Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Artist | David Hagen

Amazing Local Cartoonist and Illustrator David Hagen

Oooh! Tacos!

Artomatic Location: 08-256

W&I: What kind of art do you make and how would you describe it?

David: I've been a cartoonist and illustrator in DC for 30 years. My paintings are just another creative outlet of that. I keep several little sketchbooks with jokes and sketches and the paintings evolve from those pages. Sharpie came out with an acrylic paint pen in several thicknesses that puts out a wonderful black line of paint that revolutionized the way I went about painting. I can draw the outlines fairly quickly and fill in the empty blocks in bright, bold colors and then finish up with brush or more paint pen.

Invisible Man
W&I: What INSPIRED you to start creating this kind of art?

David: I've been drawing since I could hold a crayon. Both parents had artistic tendencies and didn't stifle any of my creativity. When I found I could make people smile by drawing cartoons, I stuck with it. I love making people laugh. It's the goal and joy of my art.

: Tell us a little about how you make your art?

David: Sharpie paint pens, lots of thick acrylic colors, and a little inspiration.

W&I: What are your sources of inspiration?

David: Growing up, my all-time favorite books to read were the Adventure of Tintin books by Herge. He was the father of the “ligne clare” or clear line – strong uniform lines, little cross-hatching, bold colors, equal attention to every element. The biggest compliment that was written in my Artomatic guest book was that my artwork reminded the person of Herge’s. Another cartoonist, Bud Blake, is also a huge hero of mine. He drew the comic strip Tiger and would get the most expression and movement out of the least amount of line. I think more was left to the imagination and the viewer could put themselves into the scene. I like to blend these elements and come out with something that draws people over for a closer look.

W&I: What is it that you try to communicate through your art?

David: Humor, pure and simple. Hipsters, children, grandparents, anyone can find something to smile about, right? I try to find that.

W&I: How do you stay WIRED?

David: The past Artomatics, I've hidden in the plants to observe people viewing my art. There was a lounge across from my wall last time and my stakeouts weren't that difficult. I love to see the reactions I get out of people and see which ones people point at or take photos of, or...actually purchase!
W&I: Any words of encouragement or wisdom for the struggling artist out there?

David: Artomatic is a wonderful experience and one of the best opportunities of getting your artwork out in front of people. It's such a positive thing.

W&I: What are some of your most memorable moments as an artist?

David: Besides being interviewed by the lovely and talented Shannon Scates? I've had several solo and group shows that my parents and family have been able to enjoy and I think having them see the reaction I get from my artwork is pretty special. I've gotten a couple awards, but nothing really touches that. I shook hands with Andy Warhol once (he wasn't too thrilled).

W&I: Adding the fact that David Hagen said I was lovely and talented to my memorable moments lol. We want to know more?!

David: Ah ha. My blog is: hagenillustration.blogspot.comI am nestled on the 8th floor, #256 (left at the water fountain, first room on the right). I'll be at Meet the Artist Night 7-9pm, June 2 and selling some prints at the Artomatic Marketplace 1-6pm, June 9.

Email me at: hagend@georgetown.edu for family portraits, pet portraits or if you want to buy anything you've seen.

W&I: Thanks so much David for participating in the interview. It's been an honor to chat with you. I love your work and wish you all the best!!! Be sure to visit his blog folks, and if you're in town, definitely his space at Artomatic!

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