San Diego, California, United States
Everett's drawings have appeared on the cover of The New Yorker, Playboy, Rolling Stone and Time, as well as in numerous books, comics and movie posters. He has participated in gallery shows in Tokyo, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C., and has written animated cartoons for Rugrats, The Critic, and a series based on one of his own cartoon characters: Duckman.
Originally created as a comic book that was first published by Dark Horse in 1990, in 1994 Duckman was turned into an animated series for the USA Network. During its four-year run, it won the CableACE Award, and was nominated for four Emmys.
Everett also created the Cartoon Network series Squirrel Boy, which ran from 2006 to 2008, although it was not as critically acclaimed as Duckman.
Additional work includes character design for four animated TV series from Sony Pictures (Jumanji, Extreme Ghostbusters, Men In Black: The Series and Godzilla: The Series) a slew of print ads for Nike and Honda, and several station IDs for UPN.
Samples of Everett's personal sketches appear in the book It's Not My Fault, a companion piece to his 2011 solo exhibition at the Oceanside Museum of Art.
INterview with Everett:
How old were you when first realized you wanted to become an artist?
I guess I was always an artist. By that I mean as long as I can remember I always had a passion for drawing and trying to express ideas in that way. The social tag of being an “artist” came along much later. I just remember being inspired and encouraged by others along the way. I don’t remember starting to draw, it’s just something I’ve always done as long as I can remember. I do remember thinking maybe I could make a living doing this somewhere around second grade. Walt Disney and reading comics inspired that idea. I knew somehow those people got PAID for drawing!
I had a problem with compulsively drawing in my textbooks, especially in Jr, High and High school. The idea was to check out the books, use them for the year and then return them for the next group of students to use the following year. Most of the time my books where so drawn up my parents ended up having to buy them. You can imagine that didn’t go over very well. Sometimes I would turn them in at the last minute and get them through. I remember walking down the hall one year and a kid came up to me and asked if I was Everett Peck. I told him I was and he proceeded to tell me he had gotten my textbook from the previous year and I was a very good artist.
Is there an artist whose work you admire and that have inspired you?
Walt Disney was one of my very earliest influences both through the weekly TV show and a trip to Disneyland as a kid. I remember walking through an attraction called “The Art of Animation,” that really knocked me out! I also really liked Mad Magazine, especially Jack Davis, Don Martin, and Basil Wolverton. And of course comics. There used to be a great comic store in Oceanside on Hill Street (now PCH) called the Coronet. One of my favorite things to do would be to ride my bike down there, get a new comic and a candy bar and get busy.
I liked all kinds of comics but I especially enjoyed Carl Bark’s Donald Duck series. Well drawn with great stories. I also enjoyed Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse Comics (always much more interesting than any Mickey Mouse animated cartoon, except maybe “Mickey’s Trailer”). Loved the Phantom Blot. I was crazy about war comics like Sergeant Rock drawn by Joe Kubert. I really liked the way he drew smoke and a firing machine gun “Ratattattat”! I also liked most anything with monsters in it and was also quite taken with the wacky single panel cartoons of Virgil Partch (VIP) and Gahan Wilson. It was also around this time that I became entranced with airplanes, cars and motorcycles and the allusive art of Von Dutch and the not so allusive Ed “Big Daddy” Roth.
When I got to Oceanside High School I was pleased to find a great art teacher there named John Goddard (nephew to the famous rocket pioneer, Robert Goddard.) It was there that I became enamored with the facile drawing styles of 19th century European pen drawers, especially Heinrich Kley as well as more contemporary chaps like the great Ronald Searle. I also flipped over the underground comic movement and poster art. I especially liked Rick Griffin, Robert Crumb, and Victor Moscoso. When I was in college at Long Beach State the artists of Push Pin Studios and Heinz Edelmann were quite popular with us students.
I would say some of the artists I admire the most today are painters like, Philip Guston, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel and the not so much a painter, Jeff Koons.
What clues might you provide to help viewers understand your art?
Like most artists, my work is very personal. It usually pertains to what I’m going through at a particular time or what social phenomenon might catch my attention, my hobbies, etc. Some artists work from the outside in others from the inside out; I guess I’m the latter. All my characters have a little bit of me in them.
Can you describe your creative process?
Illustration is an application, the visual enhancement to another person’s written concept. You are generally also coordinating with other people like an Art Director and Editor. Painting is a pure expression of an internal interest or idea. Your only “client” is yourself and your audience. When I approach a painting I usually have a general idea of what I want to do. Sometimes I make a few chalk sketches on the canvas and begin. Sometimes I go straight ahead, other times I fumble around. I often do a lot of repainting, sometimes completely over painting what I had done earlier. I spend a lot of time sitting back in my old beat up recliner trying to figure out what to do next.