Friday, 30 January 2015

An interview with my favourite artist — James Grasdal

Tomorrow is Inspire Your Heart with Art Day, and to celebrate, our teacher asked us to write about an artist that inspires us. For me, that’s James Grasdal, the illustrator of the Chase Superman Duffy comics.

Right now, he’s working on CLOUD 9, the 10th book in the series, but yesterday he was nice enough to answer a few questions for me about how he got started as an artist, and some of the people that inspire his work.

When did you start drawing?
I can’t remember when—from my earliest memories, I’ve always been drawing. I was in Grade 8 or 9 when I realized I could make a career out of it, and I’ve never looked back.

What artists inspire you?
There are so many—that would be a very long list. But I’d have to say: Charles Schultz, Mo Williams, and Ed Gory.

What is your favourite artistic medium?
I like drawing cartoons more than anything. I love pens and brushes—but I like to experiment. I’ll try anything new.

Who is your favourite character to draw?
Chase, of course.

What is one thing you can’t draw?
I can draw anything. That’s what I tell everyone starting out. As long as you can break it up into shapes, you can draw anything.

What is your favourite thing to draw?
Monsters and dinosaurs. (P.S. In TRANSPIRATION, the latest Chase book, James has drawn some AWESOME dinosaurs!)

What was your first paid gig as an artist?
When I was in Grade 3, kids paid me to draw tattoos on their arms with markers.

What advice would you give to aspiring young artists?
Don’t ever stop drawing—and have fun!

Wow. Pretty cool, right? Do you have questions for James Grasdal? Send them to my email at or post a question in the comments below. I KNOW James will be happy to answer.

Gotta jet!

— Chase Superman Duffy

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