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  'I won cartoon comp'
Updated 30 November 2001, 12.09
Stephen's winning cartoon
"So, we now commit Jumbo to be with his greatest friend, Bubbles the goldfish"

Stephen, 15, from Haywards Heath tells us about the challenges of being a cartoonist.

"On Friday last week, I had a phone call saying that I had won the Young Cartoonist of the Year Award for under 18s.

Stephen at the award ceremony
Stephen is presented with his award
This was great news and I was over the moon. It was a big achievement because there were a thousand others who entered the competition.

Persuaded to enter

I found out about the cartooning competition from my Mum, who saw an advert in a newspaper. She persuaded me to enter one of my cartoons, saying that it would do well - just as all Mums do.

Faced with the challenge of making a cartoon, I had to think about two things:

  • Where to find inspiration?
    I based my cartoon on the works of American cartoonist Gary Larson, as he always uses out of place animals as family pets which is a comical thing to do.

  • What to do in my cartoon?
    In my cartoon, there is a family of two boys and a Mum and Dad crammed into their bathroom and performing a funeral ceremony for their pet elephant, Jumbo, by flushing him down the toilet.

    Awards night

    The award ceremony was held in London and I met loads of famous newspaper cartoonists like Matt and Steve Bell. (Don't worry if you don't know who they are - I didn't know half the people at the Cartoon Awards!)

    Friendly bunch

    It was great - not only the free drinks and snacks - but the atmosphere.

    Cartoonists are a friendly bunch and there were lots of people eager to shake my hand. When I was given my over-large certificate, I couldn't stop smiling.

    It was a good feeling, even though I had to carry the huge, framed certificate on the train!

    Being a cartoonist sounds like a really good job and quite enjoyable and I might consider becoming a professional cartoonist when I'm older."

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