Questions from the Studio – Conversation with Barry Blitt

Questions from the Studio – Conversation with Barry Blitt

Illustrator and Cartoonist Barry Blitt may be best known for his New Yorker covers, but his hidden talent lies in answering questions. I’m sure you’ll find yourself laughing, as I did, over anecdotes from childhood classroom caricatures, the stress of deadlines and the unexpected drawing created while half asleep that put an end to his quest for nighttime inspiration. Gary Komarin: Did you draw a lot as a kid and does that inform what you draw now? Barry Blitt: I sure did draw a lot as a kid. Cartoon characters, hockey players, rock stars. But what probably resonates most with my work today was the mocking caricatures of my school teachers that I scribbled secretly at my desk, for the amusement of my classmates. It may have been Mrs. Herschkopf back then, and Donald Trump today, but the objective was the same. Gary Komarin: How do you get inside the “character” or personality of who you are drawing. Do you need to get “inside” or can you work from the “outside” as it were? Barry Blitt: Um. I’m not particularly psychological in my portraiture (but thanks for asking). Sometimes I just need enough of a likeness to know that the figure is, say, Hillary Clinton, and not Wolf Blitzer. You don’t have to deal with seeing inside the characters in my cartoons, for good or for ill. Gary Komarin: Do you ever struggle to get a certain Face or Body just right………and what do you do if it isn’t working? Barry Blitt: I recently was so frustrated at deadline time with a likeness I couldn’t capture that I actually traced a...