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Interview

Phil McAndrew p3

Comics artist and illustrator Phil McAndrew talks about pencilling, college life, a cartoon series and future books...

READERSVOICE.COM: Some of your drawings are drawn straight with ink pens then maybe water colors, while others are pencilled first. Do you use a lead pencil or blue pencil?

PHIL McANDREW: When I do use a pencil it’s always a mechanical pencil. I tried using blue lead for a while when I was in college but I decided it wasn’t for me. Sometimes I’ll “pencil” things digitally in Photoshop and then print them out and use a light-box to ink over them on another sheet.

RV: Where were you living when you were studying at Daemen College in Amherst, what was your routine, and what do you remember about the experience; did you work while studying, and what was the town like?

PMcA: When I was studying at Daemen I lived right in Amherst, just outside of Buffalo. I was in an apartment on campus with a few roommates. I lived with the same group of friends all through college, though at one point there was an empty room in our apartment which ended up being filled by exchange students for a couple semesters, which was a lot of fun. My routine varied from semester to semester. I stubbornly didn’t drink at all the first few years of college so I spent a lot of time in my apartment either drawing or staring at the internet. I didn’t work at all while school was in session but I did do a little bit of freelance illustration work and I’d go back to my hometown and work full time in the summers, usually as an art department intern at the local newspaper in Syracuse. I was one of only a few illustration majors in the art department at Daemen so most of my classes became independent studies as I got further along, which means I spent a lot of time painting in my apartment with my dvd collection. When I started my fourth year of college I was given my own studio space on campus. I went in and sat down in there once. But I didn’t even take my coat off, I just got up and walked home and never used that studio space, not even once. I was more comfortable painting on the coffee table at home. Now I’d kill for a studio space outside of my apartment!

RV: What things do you have planned, from judging art contests to books, commercial client projects, or other aims?

PMcA: Right now I’m pretty busy developing something for Cartoon Network and working on my book. I’ve got a few more book projects planned out that I’d like to tackle once this one is finished, one of them being a children’s graphic novel and another being an expanded version of a extremely popular article I wrote on my blog about my experiences as an illustrator and cartoonist so far. And of course I plan to continue submitting work to Mad Magazine and taking on freelance illustration jobs whenever I can. I’d really like to try making a book that isn’t full of comics, maybe more of an illustrated novel. I’d like to make a movie someday too, or at least work on one in some capacity.

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