PCO member Nigel Sutherland says;
I could worry myself about rival cartoonists and agents etc., but that would just lead to unnecessary stress and time wasted. While it’s right to be aware of what’s going on in the “industry” I find it better and more productive to concentrate on what I’m doing and in promoting myself.
The PCO says, click S for Sutherland.
August 9, 2007 No Comments
PCO member Bill Stott writes;
The conductors of the country’s five main philharmonic orchestras
have issued a manifesto to the government, deploring levels of understanding and accessibility to classical music with regard to “the majority of young people” in the UK. One of many recommendations, amongst the usual cries for more and better teaching of music, is for orchestras to offer free admission for young people to certain concerts. A small group were interviewed on radio and individuals said that it had been a positive experience. AND that they’d go again.
I think that one of the reasons behind the shrinking cartoon market in magazines and newspapers is the relative youth of editors. If that’s a problem now, it will be a much bigger one in ten years time when some young high flyers will have been toddlers when Punch breathed its last, and in the interim, many more mags will have dropped cartoons. Even the long and honourable tradition of political cartooning isn’t immune to the insiduous creep of young people with Photoshop palsy.
So, if the musicians can get ‘em young, why can’t cartoonists?
Obviously, unlike the musicians we can’t have a group of kids peering over our shoulders while we work. Quite a few cartoonists work, with the approval of LEAs (Local Education Authorities), doing cartoon workshops in schools and colleges. But I suspect those workshops deal with the HOW of cartooning, and not the WHY. I don’t envisage a whizzbang powerpoint light show with FAQs. Work of different types available, yes, and a hardcopy handout, but mainly a Q&A session with sixth formers (or equivalent) – a discussion with a successful, freelance cartoonist (or two) who may well demonstrate their preferred techniques, but would NOT be running a how-to workshop. In my experience, schools are always on the lookout for able professionals from all sorts of jobs to come and talk about what they do. How does a joke happen? How do you say a hundred disparaging things about the American president in one picture?
Given the quality, experience, and communicative skills embodied in the PCO, the organisation might do well to take a leaf from the musicians’ book.
It has been pointed out that the PCO and Foghorn the Bloghorn do have some history with music…
August 9, 2007 2 Comments
I’ll probably never use a computer to make cartoons – notwithstanding Wacom board and magic pens etc. I’m too old. The irritating language of computers makes me very tired. Boot up = Switch On. Groan. I won’t join their gang. I don’t have a Tesco clubcard either. I like there being nothing between me and the picture. I make the marks.
But that doesn’t make computers any more or less than a way of making pictures.That I don’t like digital perfection – and I really don’t – is irrelevant. A digitally produced cartoon is as valid as one produced using a sharpened vole on buckskin.
Verification of originality lies in a signature, always assuming that those artists completely reliant on computerised whizz-bangery can still write their own names.
(The editor says click S for Stott to see Bill’s resolutely non-digital, watercolour cartoons.)
August 6, 2007 2 Comments
A German cartoon mag called “Don Quichotte” has published a survey on whether “digital” caricatures and cartoons, should be eligible for international caricature competitions alongside “traditional” ones. This was supposedly answered by 700 cartoonists and cartoon “fans”. The result was 74%-26% in favour of admitting digital art. This is a welcome, if belated admission that a computer is just another tool in the artists’ toolbox and will be a kick in the pants for those cartoon competition organisers who demand “original” (i.e. marks made on paper with pens, pencils, quills etc.) artwork in order to build a collection of cartoon artwork for their museum/foundation at double quick time.
It does rather muddy the waters for gallery owners though. Collectors like to collect original art. Maybe it’s the frisson of actually seeing the scratchy, messy results of the frenetic panic of a cartoonist attempting to meet his/her deadline. You, as the proud owner of the original artwork, now know that those vast areas of white page, which mere passing readers may have admired as bold compositional flourishes, conceal, in fact, half a dozen previous attempts to paint in a battle scene, now embalmed in half a gallon of Tippex. Whatever the reason, original art attracts higher prices. But what of the “digital” artist? Is his/her output “worthless”? Many cartoonists now routinely use a Wacom board and “magic” infrared pen to create their artworks without ever picking up a sheet of paper. The programmes (Painter, Photoshop, Illustrator etc.) allow almost any stylistic conceit. They are, of course, only as good as the frazzled artisan directing the cursor, so the results of some experiments show as much grace and dexterity as the proverbial cow firing a musket.
Bring on the bright, feather-bedded future, awash with giclee prints.
August 5, 2007 1 Comment