Andrew Geeson who provides the Melton Times with a weekly cartoon to liven-up our letters page tells readers how his love for drawing first started and about his busy Christmas schedule.
Q What is your background and how long have you been drawing cartoons for the Melton Times?
A I’ve always had a pencil in my hand, which sometimes made it difficult to eat my dinner. I have always loved art and so I’ve been drawing for most of my life.
I started doing the Melton Times cartoons about three years ago when the previous editor Michael Cooke gave me a call and asked if I would give it a go.
Q When did you first discover you had a talent for drawing cartoons?
A I still remember drawing when I was about four-years -old. I remember it was a Robin. I’m not sure where the Robin is now but I still have that early work.
Q Is it just cartoons you are limited to and where do you get your ideas from?
A I do quite a range of art related work, I illustrate children’s books through my London agent. I teach and demonstrate watercolour painting to art groups and also do caricatures at events where I have to draw people live. This is great fun and quite a challenge.
My ideas are based on stories in that week’s paper for the Melton Times cartoon but my ideas come from observation. If something strikes me, I just have to capture it, this also applies to painting. It’s all about the moment in time.
Q Do you create cartoons or comics for a living? If not, how do you support yourself and your family and how does this situation perhaps relate to your cartoons?
A I make my living through art. I think a creative mind is always searching for new and different inspirations of the normal and I don’t really do normal.
Q Can you describe your daily drawing routine?
A My daily routine consists of waking up and going for a run. Everyday without fail I do this as it helps me plan my thoughts and ideas.
Q Do you read many comics and where do you take your inspiration from?
A Cartoons allow me to extend reality, by that I mean humour is an exaggeration of reality so a conventional drawing would not get the message across and so I have free reign to bring the idea to life.
Q What’s the most difficult subject you’ve ever been commissioned to cartoon and what do your family think of your drawings?
A I don’t find any subjects a particular problem. It’s more about getting the client to put the idea across as they really see it.
My family and friends absolutely adore my work. I can see it in their eyes, but they have yet to tell me in actual words.
Q What are some of the humorous moments you’ve experienced whilst drawing your cartoons?
A I’ve experienced quite a few humorous things recently. Just last week I was working at a big party with around 800 people there. I was caricaturing a table of people when a magician came to join me and one of his tricks was to secretly throw a little lighter fluid onto a table candle.
From the whoosh of the flames he produced a lollipop. As he did this the decorations on the table caught fire quickly followed by a guest throwing a jug of water over the flames and soaking me in the process.
I have learnt a valuable lesson... which is to carry waterproofs at all times.
Q With Christmas upon us, is December usually a busy month for you? And if, so why and what is th effect?
A The Christmas season is always a fun time for me. Lots of drawing work is usually required and so it puts a smile on my face and puts presents under the tree.
Q Have you got any advice for budding cartoonists?
A My advice for budding cartoonists is to follow your passion, practise, learn from your mistakes and be happy in what you do. Life is to be lived so enjoy bringing enjoyment to people and to yourself.
l To book art tuition or caricaturing lessons with Andrew or commission ar cartoon or caricature, visit andrewgeesonartist.com or gaddcaricatures.com