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Grant Snider p3

The creator of Incidental comics and author of The Shape of Ideas, Grant Snider, talks about his creative excursions around Wichita, and also about the way he draws onto tracing paper...

READERSVOICE.COM: What is your daily routine in Wichita, Kansas?

GRANT SNIDER: On a work day, I wake up around 5:30 AM. I have two cups of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal at my drawing table while staring at a blank page, or more ideally, my current project. I have what is usually a very productive hour of sketching, laying out, and inking my current comic. Around 7 AM, my four-year-old daughter visits and interrupts my intense concentration with enthusiastic preschooler questions and demands. But it’s okay, this means it’s time for me to snap out of my comic-creating trance and go to my day job. I work as an orthodontist form 8-5 four days a week. I use spare minutes at work to color comics in Photoshop and do the various administrative tasks that go along with being a semi-professional cartoonist. I also straighten lots of teeth! Over my lunch break I go for a walk and sketch or read. After work is the chaos of family dinner with three kids under age 5, then the fun of reading books and dancing madly to loud music. After the kids are in bed, my wife and I will read or watch Netflix – I rarely work in the evenings unless a deadline is looming, but it’s a time when I stumble upon many of my comic ideas.At around 10 pm, I sleep soundly, knowing my drawing table will be waiting in the morning.

RV: Where have you been on the sketchbook excursions I read that you hoped to undertake?

GS: The local zoo, public library, and art museum are my regular destinations. I recently bought a new bicycle that I hope to take around in the spring and sketch at various spots around the city. I need to devote a couple hours a week to sketching – it’s an essential part of my process that I often neglect.

RV: What size was the comic Multitasking in centimetres when you drew it onto tracing paper, before scanning it into Photoshop?

GS: Around 28 cm x 28 cm.

RV: Is tracing paper used so that you can trace an original drawing you’ve made on a paper pad, to polish it up before scanning it?

GS: No, I do the original drawing on tracing paper. I like the way the pen moves over the smooth surface, and I can layer over it with another sheet to make corrections. It also scans well. Unfortunately it is very disposable, so my “originals” are loose scraps tossed in a pile in my art room.

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– copyright Simon Sandall