When I was at University (sometime in the last century) and was supposed to be studying Computer Science, I happened across an exhibition of political cartoons in the library.
I found them amazingly compulsive. I wanted to look at them over and over again. Even though I didn’t really understand what they were drawing about much (my historical knowledge of the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s wasn’t great), the various artists seemed to convey a powerful and absorbing image.
I loved the pen and ink style of the era, particularly of David Low and found myself spending lots of time looking into who these great cartoonists were and the publications they used to draw for.
I’ve always enjoyed drawing and as a kid would regularly draw Snoopy, Fred Basset and Bogart the Cat, trying to mimic the style of a lot of these awesome artists and so now I try to draw my own things and somehow get them into the regular work I do as a training course designer.
For me, cartoons are mainly about the idea and whether it is funny and/or thought provoking, though of course artistry has to be there.
My favourite cartoonists are the ones that have a great mix of both those things whether it’s the brilliant observational humour of Scott Larson’s “The Far Side”, the gentle wit of David Langdon or Norman Thellwell or the amazing biting satire of the Dilbert strip from Scott Adams. They’ve all managed to achieve something truly great from a simple piece of paper and some pens!
Nowadays, there are so many great cartoonists out there at the moment that keep me inspired to just keep on drawing.