For the past 150 years I have been doodling silly cartoons.
Yes, it’s a job, but much more than that I have grown to accept that it is my purpose, …my reason for being on this earth. I can’t think of any other reason for my existence…(oh yeah, apart from being an annoying dad!).
I’m lucky and incredibly blessed to have a career doing something that I have always enjoyed. I have been gifted with the ability to doodle silly cartoons that, hopefully, sometimes make people smile,…and occasionally, even laugh out loud!
And behind most of these cartoons is a message. There is nearly always a message. Even if the message is simply to highlight the stupidity of a human situation. Our world is filled with ridiculous scenarios, most of which we don’t acknowledge,…and this is where cartoons can really work in fantastic ways. I may be a little biased but I cannot think of a stronger way to send out a message than by simple visual humour.
And when being fed a message it’s a lot easier to read a cartoon, than the equivalent 10,000 words of elongated blurb that gets thrown at us containing that same message.
We live in a fast-moving, highly-stressed, pressurized world, where everything is quick, disposable and busy. We don’t have time to ‘read’ in the same way that we used to. A huge percentage of what we read these days is visual. Every time we look at our screens we hook ourselves into social media…Faceboook, Instagram, Twitter,…and almost all of that is visual. This is what we ‘read’ nowadays.
And, quite simply, this is why cartoons are the perfect way to send a message across. An audience can quickly look at a visual image and easily understand the message…within seconds.
Add to that a large dose of humour, and not only are you pushing across the message, but you are also leaving the audience/reader with a smile, or belly laugh, and this is enormously powerful. You’ve given that person some incredibly warm, happy feelings, releasing their endorphins, serotonin, dopamine,….and all the other happy chemicals that I know nothing about but sound good when I mention them.
Get someone to smile and you’ve got their attention. It’s that simple.
I have been around for many years now, and cartooning is in my blood, (mixed with coffee, beer, and some very rich food). Alongside being a national newspaper topical cartoonist I work with brands, and PR companies representing those brands. I create cartoons on any subject, however long and boring the brief, however serious the industry.
I can honestly say that my cartoons work EVERY time! They always work, and never fail. This is because I keep it simple.
My drawings of people are easy on the eye, warm, and cute. I was heavily influenced by The Muppets/Sesame Street as a kid, and you will notice that my characters do not have foreheads, ears, or chins. I can draw those features, but then so can every other cartoonist. I’ve always found the appeal in keeping my characters fairly silly and likeable. If the drawing is really likeable then this really helps make the message likeable.
In my opinion, the more smiles we can create, the better this planet will be. And if we can throw our client’s message into the mix, well that can’t be a bad thing either!
Thanks for your time,
copyright Neil Kerber 2017