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by Royston

Through the keyhole: a peek into the creative life

March 19, 2008 in General

People aspiring to work in creative areas, whether it be drawing cartoons, illustration, graphic design or writing novels, are always fascinated with how other people actually go about it. And, indeed, the usual questions – Where do you draw/write? What equipment do you use? etc – are often as fascinating to those already making a living in these areas.

The Guardian’s Saturday Review section has a regular feature in which we get to poke our noses into the studies and studios of well-known creative types, and what’s the betting that it’s the most widely read part of that high-brow supplement? But did you know there is a blog that provides the same facility?

It’s called On My Desk and features words and pictures from artists and other creative folk, letting us into their home studios and telling us how they work. You can search through the archive or upload your own details if you want to let others know how you do it. Several cartoonists can be found on there, including the PCO’s own Tim Harries and Gerard Whyman.

Have a nose round, it’s fun. It’s a bit like an online version of TV’s Through the Keyhole, so you won’t be able to resist the temptation to adopt a Loyd Grossman voice and whine “Who works in a house like thiiis …?”

British cartoon talent

His master’s line – veteran cartoonists hit the road

February 19, 2008 in General


Cover of His Master’s Line and a self-caricature of PCO contributor John Jensen

The wily old dogs of European cartooning, or at least the ones not being chased by would-be-assassins*, are on the move, as PCOer John Jensen reports.

Dieter Burkamp, organiser of the annual Zemun International Salon of Caricature, and Branko Najhold, have had a wonderful idea: why not celebrate elderly cartoonists before they pop their clogs, rather than after? All exhibitors to the show would have to be 75 or over.

As Branko’s introduction to the resulting book, His Master’s Line, succinctly puts it, all 30 cartoonists, from Western and Eastern Europe, each supplying three drawings, fairly recent, not more than ten years old, who “were at one time in the summit of European cartooning”. However, “glory is passing … and as it happens, the most famous cartoonists of their time sink slowly in oblivion.” (Some not so slowly, I can tell you). “Some of them with trembling hands and with the eyesight weakening”. Yup. But a “master always stays a master”. Yup, again.

Suitably buttered up, and as the only representative from the UK – why? Britain is filled with brilliant decrepitude – I was proud to take my place among the others to show “the new drawers” a thing or two.

The exhibition began its travels in Zemun, Serbia and, after several journeys, will wind up in Oerlinghausen, Germany during 2008.

A hardback book accompanies the show, costing about 25 Euros and Bloghorn will be publishing John’s review of the book soon. Bloghorn says click J for Jensen.

Link to the Zemun festival of Caricature.

* Check the recent entry for news on the Mohammed cartoons controversy.

British cartoon talent

The Award-winning PCO

December 6, 2007 in General

Congratulations to PCO member Martin Rowson, who last night won the single cartoon of the year at the annual Political Cartoon Awards.
6th December 2007
British cartoon talent