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David Haldane has been a professional cartoonist for 30 years, he started drawing

cartoons for the Times in 1996 and continues to do so His wor! has also appeared
regularly in "unch #aga$ine, "rivate %ye and the &ancet, plus most national
newspapers including the 'unday %(press, The )uardian, Daily #irror, the 'un,
Daily #ail and the Daily Telegraph David*s advertising wor! has included
campaigns for Thomas "in!, +able and ,ireless and The "ost -ffice He has also
illustrated boo!s and boo! covers His children*s boo! .The /oo )oes to 0rance*
was published by #ethuen During the 1910s, he wor!ed on the 'pitting 2mage T3
series and an improv show for +hannel 4
Producing daily pocket cartoons for the Times is probably the best job in the world,
second only to being an astronaut (which would rule me out because I dont like
!ery weekday I draw cartoons for the home "ews and #usiness pages as the stories
come in. The work rate goes up on a $riday for %aturday when I add the $eedback
column and sport section to the list.
Tea is a !ital part of the process, as is staring out of the window and sharpening
pencils. &y pencils are so sharp they would probably breach se!eral uropean health
and safety laws.
!erything kicks'off at around three in the afternoon. I ring "ick (ndrews on The
Times back bench and he briefs me on the list of stories. (t this stage it is not always
clear if space will be a!ailable for a cartoon but I always like to do a few roughs per
item just in case. Im also briefed on the possible splash. This is the main front page
story which can change as the day goes on.
(fter briefing, its show time. This is the most creati!e part of the process and re)uires
lots more tea. I take each story and play around with ideas. Its almost like impro!ising
on a piano until you get a string of decent tunes, or in my case, jokes. Ideas can come
!ery )uickly or !ery slowly depending on the story.
"ick usually rings me after conference when he has a clearer idea of what is going
where. *e may, for e+ample, need a cartoon on page three to fit inside a rather unusual
shape. ,nusual shapes are my speciality by the way.
(t about -../pm I ring the #usiness section where I am briefed on the news of the day.
&ore ideas, more tea.
Timings are !ery important as it offers some kind of structure in what might otherwise
seem )uite a random e+ercise.
#y 0../pm I ha!e drawn up about 12 to ./ ideas for all the different stories that may or
may not appear the ne+t day. I scan them into my computer, attach them to a file and
press send.
3hile waiting for a response from the editors, I set about drawing up a set of rough
ideas for the #usiness section. %ame routine, scan and send.
Then the waiting begins. This is a !ery important time and cartoonists handle this
aspect of the job !ery differently. %ome pace up and down, some stare out of
the window, some rearrange their 45 shel!es, some listen to the (rchers. I!e been
known to do all of these things.
The phone rings 6 its "ick. The front page splash has changed. 4an I do a few e+tra
ideas on 78. "o problem. I do these and re'send. 9ust then &ark %hillam rings from
#usiness and asks for a couple of cartoons. *e gi!es me the si:es and off I go. The
phone rings again. Its "ick. 4an I do two for inside and one cartoon for the front7
#ut can I do one for the inside first as that page is about to go.
I draw the inside cartoon first and send it before completion of the #usiness artwork.
(fter that, I draw up the two cartoons, lea!ing the page one drawing until last as that is
the final page to go to press.
I ring "ick just to make sure that all the artwork has arri!ed safely and is the correct
si:e. $ine. %ame time tomorrow.