Real Work: THE SECRET OF MY SUCCESS - Bill Tidy
Sunday 29 August 1999
I've always been able to draw, but when I started, my work was childish and undisciplined. After coming out of the army I got a job in a Liverpool advertising agency. There was a fellow there who was selling gags to Men Only and Lilliput and this inspired me to have a go and start sending in cartoons, pocket funnies, eventually getting one in the Daily Mirror. I got my first cartoon in Punch in 1961 and my biggest break came in the mid-Sixties when Private Eye accepted The Cloggies strip, which I'm hoping Yorkshire TV will turn into a series.
I'm inquisitive, but only in my work. I see things that others don't see. For instance I've just done a series of drawings for a snooker programme and got the idea for a series about playing snooker in the dark. This got me thinking about who'd be good at this so there's one of Count Dracula playing snooker with a guy holding a torch.
If it wasn't for my TV work and after-dinner speaking I'd find it difficult to survive as a published cartoonist. I spread the net, do posters, packaging, cards, anything. The advice I'd give to aspiring cartoonists is to draw a razor across your throat. You can teach people how to use space but I wouldn't know how to start today. It's like teaching people to fly but there're no airfields.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
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