Thursday, August 28, 2014

Live drawing: Love Them or Loathe Them


I did a live-drawing project last weekend as part of the Summer Squall arts festival in Ramsgate. It was called Love Them or Loathe Them and I drew a series of 3ft by 3ft cartoons of well-known divisive figures, such as the artist Tracey Emin, below, a local Margate girl ...


These were then pasted up on to the "Great Wall of Ramsgate", a hoarding around an empty building site which is itself the focus of local hate as it used to be the Pleasurama leisure park, was then supposed to become flats and is now a derelict eyesore.

The passing public were asked to give their views on the individuals depicted. We had ink pads saying “Love” or “Loathe” but they didn’t work very well, so instead people were invited to add comments with marker pens. And they didn’t hold back ...


Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence party was particularly divisive. He has since been confirmed as the Ukip candidate for the area at the general election next year, so this proved to be a poll of local opinion. I counted 15 against, 7 for and 3 undecided ...


Here are the rest of the drawings. The Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans ...


Once I'd added the blood to the teeth of the footballer Luis Suarez, below, I realised I probably shouldn't have bothered with the "Barcelona" on his shirt. But as the public had to match the cartoons with the names on the poster (top) I wanted to leave no room for doubt ...


Pop star Lady Gaga ...


Boris Johnson. Another one seeking election next year ...


TV "controversialist" Jeremy Clarkson ...


Former MP/writer/TV personality Ann Widdecombe. One of the last ones I drew, hence no comments yet ...


The comedian and wannabe revolutionary Russell Brand ...


X-factor judge and record company boss Simon Cowell. I might have pushed this one a bit far, he looks a bit like Kim Jong-un. The Kids got this one no problem, though ...


Toothsome journalist and TV personality Janet Street-Porter ...


The last one I drew was Alan Sugar and I freely admit that the likeness is not really there. Looks a bit too thuggish. However, I had a get-out clause with the speech bubbles ...


It was a really fun job and the public reaction was great. Many thanks to Jeni Butler for sorting out the logistics of the job beforehand and Sue Martin for her help on the day by, particularly by helping me with the wallpapering!

UPDATE: I neglected to take pic of all of the cartoons but thankfully @standuptoUKIP were on the case (posted on Twitter by @StopFarage). Looks like more comments have been added, and someone has tried to remove Suarez! Click image to enlarge.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Private Eye cartoon: Fine-tuning jokes

"That's a little unfair, I just haven't found my niche."

I've got a couple of cartoons in the current Private Eye, here's one of them.

It's a reworking of a gag I sent round a few years ago which was rejected. The original drawing was a similar set-up but the cat looked depressed and said "I wouldn't say I was lost, it's more of a disaffected malaise".  I think I did another version where he spoke of "ennui". It's more than possible that I was over-thinking the joke.

While re-working it I removed the repeated use of the word "lost" in the caption and decided that making the cat look depressed was over-egging the joke. These were both crucial to making it all work, I think. Cartoons often need a little fine-tuning to get them right.

On seaside fun and being "budding"


I'm a bit late getting around to blogging about this but the Beside the Surrealside cartooning event in Herne Bay was a great success in glorious sunshine. Thanks to Kasia Kowalska for the picture above. And here's a report from the Herne Bay Gazette. Click the image to enlarge and read.


The Guardian mention that is referred to in the piece was a "reader's cartoons" feature they ran via their website. A handful of the submitted cartoons appeared in the Guardian and in an online piece.

It was really aimed at "budding" and "aspiring" cartoonists, but as I was saying to someone at Herne Bay, you never feel established as a freelance cartoonist anyway, as there's so much rejection involved! And it was nice to see a cartoon turned down by all the magazines get some exposure in print at last.


Click here to buy Royston's cartoon books

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