Friday, March 07, 2008

Original Art Stories: Jason Chatfield

How do you turn an ordinary milk churn into a piece of art? Actually, why would you want to turn a milk churn into art? Damn good questions and they are answered on the blog of Jason Chatfield.

Jason is an obscenely talented cartoonist who lives in Perth. I can forgive him the latter as my brother also lives in Perth, but then so do the West Coast Eagles, and even worse, Fremantle FC. But hey, no-one is perfect. Jason's site features his biography and it's what you'd expect - young man, drawing pictures whilst watching the Saturday morning cartoons, we've all been there and done that. However Jason went that extra step and turned his hobby into a full blown career. For a young man he's already achieved a lot - he was made a full member of the Australian Cartoonists Association at the Age of 18, and became the VP of the WA branch at the age of 21. Perhaps his greatest achievement thus far was when he was tapped on the shoulder by James Kemsley and handed the iconic Australian newspaper strip, Ginger Meggs. Jason now draws the strip and if James anointed him then the strip couldn't be in better hands. This makes Jason only the fifth artist to draw Meggs professionally in the strips 87 years of history, following on from Kemsley, who took over from Lloyd Piper, who took over from Ron Vivian who took over from the strips creator, Jim Bancks. There's lineage for you. Personally I can't wait to see what Jason brings to the table, especially with the 100th anniversary coming up in only thirteen or so short years.

I don't know Jason all that well. We exchanged a few emails late last year when James Kemsley sadly passed away and I offered him my assistance if ever the newspaper here decided to cancel Ginger Meggs. He responded in kind and that makes me feel that Meggs is in damn good hands. So, if you want to check out an up and coming artist, a young man on the rise, then spend some time over at Jason's site. You'll be glad you did.

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