FOR the Weekly’s first and only cartoonist, Ian Glanville OAM, next month will provide something out of the ordinary.
There’ll be no Monday trip to the news room, no drafting and polishing, nor opening the paper to see his piece among the letters.
After more than 20 years and hundreds of Friday cartoons, Glanville, 83 next Wednesday, has decided to put down the brush and retire from his creative art form – something he said will take a few weeks to sink in.
“(There’s) a mixture of sadness,” he said.
“It’s a long while, and it’s been part of my life.
“It was a routine that I got used to over a period of years, and so when it stops it’s going to hit me pretty hard.”
While Glanville’s illustrious career has taken him across nearly every media domain, initially it was his portrayal of Strawberry Scarecrow on BCV8 television that Bendigonians were drawn to.
“Everyone knew me as the scarecrow, or Strawberry,” he said.
“I’d go down the street and people wouldn’t call me Ian – they’d say g’day Strawb.”
However, he said a new generation has meant a name-shift.
“The scarecrow was a clown, a children’s entertainer, and I think after a while it wears a bit thin. I prefer to be known as Ian the Artist or Ian the Cartoonist than the scarecrow.”
That personal love of art, Glanville believes, is what has remained constant throughout his wide-reaching portfolio of work.
“It’s been an interesting life, because I was fortunate that I had the talent of art which has always dominated to a fair extent,” he said.
“Some people get sick of doing a certain thing, but to me I enjoy getting an image and then illustrating it… (to) hopefully make people happy.”
Glanville is a self-confessed computer illiterate and said the technological change sweeping the industry places his style of work – completely handdrawn – in the minority.
“The industry is changing, particularly in journalism, and photography has altered quite a lot,” he said.
“The change is good in many ways, but for people like myself, who are just freelancing with a pen and brush, our days are numbered.”
Despite this, Glanville said cartoons provide something valuable to a newspaper.
“It’s different from what you‘d normally have in a paper – a lot of it’s very serious, so this is to me just a light-hearted relief from often fairly heavy news,” he said.
“(Readers) like… something they can get a laugh out of, or that they can take as a joke.”
The recently appointed Order of Australia medalist has no plans of slowing down, with travel, gardening and different forms of creativity at the top of the retirement list.
“I’ll concentrate a bit on what I call serious art… more of the stuff that you hang on walls,” he said.
“I’m not going to say ‘that’s the end of you’.”
Out of everything, he said the street conversations about his latest cartoon are something he’ll miss.
“(It’s) nice to hear people say ‘I love your cartoon’,” he said.
“I think the cartooning is something that keeps you young.
“I know I’m going to miss it, because that’s how life is.”
– Sam Kane