Meet a Real, Live Artist (Part 1) – Interview with Chris Lackey

A kid recently asked us: what does an artist do? And we thought: good question! Then we thought: hey, we know some artists, let’s find out. And tada, just like that a new Kidoodle post series was born: “Meet a Real Live Artist”. We hope you can read these to your kids to spark their imagination, get them even more excited about art, and let them get a glimpse of the wide range of creative jobs out there.


We are ridiculously tickled (more tickled than a pirate who has just discovered a hidden barrel of grog after being lost at sea for 10 weeks) to start off this series by having you meet one of our all time favorite artists:

Mr Christopher Lackey

We have known Chris for 15 years and were lucky enough to have him put his creative genius towards creating some of the Pirate Scribblebeard characters (forever indebted to you Chris). Here’s what he had to say to a few questions we sent his way:

1. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Chris Lackey and I’m a comic book writer and illustrator. I did a lot of work in animation over the years as well (and still do some projects here and there), but right now comic books are my bread and butter.

2. What was your favorite thing to draw as a kid?
Dinosaurs! I was always drawing a Triceratops fighting a T. rex. Robots were also fun because they were just made up of squares! So easy to draw!

3. Why did you become an artist?
I think everyone is an artist in one way or another. I just thought it would be a cool way to make a living! I always loved monsters and creatures and went to art school with a focus in special makeup effects and prop design. But when I graduated college, computers were really coming into their own and lots of folks were making movie effects with them. So I moved from working with my hands to using a computer and moved into design and animation, which I love. I’ve read comics since I was 4 years old, so I’m stoked that I’m doing it professionally now.

4. Apart from Pirate Scribblebeard, what is your favorite creative project you have ever worked on?
It’s so hard to choose! I loved working for Warner Bros. web department. I got to animate some of my favorite characters (Scooby-Doo, Sylvester the Cat, Tweety Bird) and it was a great crew. I’m most proud of my new graphic novel, Deadbeats and my upcoming book Transreality. I think they’re super neat!

5. What would you say to a pirate who wanted to be an artist when they grew up?
Work hard! Draw or sculpt or paint or whatever your media of choice is and make lots and lots of projects. Always be working and practicing. If you want to have 10 pieces in your portfolio, make 100 and take the best 10 to show. It’s hard not to get that gratification of showing off your work right away, but it keeps you improving and becoming a better artist. And be nice to everyone! Almost all my work comes from people I’ve met, so make sure you try to meet as many people you can. You never know who your next client will be!

6. What do you want to be when you grow up?
I’m already doing it! Who needs to grow up?

Thanks so much Chris, and check out more of Chris’ work here.

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