Opening of the Heath Robinson Museum

heath_robinson_museum_logo_the_beautiful_memeAvid readers paying close attention might remember that a few months ago I visited the site of the new museum in Pinner, north London, dedicated to illustrator William Heath Robinson. Well, today the Heath Robinson Museum opened to the public, and I was there at the opening ceremony, taking some photos, and having a long-awaited first look inside.

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Well, here it is. The new museum, with chairs set out ready for the opening ceremony.

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Greenbelt Festival: ‘Colouring-in with Dave Walker’

Dave Walker Colouring Book

Some news for people who go to the Greenbelt Festival. There will be a session entitled ‘Colouring-in with Dave Walker’, taking place on Saturday 27th August, at 3pm in the G-Books / Christian Aid tent. The programme says something along these lines:

Calling all artists (and doodlers) to help us colour in from the new Dave Walker Colouring Book (Canterbury). Pages and pens provided. Dave Walker will be on hand to select winners and hand out prizes.

Do come along if you’re at Greenbelt. Sadly I don’t think you’ll get to hear me giving insights from my vast colouring-in experience, but one can’t have everything. I will be judging the winners, which should be fun (although there are concerns about public unrest if I make an unpopular decision). If you want info on the other events taking place in the Bookshop Tent you can find it here.

The book, I’m pleased to say, should be out very shortly, available from places that stock such things, and / or the following:

In other Greenbelt news, I have done my usual ‘Reasonably accurate Greenbelt site map’ for the Church Times ‘Guide to Greenbelt’, which is given out around the site or available free in the bookshop. For the first time the map was drawn electronically rather than on a sheet of paper (interesting for me, less so for anyone else). And as usual the map was drawn before any last-minute changes to the actual layout of the site, so may be wonky in places.

If you’re at the festival do say hello if you see someone looking a bit like me around the place. See you there (possibly).

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Ways to make money from cartoons

Ones that come to mind.

1. Have a regular cartoon in a publication.
2. Submit cartoons to publications in the hope that they will buy/publish them.
3. Be commissioned by individuals, companies, publications, book publishers, etc.
4. Post cartoons on the internet and sell merchandise.
5. Post cartoons on the internet and find sponsorship.

I am sure that this is not an exhaustive list.

I have tried to do no 1, mainly. I have never really done very much of no 2, though a lot of cartoonists do. I have done no 3, but am not usually very good at it. I probably shouldn’t say that, but, well, there you go. I have never succeeded with number 4 because I am not good enough at the technical aspects and so give up. I like the idea of no 5. I don’t really know anyone who does it, but I don’t see why it shouldn’t be possible as that is the way a lot of websites fund themselves.

How about you? (If you’re a cartoonist, but I’m sure wisdom can be gained from other disciplines.)

Ideas, thoughts and suggestions welcomed. I am particularly thinking about the best way to fund cyclingcartoons.com. Yes, I know, I should have worked that out by now.

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Service sheets (2013 version)

service sheets

This was a cartoon I did approximately 14 years ago. It could have been 13 or 15 years ago, I don’t really know. My 14-year-old cartoons were passable back then, but now I really don’t like the style, and, as someone wanted to use this image, it had to be redrawn. The high resolution version is here if you want to republish it (licence info).

I can hardly bring myself to post the original version.

14 years ago I had no idea that it would be used anywhere except possibly in a photocopied youth notice sheet. There are quite a few even older ones in the ‘cartoons’ section of this website. Sometimes I think I should remove them all, but people still enjoy them and I suppose they demonstrate a certain amount of progress. But if any are needed for anything important I will redraw them.

Do I have to? Oh, go on then. Original cartoon:

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Pottery diagram

Pottery diagram

I’ll let you into a secret – I’m not really posting this because I’m thinking that anyone has much interest in pottery, but because I’m testing my technology for mobile diagram-blogging from overseas. This drawing took one hour from starting to being on the blog, which was a little challenge I set myself. Don’t look for jokes because there aren’t any.

Unfortunately I’m finding my technology is struggling rather, but I really don’t want to have to buy a new computer for this trip. [Dull technological details] I’m trying to run Windows XP on a netbook with only one G of memory, whereas at home I’d have 4 Gs. Everything is sluggish, and I can’t make my image program open image files (possibly lack of memory). I will keep on trying to resolve the complications, but it is, as usual, frustrating that technological concerns take far more of my energy than creative ones.

Pottery update: I’m making two vases and a teapot. Stage 8 is in progress as we speak. There are more stages after 10 really, but I ran out of space.

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Evans cartoon mugs sighted in the wild

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This morning various photographs of my Evans Cycles cartoon mugs out in the wild (on desks and next to computers) have appeared, as people have been able to pick them up from the shops. This picture is courtesy of Giles Roadnight. You may possibly still be able to get one if you turn up at an Evans store in cycling gear – otherwise there is a chance if you post a photo on on their Facebook wall. Details here.

