WS: Sir Wesley Stuart here, brilliant author of such noteworthy children's classics as “Blimey, the Teacher’s On Fire,” “Cake, Pie or Pigeons?” and “Let’s Fill Our Drawers…with Fun!” While the world has been abuzz—absolutely abuzz, I tell you—over my latest tour de force, Don’t Put Gum in the Fish Bowl, I’m afraid my talented artistic partner, Sirac, has been overshadowed by my (quite naturally) looming super-presence.
To right matters, I’ve allowed Sirac the pleasure of being interviewed by yours truly.
S: Hey Wesley, how are you doing?
WS: (Youth today...sigh...so uncouth). Let’s begin with your name, “Sirac.” I notice your moniker includes the designation, “Sir.” Now I, of course, am a true “Sir,” knighted by the Queen (rather, her lackey) herself. You, on the other hand, I think are not a royal knight. Defend yourself.
S: Well, not “royal” in the traditional sense but certainly someone YOU would want to kneel to.
WS: Harrumph... So, you see yourself rather like “Cher,” then. Possibly “Sting?”
Moving on, no time for pish posh… You’ve done an extraordinary job bringing my brilliant characters to life in Fish Bowl. Truly, you make them sing, nearly flying off the pages of my literary magnum opus. Besides myself, who or what are some of your artistic influences?
S: Well, I have to say that Norman Rockwell is one that is at the very top. His work has always fascinated me, even as a little boy. The other is a comic book artist by the name of Jim Lee. His comic work is just amazing.
WS: Actually, I detect animated cartoon sensibilities in your work on Fish Bowl. Of course, I would never view such a lowly art form myself, never would I stoop that low. The very idea of Sir Wesley Stuart watching cartoons is preposterous! I scoff! Be that as it may, have *sniff* cartoons influenced you?
S: That’s funny that you say that since we’ve just worked on a children’s book together…But anyway. Yes, cartoons have certainly influenced me. Most normal people grow up watching cartoons, but I didn’t stop there, I was also heavily influenced by Japanese animation.
WS: Yes. Well… Thank you for implying I'm above and beyond normal. But let's not make this all about me, shall we?
Your art absolutely flows and soars (literally) throughout Fish Bowl. The dear wee ones in the book—so breathtakingly delineated through my stellar prose—absolutely come to life. Did you use real children as the basis for their images? If so, how much did you pay the little ragamuffins?
S: Nope, I imagined all how they would look according to how you wrote them. As I read, all of a sudden, their images popped into my head and I went with it.
S: Yeah, you mean the one of 5 Original American art forms? Yes, comic books alongside with Jazz, also the source of some of the most money making cinematic franchises in the past 20 years. That’s where I started, drawing them since I was in the 2nd grade until now. Proud to say I started publishing my own a few years ago. But I’m also a fine artist and have been awarded many times for my pieces.
WS: Hmmph. I suppose there is a place for that and what not. I will say that your artwork, as always, is quite stellar, though. How does one acquire such funny-book periodicals?
WS: It’s come to my rather short attention span that you’re a commercial artist for hire. A rogue agent, if you will. What kind of art is your forte? Let us ponder a few choice examples.
S: Well, we’ve already discussed Comic Book art, I also specialize in Painting Portraits, Logo Design and Murals.
WS: Bravo, Sirac, bravo! Extremely versatile, an artiste of many hats. I’m particularly taken by your painting, “The Devil’s Court.” It’s quite reminiscent of a night of mine involving several snakes, copious amounts of rum, a vacuum cleaner, the bobbies, and my dear Auntie Cheroot. (A pity I can’t remember much of it.) What is the medium of choice you’ve indulged within said painting?
S: Yeah, it’s actually the “Desert’s Court”, with that said I prefer acrylic paint when airbrushing.
WS: Now I’m looking at what appears to be a self-portrait of yourself and your quite lovely wife. But I declare skullduggery! Are you, sir, attempting to pull the wool over our eyes by passing off a photograph as art? How dare you? And if this isn’t a photograph, how did you achieve such photo-realistic means?
S: Yup, it’s a painting all right. I used three of them as a matter of fact to get the desired composition. How did I achieve it? Lots and lots of patience. Yes, that best won me a Best of Show award. I’m a very thorough guy and I ‘shoot for photorealism’, get it, any chance I get.
WS: Let’s do not get a big head over matters, shall we, Sirac? You seem to be a man of many brushes. What are your favorite tools of the trade?
S: My favorite tools of the trade are a .5 mechanical pencil, a ballpoint pen, my airbrush and some of the rattiest brushes that I have. They paint the nicest hair believe it or not.
WS: Ye gads, man. Ratty brushes indeed.
What are you working on now? And what would you like to work on in the future?
S: I’m working on a partial nude commission, and a Batman/Dark Knight Trilogy collage in preparation for the local comic con in April. For the future I’d like to certainly do more of what I just listed as well as more books with you, if you’re up for it.
WS: Indeed I am up for it, sir! (And did you mention a partial nude? I...see. I may have to visit your studio to complete this interview).
Quite, quite. Where can patrons of the arts hire you out, my dear fellow? Please make it easy on our readers and list your links (tacky as it may be).
S: Everyone can find me on Facebook.com/SiracIncArt or can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org as well as email@example.com
WS: Mm-hm. Mm-hm. Fine and jolly. Finally, I’d like to ask you something weighing heavily on my readers’ minds… What do you like most about me?
S: Ooh, that’s a tough one, well if I had to find something... (Crickets)...(More time passes)...(Any day now)...Well I guess it would be your writing!
WS: Well, there you have the remarkable artiste, Sirac, dear readers. Please do pick up a copy of the extraordinary work of art, Don’tPut Gum in the Fish Bowl, by myself (and Sirac). It can be purchased at Barnes& Noble and the publisher’s website. Of course, if you don’t mind waiting, the laggards at Amazon offer it as well.