Scholarship Winner 2010

ARISE: Amelia Davis, young cartoonist of the future!

CLAW Scholarship Winner 2010

Every year The CLAW selects one lucky “at risk youth” (at risk of being seriously awesome) and awards them the YOUNG CARTOONIST OF THE FUTURE Scholarship consisting of a over-sized novelty check for photographic purposes and a large sum of money. This year The CLAW was able to AWARD $370 dollars to Ms. Amelia Davis, an art student at Cogswell Polytechnical College in Sunnyvale, California.

CLAW Scholarship Winner 2010

While Amelia tries to eat her novelty check, why don’t you browse her inventory of amazing illustration art here at Yes!!!! Excelsior!

Learn more about the CLAW scholarship and see past winners here.

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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 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 or subscribe to his blog feed here at

But wait there’s more!


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A Conversation with Zina Saunders, Palinologist

CLAW is please to present this brief conversation with professional political illustrator Zina Saunders.  Zina Saunders has been a writer-illustrator for more than 15 years. In addition to contributions in a variety of periodicals (including The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, The Progressive, The Nation, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Foreign Policy Magazine), her client list includes Chronicle Books, Simon & Schuster, Random House, Scholastic, and Oxford University Press.


CLAW:  Can you tell our readers a bit about your illustration process? Do you start with a sketch? Ink/Color or Scan directly into photoshop, use a wacom etc?

ZS: I do a sketch the old-fashioned way: pencil on paper. I print out photo reference, if I have it, in black and white; I’ve tried in the past printing out ref in color but the color of the photos is distracting, I find. Then, depending on the piece and how much time I have and how I’m feeling about it, I’ll lay down some washes and stuff in gouache and scan that in and finish painting it digitally, or simply scan in the sketch and paint it entirely digitally.

I’m a very early riser, and pretty much all the campaign pictures were done between 3 and 6 in the morning, before I settled down to my regularly scheduled assignments for the day.

CLAW:  Adding Sarah Palin to the Republican ticket is considered by many political cartoonists a boon or a gift from god. Your Palin illustrations are obviously divinely inspired… can you friggin believe that?


ZS: What I can’t believe is that McCain chose her as his running mate. The painting I did of them entitled “The Morning After” truly illustrates what I think they both felt on November 5th. I know I’ve felt that way myself on more than one occasion!

By the way, I collected all my campaign satires into a book called “The Party’s Over”, available on Blurb and all the paintings can be seen in the Politics section of my website, in case your readers would like to see what we’re talking about.

CLAW: How much of a role does anger play in your political illustrations?


ZS: Plenty! I think anger is a great spark. When people tick me off it’s easy to skewer them, and to come up with ideas on how to do it.

CLAW:  Above all other political cartoonists you have managed to capture Mrs. Palin’s berserker snarl with frightening accuracy. Have you ever been to Alaska? (full disclosure: I’m from Juneau, Alaska).

ZS: No, I’ve never been up there, though if the place it littered with Palinesque individuals…well, I ain’t making plane reservations anytime soon.


About the insanely meat-eating expressions I did for my Palin satires: I used myself as a model for all her expressions. I’ve always used myself as the model for facial expressions. I have a hand mirror that I’ve grimaced and growled and snarled into for years.

CLAW: Many of our members/readers are intense fans of science fiction. Are there any behind the scenes stories you can share with us about your [Norman Saunders] dad’s Mars Attacks cards?  Does a science fiction background help you articulate (in illustration form) the horrors in real-life politics?

ZS: Hmmmm…well, I can tell you that my dad didn’t take Mars Attax seriously at all (it was just a job of “bug-eyed monsters” for him), and he was shocked when he discovered,at the one and only comic convention he ever attended, that he was a revered iller.

I have a little anecdote that I’ve often told about me and my dad’s paintings when I was a little kid. And it’s a true one. Here it is:

I used to “correct” my dad’s paintings, when he was away from his drawing board. Usually that would involve painting extra glamorous eyelashes on his damsels in distress. Years later, in my 20’s, I asked Dad if he knew that I used to do that and he said, “Of course I knew! I’d just go back in and paint them out.” It blows my mind, how patient he was about that. I’d kill a kid for doing that to my stuff!

CLAW:  Any money making/saving advice you’d like to share with your fellow artisans  (example: I recently purchased a pencil extender handle which lets me continue to use the pencil all the way to the nub)?


ZS: Hey! That’s funny you mention that pencil extender thing! I teach a senior thesis illustration class at The University of The Arts, and one of my students hipped me to that extender thing just last week. I’d honestly never seen one of those before!

Hmmm…trying to think of other tips… well, not buying stuff is a good way to save.

CLAW: Thanks for your time Zina!

Thanks for asking me to blather on!

CLAW: for more information on Zina Saunders visit

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