In the Studio
Meet Alex Hallatt—artist and contributor to The Art of Cartooning and Illustration.
Photo courtesy of Alex Hallatt
I draw in my home studio, which right now is in an 18th century house in a small town in Somerset, England. Last year it was in an attic room with a view of rooftops and the sea, as we lived in Devon. Before that, I lived and worked in Melbourne, Australia and Lyttelton, New Zealand. All my moving around has made me simplify things: I have made a sloping drawing board/lightbox that sits on any table top and I do all my digital work (tidying up and colouring in Photoshop) on a laptop computer.
Photo by Alex Hallatt
I read lots of newspapers, magazines and blogs, though the internet is a blessing and a curse, as inspiration can turn into procrastination. I'm more productive if I take a list of topics on a walk in the countryside with our Jack Russell. He gets a little impatient when I stop and jot down ideas as they come to me, but he's got used to it.
I'm surrounded by maps and books and I'm a short walk from the fridge.
Arctic Circle by Alex Hallatt.
Alex Hallatt is artist and creator of the popular Arctic Circle comic strip. Arctic Circle is about three immigrant penguins in the Arctic.
When I created the strip more than 20 years ago, I didn't really enjoy drawing. I thought the Arctic would give me lots of lovely, blank, white space with no complicated backgrounds. The black-and-white characters (penguins and a polar bear) would be ideal for newspaper pages, which were rarely in color at that time. Although I sometimes still use white backgrounds—especially when close to deadline—I now love drawing and have engineered my Arctic universe to include a lot more than snow, sea, and ice.
You can read more about and see more of Alex's artwork at www.moontoon.com.
Art, undeniably, is conductive to happiness.
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