My full name is Terry "LeRoy" Smith. I prefer "Doc." I grew up in the 1960's and 70's with a huge desire to be an artist. One day, my Uncle Paul (who had also wanted to be an artist) sat down with me for a few minutes and drew a cute little cartoon race car with a raccoon tail on the antenna. This small gift inspired me to become a professional artist.
I started college with the goal of being a surgeon, but I was not happy. I was so unhappy that I went to see my primary care physician. We talked and he suggested I consider Medical Illustration. A light went on in me. I transferred to The Ohio State University. I was passionate about being a Medical Illustrator. I was proud to have beaten the odds and proven myself to be an exceptional realistic artist - it wasn't something just any artist could accomplish. At the time, OSU's MI program only accepted six students a year. I am still proud of having earned a B.S. in Medical Illustration. But my heart is in cartooning.
In 1986 I was fortunate to become a nationally syndicated cartoonist with the King Features Syndicate, Inc. preparing humorous illustrations for the column "WORKING IT OUT" by Steven Strausser, Ph.D. and Thomas Bateman, Ph.D. The column appeared in 33 newspapers across the country.
For those of you struggling with the idea that "art isn't a real profession" or the "starving artist syndrome", my story would not be complete without mentioning the more than two decades that I spent miserably as a management professional. It almost killed me. Literally! Now, with the support of my wife, Kathy, I spend all my time creating cartoons and working in the professional, commercial cartoon world. It isn't easy. In fact, it's a real hard row to hoe, but I plan to stay true to my passion this time.
My goal in life is to make people smile through my art and interactions with them, to inspire young artists to follow their passion, and be an example of overcoming bad influences from authority figures. I hope and pray that my gift from God allows me to do that.
Thanks for visiting my site and please drop me a line . I would love to hear from you.
Please enjoy my art and Stay Toon'd!
Terry "Doc" Smith