VIEWS: 9 PAGES: 1 POSTED ON: 12/13/2009
8000 W. 78th St. • Suite 310 • Edina, MN 55439 • 800.800.1312 Award-winning pirate artist shares his artistic advice for students Don Maitz is an internationally recognized and acclaimed artist best known for his pirate illustrations. He’s won the Hugo Award, science fiction’s accolade for best artist, twice. He has received a Howard award from the World Fantasy Convention, a Silver Medal and Certificates of Merit from New York’s Society of Illustrators, and ten Chesley awards from his peers in the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists. Don’s art is featured throughout our best-selling series Pirates, published from ABDO Publishing Company (for series information visit www.abdopublishing.com). ABDO Publishing: Thanks for joining us! Pirates are on the minds of millions of kids these days. As an artist who’s painted so many pirates over the years, what did you think of the recent series of popular movies? Do you see any of your work or style in the costumes and sets? Don Maitz: I have enjoyed the pirate movies very much. Not just the recent Disney series but others as well. A favorite is the Turner production of Treasure Island, with Christian Bale as Hawkins and Charlton Heston as Long John. This production stayed very close to the original book and even took visual cues from N.C. Wyeth illustrations in the classic Scribners’ edition. I did not recognize any of my style in any of the movies - although one of the extras in the first Pirates of the Caribbean film informed me that when they were on the tall ship, The Lady Washington, and they were to be filmed by a passing helicopter, this actor got up in the bowsprit and struck a pose from one of my paintings as the chopper with the camera flew by. If he indeed did do this — I did not catch it seeing the film. ABDO Publishing: We’ve heard students love to trace the drawings in our books. How long have you been drawing pirates? Don Maitz: I drew my first pirate at age thirteen when I sent two drawings to an art correspondence school. I saw an advertisement for the Famous Artist Correspondence School on the back of a comic book that had Norman Rockwell saying something like — “If you can draw this picture of Bambi and this picture of a Pirate — we can turn you into an artist”! I took the course and I guess it worked! ABDO Publishing: What advice would you give to young people who want to draw pirates? Don Maitz: Draw LOTS of them. I was told by one of my art school professors, Herbert Gute, who taught watercolor when I was enrolled at the Paier School of Artin Hamden, CT, that “THE FIRST THOUSAND ARE THE HARDEST!” If a young person has the will to draw a thousand pirates, I guarantee that young person will draw them very well when they get into the upper 900’s.