PopLurker Interviews: Pop Culture Artist Patrick Owsley

PATRICK CONVENTION PIC.jpgWould you please introduce yourself for PopLurker readers? What is your name, where do you live, and what sort of art do you produce?
I’m “Pop Culture Cartoonist” Patrick Owsley. You’ve seen my work in comic books, on DVD/Blu-ray packaging, CD covers, t-shirts…everywhere!  I create cartoon art for licensing, publishing, advertising, logo design, lettering, character design and more!  My clients include:  Hanna-Barbera (The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo), The Simpsons (Bongo Comics), DreamWorks (Underdog, Tennessee Tuxedo, Mr. Magoo, Rankin/Bass’ Frosty the Snowman and Jackson 5, Felix the Cat, Rocky and Bullwinkle), Warner Bros. (Looney Tunes: Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Daffy Duck), Cartoon Network, Disney, DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Archie Comics, Golden Books, Spumco, Funko, Applause, Miser Bros. Press, Peanuts Worldwide, Sesame Street, Nickelodeon, and many private art commissions!

I was born and raised in Michigan City, IN on Sept. 29, 1963. Michigan City is located in Northwest Indiana, right on the shore of Lake Michigan…about 50 miles east of Chicago. I’m 55 years old. I’ve been drawing since a very early age. I can remember sitting in front of our TV set at about age 4 or 5, drawing the cartoon characters that I was watching…this would have been the Hanna-Barbera characters, Looney Tunes, Rocky and Bullwinkle (all Jay Ward cartoons), Underdog, (all Total TeleVision cartoons). My Dad, Jim Owsley, was an artist. He did sign painting…all by hand…truck and boat lettering, too. He also worked full-time as an Order Editor at US Steel in Gary, IN. My Mom was a teacher in the Michigan City Area Schools…elementary, high school, and taught Special Education. Both he and my Mom encouraged my art, and always made sure I had art supplies! I remember my Dad drawing Bugs Bunny for me when I was little…and also The Phantom!  Great memories!


What are some of your favorite things? Like, anything, really. Tell us about yourself!
Aside from creating pop culture cartoon art, some of my favorite things include spending time with my wife, Leslie…and our dog, Mickey! I enjoy my pop culture collection of vintage TV show/cartoon merchandise, Silver and Bronze Age (60s and 70s) comic books (mostly DC, but a lot of Marvel and Hanna-Barbera Dell/Gold Key, too). I’m a Baseball fan…I’ve been a Chicago Cubs fan since 1969! I enjoy many types of mid-century music.
I’m still a KISS fan!…I’ve been a fan since 1975. I love classic TV cartoons! Hanna-Barbera, Jay Ward, and Total TeleVision are at the top of my list. I love 1960s and 1970s TV shows (especially “Batman” with Adam West and Burt Ward). A large part of my pop culture collection are 60s and 70s Batman items. I’m a great fan of classic monster movies, especially the Universal monsters. I have a big collection of the 1960s Aurora Universal monster model kits. I just love 1960s and 1970s pop culture…TV, movies, merchandise, and music!
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How has the public/the fandom received your work? Are people typically nice about what they see or do they nit-pick?
I’ve always been very pleased with the public/fandom reception of my work. The majority of my artwork is done for Licensing…mostly 1960s TV cartoon characters for Hanna-Barbera (Warner Bros.) and DreamWorks. I see people’s faces light up, smiling as they’re looking over my artwork and prints on my Convention Artist Alley table. I get the same exact sense from people’s comments about my artwork posts on social media. My work takes them back to a fun time in their lives, and to a wonderful era of entertainment. People are typically more than nice when they see my art. I’d say they’re more happy about seeing characters they grew up with still being used on various products of today.
When did you know that a lifetime of art was in your inevitable future? Is this a hobby or a career? How do you make time for the things that you love?
I always had an interest in art, and drew all the years through school…yet, I went to Vincennes University (in Vincennes, IN) after graduating from Michigan City’s Marquette High School in 1982, to study Broadcasting. I eventually became uninterested in the Broadcasting curriculum, and decided to go back to my true passion…Art. I enrolled at Columbia College Chicago in the Fall of 1984, and received my BA in Illustration in 1988. I was then living in Chicago freelancing for comic book companies, magazines, advertising agencies, PR firms…any illustration work I could pick up. I was doing a lot of hand-lettering for comics at the time for DC, Marvel, Disney Comics, Dark Horse, First Comics, Malibu Comics, and Chaos Comics.
In early 1993, Malibu Comics offered me a staff job as a Letterer, and offered to move me out to the Los Angeles area. I took the job, and moved to the Los Angeles area in May of 1993. That job lasted until 1996, then I went towork for Applause, Inc. as a Product Designer…I designed merchandise for Sesame Street, Nickelodeon, Peanuts, Looney Tunes, and Disney.  I left Applause in late 1997, and went to work as a Character Artist/Inker for Warner Bros. Consumer Products in Burbank, CA.

