By Amanda Gabryszak
Buffalonian Steve Delmonte knew what he wanted to do with his life by the time he was eight years old: he wanted to make people laugh. He has been doing so for the past 30-or-so years with cartoons and illustrations appearing world-wide in Italy, Wales, and Korea, as well as nationally in magazines including Woman’s World, First, Ebony, National Enquirer, Scholastic, Barron’s and Reader’s Digest.
Inspired by cleaning out his studio, this well-known Buffalo-born artist recently had his first book of cartoons published, entitled A Pocket Full of Fun. “After looking at stacks of drawings, I thought it would be cool to put together a book of some of my work from the last thirty years. A neat little package. It is perfect, bound, and has a lot of pages,” he claims. “If you enjoy cartoons, it’s a fun read.”
Along the winding road of a career in the arts, Delmonte has met celebrities and befriended his idol, Jack Davis. He has sold “thousands of cartoons” and “tons of illustrations.” He has drawn caricatures at parties, and kept the Fed-Ex on his porch, waiting to make a shipment, while the ink on one of his drawings could dry.
“It makes my head spin sometimes,” said Delmonte on his career, “But then I realize I have to take the garbage out like everybody else.”
His success has been marked by great talent and motivation. “I am thankful for a few editors and art directors who saw my work and gave me a chance,” he says, “They helped push me a long. I didn’t think I could get as far as I did.”
While Delmonte enjoys his job, it is not always fun and games.
“One or two days a week I do marketing or scan work to send to a client. Some projects have deadlines and time commitments,” Delmonte says. Other various jobs include doing research for projects, and working on sketches or drafts before progressing to the final stage of whatever he is working on. Despite this, he says, “It’s fun being a cartoonist. I still love drawing in my studio, it’s a little more peaceful. Hey, someone has to sit in a 12’x10′ room and think up silly stuff all day!”
Delmonte’s path has taken him in many directions, and still does to this day. From small beginnings, as a child drawing on the wall, to sending in gag-cartoons to well-known magazine, Delmonte has had quite the journey. “The main thing,” he says, “Is to have fun and enjoy what you do.”
Delmonte will have a book signing at 7PM on Thursday, February 25th, at Talking Leaves Books!, on Elmwood. For more information, see Delmonte’s website.