Meet Professional Cartoonist - Gerard Piper
Occupation: Cartoonist and Animator
From Gerard: I actually remember thinking at age 6 that I wanted to draw for a living and make my career out of it. I couldn't think of anything more marvellous than to draw your own characters, be creative AND to entertain people.
Interview continued from Page I
What education do you think is needed to be come a cartoonist, or work
in this field?
A solid education from High school is the first step! (Go to grade 12 and
graduate...no dropping out!!). It won't matter if you're a child prodigy in cartooning or animation...these days you need a good education.
Also, develop a love for the English language...Good writing is indispensible in cartooning! I'm constantly jotting down beautifully constructed sentences from books and columns to learn the structure of them. Read as much as you can--- from Shakespeare to Wilde to the 19th Century classics to the modern day masterpieces like Faulkner and James Joyce and Truman Capote and Jack London and Hemingway etc etc etc. The most successful cartoons in our history are the ones that have been wonderfully written like Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, Krazy Kat, Skippy, The Far Side, For Better or for Worse etc.
What successes have you had in your field? Types of work.
And Again, study the cartoons you most admire and practice, practice, practice.
As a newspaper cartoonist the successes have been to watch TREVOR slowly being
picked up by more and more newspapers...this is always gratifying for a cartoonist. In 1991 I was voted the best Australian cartoonist by my peers and in 1992 came third in the Yomiuri Shinbun International cartoon competition that Japan holds each year. This again, is very gratifying for any cartoonist to be recognized in such a way.
One of the biggest 'buzzes' so far in my career has been to join the United Media syndicate in New York to supply them with online content.
The Internet online side of cartooning is very exciting for me and a whole new avenue to pursue. United Media are extremely good to work with in this sense as they are very open to all my 'crazy ideas I come up with.
I guess the bottom line is; Awards are nice but seeing your feature grow and progress and become accepted is the best buzz of all.
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