Wednesday, April 18, 2007

How to draw really big - Part Two

I'm getting frighteningly close to the start of the Shrewsbury cartoon Festival and the big board drawing, I was describing here. There's a healthy degree of fear beginning to circulate now - especially as the good citizens of Shrewsbury and surrounding districts will be peering over my shoulders as I work.

As I explained last time, the theme is business and I've been thinking about which way to approach it - I'm going to outline a few approaches and some of their benefits and drawbacks, below

1) Gag - the most traditional or funny of the sort you might see in Sun Fun, Prospect or Private Eye in the UK. These are typically black and white lineart drawings with or without a caption. Really good practitioners of this art I know include Rod McKie, Royston Robertson and Tim Harries.

2) Illustration - a beautiful or striking image usually dependent on its context, or the things around it to help give it meaning. This is the most common form of cartoon in print. The Association of Illustrators have lots of members, but sometimes I'm not sure about their sense of humour.

3) Editorial - an image with a point. A column or opinion piece in pictures - this is my own particular specialisation. Colleagues like Alex Hughes, Morten Morland and Andy Davey make this a challenging environment.

Drawbacks with all of them - when considering an 8 by 6 foot board.

a) Fear!
b) Having a powerful enough joke or comment to translate over such a big space
c) Materials - a 2B isn't going to manage it alone ...

I'm veering towards approach 3) because it's what I know best - but what do I really think about business - time is running out, I'm supposed to start painting on Friday!


Morten said...

Poor sod. As if drawing so big wasn't hard enough, you have to do it about bloomin' trade and business!
Why on earth can't you do it about what the bugger you want?! Or at least about something interesting? Like Gordon Brown's leadership style, or Blair's legacy - or Des Browne's hair!

The festival people are making a big mistake in curtailing you like that!

Doing a normal editorial cartoon on trade and business is hard! (A gag would be easier.)
Still, if you're in need of a character to front your editorial piece, there's always Peter Mandelson, bless his cartoonable persona, and some stupid EU trade regulation. Or go for the populist option, and do an Apprentice cartoon with a political twist! Makes a good starting point.

Anyway. Good luck!
I'm weary of anything bigger than A4, so I really wouldn't want to be in your shoes!

Mark said...

You could probably do worse for subject matter than to check the Google news headlines for stories featuring Shrewsbury and Business. When I checked a few minutes ago the top stories were:
Turning rubbish into cash and
Town to get first pole-dancing club.
Must be something in there, though you might be run out of town as a result.

Royston said...

Just seen your posts on this subject. Glad I'm not the only one panicking! I feel a bit like it's an exam coming up and I've not prepared ...

Chichi Parish said...

Looking forward to seeing the end result, Matt. Have a good weekend in Shrewsbury.
ta ta