Thursday, 1 October 2015

Pulling out of the Rochester Christmas Market

Ah, the Government. You've gotta love them. Sorry, no you don't.
I'm not one to spout political opinions. Generally I live by the words of Billy Connolly,
"The fact that you want to become a politician should stop you being able to become one"
The worst thing about the Government (especially the one we have now) is that they like pulling funding for things, having a knock on effect for the rest of the country.
The Rochester Christmas Market, something I have attended now for much of my career as a caricaturist has had it's government funding cut. This in turn has meant that the organisers have had to raise prices for stalls... boo!
Now, the Christmas Market has lots of local people selling handmade crafts and goods and maybe, just maybe they will be able to make enough to make it worthwhile. But for a caricaturist drawing pictures paid per person there is only so much time in the day to make your money... and there's little room for profit this time.
It's ok, I'm getting booked solid for winter weddings and Christmas parties but it's nice to show my face at the Rochester events.
But I'm afraid dear people, I bow out of this one for now.. I just hope this wont be the case for the Dickens Festival in the Summer, the place where I first began as a caricaturist.
No Artful Doodler at the Rochester Christmas Market and possibly the Dickens Festival, in the town where Dickens wrote his novels?! Shame on you, Mr Cameron and your lackeys.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

New Look Random Doodle Time

It's no secret that I'm a lover of classic horror films.
My favourites, those made by Universal and Hammer in the mid-20th Century really knew that careful blend of horror and humour, which is rarely seen today, except for maybe in The League of Gentlemen and Inside no.9.
Realising that my Youtube videos are really something I just create for myself I thought that I would have a little fun with my Random Doodle Time short films and so have changed the theme..
If you're one of those strange few who share my sense of humour, you can watch my latest,
'Random Doodle Time: Fangs & Lightsabers' here:

While you're about it, why not subscribe, too!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Steampunk Village 2015

The sun was shining over the bank holiday weekend at the Festival of Steam & Transport at Chatham Historic Dockyard.
There were engines and contraptions wheezing and pumping steam into the air as multitudes of visitors swarmed the popular attraction.
To the right of the entrance loomed a large building with a huge sign flapping in the breeze that read, "Steampunk Village".. and this was to be the residence of my caricature pitch for a fun filled couple of days.
Those souls brave enough to venture up the stairs would have been greeted with a fantasy world of steam inventions, goggle clad lunatics running this way and that, playing music, sword fighting, singing and having all sorts of fun. These costumed folk had a wide range of outfits, some victorian, some pirate or military, some even with large impressive wings sprouting from their shoulders.
For lovers of Doctor Who there were all sorts of Whovian creatures running wild, along with a Tom Baker impersonator who sounded more like Tom than Tom does.
I drew til I felt like my hand would fall off, then I'd draw some more. A fellow caricaturist, Karl Lind, was working on the other side of the arena and he appeared to be doing the same.
Those of you familiar with my Youtube channel will be aware of my Kermit-esqe zombie frog, Germit who makes regular appearances. Well, just because I was working didn't mean he could have the weekend off, so I had him filming scenes for a couple of films from the weekend.
You can watch them below. Enjoy... and maybe come along next year for more Steampunk madness.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Je Suis Charlie

It's been a sad few days that have seriously affected the world of cartoons & freedom of speech.
I'll admit I was only vaguely aware of the Charlie Hebdo publication and it's controversial subject matter. But when hearing about the shootings I had a look through the works of those artists that lost their lives to terrorists on Wednesday. I wanted to know what kind of cartoon could be so offensive it could justify the death of it's creator.
Like most cartoons, the illustrations in that magazine poke fun at something. Cartoons do that, it's what they're for. Some are a little more controversial than others but they're a lighter way of making a point.
I personally try to avoid politics in my doodles as I prefer to doodle the world of celebrity and entertainment, it's my choice. Charb, Cabu, Honore, Tignous & Wolinski chose to satire religion, politics and all manner of controversial material and that was their choice.
Those choices are freedom of speech and freedom of speech is the right of every human being.
Nobody has the right to commit murder, even if they do believe a higher entity has told them to do so.
As I type this the news in the background announces the deaths of those suspected in the killings along with many innocent victims.
..and what did all of this death result in?
Millions of people who had probably never even heard of Charlie Hebdo have now seen those illustrations and articles and tribute cartoons are everywhere.
It has been a sad few days that have made cartoons & freedom of speech stronger than ever.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Goodbye 2014

So that's another one over huh.
It's been a busy one, that's for sure.. in fact I think I've doodled at more events in 2014 than any year I can remember. Indeed in the summer it was getting to the point where my hand felt like it would pop, my back had already given up and pain had become the norm.
But when I look at it there are those out there working in far more strenuous jobs than this so what the hell am I complaining about?! As I have said on many occasions, I'm truly lucky to be working in this job.
Here's to a great 2015, it's gotta be good, if you watch Back to the Future II you'll see we are getting flying cars, hoverboards and pizzas that grow to ten times their original size. Can't wait!

I'll leave you with a film of one of my final creations of 2014, 'Derek's Last Supper', probably my last doodle of Ricky Gervais' wonderful creation..