This Artist Makes Weekly Comics For The Guardian And New Scientist Magazine, Here’s 30 Of His Works Interview With Artist
Characters with simple, expressionless forms, involved in mundane, humorous and sometimes philosophical conversations about literature, art and science: that's how we would describe these comics by Tom Gauld. He is a cartoonist and illustrator from Scotland, currently living in London and creating charming and unassuming illustrations that have something for every person to admire.
Tom's work is regularly published in The Guardian, The New Yorker and New Scientist and he has almost 100 thousand followers on Instagram! The artist has also created a number of children's books and comic books that are worthy of checking out.
We are very excited to showcase Tom's comics! What are your opinions about them?
Bored Panda got in touch with the artist to learn more about him and his creative process. Tom shared that drawing has always been his favorite thing to do, and he has loved comics since first discovering "Tintin" at his local library.
"I've wanted to draw comics forever, but it took me a long time to realize that I could write them as well. I thought you needed to study literature or something before you could be a writer. But when I was at art school I met a fellow student named Simone Lia and we encouraged each other to make our first cartoons, which we went on to self-publish together in a book called 'First'. We started out just making silly little jokes and in the years since have both gone on to write graphic novels and picture books. Though I'm still very fond of making silly little jokes."
Reading the comics, we noticed that literature and science are the most common themes that appear in almost all of the illustrations we have chosen to share. Tom revealed that the practical reason for these themes is that he makes weekly comics for The Guardian's books section and New Scientist magazine. But the reason he can do this week after week is that he is genuinely interested in the subjects of science and literature. "Literature makes sense as it's pretty close to what I do as a job, but science is more of a personal interest that's slowly oozed into my work. I've never studied science, but I was close to my grandfather who was a marine biologist and he sparked a lifelong interest in all aspects of science. About seven years ago, I wrote to 'New Scientist', which didn't have a comic strip at the time, and suggested I could do one. I was delighted when they said yes."
Tom Gauld has been drawing comics for quite some time now. However, even an experienced artist like Tom faces some challenges when it comes to creation.
The artist admitted that the hardest part of the creative process for him is coming up with ideas. "There's some little spark that has to go off in my brain and, unfortunately, I don't know how to make it happen. I can encourage it, but there's no guarantee it'll come. So sometimes I sit doodling for hours and hours and nothing comes, so at the end of the day I just have to hope the next day will be better. Conversely, sometimes the spark comes without any effort, and that's a lovely feeling. My favorite part of the process is the point where I've got what I know is a decent idea and I'm figuring out how to make it work best on the page: how to use the tools of comics (words, pictures, layouts) to communicate as effectively as possible."
After being asked where Tom gets inspiration for his works, the artist replied that he has always got a deadline just around the corner, so he is on "high alert" for anything that could be an idea for a cartoon. "I always carry around a notebook and scribble down anything that could be the beginning of an idea. It could be something I overhear on the street, or a scene in a movie, or an article in a magazine, or a painting. I'll take anything I can get! My daughter was recently using a sleep app that played soothing sounds and I knew right away there was something I could do with that."
"I love telling stories and making people laugh, and comics are such an interesting way of doing that. I'm still always learning new ways to communicate through comics and getting inspired by the way other artists make their comics. I just got back from the Angouleme Comics Festival in France where I saw so many inspiring things, not least a career retrospective of Chris Ware's cartooning which was enormously impressive."