NCS Spotlight On: Al Dorne

August 19th, 2010

“My formal education got me as far as the seventh grade in elementary school,” Albert Dorne says in Ashley Halsey Jr.‘s book, Illustrating for the Saturday Evening Post.

“After which,”
Dorne continues, “I immediately became a high-powered business executive.”


Albert Dorne was not only the 1947 president of the Society of Illustrators, he was also a member of the National Cartoonists Society.

His biographical ‘sketch’ on the NCS website reads in part, “In 1930 I started one of the first advertising strips – Lifebouy’s B.O. campaign – turning out three or four a week. I created ‘Mr. Coffee Nerves’ for Postum and did advertising strips for Post cereals, Camels, and many others.”


For those of us who are sometimes overwhelmed by our inner artiste’s yearning to get out and express himself, consider these words from Albert Dorne, one of the most prolific, successful and famous illustrators of the 20th century:

“Very early in what I like to refer to as my artistic career, I built up an immunity to complicated techniques that call for (a) reading a lot, (b) experimentation, (c) making a mess of the job because I couldn’t handle the medium, and (d) having to do the whole thing over.”

“All of this may sound like an attempt to excuse my lack of technical knowledge. It is.”


“As far as art is concerned,” says the man Halsey, Jr. describes as “a hefty, extrovert, cigar-smoking business man”, “I have no training whatsoever. As a matter of fact, the very first time I ever saw an art classroom was when I went into one to deliver a lecture on how to be an artist.”


My Albert Dorne Flickr set.

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