It has been fun seeing people’s pictures anyway. Though in searching for them I have found plenty of unrelated tweets. A favourite from this morning: ‘Evans you mug!’

I’m hoping this might kickstart the search for a regular home for my cycling cartoons – one can hope. That said any such endeavours will have to wait for several weeks owing to various activities. But in the longer term drawing cycling-themed cartoons is one of the things I would like to do.

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Cartooning, as seen from above

table on which I draw things

This is this week’s Church Times cartoon, in progress mid-morning on Tuesday. The final version is here (Church Times subscribers only I’m afraid).

1. Rough scribbles. The ideas for the five panels, some wording in preliminary form, some layouts.
2. Actual cartoon, pencilled-in, and starting to be inked. I will talk more about paper another time, but it is A4 file paper of my preferred kind.
3. Rough paper (labelled), so that I don’t smudge the pencil lines I have already drawn. The boxes are cartoon sizes for a previous piece of work.
4. Pen. Artline Drawing System, 0.3, from Cult Pens.
5. Notes / suggestions from editor.
6. Pencil. I generally use an HB. Steadtler Mars Lumograph on this occasion, but I should always use Derwent Graphic really – buying British and all that, also I have been to their pencil museum.
7. Ruler. This is a new one as although I have lots I lose them around the house. See also No 13.
8. Calculator. I use this a lot, mainly for working out relative measurements, so that the cartoon fits the space, and so the different bits fit together. The scientific aspect of the calculator is superfluous.
9. Plate. This contained one of my allotted cookies.
10. Kitchen towel. Mainly for wiping cat hairs off the table.
11. Mats. One for a mug. The other so that I can have two mugs on the go, or a teapot. There is, you will note, also a teaspoon – this is not essential for the cartooning process.
12. Lamp.
13. Eraser. I keep on buying these as I lose them around the house (see also No 7). Make unimportant but it needs to be a proper drawing one from an art shop to give precise and clean erasing.
14. Notebook. Moleskine sketchbook (plain, with the thicker paper) of the approx A5 size. I take this on the train, to cafes, and on my London lunch breaks to write things down.
15. Cardboard elasticised folder. This also goes lots of places and carries all drawings in progress, paper of the different varieties, etc.
16. Cat. Doesn’t go many places.
17. Pencil case. See-through, so that it can be seen through.
18 ‘Easy peeler’. Still there from the last picture.

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Cookies

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Picture: Choc-chip cookies made by CW this afternoon. I take back everything I said about not really eating many biscuits.

When I started blogging on a daily basis I did warn you it would be dull. So, today I inked in the remaining pictures from a commission I have been working on. Then this afternoon I have started to scan and edit them on the computer. I will be continuing with this task until fairly late this evening.

Highlight of the day has been opening a new eraser.

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Drawing in progress

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This has been a deadline week, so blog posting has had to not be top priority. This picture (larger version), taken this morning, is what my life looks like on a home-based drawing day. Thrilling, as you can see.

Points of interest:

  • Ornamental balustrades in garden
  • Three satumas (easy peelers)
  • Large cat (Matins)
  • Attentive cat (Evensong)

Tomorrow will be a lighter drawing day, just an hour or two, and then it will be all go on Sunday to get everything inked-in, scanned, and edited.

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Cartoon posters

cycling tools

Image: Segment of ‘Bicycle maintenance’ – complete cartoon from Cycling Cartoons.

I get a lot of messages from people asking whether they can have a poster of one of my cartoons. This is usually for a poster of one my cycling cartoons. This blog post is partly so that I have something to direct people to, and also I could do with advice on the subject.

At the moment I am not able to produce posters or to email people high resolution files so that they can produce their own. This is because I am currently only a cartoonist part time, and all of my cartooning time is taken up producing ideas and new material or doing essential admin tasks. Any task that involves posting anything or emailing image files isn’t something I have time for unfortunately. I am not able put high resolution versions of my work online, (apart from the CartoonChurch cartoons with their special licence scheme for churches) as sadly there are people who would take them and use them for their own purposes without permission. I know there are fans of Creative Commons who think I should do that anyway, but they are generally people who don’t rely on their artwork for their livings.

I have looked into print on demand sites (Spreadshirt and Zazzle being examples), and it might be that I could build a poster site with them. The main reason I don’t have a t-shirt site thus far, by the way, is minor technical problems with black and white images which I can’t resolve, and after spending days on it I gave up trying. Posters produced in this way would also be quite expensive, but people might not mind for a one-off gift.

Another option would be for me to licence them to someone else to produce posters. I’d need to meet the right person /company, and haven’t yet.

If anyone has any thought on print on demand sites, or can suggest another way I can do this, I would be very glad to hear from you. Please reply in the comments, or if you would like to contact me personally please use my contact form.

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