The Cartoonists by Susanna McLeod        [email protected]

 

Anne Gibbons, Illustrator and One of the "Six Chix"

December 30, 2013

 

Pen in hand and sense of humour finely-honed, Anne Gibbons leads a life dedicated to the heart, be it finding the direct way to say a touching message in a greeting card, observations on life in illustrations for magazines and clients, or through her weekly panel as one of Six Chix. Gibbons didn't live and breathe cartooning as a child, instead becoming an elementary school teacher. She went to all that effort just to discover what she really wanted to be, what she needed to be, was an artist.

 

Anne Gibbons

Anne Gibbons has followed her own unique path to success in cartooning and illustration. She may have loved to draw as a child, but did not immediately follow her heart to a career in the arts. One of nine children in a Brooklyn, New York family, she was busy with normal childhood life, and as she noted on her website biography, "doing more dishes than drawing."

First earning a degree in sociology, Gibbons went on to receive a Master's Degree in Physical Education. Accepting a teaching post, she taught Phys. Ed at an elementary school for several years. She found she was not satisfied in her work as a teacher. She needed to be creative. A new path lay ahead

"Through volunteer work at a local YMCA and taking art courses, it finally dawned on Gibbons she wanted to be an artist. Gibbons took several continuing education courses at a few different schools, including Parsons, School of Visual Arts and the ARt Students League in New York City, to develop her drawing style," said King Features Syndicate in "Cartoonist Anne Gibbons Joins the 'Six Chix' Team" in July 2007.

Cartoonist Anne Gibbons, © King Features Syndicate 2008

Honing her skills, the new cartoonist leapt fully into her art and left teaching behind. Not only did Gibbons have a flair for drawing, she also had a way with humour, the direct, clear sense of funny in everyday life.

"Whether engaged about a tanking economy or engaged in the lives of women, Anne knows how to make a topice 'true to life' funny," noted her site. Catching the eye and hearts of editors in varying industries, Gibbons soon made important inroads to forge a new career.

Panel by Anne Gibbons
"Six Chix" panel by Anne Gibbons

Customers of greeting cards love Gibbons' work, snapping up her cards issued by Recycled Paper Greetings and others in enormous numbers. So captivating are her cards and their messages of honest good humour that she was recognized by the National Cartoonists Society with a Reuben in the Greeting Card Category in 2000. Then Gibbons tackled the magazine and corporate markets.

Greeting Card by Anne Gibbons

Gibbons found acceptance in prominent publications and has been a favourite in their pages and ads for years. "Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Reader's Digest, Ladies Home Journal and Redbook are just a few of the magazines that have printered her cartoons," wrote David Paccia in Cartoonist Survey #255 interview with Gibbons on David Wasting Paper. Gibbons' prolific work, Paccia added, has "appeared on just about everything including greeting cards, newspapers, magazines, books websites, t-shirts and more."

Corporate clients of the burgeoning illustrator are a who's-who of popular brands - IBM, Lifetime Television, Hearst Media Services, MasterCard and more. Something delightful about Gibbons' sleek and direct cartoons just seems to touch the right heartstrings.

In 2007, Anne Gibbons signed on as the Thursday cartoonist of "Six Chix." Replacing the outgoing Carla Ventresca, Gibbons joined Stephanie Piro, Rina PIccolo, Margaret Shulock, and Kathryn LeMieux for the weekly line-up. The multi-panel colour Sundays are created in turn each "Chix" member.

Gibbons' style of cartoon humour complements the "Six Chix" theme with her "feminist bent" and "social comment on everyday, real life experiences of women everywhere," said King Features Syndicate. "Six Chix" appears in approximately 60 newspapers. Another cartoon also flows from the pen of Gibbons, called "Eve 'n Steven," published in Riverdale Press in New York..

Greeting Card by Anne Gibbons

The creative Gibbons is not alone in artistic talent at home in the Bronx. Her husband is Ivan Braun, a talented woodturner who creates hand-turned pieces of useable art such as vases and bowls. Although living in the city, materials are readily available for his craft. He gathers up pieces of wood from the New York Botanical Gardens wood pile and sells the finished products at the Gardens.

Visit Anne Gibbons' site for a peek at her endearing work and read her Thursday installment of "Six Chix" at the comic's blog. Have a glimpse of the other "Chix" work too - lots of fun and thought-provoking 'toons there, along with links to daily versions. Look for her illustrations on neat things like kitchen magnets, mugs, tote bags and more.

© Susanna McLeod 2014
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