TNC Interview 2020
Zoom Rockman

‘Sad Rainbow’ T Shirt Campaign

All proceeds go to MIND

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Hi Zoom how are you holding up during the lockdown?

I’ve just submitted all my CSM work for this year so pretty relieved to have got that done. Ironically this feels like my first day off! 

Is this time offering you creative inspiration?

Yes and no. On the one hand there’s this massive news story to take inspiration from but at the same time that’s all there is. 

You have already won a host of awards, recently The Mel Calman award for the Pocket Cartoon of the Year 2019 for 'Ho, Ho, Homeless' in Private Eye, what has it meant to you to receive such recognition for your work?

It’s meant a lot to be recognised and be part of the Professional cartoonist community.

Has the attention you have gotten for your work added any extra pressure on you?

As I’ve got older I’ve felt pressure to prove to people that I’m a good cartoonist rather than a little kid that gets press for being so young in the industry.

How has your time at CSM Graphic Design course been like so far?

I’ve just finished my first year. There’s been some great projects and I feel like I’ve learnt loads of new skills. There’s a real buzz to being at the Granary Square Site and I’m missing my new friends! 

You have just launched Sad Rainbow for MIND, how did this concept come about?

When I saw it in print on the page in Private Eye I hadn’t realised what a strong graphic it was. There’s something about the miserable face that makes you smile in recognition at how depressing everything is at the moment and how everyone’s pretending it’s not – which I thought was perfect for a MIND charity T Shirt campaign.

What has it meant for you to be able to use your platform and skill as a cartoonist to support such an important cause?

It means a lot. I know a lot of people who’ve been affected by depression.

As a political cartoonist how important is it for you to take a time out and not allow all the political news overwhelm you? 

I think it’s important to take time out. Recently it’s felt like the news isn’t informative – it’s emotional. I had a cartoon in Private Eye last issue where the newsreader was playing the violin! I always know when I’ve watched too much news because I start repeating words and phrases that everyone keeps saying and I feel like I’m being brainwashed. 

"I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember and my parents have kept everything so there’s a really big archive to look back through."

What inspires your work?

Everything.

What was it about political cartoons that interested you so much?

Growing up in London, I used to see Boris Johnson on the local news and think he was cartoon character!

Can you remember the first cartoon that appeared in Private Eye?

Yes. It was the Houses of Parliament in Grenfell style cladding under the heading ‘Things that won’t happen’. I was only 16 and it was a really big deal for me.

Has your style and the approach to your work changed much since you started?

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember and my parents have kept everything so there’s a really big archive to look back through. Funny thing is that although the drawings improve as I get older the humour stays pretty much the same!

And finally, what do you want people to take away from your work?

I want them to laugh or think [whilst laughing] .

© 2020 The New Current