An Interview with Nik Scott from http://david-wasting-paper.blogspot.com
What is your favorite pen to use?
N: I use a Rotring fountain pen with Noodler’s ink or a Zig
felt tip if I’m drawing on paper but most of my work is
done on computer with a Wacom Cintiq. For very fine work I
use various dip pen nibs but their model numbers are
written too small for me to read so I can't pass them on.
Do you draw in pencil first and if so do you use a standard
pencil or a mechanical one?
N: No, I just let the lines fall where they may. This is
because I'm very impatient. I do work out a thumbnail first
but that's in pen too.
Do you do your coloring by hand or on the computer?
N: Both. However coloring by hand is quicker and much more
If you do your coloring by hand, what do you use?
N: Watercolors (mostly W&N or Maimeri Blu) with a
DaVinci series 35 no 7 brush.
What type of paper do you use?
N: I use simple lay out paper for line drawings. For
watercolor I use a 'pen n' wash' paper (Draw & Wash by
Art Spectrum). I don't like the chalky surface of
What thing(s) do you hate to draw?
N: The inside of clocks. Bicycles. Waterfalls.
Do you buy your supplies from big chain art store
catalogues/websites or a local one that you physically go
N: Both, but mostly from websites. I'm in Australia and I
often buy from the UK where our dollar currently buys more.
Postage from the US is too prohibitive. Jackson’s Art Supplies
and Bromley Art Supplies
are my favourite
stores in the UK.
Are there any rituals that you do before starting to draw?
N: I spend a little while doodling while reading the papers
and staring into space. This either gets me in the zone or
sends me to sleep.
Do you listen to music while you draw and if so what genre?
N: I work in silence, as I can never find the right CD in
the right case at the right time.
Did you read comics as a kid and if so what was your
N: I grew up in the UK and enjoyed all the usual UK comics
like Eagle and Beano. However I'd go out of my way to find
DC comics and was a big fan of all things Superman, Action
and World's Finest etc. My father had several Feiffer
collections and it was those that really tickled me the
What is or was your favorite comic strip?
N: I don't have one now. My favourite used to be 'The
Fosdyke Saga' by Bill Tidy. Later on my favourites were all
from the Underground comics. I especially loved the work of
Willy Murphy and Justin Green.
What was your favorite book as a child and do you still own
a copy of it?
N: I was very fond of a particular Babar book about Babar
visiting The Island of the Birds. The drawings were superb.
Sadly I lost my copy and I believe it's now a rarity.
Did you have any formal art training and if so where did
you receive it?
N: I went to the National Art School in Sydney, Australia.
That mostly was life drawing. I also did a graphics course
(pre-computers) run by seedy old ex advertising men who
only ever talked to the women in the class.
Do you feel that the Internet is a blessing or a curse?
N: A blessing. I can now sell my cartoons everywhere.
Before I only sold within Australia.
Did either of your parents draw?
N: My father used to draw cartoons to spice up his letters.
He inspired me as did a painter friend of his named Paul
Maze. I was exposed to a lot of Maze's work. He drew
several sketches for me and I'd marvel at the speed,
simplicity and accuracy of his line and would try to copy
Who in your life is/was the most supportive of your art?
Do you keep a sketchbook?
N: Yes, always. I guard it fiercely as it has lots of
terrible drawings in it. Friends invariably pick it up and
say, “what's this meant to be?”
Have you ever taught cartooning/drawing and if so did you
enjoy the experience?
N: It's not my strong point. Sometimes I teach the children
of friends. Next time I see them they've given up drawing
Do you feel that talent or passion is more important in
N: Talent comes from passion.
Do you collect anything and if so what?
N: I'm not a collector but I have somehow ended up with
almost every cartoon book ever printed. I never look at
them anymore. My mission now is to somehow unload them at a
profit before I die.
N: If you were an animated cartoon character who do you
think you would be?
Are you a righty or lefty?
N: A righty.
If you weren't an artist what would you want to do for
N: Anything that allows me to work from home and spend my
life with my wife and daughter. I've spent my time in the
regular workforce and find my family's company preferable
to that of work colleagues and bosses.
In one or two sentences describe your drawing area.
N: An upstairs room with windows on three sides and views
over the hills. Two workstations, one with computer/Cintiq,
the other with paints and paper.
Do you play any musical instruments?
N: I used to play the guitar and trumpet and put in many
hours enthusiastically playing 12-bar blues with other
musically challenged friends. I pawned the guitar and never
If you could give one piece of advice to someone who wants
to pursue drawing as a career what would it be?
