www.hastingsonlinetimes.co.uk     Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Image by competition winner, Sebastian Brandow

Image by competition winner, Sebastian Brandow

Cartoon Festival huge success

The first Hastings 1066 and Country Cartoon Festival was a resounding success. Main organisers Erica Smith, Penny Precious and Pete Donohue all gave of their time, energy and talents for free – as so many people in this town do – curating workshops, exhibitions and an inspired Really BIG Cartoon Day, bringing in cartoonists from around Hastings, other parts of the UK and France. HOT’s Zelly Restorick writes. 

The theme of this year’s Festival was 1066, conflict and conflict resolution, tying in with the 1066 celebrations around the town – and I was amazed at the ideas and off-the-wall cartoons that emerged from the brains and fingers of all the cartoonists, professional and amateur, both leading up to the event and created spontaneously on the day.

Huge boards had been painted and covered in canvas and painted again for both the professional cartoonists and people turning up on the day to draw upon. Intriguing to see the designs emerge and the different styles and materials used. And passing by people of all ages had the opportunity to add to the various Bayeux Tapestry scrolls brought along by the participating artists. Musical accompaniment was provided, along with children’s entertainment and a Q&A session with a few of the participating professional cartoonists.

Conflict resolution by ZR

Conflict resolution by ZR

T shirt competition winner

Sebastian Brandow joined me at the public drawing table early in the event  – and after leaving his message on the Hastings Bus Ticket Scroll – ‘If people could just deal with people, life would be so easy’ – he said he’d ideally “just like to just stay and draw some more”. He then proceeded to quietly and diligently draw a number of images in his very distinctive personal style around the theme of conflict, including our competition winner: I’m Red, I’m Blue (see headline image). The prize is a one-off direct-to-garment printed T shirt of his unique design by 1066 DTG printers in Hastings.

Festival T-shirt and the competiton winner by http://1066dtg.co.uk/

Festival T-shirt and the competiton winning T-shirt donated by 1066DTG

The Hastings Bus Ticket Scroll

Instead of a Bayeaux Tapestry, I came up with the idea of a Hastings Bus Ticket Scroll, offering people of all ages their chance to leave ‘A Message To The World’. Although some people clearly wanted to avoid eye contact with me – particularly those who declared they couldn’t draw – a fallacy often instilled at school – many stopped to add their messages, some thinking long and hard, some drawing and writing instantly.

Having wondered if people might be “Facebook Trolling” cynical and harsh, I was struck time and time again by the loveliness and kindness of people’s messages: “Just be kind.” “Choose from love not fear.” “Chin up!” “You give a little love and it all comes back to you. You know you’re gonna be remembered for the things you say and do!” “Only take what you really need. The world is not limitless.” “Learn. Love. Grow. Accept. Laugh.Teach. Be happy. One life. One world.’ ‘Look at the world, not your phone!” “Spread love not hate.” “Help nature.” “Love to all.”

An experience that clearly demonstrated what I think we already know: the vast majority of us – whatever our age, sexuality, colour, nationality, etc. – just want kindness, thoughtfulness and care in all of our lives. Thank you to everyone who took part.

Caption competition

Linda King Caption Competition

Linda King Caption Competition from an original photograph by Stephanie Fawbert

Post your caption/s in the Comments box below – and we’ll choose a winner! Prize is a book from one of the guest cartoonists!

BIG thanks!

Gratitude and appreciation to everyone involved who made this festival the huge success that it was for the town. Roll on next year!

For more information, link to Hastings Cartoon Festival on Facebook and read more from The Professional Cartoonists’ Association.

Voting by ZR

Voting by ZR *** UKIP leader has resigned since this was drawn.

Posted 15:32 Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016 In: Arts News

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