Today, we hear from Half Full creator Maria Scrivan!
I have been drawing cartoons ever since I was a kid. I loved creating characters and drawing greeting cards for my friends and family. I was the cartoonist for my high school and college newspapers. Whenever we were assigned creative essays in school, I would hand in multi-panel cartoons. I also spent a lot of time doodling in the margins, especially in math class.
I grew up reading the Sunday Funnies start to finish and obsessively watched Bugs Bunny cartoons. I had every Garfield book that existed and loved Peanuts, The Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes. I was greatly inspired by the work of Jim Davis, Sandra Boynton and Chuck Jones.
My cartooning career started at an animation studio immediately after graduating college. From there, I spent two years as an art director at an ad agency, and then started my own graphic and Web design business. It was a great career and I was still drawing for corporate clients, but something was missing. In 2008, I wrote and illustrated my first children’s book, Dogi the Yogi. Soon after, I started posting panel cartoons to Open Salon, a blog that was part of Salon.com. Within a few months, my cartoons were published on their main site. This gave me the confidence to submit to magazines. My cartoons were published in Parade magazine, Prospect magazine, Funny Times and MAD Magazine.
I launched Half Full on GoComics in September 2013 and three months later was picked up by two Hearst newspapers, the Greenwich Time and the Advocate, where Half Full appears daily. Seeing my cartoons in full color in the Sunday Funnies is a dream come true.
I get inspiration from animals, technology, social media and pop culture, especially reality TV. We have two cats and a puppy, which are an endless source of inspiration and sometimes a distraction, especially when the cat camps out on my artwork.
When ideas show up, I write them down immediately. Sometimes they appear in a flash, fully formed and ready to be drawn. Other times, they emerge in bits and pieces and need to marinate. I carry a sketchbook wherever I go. In a pinch I’ll jot notes down in my iPhone or tell Siri to remember an idea.
I usually write first, pick out the best ideas and then sketch them with a blue mechanical pencil on Bristol Board. I ink using a dip pen, scan the drawings and use a Cintiq and Photoshop for cleanup and color.
I license my comics for a variety of products including greeting cards, T-shirts, textbooks, presentations and blogs. Some of my licensing clients include Recycled Paper Greetings, Nobleworks Cards, Oatmeal Studios, RSVP Greetings, Macmillan, CheckAdvantage, Neato-shop and Mashable.com.
Half Fullnow speaks more languages than I do—it has been translated into Swedish and is licensed to newspapers and magazines in Sweden. It was also just launched in Spanish on GoComics.
I will be exhibiting at New York Comic Con on Thursday, October 9 at the National Cartoonists Society Booth. Stop by if you’re at the show!
I love having a studio at home so I can roll in there early in the morning or stay there very late at night. It has high ceilings and a picture window and usually a cat or a puppy (but not at the same time) to keep me company. If I get tired of talking to the cat, I’ll go to a nearby Starbucks to write.
I live in Connecticut with my husband, Andrew, who constantly has to answer the question “Is this funny?” along with our cats, Doski and Milo, and our puppy, Toby.
I still doodle in the margins.