This month Galway Cartoon Festival talks to Irish cartoonist Rob Stears.
Name: I’m Rob Stears.
Where are you from? I’m from Dublin.
When did you become interested in drawing cartoons? I’ve always drawn and wanted to draw cartoons. As a kid I was always drawing cartoon characters and cartoon versions of animals. Looking back it’s probably because drawing animals realistically was harder. Later on I do remember pausing a vhs tape of the Simpsons to draw the characters.
Who are your big influences? Growing up I was influenced by tv animation. I had been watching things like Spider-man and Xmen long before I ever picked up a comic. Now I love the work of comic book artists, though that probably doesn’t reflect in most of what I do 🙂
Webcomics artist I like right now are @Twisteddoodles and @MrLovenstein and @nellucnhoj are very funny.
I usually try to go for a joke first and work images around it.
Where were you first published? My work has appeared in some online and print publications and I’ve illustrated books for other authors but my first book Which I wrote and illustrated was published In 2017 with Hachette Ireland.
What’s your favourite cartoon (single panel or strip)? My favourite cartoon? That’s so hard. I’m following a bunch of artists online and I’m constantly seeing new stuff. Some that genuinely make me laugh out loud. I think my wife is getting tired of me saying “look at this” while holding my phone in front of her face while we’re watching tv.
What materials do you use? I used to use pencil and markers but I’m mainly using an iPad Pro with the Clip Studio app.
On a scale from 1-10, where 1 is the thing you hang wet clothes on and 10 is the thing Gandalf rode in on, how are you at drawing horses? Can I draw a horse on a scale of 1-10? Ummm maybe a 6?
Did you scribble in the margins of your books in school? I always drew in my schoolbooks which meant my younger sister was handed down some very messy books.
Do you have any advice for aspiring cartoonists? My advice for aspiring cartoonists? Using reference photos isn’t cheating, it’s observing. Start early, I treated it as a hobby for far too long. Never undervalue you’re work or work for free. If they want to have your work it’s worth something
(with the exception of charities because it’s nice to be nice)
[You can see archived interviews here. We hope to host a monthly interview with cartoonists around the world, both established and up-and-coming. If you’d like to feature please get in touch.]
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
The Galway Cartoon Festival is 4 this year. Despite the pandemic we are still planning to host a physical exhibition.
Our ability to fund-raise has been severely curtailed.
If you’ve ever enjoyed an editorial cartoon please bung us a fiver.
More details of our fundraiser can be found at the link above and we have a tiered reward system! PLEASE HELP US MAKE 2020 HAPPEN!