He is using the aid of computers more and more with it’s storage of previous work, ability to overlay images, air brush tool, the use of special fonts for cartoon text, scanning and ‘photoshop’. It is so much better than the old days of whiting out and cutting out pieces, reglueing or starting again from scratch. There are now less steps required than in times past due to the arrival and influence of the digital age.
A valuable suggestion to members was the need for us and for him to have and have ready access to a reference library of anything you might be called upon to draw. In the Newspaper Archives, generally in the basement, he was readily able to source photographs of just about anything and anything. they used to call a ‘morgue.
Steve now works freelance so his world can now refer to an extensive digital library of graphic information and photographs easily accessible on his laptop computer.
Steve has made appearances at trade shows and corporate entertaining with his ability to come up with an instant cartoon. Most people are fascinated to watch the drawing evolve like magic before their eyes and this can be more important than achieving an actual likeness for entertainment purposes.
Samsung’s concept store had him demonstrating their new ‘tablet’ which requires drawing with a stylus. Steve has had much experience with major newspapers and required often at short notice to fill an awkward shape to complete a printed layout. Composition is important as is the ability to show exaggerated gesture and indicate space using a minimum of line and shape. He occasionally uses gouache, watercolour and pencil but mainly relies on black ink for his original cartoons.
Steve took on the cause of defending the intellectual property of May Gibbs when a rewriting and reworking of her famous Gumnut Adventures were published for ‘political correctness’. Steve appeared on 7.30 Report with Kerry O’Brien stating his view that May Gibbs would not have permitted any changes to her work.
Steve had brought along some original illustrations for us to review which we all enjoyed at the end of this entertaining talk.
Thank you Steve for a great, fun evening… for sharing your art, your humour energy and passion.
By Sue Farrell.