I was doing a lot of licensing character art inking for Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera. It was great working on character art of The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig…all of the characters I grew up watching on TV.  I later became the licensing cartoonist for Underdog and many of the Total TeleVision characters such as Tennessee Tuxedo, Go-Go Gophers, King Leonardo, Tooter Turtle, Klondike Kat, etc….this was for Classic Media in NYC (now DreamWorks)…also did character art of Mr. Magoo, Felix the Cat and Rankin/Bass’ Jackson 5 for Classic Media.

Creating cartoon art is definitely a career!
I get so busy with work…I guess I simply TAKE the time to do other things I love to do.
When did you decide to make the leap into Pop Culture art? What was the show or movie that really inspired that for you?
I made that “leap” into pop culture cartoon art back in the late 1980s…1988/1989 to be more specific. That was the time when I really became nostalgic about theTV cartoons, comic books, movies, and music that really shaped me to become who I am today. There are SO many TV cartoons/shows/movies that really inspired me…the 1960s TV cartoons really did it. Especially the Hanna-Barbera cartoons.The “limited animation” of the 60s TV cartoons has so much charm…it’s like watching a moving comic book!
What would you say are your biggest fandoms? The ones you enjoy most or consider yourself part of?
Again, a lot of the mid-twentieth century entertainment. The 1966-1968 BATMAN TV show is definitely one of my biggest fandoms!
Where do you currently sell your pieces? Are you in the convention scene? How far do you travel to build your platform?
I offer my artwork and prints online. I have an online store– patrickowsley.bigcartel.com
My Ebay seller ID is — patrickowsley
When I appear at various conventions, I offer all of my available original artwork and cartoon art prints at my Artist Alley table.
I am in the “convention scene”. I appear at most of the conventions that are local to the Los Angeles area. I’ve traveled as far as Dallas, TX for the North Texas Comic Book Show to meet my fans. I’m very open to traveling to appear at conventions to meet the fans. If you’re reading this and would like to see me as a Guest at your nearby comic book convention, just have the convention contact me. Perhaps we can make it happen.
Is there anything new in the pipeline for you? Do you have any upcoming projects or secrets you want to share with us here at PopLurker?
Well…there IS a very secret project that I am currently working on. But, I’m not allowed to share any details whatsoever. You’ll just have to wait and see. Other than that, I’m currently in talks with DreamWorks to do vintage-style (classic Little Golden Books style) artwork of Underdog and Rocky and Bullwinkle. Very similar to the Flintstones artwork I did recently for Hanna-Barbera Licensing (Warner Bros.). I’m always doing private commissions, too. Contact me if you want to get on my commissions list!
How can our readers find you and your awesome work?
Come and meet me! —
Pasadena Comic Con – Jan. 27th at the Pasadena Convention Center, Pasadena, CA
Long Beach Comic Expo – Feb. 16th & 17th at the Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, CA
Santa Clarita Comic & Toy Expo – Feb. 24th at the College of the Canyons (EPEK Building), Valencia, CA
San Fernando Valley Comic Book Convention – March 3rd at the Granada Hills Pavillion, Granada Hills, CA
Online store — patrickowsley.bigcartel.com
Ebay seller ID — patrickowsley
website — patrickowsley.com
Instagram — patrickowsley
Twitter — @PatrickOwsley

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