The illustrator talks about his cubist-influenced work

By EW Staff
Updated July 28, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

First things first: David Cowles, 38, whose cubist-influenced illustrations have anchored EW’s Flashes page since 1991, would like to clear up a few misconceptions. His inimitable celebrity caricatures — from Alanis Morissette to the Pope — are not construction paper, a la TV’s first South Parks. ”It’s a paint called gouache,” explains Cowles. ”It’s a cross between watercolor and tempera paints, rolled real flat.” Secondly, he can do more than take brush to paper and exaggerate faces. He just completed his first animation project, an adventure called Superfunk & Freaky-Dee. ”It’s a fake TV show that my kids and I put together,” says the Rochester, N.Y.-based Cowles, whose children, Clayton, 12, and Alison, 7, voice the ‘toon (now available at Meanwhile, the artist’s celeb pieces have not only captured readers’ attention, but his subjects’ as well. ”John Tesh wanted to buy one,” says Cowles, ”but didn’t want to pay the amount I asked. His manager quoted me half the amount ‘…and all the John Tesh CDs you can use.’ That would be none.”