N: I'd say 'Go for it'. However I'd also say, “Work in real
job for a while to save up for the right computer equipment
etc.” I'd then go on to point out that it's the cartoonists
who can market themselves that get the big bucks.
Who is your favorite artist?
N: Bosch. He's still ahead of his and our times.
An Interview with Nik from http://the-cartoon-fiend.blogspot.com
Sunday, April 30, 2006
Friends of the Fiend 14: Nik Scott
CF. Hello, Nik.
NS. Hello Mr Fiend
CF. Okay, what are your current projects, anything exciting
in the pipeline - that you can tell us about?
NS. I've just published a collection of my strips at lulu
called Web Junkie, so i'm attempting to market that. I'm
working on a couple of book projects. I don't want to talk
about them as the more I talk about my projects the sillier
CF. Did you always want to be a cartoonist, and set out to
become one, or was it a gradual process?
NS. I fell in love with cartooning from seeing my father
add little sketches to his letters. I started to draw
cartoons at the age of eight when i did a weekly strip at
school. I always managed to sit next to other cartoonists
or artists in class and spent most of my schooldays
'duelling toons'. I spent many years self-publishing a
series of angry raw mini-comix that I hawked around to
bookshops. One bookshop used to stick my weekly editorial
cartoon in its front window (often upside down) and a
magazine editor waiting for a bus outside noticed my it and
offered me a regular job. That was the beginning of my
professional career. I'd never realised i could get paid
for doing something that i did compulsively anyway. I then
spent several years working part time, and going to art
school before becoming a full-time cartoonist.
CF. The work you do at the moment, can you tell us
something about the process?
NS. I have 'think' days and 'draw' days. Mornings are
fresher. If i have time i like to have a think the night
before and allow my subconscious to come up with the gags
while i sleep. On a 'think' day i doodle in silence on a
cheap A4 Layout pad, with a rotring artpen while slumped in
an ergonomically unsound armchair. Sometimes the doodles
guide the gag. I draw and render all my cartoons directly
on the computer via my wacom tablet and Painter/Photoshop
software. I love drawing with the computer. I don't miss
having inky fingers, and I don't miss waiting for scanners
to warm up.
CF. Is the cartoonist a proper artist? I mean, does
cartooning have the same cultural impact as some other
artforms, in your opinion?
NS. Cartoons are more 'throw away' than the Mona Lisa, but
they're just as valid in their own way. They are also
funnier than the Mona Lisa, but arguably not as funny as Le
Dejeuner sur L'Herbe.
There's an archive of Nik's political cartoons at Daryl Cagle's Professional Cartoonists
CF. Is there any other area of cartooning you'd like to
work in, if you can find the time?
NS. Part of me wants to learn to animate but the lazy part
of me says, 'No way, are you nuts, you freak?!'
CF. Who were your major artistic influences?
NS. My father initially, and then I discovered his Feiffer
collection, which opened up a major cartoon addiction. Bill
Tidy, Larry, Gahan Wilson, Kurtzman, Crumb, Shelton,
Michael Leunig, Mary Leunig, S.Gross, Mary Wilshire, Lee
Marrs, Justin Green, Frank Stack, Nicolas Bentley, Searle,
Jenny Coopes, Steadman, Quentin Blake, Frank Dickens, Leo
Baxendale, Kliban, McGill and Poelsma, Posy Simmonds,
Bretecher, Sempe, Groening, Eisner,Aragones,Trudeau are
just some of the many hundreds of cartoonists i continue to
worship and that immediately spring to mind.
CF. Who was/is your favourite cartoonist/writer, of all
NS. That'd have to be Larry (Terence Parkes). He nails the
issue in the simplest, funniest, and kindest manner
CF. There's a lot of talk about a new 'paper-less future'
and 'newdigital reading habits', do you think this will
affect cartooning,at some point.
NS. People like cartoons, rather than the material that
cartoons are drawn on. There will always be a place for
cartoons in, or on, whatever the new medium happens to be.
CF. If you had the time, and you were helicoptered in to
work on anything you chose, any publication, strip, panel,
character, book, show, what would you like to work on?
NS. I'd like to do something for kids TV - Something for
toddlers. I'd loved to have worked on Sesame Street. I
could think of nothing cooler than writing for The Count.
CF. Is there anything you'd rather be?
NS. I'd like to be the kind of cartoonist who doesn't have
to pay attention to the business side. I love cartooning,
and i've got millions of ideas i want to work on, but I
loathe marketing as it's time consuming, and takes me away
from the creative process.
CF. Thank you for visiting with us.
NS. Thanks for having me.