Interview and Photo by Jason Setnyk
Cornwall, Ontario – Neil Carriere is an accomplished artist and comic book author of Pip the Goblin. He is currently president of Your Arts Council (YAC) and has extensive experience as an artist with drawings and dabbling in paintings. Also, he is a high school drama teacher and stand-up comedian. Neil’s work captivates audiences of all ages.
Five Questions with The Seeker
1 – What is your artistic education and background? Are you self-taught, did you do an apprenticeship, or go to art school?
“I only really got into the art scene approximately five years ago when I took an art course while I had taken some time off work as a school teacher. The teacher then showed me how to have fun with art, gave me a blank sketchbook, and told me to fill it up. So I did; then I filled up another and another, and now I am in the habit of drawing or painting almost daily. I post many of these drawings on my Instagram under my name. One of my greatest pleasures is pulling out an old sketchbook and seeing what I am doing now compared to what I was doing when I first started and even glancing at all my instagram posts from then to now shows me that drawing every day has had immense benefits to my skill.”
2 – What is your preferred artistic medium, and what do you like about it?
“I carry a sketchbook around with me almost everywhere I go, and when I have any downtime or waiting for an appointment, or just need to pass the time, I will draw something. It is something that calms me and allows me to destress. I love this medium because it requires very few supplies, and I can pull it out at any time and be ready to go. Painting is also a lot of fun, and I can get lost in the colours and process, but it requires a little more preplanning.”
3 – Tell us about your creative process. Do you plan each piece out, or does the art take shape as you work?
“As for my creative process, I tend to like drawing prompts which can easily be found online or in several drawing books. What I enjoy, then, is trying to adapt the prompt into something a little different or reflects my love of fantasy or cartooning. For example, if the prompt is something like a day a beach, I might draw a funny cartoon of someone swimming away from a shark as opposed to just a normal beach scene. Often I have a picture in my head of what I want it to look like, and then as I draw, I let it evolve. Sometimes, I will look up pictures on the internet as a reference for my own drawings.”
4 – What is the most challenging thing that you’ve created?
“The most challenging thing I’ve ever created was my self-published comic book, Pip the Goblin. I currently have five issues out. I tried to do it monthly, but being the only person working on it made that nearly impossible. A lot of work goes into making a book like that, including the writing, the drawing, the editing, the inking, and then the sales and marketing. Perhaps if I become more of a success, I can hire others to help and make my dream of a monthly issue a reality, but for now, I’m just happy to see the response I get from people who say they really enjoy reading it. Despite the challenges, it makes me feel great when I get people anxiously asking me for the next issue.”
5 – Do you participate in events or art shows, or exhibits? Tell us about that.
“I really enjoy attending art shows and I have done shows in Cornwall, Kemptville, and Ottawa. There is something electric about being around other creative people, and I love talking to others about their work and mine. We have some very talented people in our area, and I enjoy seeing all that talent on display at our various gatherings, such as the Art Walk or Apples and Arts! After the pandemic, I remember at the Art Walk being so happy to see people and people dancing to music that I felt like I had been drinking all night from all of the endorphins.”