My partner Teresa is a very talented curtain and loose cover maker. My illustration work has been very quiet lately so I agreed to help her install some curtains she'd made at one of her clients houses. I was under strict instructions to look like I knew what I was doing. I am not very practical so going onto a building site and trying to look like I was comfortable in that environment was impossible. I don't look or sound like a builder.
As soon as we arrived the client started talking to me about the construction of the walls and where I might have problems with fixings. My face must have been a picture. I had no idea what language he was speaking and tried desperately to say the right things but I know I looked like a startled rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck. I could sense Teresa thinking "oh my god" and my scalp started tingling. I just hoped he would go away soon before I burst out laughing and gave the game away.
Later when we got down to work we both kept humming the Laurel and Hardy theme tune 'cos any second I expected to either fall off the ladder, fall through the window, drive a screw through a water pipe or drill through my hand.
Think I'll stick to cartooning.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Next tuesday (April 22nd) is Earth Day. Forty six King Features' cartoonists are taking part in this first-of-its-kind comics initiative to raise awareness about the environment and the health of our planet. Ollie and Quentin for that day discuss the environmental impact of flying and dropping bird poo on freshly cleaned cars. Click here to see all the current King Features strips at Comics Kingdom.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Monday, April 07, 2008
Here I am with cartoonist Quentin Blake (center) and Michael Newman-Horwell of English Heritage (right). Michael and I have just received an award for our Big Draw Event at Battle Abbey near Hastings where we helped hundreds of kids recreate the Bayeaux Tapestry in cartoon form. Quentin Blake is one of my favorite cartoonists and it was a pleasure to meet him (even though you should never meet your heroes). He was as charming and delightful as his illustrations. I didn't have the nerve to tell him I had a character called Quentin in my cartoon strip as I worried I'd sound like a creepy, stalking weirdo. Don't I look enormous next to him? I also appear to have lost an arm.
It was while I was working at Battle Abbey those 2 days back in October 2006 that I received my call from King Features Syndicate saying that they were interested in my comic strip. (I still have the voicemail recording which I'll put onto this blog one day).
Quentin treated us to a live cartoon drawing display and you can see something similar if you visit The Campaign for Drawing's website.
"The Campaign for Drawing's aim is simple: to encourage everyone to draw. Its annual showpiece, The Big Draw, proves that drawing can be a public activity as well as a private passion. Every October, 1000 venues across Britain, from large national institutions to village halls, join in to offer many thousands of people of all ages the chance to discover that drawing is enjoyable, liberating and at everyone's fingertips."