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Monday Morning Inspiration: Ronald Searle Lecture

Ronald Searle

Ronald Searle has not only inspired countless cartoonists and illustrators, his work has had a profound impact on animation artistry since the 1950s and continuing through today. A few years back, I was chatting in Annecy with fellow Searle aficionado Matt Jones about how amazing it would be if we could hunt down the reclusive, legendary artist and learn more about his work. Matt, who was living in the south of France at the time, did exactly that. He not only found the now-ninety-year-old Searle, but became friends with him. Recently he’s been presenting some lectures about Searle’s work with the cooperation and blessing of the master himself. It delights me to no end knowing that a new generation is discovering Searle’s genius through Matt’s efforts, which also include the indispensable Ronald Searle blog. The real purpose of this post though is to share this link that will allow you to watch a forty-minute lecture that Matt gave at the CTN Expo last November. Prepare to be inspired!

  • Kirk

    Searle is my favourite illustrator – I first discovered him reading the Molesowrth books when I was a schoolboy. I have shelves full of his wonderful books also some medals, prints and a even couple of original drawings. I wrote to him many years ago and was delighted when he replied in his lovely curly writing. Apparently it’s the half bottle of champagne a day that keeps him going – all power to him!

  • When R. O. Blechman opened The Ink Tank in the late 70s his plan was to model it after Magnum Photos but with illustrators. The eight he represented, in addition to himself, were Searle, Maurice Sendak, Andre Francois, Ed Sorel, Chas. Slackman, Seymour Chwast and Folon.

    Only a few got animation work and the studio quickly became a more traditional commercial production unit.

    I believe there were some shots designed by Searle in a 2:00 commercial for The Atlantic from around 1980-most likely animated by Ed Smith.

  • bob kurtz

    who would not be influenced by the GREAT Ronald Searle. i have been a
    fan since my chouinard days. he was my first major influence. thankyou,
    thank you, thank you Mr Searle.

  • Thanks Amid! It’s been a real pleasure to get to know Mr Searle a little & learn from him & his work. What’s more he keeps plugging away at the drawing board with all the enthusiasm of someone a third his age!
    Now who’s the lucky bugger who owns that beautiful Searle image accompanying this post? ;)

  • kris pearn

    ‘At a boy Matt! Great presentation on Searle! Still regret missing the original.

  • Massive hats off to Matt for his efforts in bringing Mr Searle to the people who MUST see his stuff. I cannot say enough in his favour for this labour of love. good for you too Amid.

    Now then, what about…

  • oh yeah and Heath Robinson too

  • Thanks for sharing the CTN spirit by posting this info about this great presentation. It was both an honor and a pleasure to have Ronald Searle endorse the first CTN animation eXpo and provide an arena for this amazing presentation. More presentations from CTNX2009 are posted each month.

    Thanks again!

  • Ronald Searle is to 20th Century cartooning what Picasso was to 20th Century art. That is no exaggeration. He’s influenced all of us, directly or indirectly. Thanks for alerting me to the blog!