EVERY CREATIVE person is working on ‘Special Projects’ which don’t necessarily have any commercial incentive; they just pursue them for the fun of creating. My Caricature Projects are no different. I became distracted from normal work by two things: the 2019 Diary project and, helped by the pandemic Lockdown, The London Underground project.
The 2019 Diary Caricature Projects
When I received a desk diary at the end of 2018, I wondered what I could fill it, realising that I was never going to be as fascinating a diarist as Samuel Pepys, Alan Clark or Richard E. Grant. So I filled each page with a caricature of a celebrity born on that date. You can see some of the Diary pages HERE.
The London Underground Caricature Projects
The Diary project had built up such a momentum that, when it came to an end, I felt like it continuing so I had to find another ‘hook’ on which to hang another collection of caricatures. The London Underground Tube network has always been a part of my life as a born-Londoner, so I started wondering about all the famous people, past and present, who had lived or worked near or been associated in any way whatsoever to every single London Underground station. While it started off with a London transport-branded margin as you can see on most of the examples, it developed into a simpler design each published in a book. Initially called ‘Stars on the Tube’ I was informed by Transport for London that using ‘the Tube’ was an IP infringement so I had to change the title. This became ‘Who’s Famous at Your Station?’ However, this is about to change again, as I am improving the book with better quality scans and a shorter, snappier title, ‘London Station Stars’ Watch this space! You can see The London Underground Project HERE.
THE IDEA CAME, as so many do, during a pub lunch, to interview celebrities whilst a cartoonist draws them complete with illustrated elements of the chat. Thus was born Chattoon! The Chat Show with Cartoons. It was convenient that fellow caricaturist Guy Carter was amply endowed with a professional level camera and that he was already producing videos, based on Shakespeare’s Sonnets, with fellow film maker, Paul Redfearn.
Along with presenter Alan “Mediacoach” Stevens, we started with interviewing Neil Mullarkey and Richard Vranch of the Comedy Store Players and swiftly followed up with a whole host of other celebrities from diverse worlds of acting, comedy, newsreading, writing, magic and music. In total, Chattoon! interviewed and cartooned the following: Neil Mullarkey, Richard Vranch, Neil Innes of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, The Chuckle Brothers, Reece Shearsmith, Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee, Andy Nyman, Alice Bhandhukravi, Rita Rudner, Tim Vine, Lembit Öpik, Alex Best, Edwina Currie, Christine and Neil Hamilton, Sian Lloyd, Tony Hawks, Rowland Rivron, Les Dennis and Joe Craig and Mary-Ann Ochota.
Cartoonists involved, apart from myself, were: John Landers, George Williams, Sheba Cassini, Rick Coleman, Clive Goddard, Paul Baker, Alex Hughes, Ian Parratt, Tim Leatherbarrow, Cathy Simpson and Simon Cassini,
The show was pitched to a number of production companies and, although there was interest, it never made it to mainstream (or, even, fringe) broadcast. However YOU can see all the videos HERE.