The Bloghorn Artist of the month for August is Steve Bright. We asked him how he became a cartoonist.
If there is a conventional route to becoming a cartoonist, it certainly wasn’t mine. From the age of seven I have drawn cartoon pictures which impressed my family and made my friends laugh. I concentrated on my strengths and my ability has grown with me.
At school, having established that I could draw quite well in the early years, my themes later revolved around the typical teenage angst subjects like euthanasia, crucifixion and war. Even if no-one else was laughing at my art back then, I privately derived great mirth from the reactions it invoked. This act of self-pleasure eventually evolved, as I gradually realised that the power to make others laugh at my artwork was a great stimulant, and was in itself highly addictive.
Perhaps it was that inability to take myself or my art seriously which led to my application rejection by Edinburgh Art College (or maybe it was my portfolio of death and debauchery), but that and my arrogance at the time were the two single most important factors that led to my subsequent career as a cartoonist. Rather than head to Dundee to attend my second choice art college, I went there to take up my first full-time job as a journalist, for an advertised career in one of the local papers. If I couldn’t be a successful artist, I was going to be a successful writer, after serving my apprenticeship on the Dundee Courier or Sunday Post.
It wasn’t until the day I started at the Dundee HQ of D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. that I found out I was to be the office junior on ‘The Beano‘. Within a fortnight I had captured the regular weekly script-writing chores for Billy Whizz, Biffo the Bear, The Nibblers and Pup Parade, all to myself. Six years later, and with a wealth of experience picked up by handling artwork drawn by many of the greats of the British comic industry, I quit, and jumped the fence to become a freelance cartoonist. The rest, as they say, has been lunacy…
There will be more from our interview with Steve at Bloghorn next Friday.