Ask Doug Dung beetle

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A Little Bird whispered that you’re an engineer as well as a cartoonist. Is this true?

Yes, it’s true

I’ve been a practising engineer for over 15 years now. Adding cartooning humour and creative book writing to my career portfolio has meant that from a left brain engineering perspective, I’ve had to skew things towards my right brain, to allow me to create books and cartoons with some degree of humour. This has been an ongoing journey, as there are other aspects which I’ve also had to tackle along the way. Let me explain with a simple mathematical formula…

Engineer ≠ Humour

To add to this challenge, I’ve had to overcome my genetics – both my parents are of German heritage (doesn’t mean I don’t love you Mum).

Engineer ^2(German heritage) ≠ Humour

I also need to address years of working in an engineering environment, where logic and rational is king, and lateral thinking is a whimsical concept.

Engineer ^2(German heritage) / (Logic + Rational) ≠ Humour

However, this only makes the journey more exciting. I’m embracing this challenge with enthusiasm and determination and hope this will start to swing the equation the other way.

{ Enthusiasm + Determination } – { Engineer ^ 2(German heritage)  / (Logic + Rational) } = Humour

So there you have it. The ultimate key is persistence which I put to the test daily – one cartoon and one book at a time.

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I love your drawings and want to use them on my next project. Are they free?

Well, it depends.

My work is licensed under a Creative Commons licence which basically gives you permission to share my work for non profit purposes, so long as you give me appropriate credit. Please read the license for full details.

If you want to go into a commercial business venture, then let’s talk a bit further about it. You can contact me by leaving a message on my Contact page.

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What software do you use to make your drawings?

I love to talk shop about the fantastic tools you can access these days as an artist.

My earlier work was hand drawn, scanned and imported into my iPad. From there I would add colour by using an app called Sketchbook pro and format the cartoon into a single panel.

I’ve moved on from there and gone totally software. I now use a fantastic app called iDraw. It’s a vector app meaning that ultimately I’m not restricted by pixel limitations which tends to be the case for most iPad drawing software. I can export my vector file to my Mac and make it as small or large as I wish, without losing resolution. I love the idea of blowing up one of my cartoons to print onto a billboard (one day, maybe).

iDraw is great for drawing, but I need another app to deal with layout and general formatting. I use ArtStudio for this and occasionally do some minor brush stroke tweaks to my cartoons to give it a bit of depth and contrast to the smooth iDraw brush palette.

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Do you have any merchandise?

I sure do. Check out my shops.

I’m always tweaking and adding new things to the sites. If you see something on my website and would love to see it in my shop, just let me know and I’ll look at placing it in the shop. Or maybe, you’d like a product that currently isn’t on offer. Let me know, I’m real and not just a heap of zeros and ones on the world wide web.

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The merchandise is pretty cool, but I prefer free. Do you have anything free?

Free! I love free too, which is precisely why I set up my Freebies page.

Check it out. I’ve got all sort of freebies for you to grab at the click of a button. And if you have a freebie idea I haven’t made yet, then let me know.

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Tell me some interesting things most people don’t know about you?

Well, alright. But just between you, me and the internet, OK?  Here are some things that come to mind.

  • Apparently (so my older sister loves to tell me), I was caught eating garden snails as a two year old in the backyard one day. The evidence is circumstantial at best – I was holding snails in my hands and I had a long slime drool from my mouth. Anyway, in my defence, who leaves their two year olds alone in the backyard these days anyway?
  • My first pet was a budgerigar and I called him Pip. The first street I lived in was Cintra avenue. If you’re wondering the significance of this, Google ‘first pet and street name’
  • When I was 12 years old I went to live in Germany for 4 months with my cousins. My parents were keen that I learnt the language by going to school with my cousins.
  • I used to have four eyes until laser surgery successfully removed two of them (the glass ones) 🙂
  • Inspired by both my daughters, who are black belts in taekwondo, I too have taken up the martial art and have recently passed my black belt grading.

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