Monday, October 03, 2016

Michael Maslin Interviews Bill Woodman

A new interview with New Yorker cartoonist Bill Woodman is on Michael Maslin's Inkspill blog. 

Bill was actually interviewed by TWO Michaels: Michael Maslin, who emailed me the questions and me, Michael Lynch, who drops by Bill's studio every once in a while. Bill lives about an hour away.

I printed out the questions and asked about Bill's choice of being a cartoonist (as well as a painter) and his attitude about the medium. I jotted down the answers and, when I got home that night, typed them into an email back to Michael M. (Bill Woodman himself does not do email.)

The interview took place on August 31, 2016, in Bill's Portland, Maine studio. My friend, New Yorker cartoonist John Klossner, was also with me.

Here's just a snippet from the interview:
Michael Maslin: Having been born in Bangor, Maine, it’s not surprising that hunters, bears, and of course, moose show up from time-to-time in your drawings. Are you drawing from some outdoorsy experiences in Maine, or are these situations just percolating through you because you’re a Mainer? 
Bill Woodman: Anything that will sell, you know? I’m trying to make a buck. But — seriously — the horrors of this world seem to dictate (that is, the news, etc.), and I’d like to lighten it up a bit.”
And more:

MM: I want to ask you about your sketchbooks. Jack Ziegler has said that “[he] never had a better time looking at anything in [his] life.” 
BW: At a point I was doing sketchbooks. [Now] I carry a piece of paper, folded, in my shirt pocket. I write lists. Mostly things I should do. Go to the store. Those kinds of things. Sometimes I write an idea….Now I just doodle all over the place. 
MM: There are a lot of people who aspire to doodle as well as you. 
BW: I doodle everyday. It’s a disease. I keep thinking I’m gonna start up again. 
MM: Well I wish you would. 
BW: I gotta get back to it. 
MM: Your website says you’re retired, but we also see on the site that you’re painting up a storm. I have a hunch you still draw cartoons. True? 
BW: Yes. Sure. Me and my buddies [Lynch and Klossner] are working on some great stuff. Wish you were here! (Laughs.)


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