Sandy Carruthers was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1962. His family moved to Prince Edward Island when he was five. Sandy grew up there and attended Holland College, where he trained as a graphic artist. After a few years in the field, Sandy attended Sheridan College in Ontario studying Illustration. After that, he moved back to PEI in 1989 and illustrated comics for Malibu Graphics in California. In 1992, he began teaching Graphic Design full time at the very college he trained at. He continues to do comic projects on the side. Between his full time work and comic art, Sandy is kept pretty busy! He currently lives in Mount Albion with his partner Holly and three cats. Their home is an 80 year old story-and-a-half country home, with a separate studio on a half acre of land.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
When I was very young, I enjoyed any book from Syd Hoff and Dr. Suess. I also had a collection of books with Walter Cranes wonderful illustrations. My tastes soon switched up to Jack London and J. R. R. Tolkien as well Burroughs Tarzan. I soon started reading Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov, and got into reading MAD magazine and superhero comics.
My favorite book as a child had to be The Hobbit. Or Lost Worlds. It’s a toss-up.
What’s your favorite line from a book?
“What to do if you find yourself stuck with no hope of rescue: Consider yourself lucky that life has been good to you so far. Alternatively, if life hasn’t been good to you so far, which given your present circumstances seems more likely, consider yourself lucky that it won’t be troubling you much longer.” —Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
Authors: Douglas Adams, Spider Robinson, Alan Moore
Illustrators: Joe Kubert, Bilal, Moebius (this list goes on, by the way…)
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
I started drawing at a young age. It was comics and MAD magazine that made me get into it, though. They’re to blame! I was extremely fascinated with the storytelling aspect of sequential art, and I still am. It’s amazing when a page transforms from a 2-D object (the paper) into a 3-D form. I liked telling stories visually, and loved to draw, so comics seemed the natural fit!
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Get formally trained at a reputable art school! Sure, there are those out there that are self-taught, but nothing beats going to school to sit around and draw all day. It will give you the foundation to gain perspective and hone your skills for the professional market which has sharp teeth and not very friendly at times. Be sure to keep having fun, and enjoy the moments you get it right. Go to comic conventions and have pros critique your work. This is invaluable for you as a budding artist. Most of all . . . practice, practice, practice. It is said that to master anything, you must commit 1,000 hours to it. Good luck! Did I tell you to have fun?