Sunday, July 13, 2008

Guest Cartoonist - Peter Plum

Guest cartoonist Peter Plum comes from Birmingham in the U.K. Graduated from Oxford University and was a practising barrister for 11 years, drew cartoons for the Oxford Press and his college magazine quarterly. He is a self-taught cartoonist.

He went back to school and got degrees in Philosophy and Psychology and became a practising Psychotherapist in London for 2 years. All the time his dream of becoming a successful magazine cartoonist never left his mind.

He arrived in Washington-Dulles in 2004 and then looked me up and came to live in the next town here in WV, where he found work in sales and marketing .

I found him to be an interesting bloke ( He's got me talking like him ). We became good friends and he begged me to teach him the magazine style of cartooning. He told me he liked my style and would like to draw like me. I insisted that it is O.K. to practise by tracing other cartoonists drawings, but then you must stop and let your own style develop.

I gave him a couple hundred of old rejects to trace. Then he wanted some personal tutoring. I didn't know how to charge ( because actually, I didn't have the time and I really didn't WANT to) . Peter being such a great super-salesman talked me in to it. He made me an offer I couldn't refuse, even though I STILL didn't want to, my wife said, " Take it ! You idiot, that's more money than Harvard Business Review pays ! "

He told me he sold a couple to some obscure magazines I never heard of and he also told me he sold one to HBR. I'm not positive about that.

He got so he traced my stuff so much that I could hardly tell myself whether I drew it or not !

After spending $10,000.00 on my tutoring I told him you're ready to go . . you're ready . . it's up to you now . . you're already better than half of the New Yorker cartoonists . . then I told him to NOT learn any more about drawing because it will make you over-qualified at the magazine . . " You're too good now ."

I tried to emphasize to him the importance of being unique, and to "fit" in the magazine. Study it, subscribe to it, don't give up . . . last I heard of Peter he moved to Connecticut, we're hardly in touch any more. He told me if he doesn't make it as a cartoonist he plans on hitting the road on his Harley Hog and write a book along the genre of his favourite writer, Jack Kerouac. He told me that Kerouac's " On the Road " influenced him so much that he hasn't been the same since.

Good luck Peter Plum and lay off the firewater and remember to stay on the Lithium.

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