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Cartoonist Doug MacGregor to teach drawing demo at Sanibel Public Library

By Staff | Jun 21, 2017

Doug MacGregor will give kids a drawing lesson Tuesday, June 27 at the Sanibel Public Library at 3 p.m. PROVIDED

Doug MacGregor, who’s well-known for his political cartoons, will hold a drawing demonstration for kids at the Sanibel Public Library, 770 Dunlop Road, Tuesday, June 27, from 3 to 4 p.m.

During the session, MacGregor will teach kids how to draw faces, which he considers the most vital part of any cartoon or drawing.

“The face on the character is the most important thing to draw because it shows personality and expression. So many kids in elementary school don’t get art every day or every week. I’m going to go over there and make it fun for them, and try to show them that it’s not that hard, it just takes practice,” MacGregor said.

MacGregor has been drawing for over 40 years. It all started when he was in second grade.

“I got pretty good at it at a young age. Once you get older, you get asked the question ‘What are you going to do for the rest of your life?’ So, by the time I was in high school, I knew I’d probably be an art major so I applied to a couple schools and I got into Syracuse,” MacGregor said.

At Syracuse University in New York, he drew sports cartoons throughout his college career for his school newspaper, the Daily Orange.

“They were in the paper every Friday before the football games,” MacGregor said of his cartoons.

Shortly after graduating, he landed his first editorial position at the Norwich Bulletin which is based in eastern Connecticut.

“I realized that was where I really wanted to be. So I kept drawing editorial cartoons, put a portfolio together and sent it around to all the newspapers that didn’t have cartoons at the time which was 1980. It took about 88 tries,” MacGregor said.

After a few years at the Norwich Bulletin, MacGregor moved to Fort Myers in 1988 for an editorial position at the News-Press.

“It was a good time to be in the newspaper business because it was flourishing and this area was growing. I worked there for quite awhile. Then of course, everything changed. Once the recession hit in 2009, everything went downhill. Newspapers were cutting left and right and when they did, they cut the editorial cartoonist positions across Gannett,” he said.

After being let go in 2011, MacGregor was hired at Lee Health as their arts in healthcare coordinator seven months later. At Lee Health, MacGregor is in charge of their Art by the disABLED program which has an exhibit at BIG ARTS every year. MacGregor also maintains all the art galleries at Lee Health and comes up with creative activities for patients, families and staff.

Aside from working for the hospital, MacGregor is also a freelance artist, graphic designer and children’s book author. His fifth self-published children’s book which is a sequel to “Turtellini, the Turbo-Charged Turtle” is expected to come out sometime around Christmas.

“Last month, I was up in Pennsylvania working on it. I went up to a creative retreat up there and worked on it for four or five straight days,” MacGregor said. “I got about a third of the drawings done. It’s going to be 52 pages.”

MacGregor’s drawing lesson at the Sanibel Public Library will be based upon one of his books, “Get Creative: Turn On The Bright Side Of Your Brain.” He describes the book as a “fun creativity book for kids of all ages.”

“It shows them how to draw, how to think, how to write and how to create. One of the sections is how to draw faces. That particular exercise we’ll do at the library,” MacGregor said. “When I was an editorial cartoonist, one of the nicest, most fun things about my job was to go over to schools and libraries. To go over to Sanibel and go to the library brings back memories.”

For more information about the program, contact the Sanibel Public Library at (239) 472-2483.