Clive Goddard: I've enjoyed introducing other cartoonists to the wonders of DACS

    Artist Clive Goodard talks to DACS about cartooning, where his inspiration comes from and his top Payback tips.

    How did you first get in to illustrating your own funny cartoons, and what about it made it something you wanted to pursue?

    Aged about 7 I discovered the work of Roland Fiddy and became obsessed with cartoons. Despite my art teacher urging me to do something more sensible and my careers advisor suggesting I abandon all hope of cartooning as a career, I persisted. Mainly because it felt natural to me and I liked the praise I got for it. About 25 years later, after a series of dreary jobs, I was finally able to earn a living from cartooning. I certainly showed them!

    Where does your inspiration tend to come from?

    Real life is a rich source of inspiration for cartoons. People say, do, think, and believe the most ludicrous things. Often it’s just a case of noticing the absurdity we’re surrounded by and drawing it.

    You have worked on many books, publications and projects, but do you have a favourite?

    Toby Brown’s Horribly Famous ‘Spartacus & his Glorious Gladiators’ is a favourite. I got to draw all sorts of gladiatorial scenes, Roman battles, slave armies hiding in dormant volcanoes and other exciting stuff. The fact that no one knows what Spartacus actually looked like was also a bonus as I got to invent him.

    Fintan Fedora the World’s Worst Explorer is another favourite though, because it’s all my own work.

    What would a typical day look like for you?

    I get up about three hours before I’m actually awake to help usher the boys off to school. Then, once fortified with tea and marmite toast, I check my emails to see which commissions I’ve forgotten to do. I share a small home office room (which was once the coal bunker) with my screen-writing wife, Amy, where we occasionally collaborate and rarely fight.

    How has receiving royalties from Payback helped you with your practice?

    Payback is great. Being freelance means huge fluctuations in income. There are times when no new work comes in and art editors don’t think my work is funny enough.

    Do you have any tips or advice for first time Payback claimants?

    Yes. List everything! Even the work you have in obscure hobbyist magazines and those books about bulk gas buying that hardly anyone reads. It all counts.

    You also completed a Publication History Claim, something DACS introduced for the first time in 2017. How did you find filling out the additional form? Was it worth it?

    The form filling was a surprisingly large task but one which has already paid a dividend. It also provided an excuse to get my messy archive of work into some sort of coherent order. And I like order.

    Why is DACS important to artists?

    As well as the much needed supplement to a precarious income it’s nice to know that someone out there understands and cares and takes us seriously enough to provide this resource. I’ve enjoyed introducing other cartoonists to the wonders of DACS, too. The look of joy on their grubby little tear-stained faces is its own reward.

    What advice would you give to those starting out in their career?

    Cartooning, or rather the print media which has traditionally used cartoons, appears to be in steep decline since the rise of the internet and the sourcing of ‘free content’. It’s not yet dead though. People still love cartoons and some magazines such as Private Eye, who recognise their value, have actually increased the number they print (and their circulation has increased as a result).

    Don’t be tempted to work for ‘exposure’, and you should be paid in ‘money.’ It’s a weird, confusing world now and new ways of working are being developed. But if you find yourself with the inner urge to produce funny drawings and to make fun of the world, do it. The world is asking for it.

    Find out more about Clive Goddard
    Join DACS: Learn more about our services for artists and artist estates
    Learn more about Payback

    Image: Photograph of Clive Goddard © Clive Goddard, 2017.

    Posted on by Laura Ward-Ure