Hershan Diaries Vol 3: Dick Carroll

Author: Mike Christensten

29 Jan 2021

Category: Diaries

Dick Carroll is exclusively a Winsor and Newton Series 7 No. 3 brush kind of guy. He has a No. 4 too that he once bought by accident. Originally from Dubbo, NSW where aged 12 he thought being a skateboarder was the coolest thing, Carroll now lives in Brooklyn, NYC with his wife and his No.3s where he’s an acclaimed sartorial cartoonist (and occasional skateboarder).

“We’re lucky to have a word that’s so descriptive. The word comic is not as good a word but cartoonist is good because it means there’s always an element of writing. There are those single panel cartoons, which are probably the most famous and original form of the format, but they exist less and less now,” says Carroll, while admitting to being something of a romantic.

“Cartooning is close to fine art in the sense that it doesn’t necessarily have a purpose. Illustration has a very direct purpose – you’re just trying to illustrate a point very clearly. Cartooning is a kind of an illustration, but also a bit like wandering in that a cartoon that’s a failure might not be a bad cartoon. It might be a great work of art or something.”

Other things of note about Carroll are he’s particular about the watercolours he uses – a German brand called Schmincke – with a palette of five or six colours. He did a little graffiti in his youth which helped to “develop a good understanding of how big letters are.” And he “sometimes forgets what opaque means – it’s the thick one,” he says smiling. “It’s so dark. It’s almost like it’s made out of black matter or something.”

Carroll also really likes paper with a lot of tooth. “Cold-pressed they call it, which is honestly just like another piece of paper sitting on top of it. The cold press gives you a lot of tooth with a texture, it allows you to get these rough edges, which are a pain to reproduce.” It’s why in this digital age, Carroll still draws everything by hand. He particularly like the incidental accidents of physical drawing. “You can't be too precious,” he says, “I draw everything with brush so if you make a line, it all ends on there.”

A man of sartorial style, he somewhat idolises how Andy Warhol dressed. “Very plain in a classic, almost, costume of an American businessman,” says Carroll, “which allowed him to integrate into their society before cleverly becoming a part of it.”

Within the burgeoning creative world of illustrative satire, Carroll’s wealth of knowledge in menswear has sketched out something of a sweet spot for him in the industry. “If I have a really deep understanding of something, it's in men's clothing, fashion then comics, cartoons, illustrations, fine art. Describing clothes in a drawing is really fun,” he says. And such is his acquired knowledge, he understands the elements that make up men's clothing better than most.

Carroll embodies the enduring goods and wandering creativity of the HERSHAN brand and has rendered an anatomical guide to the HERSHAN Utility tote bag in cartoon form.