Design Splat | Interviews with Awesome Designers and Creatives

MIKE SPICER – CARTOONIST

Posted August 30th by Design Splat in Artists, Cartoonist

Today we have a Cartoonist from the other side of the pond in Canada! He has published newspaper editorial cartoons and book illustrations. He also create humorous custom cartoons and caricatures for commercial clients as well as individuals. Also if you are looking for a different Facebook Profile picture check out “Spicer up your profile” here!

-Interview

Hello and Welcome to Design Splat Mike!

Tell us a bit about what you do:

I am a freelance cartoonist/illustrator, creating eye-catching artwork for business and personal
purposes. I am the creator of “Celebrity Clerks”, a single panel comic strip depicting people of
note at the cash register of a convenience store.  I have recently dabbled in combining cartoons with photo backgrounds.

How did you get into creating Cartoons and at what age?

Creating cartoons was the natural evolution of my drawing from a young age. My earliest recollection is from about four years old, laying on the cement porch, the bumpy surface serving as my first drawing board.  Simple stick figures with hands resembling comb rakes. A forefinger at the ready, ants that ventured on the page became squished, abstract addition to the picture, my first mix media pieces.  I later progress to the kitchen table, copying comics from the newspaper. There was much joy in Antville.

When creating cartoons, what to you is the most important aspect: planning design or implementation? and why?

Planning the design, having a clear idea makes putting it down on paper a much easier task.  When everything is in the “zone” initially, the drawing shoots out the pencil and gets fine tuned. It is a pleasant experience.

What obstacles – if any, have you encountered along the way?

Being a freelance cartoonist is an is a buffet of obstacles.  And it’s “All you can eat”. Notes of rejection, creative block. “where’s my pencil ????”.  It can be frustrating. But, commissions come, ideas spark and “Oh !! There’s my pencil !!! ” It works out fine.

Do you create your pieces by hand or with the use of the computer? Or both?

I always start with pencil on paper and ink with a black fine line marker.  This creates an important connection to the drawing that carries through after it’s scanned into a graphic program too add colour,shade,highlights and text.  Traditionally a “colour by hand” kind of guy, it took some getting used to digital colour and only use just the basics, not too interested in many of the “bells and whistles” that might give a drawing an overworked look or a little too slick.  As I gain more experience, I’m sure I’ll experiment with more tools. From time to time I’ll do a  “just pencil” rendering. It’s good to get right back to basics.

What was the hardest technique for you to learn as a cartoonist?

Caricature.  I had a tendency to try a little too hard to get a resemblance to the subject. A forced drawing, is a bad drawing. With caricature, it’s all about spontaneity.  With some practice and adjustments, I am moving towards capturing the physical essence  and personality of the person.

What’s your favorite part of being a cartoonist?

It’s the most versatile art form around.  I love being part of that community.

What impact has technology had on your work?

Very positive. Most especially to network and market my work. Casting a wide “‘Net” increases  potential opportunities and success.

Where do you get inspiration for your cartoons?
I look around …I listen.  It’s not a very complex process. Things kind of click. “There’s a cartoon in ‘that’.”, and off I go.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I’m going to keep doing what I do best and see where that takes me.  I think I will have made significant gains artistically and professionally.

What’s the dream ambition?

Syndication and widespread merchandising of “Celebrity Clerks”

Does fame attract you?

Not particularly.  I enjoy getting positive feedback from my peers and non-artists alike. Both have equal value to me.

How do you rate yourself as a cartoonist.

8 out of 10. I’m always learning and evolving.  I like that.

What makes a good cartoonist?

Self-belief and good drawing ability. Standing out from the crowd.

Three words to describe yourself?

Observant, creative, experienced.

Hobbies and Interests?

Shameless self-promotion and historical documentaries.

Favourite/most inspiring cartoonist?

Berkeley Breathed, creator of “Bloom County”. Great characters, witty, intelligent social commentary.

Tools of the trade?

Humour with an askew twist

Best and worst piece of work?

Ultimately, that’s for the audience to decide. I do what I can to the best of my ability every time out and put it out there. On a different level, I’ll look back on some work from six months ago and think “Yeeeesh…” I think that happens with most artists.  It’s a good sign of growth.  I’ll do that six months from now too.

Any Tips or advice to share with aspiring designers?

Please yourself first. Be unique
Don’t take rejection personally, it’s an education.
Never stop seeking advice from those with more experience.

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Contact Details:

Email: mikescartoons@hotmail.com

Website: http://mikespicercartoonist.blogspot.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1351037&id=1333461981&comments&alert#!/profile.php?id=551797734

Deviant Art: http://mikespicer.deviantart.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/spicertoon

“Spicer up your profile” Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spicer-Up-Your-Profile/122540387779614?ref=ts

“Celebrity Clerks” Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=551797734#!/group.php?gid=239579068786&ref=ts

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6 comments to... “MIKE SPICER – CARTOONIST”
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Adrianmills

Fab interview
Loving your work


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Dan Rosandich

Really like the way Mike Spicer is vigorously promoting himself and his cartoons and services. Thanks for profiling Spicer’s cartoons, he is one of the more notable “promoters” out there which is so important in this day & age where we all exist in a sea of internet refugees! Way to go Mike….keep on truckin’ as the “ole Crumbster” says!


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laura floyd illustrations

You did it so sincere. Like it a lot! Hope your Celebrity Clerk will go around USA, Canada 4 a begining 😉
Love that they posted these excellent drawings that picture yourself so well!
cheers!
L.


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annie mcwilliams

LOVE YOUR WORK


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Mike Spicer

Thank you very much ! I appreciate the comments and the opportunity from design splat to show my work. I will be posting and linking this in true shameless self-promotion form. 🙂

Cheers !!


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Sandra Bannick

Great work Mike. I am so glad that I am in possesion of some of your earlier work.




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