A Conversation with Draw Stanley Shaw, Cartoonist

Tonight we’ve invited one of Tacoma’s most prolific illustrators, Mr. Stan Shaw, into our temple lounge for an intimate conversation about his art, his life and his dreams yet to be realized. A reclusive and mysterious cartoonist, on odd numbered days (spirit willing), you can see him in the peripheral of a  C.L.A.W. sketchbook open swim meeting… he’ll be the tall, dark and scimitar wielding gentlemen reminiscent of Morgan Freeman’s character from the 1991 film Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. Really, there is no mistaking Mr. Stan Shaw.


CLAW: Describe your methods of art production. Do you use a wacom tablet directly in Photoshop? Or do you sketch then pen+ink first?

STAN SHAW: Basically, I use tricks learned while traveling with Circus folk and grifters. But I do favor a few tools. My personal favorites are crow quill pens, Hunt 102 and the Intel Mac. I’ve worked conventionally (pen and ink, brush, cow chips, airbrush, pencil) and digitally (Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, Painter, Sketchbook Pro, and InDesign) switching between a mouse and a pen stylus. I give clients fairly tight sketches for approval or feedback then develop from there using whatever tool or method works best for the project.

As far as comics go, look and speed are two big factors. For an Oscar Wilde story in Graphic Classics, I did very, very rough, tiny thumbnails in pencil, then went directly to producing final art in Painter. That went blindingly fast. (Thanks for reminding me.) For “Near Art” in City Arts, there were a bunch of steps: rough sketch, script, rough with lettering, tight pencils, blue-line pencil, corrections, inked art, colored art and finally, lettering. Slow going: two hours vs three days.

When I create art for myself, I work however. There’s usually some procedural experiment going on. Or inebriation.


CLAW: You have worked with graphic giants like Art Chantry; your name invokes trembling from within the creative forces behind Beautiful Angle. How did you get to be so awesome? PART II: On a scale from 1 to awesome, how awesome are you.

STAN SHAW: Part I: Clean living and vitamins. Part II: Awesome is like a box of chocolates. There’s always the unexpected nut inside. Or, god forbid, some unidentifiable goo. I think Art, Lance and Tom are awesome. I find what they do so inspiring that it makes me want to do better stuff. (I feel a tremble coming on.)


CLAW: Stan Shaw is a name synonymous with attractively drawn people, especially the ladies. Describe your moral perspective when it comes to nudity. Where do you draw the line (if you know what I mean)?

STAN SHAW: Moral perspective about rendering nudity? People are more willing to laugh at nudity than drool over it. Except for fans of internet porn (Mark, you know who you are.). Off the record? My cartoon characters look better in clothes.


CLAW: What projects are you currently working on? What are some of your favorite projects? What is your take on the Obama with Hitler-stash phenomenon popular with republicans and other crazy people?

STAN SHAW: Current Work? Top secret wet work covert operations for a certain large software company to the north.

Fav Work? I like fun. I like cool. I like to think and challenge my abilities. I’ve been illustrating a weekly political column for The Village Voice. That’s interesting. Mostly, though, I like work that pays since, you know, Illustration is how I make my living.


And I’m always looking for work: Please contact hey@drawstanley.com for a free estimate. Or share your budget, we’ll figure something out.

The Obama with the Hitler stash is real old school political cartooning stuff. But it lacks any real creativity. You can put a Hitler-stash on anything. (Try it at home! Kids, ask your parents first!) A more creative move had Obama sporting Vulcan ears.

For the record, I turned down a gig that was Obama-hatin’.


CLAW: Why wont you join CLAW already? What are you afraid of… ? Stowe?

STAN SHAW: We should all be afraid of Stowe. He’s permanently connected to a computer via his Wacom. Maybe he’s a cyborg? Besides, HE DECORATES CAKES! That can’t be a good sign. And you’re mistaken. I am a member of CLAW, just not in the way most members become members, you know, by actually joining. And I don’t wear the fez or pay the dues or go to all the meetings.


for more information on Mr. Stan Shaw visit http://drawstanley.com or subscribe to his blog feed here at http://www.drawstanley.blogspot.com/

But wait there’s more!


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