1. Why did you call it Toucan Jester you hoon?
I called it that because it was a play on words ‘token gesture’, hopefully the irony has been sussed out. My first memory was a toucan style lamp/torch I had when I was an baby…plus a toucan was Gunness’s mascot (which I love…not to excess of course). The Jester part…well… and I quote dictionary.com; person who is given to witticisms, jokes, and pranks/a professional fool or clown, especially at a medieval court.Most people in government are professional fools…not me sunshine.
2. Where did you train and did you get letters after your name?
I didn’t train anywhere. I didn’t go to arts college and I was neither a student of Rolf Harris, Gary Larson or Walt Disney. I just loved drawing from a very young age and I was lucky enough to be able to get past the stickman stage. While adults at the time thought I was just doodling, daydreaming and mucking about, unbeknownst to them, I was forging my own career. As much as some people like to box and package you into some sort of Stepford robot child, never for one minute have your creative spirit exorcised. Given the choice of being arty or mathematical…I’d chose creativity every time. Besides education is derived from the Latin for ‘educe’, which means ‘to draw forth from within’.
3. Where did you get most of your influence?
I guess from the early days, back in the 70′s and 80′s I was quite spoilt with what we had on TV for starters. I loved the shows like The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, The Pink Panther, Tom n’ Jerry, Mork & Mindy etc. The defining thing with these shows, was it’s enthusiasm for creative imagination. Most of the people who created these shows or starred in them were and are big kids, not in an immature level, but they were not scared to have fun. They didn’t care what others thought and refused to comply with sedate adulthood, I love that. Jim Henson and Robin Williams are my heroes for that reason alone.
Later on in childhood I became a big fan of surreal and observational humour, from stand-ups Steven Wright, Reginald D.Hunter, Ross Noble, Milton Jones, Robin Williams, Nina Conti, Bill Bailey, Phil Cool, Ryan Stiles, Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell, Eddie Izzard, Jack Dee and Micky Flanagan. I’m also love the genius of The Farside Collection by Gary Larson and Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson. I know I’ve missed stacks of top comedians off this list…so don’t throw you’re rattle out of the pram, just yet.
I also love the creative minds of film directors Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and James Cameron.
4. What’s your favourite colour?
It has to be blue/aquamarine but also rich reds and the colours of nature…in a nutshell probably all of them, but you wouldn’t see me in pink…even if it’s called salmon pink, it’s still pink..I can’t be fooled that easily.
5. Whats different about your art compared to other artists?
Though my art is different, it’s no better or poorer than anyone elses. I have seen extremely poor art in card shops and I just shake my head in bafflement. How do these cack-handed doodlers make a career out of poor artwork is beyond me? is it a reflection on the public that they’ll accept any old tat? Even the jokes are dire…if I see another ‘Happy Birthday to Ewe’ with a sheep cartoon I’ll chuck a wobbler! I like to take pride in my artwork and I go above and beyond to produce an original cartoon. I’ll give the same attention to an illustration as the sculptor, architect and painters of old. I produce ‘keepers’…something that people will hopefully keep looking at and hopefully appreciate the craft involved. I personally like doing a darn good job.
6. What are your favourite things?
My wife and, as I write this, our newborn child which is due any minute now, my extended family, my friends of old and new, our cat Womble, the ocean, scuba diving, sharks, whales….all wildlife, though spiders bigger than 5 pence coin give me the shivers (I would say the actual word also begins with ‘sh’ but we’ll leave it there), nature, the beach, the sunshine, the rain, the smell of crisp snow, the smell of flowers, the smell of creosote, the smell of fresh tarmac, the smell of a VW Beetle engine (I know..it’s a boy thing…smelly dirty metallic/oil smell), walking, science, science fiction, meta-physics, spirituality, Buddhism, Taoism, Paganism, crying during emotive films or songs…think The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams…wow!! Thatchers cider, Cornish Rattler, Guinness, water, Earl Gray tea, rum, my wife’s amazing cooking, vegetarian food, music…from classical like Holst, Debussey, Puccini, jazz like Dave Brubeck, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, world music esp Real World artists, film soundtracks esp. John Williams to my absolute favourites Peter Gabriel and Queen, comedies like Anchorman, Airplane, Spaceballs, Police Squad, movies like JAWS, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Braveheart, Gladiator, Terminator, ET, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, James Bond, places like Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Egypt. IMBD, UFOs, astronomy, history, The Secret, self-development, ghosts, drunken pub chats, playing board games in a pub whilst it rains outside, skiing, jetskiing, tree houses…like Ewok village calibre, Millenium Falcon, sleeping, dreaming, day dreaming, reading, staring into space, star watching, looking for ufos, driving around in my 1970 VW Beetle…when it works! camping, listening to a babbling brook, kingfishers, peregrine falcons, toucans (obviously), parrots, robins, swifts, sunsets…seldom see sunrises because I love my duvet too much, children laughing, being on boats and feeling the sea breeze, finding a pen that works…..errrmm, wasting time writing lists of just innane twaddle.
7. Things I don’t like
More listing…..hey lets concentrate on the good things anyway