Saturday, 2 January 2016


Cleaning out some old stuff I found a collection of cartoons I began drawing when I was about 16. I was considering that I might be a cartoonist at the time, just trying to figure out any way I could make money by drawing – and like most teenagers, having no career plan at all. At one point I came very close to working as a cartoonist for The West Australian, and I sometimes wonder how that might have worked out. Later on I contributed a lot of spot cartoons to Pelican, the student paper of the University of Western Australia, and then to an arts paper called The Western Review. Although not particularly brilliant (sometimes not even very funny) I did learn a lot from drawing gag cartoons that helped me with other illustration, mainly the use of minimal content, concise captioning and framing. A joke only works if it's very economical and single panel cartoons really make you think carefully about composition.

2 comments:

  1. It's always interesting contemplating where "other roads" might have taken us but it's probably an artificial dualism you're posing; between being a full-time cartoonist or illustrator of the weird and wonderful. For are you not still that person poking fun at the "normative"? That is essentially what Larson teaches; stretch the rubber-band and then "let it go"! We are only constrained by the borders of our "set" mind (aka "mindset").

    Anyway, it is wonderful to "see" such a mind as yours in work Shaun. I often wondered too what I could have become if I had taken the "art" road...until I realised that being a Political Philosopher of Education allowed me to shake up minds in the same manner that you do. Having stepped beyond that career, I have been seeking a "middle ground", which your work actually offers by example. So a warm "thank you" for posting your "ideas". They make the mind soar; a wonderful tonic at 5am on a Friday morning in a small, North Island town in New Zealand.

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  2. Well said. I think you are right, there's a lot of artificial dualism, particularly in career choice, and the idea that being creative is just to do with the arts. As you say, it's all just about noticing the myth of normality, which frees you up then to look at amusing - sometimes enlightening - alternatives. I wonder if that's the key to any job satisfaction?

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