David Reddick is a versatile cartoonist that stays busy with a variety of work projects including his own comic, Intelligent Life syndicated through King Features. He's tenacious and is a great example of hard work and sticking to it. I know you'll find his story as interesting as I did. Here's the interview:
How did drawing play into your childhood?
Drawing played into my childhood in the way eating and breathing did. It came natural. I just HAD to draw. Something I am thankful for is that I still have that burning need and desire to draw to this day. It's a direct connection to my childhood that will always be with me. “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." - Pablo Picasso
Tell us about your journey to becoming a professional artist?
When I was 5 years old, I got a Peanuts paperback for my birthday, and that was all she wrote. I knew that's what I wanted to do. I wanted to make comics. It took many years, a lot of practice, and a lot of tenacity, but I got there.
You do a lot of work for some pretty big name comics, how did you get a deal with Garfield, Blonde, StarTrek, etc…?
Tenacity, lol. I worked for a daily newspaper as editorial cartoonist and newsroom artist for 6 years back in the 90's and early 2000's, and I did a daily single panel cartoon for the newspaper called "Reddick's Rhetoric." I decided to publish a book collecting some of my favorites back around 2002-2003, and I asked Jim Davis if he'd write a foreword for it. I had met him about 8 years prior through one of his artists, so I had a contact... he agreed to do it after having me come out and show the book mock-up to him. About 6 months after the book came out, Jim called me on the phone and said he'd been reading again the copy of that humble little book, and asked if I'd be interested in freelance writing for Garfield. Of course I said yes! So that began... and about 6 months later he asked me to come to his studio and work for Garfield full-time. A few years into working for Garfield (around 2004-2005), I pitched a Star Trek webcomic to CBS Studios/Paramount Pictures as a feature to run on STARTREK.com, the official Star Trek website. They liked it, and "The Trek Life," my webcomic about Star Trek *fans* began and ran for 3 years. In 2014, my ow syndicated comic strip "Intelligent Life" was picked up by King Features Syndicate (for whom it still runs online) and in 2017, King Features called me up and asked me if I'd be interested in drawing for Blondie, as assistant to head Blondie artist John Marshall. I of course said yes! It's one of the most rewarding things to draw, and to touch that comics history every day is something special and I feel very blessed and fortunate.
Is it difficult to switch back and forth between different styles?
No, actually... I draw... and draw and draw and draw, constantly... I always have. I love practicing and playing in a variety of media and styles. I liken it to being an actor taking differing roles. I love the variety and challenge.
Is it challenging to collaborate on comic strips with others? What are a couple of pros and cons?
To me, it's always incredibly rewarding to collaborate. You get a new set of eyes and brain and it can feed you and take you in directions you hadn't thought of... and there's always much to learn, always, with doing this work, and I love that, too.
What’s a typical day/week like?
A typical day is getting up, cranking up the coffee and making a list (and checking it twice) of what needs to be done for the day (I'm a productivity app junkie, so I use a LOT of digital for all of that) and plotting the course, then sitting down, turning on Audible and crying havoc and letting slip the dogs of creativity!!
The comic strip business has changed a lot over the last 20 years, any guesses as to what it will look like 20 years from now?
I think it will look much more digital, as we consume our information on our mobile devices, ipads, etc... and I think the opportunities will abound as we traverse the next frontier and it excites me, but I've always been a forward thinker who likes to dance with change and embrace it, rather than fight it and push back.
So how do you store/collect ideas? I imagine you have notebooks full of ideas. Or do you use a digital solution like Evernote?
I actually do use Evernote, as well as Things 3, Noteshelf and Apple Notes for idea storage. I also keep a pretty robust Google Drive, Dropbox and iCloud. And, I use my iPad Pro as my main sketchbook, logging ideas and sketches in Procreate, Concepts and Tayasui Sketches. Holy smokes, I'm bouncing around all over the place!
Do you have any upcoming projects we should be on the lookout for?
I always have some wish list things I want to do, and they always roll out just when the timing is right. Right now, I'm keeping rather busy with Blondie and Intelligent Life and sketching and dreaming.
If money and time were no object, what project would you do?
A Sherlock Holmes comic or graphic novel, definitely.
Thanks for taking to time to allow us to get to know you better. Where can people find your work?