any of us. That alone has made me more grateful for the technological advancements than I can put into words, but there’s more – much more!
Anyone in our business who doesn’t at least try to embrace as much of it as possible is not going to last much longer in the game. I don’t say that with any sense of complacency, but as a fact that faces us all. The key is not to think you need to know it all in order to use the technology. You pick up a phenomenal amount as you go along, and it’s a constant learning curve for even the most advanced of users, but always at your own pace.
It can also be fun – which is our business after all.
Our thanks to Steve for his answers which you can find along with those from many other professional cartoonists in our Artist of the Month archive.