Since my last blog, I have finally gotten round to the much needed Spring-clean of my little art studio. The clutter has gone. And work-wise I’ve introduced something a little unusual to my birthday greeting card range.
I was lucky enough to meet local puppet-master and ‘Professor’ Les Clarke recently and he introduced me to his motley assortment of wonderful characters. Les was kind enough to lend me some of the finest from his sizeable collection and the resulting photos are the stars of my new line of cards.
The ‘star’ is Mr. Punch; a toy-sized Johnny Rotten, defying authority with his attitude and subversive antics. His roots may lie in Italian culture but Punch is a true Brit, as English as Stonehenge, the Route-master bus or a cup of tea. If anything represents the scrappy maverick spirit of this country it’s Mr. Punch.
My aim was to create greeting cards that celebrated his colour and energy, the obvious outrageous features – hunchback, hook nose and belly – and the strong association with our seaside culture.
In addition to Punch I’ve also included his wife Judy, the hungry crocodile (with sausages of course), Joey the Clown and my own personal favourite, the Skeleton. And each has their own unique take on a birthday wish.
I think these outrageous characters lend themselves very well to greeting cards and I hope that customers add their own anarchic messages to the (blank) interiors.
With fans including Charles Dickens and Samuel Pepys old Mr. Punch must be doing something right. This little puppet and his family have been flouting political correctness for over 350 years. Now that’s the way to do it!