Every month, we highlight the work of a different artist or illustrator through the title banner of our monthly newsletter – Penorama. If you don’t already receive Penorama, you can subscribe here.
The artist of the month for April is Chris Williams, a cartoonist from Liverpool.
Here’s the banner Chris made for us:
And here’s how it appeared in Penorama:
Cult Pens: Tell us a bit more about yourself. Chris: Hello I’m a freelance cartoonist working in Liverpool. I draw under the pen name of Dink as there’s lots of Chris Williams out there (Kipper Williams for one). I’m happy to be involved with The Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain, the UK’s largest cartoonists’ organisation.
Cult Pens: How would you describe your work? Chris: I’m mainly a single panel gag cartoonist but occasionally do strips or caricature work. Work is usually delivered digitally but everything starts with pens, paper and pencils.
Cult Pens: What got you into drawing/cartoons? Chris: Drawing my own comics and cartoons as a kid with dreams of becoming the next Tom Patterson. I’d read, collect and copy any comic or newspaper strip I could get my hands on. Looking back on it… Andy Capp and Flo punch ups aren’t the things a 6 year old should be drawing really.
Cult Pens: If you weren’t a cartoonist, what was the back-up plan? Chris: I’m also a web designer so don’t worry I’ve got it covered. Other dreams included being an astronaut or driving one of those council vans that clean gutters with the twirly brushes.
Cult Pens: What are your favourite subjects/topics to draw? Chris: Befuddled people. I also like doing topical jokes but they have lifespan of a few days so have short shelf life.
Cult Pens: Where do you get your ideas or inspiration from? Chris: Being silly on twitter, Facebook or current events. But ideas just pop in from anywhere at anytime.
Cult Pens: What are you currently working on? Chris: Amongst other things I’m working for a couple of regular corporate clients who use cartoons to lighten up press releases or to get complex messages across. A good idea and it must work because they keep asking for more.
Cult Pens: How long does it normally take to complete a project? Chris: Completely varies upon how many elements are in the cartoon or if it’s more than one panel. Could be an hour, could be a day.
Cult Pens: What are your top 5 pens? Chris: No idea they all seem to be in Japanese! What’s this black one? Help! Hang on, I’ve had them translated.
Cult Pens: What pen or pencil couldn’t you live without? Chris: Too late! It’s gone! I had a great Staedtler Mechanical Pencil for years, yellow with a rubber grip, and I’ve just lost it *sniff*
Cult Pens: Do you know when a work is finished or are you constantly tweaking? Chris: I’ve pretty much learned when to stop now. Over working something and giving people’s eyes unnecessary work to do doesn’t make a cartoon any funnier.
Cult Pens: What work are you most proud of? Chris: Oh I don’t know really.. There’s an early gag of mine about a ventriloquist with very big hands. It’s not the best drawn cartoon but it still gives me a smile when I see it.
Cult Pens: What tips do you have for aspiring artists/cartoonists? Chris: Don’t stop, you’ll regret it. Even if you’re distracted by earning a living in other ways keep drawing. Best thing you can do is not keep your cartoons to yourself. Join online groups and forums to show your work. The Cartoonists’ Club of Great Britain’s public Q&A forum is a great place to join in with competitions and to post your cartoons. You’ll gain confidence and receive friendly advice from some of the best cartoonists in the business…….. oh and buy some pens.