Tag Archives: conference


Unexpected conference fun…

I spend quite a bit of my life attending conferences and sitting at the back, churning out mono single frame gags about the subjects of the day. When I’m really motoring along I can produce up to thirty wise, witty and relevant cartoons for delighted clients.

Substitute Nurse Cartoon

I have done this strange arm to my already strange way of making a living for many big and well known national companies, including Coutts, LV Insurance, Peugeot, EDF, World Wildlife, Bafta… And a brilliant two day gig for Volkswagen. That was easy – it was a team building event at Silverstone, where there were plenty of very drawable cars around, and all the people were learning new fun skills like plate spinning and juggling (get the metaphors?) Anyway, they filmed me over my shoulder and instantly projected it onto a 20ft screen – so no pressure. At the end of all this I had produced about forty drawings which pleased the client so much that they produced a neat little A6 perfect bound booklet of them to send to all the delegates as a reminder of a great day.

And before you totally lose interest (I heard that) I give you this fine example because of the trepidation I felt last Tuesday when I had taken on a similar job for a company that makes colostomy bags and anything else remotely connected with stoma care. Gulp… My natural tendency to make doubtful jokes about almost everything (which can get my wife mad) had to be put on hold. It’s just not a funny subject. But here’s the good bit. The do was in Leicester so I had to stay overnight. Since the conference was for about 250 nurses and me, I was told quite firmly to behave myself. Cut to the pre-conference dinner which was great fun, especially when said nurses all did the conga and dragged me in (really unwillingly…) The next day couldn’t have been more different from my expectations. Brilliant speakers who weren’t averse to talking about the mucky side of the subject, and cartoon ideas galore. Favourite was a bloke being frisked in airport security, saying ‘Of course it’s not a bag of drugs, do you want to smell it?’

A whopping 36 cartoons later I was on my way home. Job done. Client delighted and talking about a booklet in the Volkswagen style. With a new and enormous respect for these fantastic nurses and carers who make life so comfortable for the people who have to wear these bags all the time, and still get on with life. One speaker, a very famous man and colostomy bag user, had managed to do his bit towards creating a little daughter who is the light of his life. And the story he told about a chocolate soufflé incident in New York is best not repeated in public…