Dave Calver is an illustrator and fine artist who lives in Palm Springs. His work has included illustrations for the Lincoln Center and the three New York MTA posters.

1. What do you do for a living?
I’ve been a freelance illustrator for 33 years. Over the past several years I’ve been doing work for galleries too, mostly in LA and Palm Springs.

2. What’s the difference between fine art and illustration?
Illustration jobs have specific demands. Fine art doesn’t.

3. Where do you get inspiration for your art?
I’ve gotten inspiration for my work from dozens of things: cartoons, cubism, art deco, Joan Miro, Paul Klee, Phillipe Guston, Jeff Koons. In college, it was Richard Lindner, Metropolis, Hugh Ferris, and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

4. You live in Palm Springs, do you rent or own your home?
Currently my partner and I own our home.

5. Have you been seriously affected by the economic downtown? How?
Yes! We bought here in California at the height of the market. We’re upside down on our mortgage. Now we owe more than the house is worth.

6. What is the perfect illustration job or career situation for you?
I love working in black and white, though 99% of my jobs are color. So, I do quite a bit of black and white for my gallery work. I also love developing characters, especially non-human!

7. When you were a kid, did you get an allowance? What would you buy?
I got 50 cents a week. I had to empty all of the waste baskets and mow the lawn which almost an acre for that! I would buy 45’s at Woolworth’s. [Yikes! That really dates me.]

8. What is the one personal item that you always splurge on?
Several obscure fragrances that are (luckily) hard to find. Oh…and frozen shrimp at Costco!

9. What is the one thing that you feel is always overpriced?
Produce here in southern California…especially since so much of it’s GROWN here!

10. If money can’t buy happiness, then what can it buy?
Comfort, security and frozen shrimp at Costco!

Read other Queercents interviews in the Ten Money Questions archive.