Cartoonist draws 952 caricatures in 24 hours for charity

Here’s an interesting blog I came across today. Conveniently, it means I don’t have to write my own!

This is from Cartoon News Sunday, December 30, 2007

Cartoonist draws 952 caricatures in 24 hours for charity

SINGAPORE: A Singapore artist spent 24 hours drawing to raise money for charity. The cartoonist, who goes by the name Peter Draw, drew nearly 1,000 caricatures for people at East Coast Park. The speedy drawings proved to be a hit and instead of being charged for the caricatures, people were encouraged to donate money to Habitat for Humanity Singapore – an organisation that builds homes for poor families in Batam. The challenge started at 7pm on Saturday evening and there was a steady stream of visitors throughout. Peter survived on water and did not take a single toilet break. “All the while, I was thinking about the children who need a home so it didn’t occur to me that I needed to go for a break. Towards the last few drawings, I actually felt some pain,” he said. The challenge raised more than S$8,000 – about S$1,000 more than the original target needed for volunteers to build a home and to give a family a helping hand.

More amazing than the production of caricatures is the lack of toilet breaks over 24 hours! I mean, is this man human?

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Some Purely Textual Excitement: Me and Emma Thompson

The ghost of Emma Thompson came back to haunt me the other week. And she’s not even dead.

She used to go to a school in the same neighbourhood as mine (Camden/Hampstead, London) and from the ages of 15 and 16 onwards we would turn up at the same parties. While I went out with a friend of hers (now a national magazine editor), for a few, innocent, adolescent months, she went out with three or four of my school colleagues. While they weren’t quite forming an orderly queue, this behaviour was remarked upon with some boyish glee. Then, with the split from the magazine editor, I stopped circulating in such refined regions.

About a year later, I was on the top deck of a bus going through Golders Green when a girl walked past and said “Hello Simon!” I wasn’t on drugs or alcohol at the time, but I simply didn’t recognise her so I tried to be polite by saying: “You are who I think you are, aren’t you?”

She replied with a hint of impatience, “Yes, Simon – Emma Thompson.”

I am now convinced that that was the pivotal moment for her. From then on, she decided that she was going to become world famous and no-one would ever forget who she was ever again. Yes. It was I who created the Emma Thompson Monster.

Her startling career since then has been fascinating watch, and I often wondered what she would be like if I ever met her again. Despite hundreds of corporate and fundraising entertainment jobs where I have met the cream of British TV, comedy and film talent, we just never bumped into eachother. The nearest we came to it was when I asked Ben Elton to remember me to her. (I don’t suppose he did.)

Until a week ago last Thursday! Or so it seemed.

At a small gathering in The French House which is in Soho, almost next to the Groucho Club, a celebrity-obsessed friend of mine vowed that this woman who had just come in was Emma! It certainly looked like her as she might be just going about town, dressed normally, not very made up etc…

So I took the plunge and accosted her as she was trying to leave. “Emma! We used to know eachother when we were at school!”

She looked me up and down and I thought I saw a strange look in her eye and slight smile play about her mouth as if she was about to enact a dastardly plan.

“I’m not Emma,” she said.

Now, wouldn’t that have been the most perfect revenge she could get on me for humiliating her 30 years ago? Its perfect circle of completion is the finest piece of geometry I have ever experienced. It was even better than the Lion King‘s attempt to use a circular sequence of events. I didn’t recognise her when she was the unknown Emma, but when I did recognise her she denied being herself! Just to pay me back. I have been that important in her life!

Only one thing bothers me about this story. While I was close up to her, I couldn’t be a hundred percent sure it was actually her. Another friend at the event confirms that he didn’t think it was her.

Which, if true, only means that this circle is still broken and awaiting completion at some time in the future.

But, as I say, it makes a great story!

Portfolio Piece: Recent Cricketing Caricature Commission

Here’s a caricature commission I completed shortly before Christmas. It involves the main subject bowling out Aussie cricket legend Shane Warne.

This is part of my ever-growing cartoon and caricature PORTFOLIO which you can go and view at any time!

Shane Warne and Ian

Please let me know what you think about my work.

The End of Term Party

Thursday 20th December: After my last live job of the year in the afternoon, I met up with a few friends at The French House in Soho. This was a semi-official ‘End of term Party’. For me, anyway. Eager Beavers like Paul Baker were still working right up to Saturday 22nd and Guy Carter was actually working on Christmas Day!

The French House Party small

That’s, from left to right: writer, film maker and demi-monde-ist Phil Munnoch, aka Captain Zip, caricaturist and ex-Matron (!) Helen Poynter, Dr Howard Cohen (who happens to be a big knob in the Jewish world of circumcision!), Myself, cartoonist and writer Guy Carter and journalist/corporate writer Julie Lefebve.

Also there, at some stage during the evening were caricaturist Simon Cassini, Paul Baker as previously mentioned and hypnotherapist Phil Pearl.

Julie and Phil are fellow members of networking group, Ecademy, where we strive to make ourselves known and boost our businesses with a limited amount of success. It’s a great place to make a diverse selection of friends though! Along with the occasional attendance of Guy, Julie and Phil are members of The London Writers’ Group which I also organise on a monthly basis. It has an out-of-date WordPress Blog here. (Memo to self: update it!)

I don’t remember much about it, but I think Emma Thompson made a brief appearance and then there was a ride on a rickshaw to Piccadilly Circus. There’s a separate funny story about Emma and me that I will relate at a later date. Watch this space!

In order to stave off the effects of alcohol, I drank a lot of Coke, which turned out to be a bad mistake because it kept me awake all night!

As a result, this Christmas has been largely alcohol-free! And I won’t look at a Coke with any sense of desire in the future!

One of The Last Jobs of December

Wednesday 19th December: The penultimate corporate caricaturing job of this year was for the Brands Protection Department of Diageo Plc. These people spend all day making sure that no-one else steals their brand names such as Guinness, Smirnoff and Johnnie Walker. Quite how they do that is beyond me.

Here they are, all looking evil and sinister thanks to the red-eye bestowed by my trusty Vivitar. I wouldn’t dare nick a brand name off one of them, would you?

Diageo Plc Bingham Hotel

This was a function held at the classy Bingham Hotel in Richmond.

Merry Christmas to All My Readers!

I hope you’re both very well!

The London Cartoonist on Countdown!

A chance for a little breather between corporate caricaturing (I’m off to Richmond tonight for the penultimate one before Christmas) resulted in some archive sorting. I came across this old photo of me when I was a contestant on the UK Channel Four Television game show Countdown!

Me on Countdown

As always, the shameless self-promoter, I brought along full colour caricatures of Gyles Brandreth, Carol Vorderman, Ken Bruce and Cathy Hytner plus a black and white one of the legendary chairman, Richard Whiteley.

They were very generous with the time they spent discussing my work and showing the drawings on air, but this was more than twenty years ago, now, so I don’t think anyone would be very impressed with them now!

I won one game and lost the next one to Andy Munday, who was  an ex-Krypton Factor contestant, so particularly geared up for the competition! So, at least I got the Shorter Oxford Dictionaries!

Ah, memories!

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