‘Marine Antoinette’ from Humorous Illustrations by Alan Rose. ‘Electronic art for T-shirt company.’ (Hand inked, digital manipulation and colouring) Artwork courtesy of Alan Rose.
Alan Rose (continued)
‘I think that the market for
artists and cartoonists working in Apps, eBooks and for people who are self-publishing is only just starting. It’s big now but will explode in the next few years.’
Apart from caricatures, Alan’s artwork includes editorial cartoons, strips and gags, logos and murals, publications and graphic design.
‘My logos, brochures
and menus et cetera usually have a cartoon element to them. I particularly like doing cartoon excavators and tractors. Most of the logos I do are done as vector art so they can
be blown up really big without losing definition.
'The spirit of things comes out in my caricatures. Graphic work is usually a style I stick to as the client has seen samples
and the spirit is usually humorous and upbeat.
‘Graphic novels are something that I’m interested in doing and I’ve dabbled in those a bit. I love reading
them and think some of the art is genius. It might be something I will look into in the future. I also did a few children's book illustrations as samples that ended up finalists, but ultimately they weren't used.
‘I’ve taught Manga to kids. I like it and some of the animated films are stunning, but I do find a lot of the character faces and bodies a bit the same. Astro Boy was probably the start of Manga in the 1960s and there are still
similarities with the character faces of today.’
In his spare time, Alan does cartooning workshops for schools, libraries, art centres and also during the school holidays.
Teaching children has its own pleasures and pitfalls.
‘I teach mainly at schools and holiday camps and prefer to do workshops for kids because they have so much creativity
and enthusiasm. I usually do a basic ‘How to Draw Cartoon’ class with a ‘Create Your Own Character’ and ‘Getting Ideas’ section, depending on time and the age level. Sometimes I use well-known cartoon characters. I do ‘How
to Caricature’ classes as well.
‘I enjoy one-off workshops because you teach at the one level. When I taught a weekly class I had problems with different skill
levels and interests (e.g. 12-year-old girls and 6-year-old boys!), as well as kids who had been to lessons with me years before. I had one class where I spent the whole time chasing a ‘syndrome’ child who was walking on the tables treading on
‘I think kids love cartoons and drawing in general. They are open to anything: dolphins can fly, worms can talk. Cartooning doesn't have to be well
drawn. As long as you get your message across.’
Alan has seen some big changes over the years in the way that artwork is used and produced, particularly through the
use of technology. How does he see the future and what advice would he give to those starting out who would like to make art, and particularly media art, their career?
always loved the older Age cartoonists: Petty, Leunig and Spooner. Also Leak, Lobbecke and George Haddon. There is now a great group of younger guys, of whom David Rowe is probably the best. My favourite political cartoonist is David Pope from the
Canberra Times. As for caricaturists, Paul Harvey in Melbourne and Judy Nadin are close to my best picks.
‘Obviously computers in art have made a huge difference.
A lot of artists still draw onto paper but more and more they are drawing directly onto the computer via drawing tablets and screens you can draw directly onto. The subjects have changed too, mobile phones, global warming, and so forth.
‘I think that the market for artists and cartoonists working in Apps, eBooks and for people who are self-publishing is only just starting. It's big now but will explode in the next few
‘My advice to someone starting out is to keep drawing in whatever medium you choose,
but never close yourself off to learning from others – especially the older pen and ink guys.’
Many Australians will be familiar with Alan Rose’s illustrations and caricatures, even if the name doesn’t ring a bell, and his website is well worth a visit at http://www.alanrosegraphics.com.au.
Alan’s caricatures and cartoons are always good for a laugh.
You can ask Alan to do a caricature for that important person in your life and be certain that your gift
will be unique. All he needs is a photograph. Few people will have anything like it, so they get bragging rights. Email him about this on email@example.com. A caricature is also a great gift for
families and a group of office workers, and much less embarrassing than an ill-advised stripper.
In his spare time, Alan does cartooning workshops for schools, libraries,
art centres and also during the school holidays. People in Melbourne can ring him to organise a cartooning class on (03) 9555 1913, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Unfortunately, unless you have
a lot of loot, anywhere other than Melbourne might be too far for him to go – sorry about that.