Meet Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is an artist born and raised in Southern California. She started her cartooning career with a 10-page comic about her dog moonlighting as a superhero, and she has been smitten with the medium ever since. During college, she made comics about famous artists, and when she traveled across the pond for a master’s degree, Margherita continued to find the whimsical side of things with an illustrated story about life on the moon. She works as a writer and an artist for My Modern Met by day, and continues to practice drawing whenever (and wherever) she can. Margherita is the author of Cartooning Made EasyWe asked her a few questions about her artistic process.

Quarto Creates: How did you first become interested in illustration and cartooning?
Margherita Cole: I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember.

I was pretty shy as a child—I still am, actually—so I think drawing was a more natural way for me to express myself. My siblings and I watched cartoons often growing up, and I started making my own when I was around six or seven. They were mostly about our family dog, but the joy of making and sharing them definitely sparked a lifelong passion for cartooning and storytelling in general.

QC: What is your advice for those who want to try it but aren’t sure where to start?
MC: Starting is always the hardest part.

My answer isn’t very original, but I think learning the basics is just the best way. That really makes you prepared to take on different things. I would also recommend practicing drawing things that interest you—like animals, or people, or landscapes. Some people like keeping a sketchbook, but that can be a lot of pressure. Most of my practice in my teens was done on regular computer paper.

Also looking at other people’s art! Just observing how other people do things can teach you a lot.

QC: Who was your most influential teacher?
MC: I was mostly self-taught until I went to graduate school, but my parents did take me to some community art classes growing up.

There was a teacher there (I think she still teaches actually!) named Darlene Douthit. She was the one who really instilled in me the basics of breaking things down into shapes, especially as it related to drawing comics and cartoons.

QC: Have your finished products ever turned out different than your expectation, and how do you deal with that?
MC: Drawings always turn out slightly different than I imagine.

I think that’s something you have to learn to deal with as an artist. It’s perfect in my head, of course, but when I draw, things always change. I feel like I’m good at accepting it now. If it really bothers me, then I will probably do it again haha. (This happens a lot.) But the act of drawing is the best part for me, not the finished product.

QC: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from creating?
MC: Probably patience.

Creating can be very frustrating. You want to be good at drawing right away, or draw something you’ve had in your head perfectly the right time, or get to the next page or project as soon as possible… But creativity is a lot slower than people think. Learning to be patient with yourself is probably the most valuable thing you can learn. After you do that, creating (whether it’s drawing, writing, or anything else) feels a lot more fun—truly!

Learn more about Margherita’s work on Instagram @margheritacole and online at margheritacole.comBe sure to order your copy of Cartooning Made Easy, available wherever fine books are sold, including:
Amazon – USUKCanada
Bookshop – USUK
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository