Ralph Steadman is a prolific artist who in his 40 year career has produced thousands of groundbreaking and influential artworks. He is an artist, writer, sculptor, cartoonist and designer who has illustrated such classics as Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island and Animal Farm. His books include the studies of Sigmund Freud and Leonardo da Vinci, while with Hunter S. Thompson he collaborated on the birth of GONZO journalism with his classic illustrations for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
Describing What I Do | I think rather more than I should have done! I can’t stop, you see. No sooner do I think, well that wraps it up, along comes something else. I wonder if the young generation are just bored, and not motivated by their own creative possibilities. For them it is all on a plate. They wait for some other Gizmo to appear – they can stuff up their Apps and be ‘inspired’ yet again! I think that the electronic revolution has robbed them of all their own personal struggle.
My Best Piece Of Work | Perhaps ‘I, Leonardo’ – and I have ‘The Last Supper’ on the bedroom wall to prove it! I wanted to do 3 things that Leonardo had done, so I set about them with determination.
Advice To Succeed | I am compelled not to take myself so seriously. If I did that, the work would not be half as entertaining – wouldn’t you agree??
The Creative Process | The ‘creative process’ begins with a mark on a white sheet of cartridge paper (350grams) pure white. Then the image takes over and leads me to God knows where – but that is creation!
Using Online Resources To Be Inspired | I try to avoid them – and if it ain’t wet to start – then you ain’t started!
Advice To Young Artists | Probably when the drawing – or painting – is nearing completion, then I do something spontaneous – and I either succeed, or its buggered!
When Are You Most Creative | Afternoons. It gives me confidence that all is well with the world.
If You Were Not An Artist, What Would You Be Doing | I would be sweeping the streets, or perhaps a Tesco Store. Because I was once a stock-room boy at Woolworths in Colwyn Bay in North Wales. Every night I swept the store and I am not in the slightest bit ashamed. It was honest work, and somebody had to do it!
My Most Memorable Experience | Working for Oddbins from 1987 until 2000. We went all over the World nosing and sipping some of the best wines in the world! I had to do the drawings too, of course…
Your Favourite Book | ‘Inherit the Wind’ – the film story of lawyer Clarence Darrow. He is one of the most legendary and perceptive lawyers we have ever known. This was a film starring Spencer Tracy. The book of his life is called ‘The Old Devil’, by Donald McRae. Darrow defended the first ‘Thrill Killers’ – teenage lovers- in the twenties. Then he defended a schoolteacher in a small Tennessee town called Dayton where fundamentalism was rife. The court proceedings became known as ‘the Monkey Trial’ because the teacher was talking about Charles Darwin when he was arrested in the classroom. He was played by Spencer Tracy in the film. Darrow then defended a black doctor and his family in Detroit. They were charged with murder because the family had fought off a lynch-mob. All gripping stuff!
Identifying With Edward, The Mynah Bird In The Documentary GONZO | Hunter used to grab Edward and say, ‘EDWARD!! I am going to KILL you! Edward! You are going to die, EDWARD!!’ I thought he was referring to me!
If You Could Be Any Bird… | I would choose the bird that is not yet extinct – like a humble pigeon. People are always throwing them bread and anything edible! What else do you need?
What Is Next For You | GOD is done – so maybe the DEVIL is next!!