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 they sound.
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.
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 time?
NS. That'd have to be Larry (Terence Parkes). He nails the issue in the simplest, funniest, and kindest manner possible.
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.