Creative Quarantine: Cartoonist David DeGrand

Social Distancing Suit | © David DeGrand

1. How are you holding up?

All things considered, I’m doing pretty well for the most part. Having been an introvert my whole life it is not a struggle whatsoever for me to stay away from crowds or people in general. I mainly feel bad for my eight-year-old son who deeply misses playing with his friends, but he’s handling everything probably much better than I would have at his age.

2. Has Covid-19 had an effect on your work? If so, in what way?

Thankfully I was able to get a few projects in the works before the pandemic hit, so that was a bullet dodged. I’m not sure how much harder it would be currently to try and sell a book idea to a publisher, but I’m guessing it would have made it much more difficult. I illustrated a children’s book for Workman Publishing called Twisted Tongues by Kit Lively that will be coming out in October, and I’m hoping the current situation won’t put a damper on some fun promotional plans we have, but who knows. I feel so bad for a lot of artists and writers that had work coming out right in the middle of all this that can’t do book tours or make appearances to promote their work. That makes it really tough. I have noticed that in my personal work I’ve been drawing a lot more weird, twisted, and gross imagery that’s probably just a reflection of my state of mind, and everyone else’s. I’ve always let off steam by drawing and this situation has been no different, I’m really glad I have art as an outlet.

Bunker Inspector | © David DeGrand

3. Is there anything you’ve added to your practice that you’d like to keep after this is over?

Since comic convention season has all been shot and I can’t sell art in artist’s alley anywhere, I recently started offering reduced price digital-only commissions. That way I avoid all direct contact and people can still have an original piece that they’re free to print out themselves or put on t-shirts or whatever they like. It’s been a pretty good success and has brought in some much needed extra cash that I used to count on from conventions. I am very grateful to everyone that has been supportive of me, I know everyone is hurting and all I know how to do it make art that hopefully puts a smile on someone’s face, at least temporarily.

4. Of the artists you follow, who’s handling this particularly well?  

I’ve been really inspired by Mike Mignola’s pencil sketches that he’s been posting and then auctioning off for charity. I can’t think of a better way for a cooped up artist to spend their time than to keep doing what they do best and helping others in the process. 

David DeGrand is a cartoonist from Texas. His work has appeared in MAD Magazine, SpongeBob Comics and MTV. He is currently working on a children’s book about snot.