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Doug was born the fifth son of seven children in December 1931 in Guelph, Ontario, to Howard and Ruth Sneyd. In 1957, Doug married his wife Shirley and went freelance, illustrating for major Canadian textbook and magazine publishers. Although his formative years were spent growing up in Guelph, In 1969, he moved his family north to Orillia, which was made famous as the mythical “Mariposa” by humorist Stephen Leacock.
During high school he took the Famous Artists Correspondence Course,
which ended when he took the advice of the Earn As You Learn Lesson #18 and
went on the road selling his talents as a muralist to taverns across Ontario.
This led to a studio life, as a boarder, working in a sky-lit garret in the
Psi Upsilon fraternity house on Peel Street in Montreal.
While he was in high school, during the summers he sketched portraits in the Canadian National Exhibition’s Artist Colony. His experience helped him hone his ability to do quick profile sketches, which he finds quite helpful when at conventions like Comic-Con, Fan Expo Canada, etc., where he includes a personalized sketch with the purchase of his 52-page book, Unpublished Sneyd, a collection of his favorite gag rough rejects from the thousands he’s submitted to Hugh Hefner over the years.
After painting a series of portraits of the Latin Quarter’s 12-piece orchestra and the owner’s family, he landed a job as a junior artist at Rapid, Grip and Betten, the largest studio of its kind in Canada at the time. He earned the princely sum of $19.00 a week.
His income increased to $50.00 a week when he moved to Mercer Studios in
Toronto. While there, he learned the fine art of wash drawing for everything to toasters to towels.
In 1964, Doug Sneyd started working for Playboy magazine as a cartoonist. His first cartoon was published in September that year. Since Doug’s start with Playboy magazine, he has produced over 400 full-page color cartoons for the publication. Although he wasn’t the only cartoonist, Doug’s unique style of art and humor easily set the standard for Playboy cartoonists passed and present.
Also around the same time in the mid-60’s, he had two newspaper comic strips that ran four about 20 years, “Doug Sneyd” and “Scoops.”
In 1993 for the Ontario government, Sndydwrote, produced and directed a movie about spousal abuse. He was also a founding member of the Canadian Society of Book Illustrators, and has been a member of the National Cartoonists’ Society and the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists.
He works on the third floor of his home-studio overlooking beautiful Lake Couchiching and spends his winters on the Gulf Coast in Orange Beach, Alabama.
Sneyd’s style is truly remarkable the way he captures life and personality within his figures. He is by far the best cartoonist Playboy magazine has seen.
Comments On Style
The pollution’s at that awkward stage. Too thick to navigate and too thin to cultivate. – Doug Sneyd
He has 24 full-page Playboy magazine cartoons are in the National Archives of Canada in Ottawa.
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