I was born in Berkshire at the very beginning of the swinging sixties and therefore missed all the swinging by being at school … and by being in Berkshire. Cartooning is what I always wanted to do for a living. Even back in childhood when all the other boys wanted to be George Best, astronauts and great train robbers. I wanted to be a gag cartoonist. Personally, I blame the late, great Roland Fiddy whose cartoons I grew up with in the otherwise horrendously educational Look & Learn Magazine. By the age of seven I had decided that was exactly what I wanted to do. Blessed with generous parents I was hurriedly furnished with some safety crayons and How to be a Cartoonist by Walter T Foster which I studied thoroughly despite it being about 30 years out of date.
Cartooning, I learned, required a lot of smoking, wearing very baggy trousers, a shirt with elasticated bands holding up the sleeves and, for some unexplained reason, a peaked green eye shade. It was also essential to put your work in a massive envelope and truck down the road to the nearest US style mailbox. Thus enlightened, I quickly went on to achieve very little.
A mere thirty years later I finally sold my first cartoon to a national publication; a joke about BSE to Private Eye. This was a revelation! All you had to do was draw stuff and send it to people and they didn’t always reject it! At last I was old enough for my sense of humour to be taken seriously! It only took another couple of years to earn enough from drawing to pay the rent and give up the day job. These wilderness years, spent scraping a living on the fringes of the creative world I now realise were an essential part of my cartooning apprenticeship. Without this vast reservoir of angst, frustration and misery I might not have become the highly motivated, twisted cynic I am today.
Oxford based Clive Goddard studied graphic design and illustration at North Oxfordshire School of Art in Banbury and has been working as a freelance professional cartoonist and illustrator since 1997.