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Design Spotlight: Bruce Bolinger

September 9, 2014

Our Design Spotlight falls today on Bruce Bolinger of Lucid Moment, a very successful and talented artist who joined GCU in October 2013. We love his humor!

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I suppose my first paying professional job was far back in high school, designs for a man who built travel campers. Decades have passed and I find myself still creating, still loving every minute of the experience and hoping I can finish my last sketch at the 100 year mark. I’ve done a huge variety of artwork over the years from cartoons to oil paintings, from charts and graphs to t-shirts, and from illustrations to photography.

Midway through my freelance career I decided to concentrate on sliding from illustration into cartooning. My wife and I had run a freelance artwork supply proprietorship to book publishers for about 15 years and decided to make that change. The transition took time but I eventually landed in the fantastic position of being “inker” for the late and great cartoonist Don Martin. At that time Don had switched from Mad Magazine to Cracked Magazine, Mad’s rival for 40 years and Don was looking for an assistant. I was privileged to work with many of the writers and cartoonists that were originally with Mad but moved to Cracked for various reasons. An “inker” is the artist that transforms the tight pencil roughs of the originator into the final inked version that goes to publication.

I finished Don’s works for three years and moved on to work for the magazine as writer and cartoonist for 12 years, almost up until its closure. Since the demise of the magazine I have freelanced for numerous companies and have cartoons in as many places as will have me. I have done cards for Recycled, The Paper House, Off The Wall, etc. I have cartoons on line at a couple websites that supply cartoons to books, magazines and newspapers. I came to Greeting Card Universe several months back following the advice of a fellow cartoonist who recommended the community as one that supported creative efforts. I’ve found that to be true and hope the relationship will last.

I’ve been one of the fortunate ones that has freelanced from home since the 70’s. My daily commute consists of one flight of stairs, pausing at the coffee machine and sitting in the studio, sometimes in my underwear, sometimes in someone else’s.

Currently my process combines old-school art and computer finishes. I still work at the drawing board creating black and white line cartoon art on illustration board. The cartoon work is scanned in, type and color added, then transmitted to GCU. I work in that method because I can create true cartoon originals, one-of-a-kind, hold-in-your-hand artwork that usually winds up framed, many times covering a hole in someone’s man cave. I still hold to the school of thought that originals exist outside the computer and the experience of creating artwork in that manner should be at least experienced by each and every artist. The feel and feedback of hand-to-canvas is being lost.

The original black and white cartoons I create are also sold online on Ebay and provide a great secondary market. I’ve even developed a collector following that surprises me.

My cards on GCU are the current incarnations of many of my past cartoons. I always try to create “timeless” material that remains humorous for a lifetime. Humor is my way to deliver verse in all the GCU categories. I strive for tying the verse somehow to the cartoon scene or text on the cover and delivering a card that makes someone smile. Humor is universal and apparently because of my exposure on Greeting Card Universe someone spotted my efforts and has offered syndication of my cartoons in, of all places, Sweden.

It’s ironic but the man I worked for in the early 90’s, Don Martin, was the most popular cartoonist in Sweden in those years. Now I have just signed a 3-year contract and if I can keep the Swedes smiling they promise to send me money and maybe a discount on their IKEA furniture …

That’s hard to beat.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 9, 2014 7:46 am

    Fabulous artist, great write up, I really enjoyed reading it. Congratulations Bruce on all your talent and well deserved success – Natalie 🙂

  2. September 9, 2014 1:53 pm

    Very interesting and funny writing style as well as a cartoonist. I enjoyed reading your story. You should consider writing as well.

  3. September 9, 2014 2:07 pm

    What a great bio! I’m so glad that you have joined GCU and will add your talent to our site. I’m looking forward to your new designs and I wish you much success.
    Gail Pepin

  4. September 9, 2014 3:08 pm

    What a great read to wake up to this morning, Bruce. I love your sense of humor and card style! Cheers to being blessed with a short commute down the hall to the studio each morning after grabbing a cup of coffee … although, I must be doing something wrong, as I always seem to end up in my own underwear … wonder what I’m doing wrong? LOL!

    Really glad to have you as part of our GCU family!

  5. Audrey Ascenzo permalink
    September 9, 2014 5:43 pm

    Wonderful story, Bruce! I enjoyed reading your journey. Good luck on your new contract!
    Audrey Ascenzo

  6. September 9, 2014 6:12 pm

    Bruce, What a pleasure to meet you and to read the fun and interesting story of your career. Welcome to GCU and best of luck to you!

  7. September 9, 2014 6:53 pm

    Congrats Bruce on your latest venture! We are lucky to have GCU named in your ever growing portfolio. Thank you for sharing your entertaining story and creative illustrations & sense of humor!

  8. September 11, 2014 11:16 am

    Great story. I grew up surgically attached to MAD and I’m in awe. Glad you’re here. Congrats on the Sweden connection!

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