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Steven Appleby. Notes on myself

Steven Appleby is a cartoonist and illustrator based in the UK. Tutored by the eminent illustrator Quentin Blake, Steven has become internationally acclaimed and his works have been published in newspapers such as The Times, The Guardian and The Sunday Telegraph; in addition much of his work has been exhibited and published in over 20 books. His work is observational and humorous and his influences range from artists such as Andy Warhol to writers such as Philip K Dick and musicians and songwriters.

Steven works with Winsor & Newton Black Indian Ink when inking his drawings followed by Artists’ Water Colour.

My influences are the people who helped me learn to think. Some are visual artists, like Edward Gorey or Andy Warhol, but many are writers, such as Philip K Dick or Kurt Vonnegut, filmmakers like David Lynch, or songwriters like Black Francis of Pixies. Thinking and ideas are vitally important to me because without them, what would the visual be about?

I ended up being a cartoonist because cartoon strips allow me to think, write and draw whatever I like (almost). I can create my own little world in the corner of a newspaper, bring it to life and use it to inflict my philosophical, observational or just plain silly thoughts on whoever happens to let their eyes fall upon it.












I still work in the traditional way, although nowadays I scan my cartoons and email them rather than delivering by post, by bike messenger or by hand. I sit at my desk using a dip pen and Winsor & Newton Black Indian Ink decanted from the biggest bottle I can buy into the smaller, flat-sided ones – with the grinning spider still on them. I love that the design hasn’t changed since I was a student.

I ink in my rough drawing using a lightbox – a method suggested to me by Quentin Blake when he was my tutor (see: How To Draw With Steven Appleby) When the ink is dry I colour the drawings using Winsor & Newton Artists’ Water Colour in half pans which, having tried many makes, and the tubes, has been my preferred choice for the past twenty years.

Steven's cartoon strip Loomus can currently be seen in The Guardian.  He also has a new book available called "THE COFFEE TABLE BOOK OF DOOM" (by Steven Appleby & Art Lester), published by Square Peg at £14.99.