This month’s cartoonist is Royston Robertson
Royston’s cartoon (above) appears on page 38 of our March issue. A selection of his cartoons for Prospect will be published here over the next month.
Website: www.roystonrobertson.co.uk Blog: roystonrobertson.blogspot.com
First, give me your autobiography in 100 words or so I’m a former journalist and used to draw cartoons in my spare time. I gave up a job as a sub-editor at The Times to become a full-time freelance cartoonist. My school careers teacher would probably hold his head in his hands if he knew that, but it was a question of doing what I wanted to do.
I know it’s a terrible question to ask a creative person, but where do you get your ideas from? It is a much-heard question, which is why I usually answer with something flippant, like “Belgium”. The truth is that there are many different ways: occasionally ideas pop into your head, sometimes they come from observation, but mostly it’s sitting with a sketchbook and doing what can best be described as a kind of constructive mind wandering.
How do you work – alone, hunched over a drawing board? On computer? Nine to five? I work in a converted attic in a seaside town, trying to block out the noise of seagulls screeching and fighting mere feet away on the roof. I still draw my cartoons on paper because I like the line I get with brush pens, but I scan the artwork in and do the colouring-in on a computer. As for nine to five, I’m afraid that like most cartoonists I never really switch off.
How do you cope with the rejections that accompany cartooning? I’ve got a Truman Capote quote on a Post-It note which says “Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavour.” I look at it, mutter “Ah, shut up, Truman”, then go and sulk in a corner.
Do you ever laugh at your own cartoons? I’ve been known to. Not the “Oh, my aching sides” kind of laughter, but more of a chuckle when you realise you’ve created a joke that works.
What other cartoonists have influenced you, or do you most admire? The cartoonist that really made me want to get into drawing single-panel cartoons was Gary Larson, of The Far Side fame, but I don’t actually look at…