joined this great adventure called "life"
in the Autumn of 1971, in the city of Cape Town,
South Africa, the most beautiful place on earth.
Regrettably my birth did not co-inside with
an extraordinary or inexplicable global phenomena.
There was no Kryptonian meteor shower that left
scientists baffled, no blazing bright star leading
wise men and shepherds, no paparazzi hiding
in the bushes outside the hospital ward, no
news coverage and no fireworks. Despite this
overwhelming lack of a proper welcome, it turned
out to be a rather exciting and creative journey.
I was fortunate enough to grow up all over the
country -Oudtshoorn, Smithfield, Malmesbury
and Pietermaritzburg- which makes me truly,
and proudly, South African.
Like any (geeky) pre-teenager I spent most of
my childhood with my nose buried in comic books,
with Archie, Asterix, Richie Rich and Andy Capp
being among my favourites. The first ever movie
I remember seeing was Superman The Movie starring
Christopher Reeves and till this day the Man
of Steel remains my greatest hero and inspiration.
At school it came as no surprise that I completely
sucked at any organised sport that involved
throwing, catching or chasing a ball and soon
turned to the cultural side of extramural activities.
According to a very reliable source (my mom)
I was always occupying myself with some or other
form of creative project. (And till this day
I can keep myself entertained in front of a
white wall). I especially loved drawing and
many of my schoolbooks sported margins filled
o the brim with sketches and illustrations.
It was only in High School, roundabout Grade10,
when my passion for Cartooning and Illustration
really took off. This was when two rather fortunate
1. Like any young artist I was frustrated with
the lack of skill when it came to the correct
execution of the Human Anatomy, but probably
more so by the constant criticism which always
tend to follow my amateurish sketches ("The
arms are too long... The eyes are too far apart...
too big... too this... too that").
2. The Simpsons first appeared on the small
screen as short vignettes on the Tracey Ullman
Inspired by Homer & Co I started to deliberately
draw characters that were completely out of
proportion. I made the eyes too big, the arms
too long and the boobs large enough for it to
have its own atmosphere.
In short, thanks to The Simpsons and sheer spite
questionable art turned into great cartoons!
And what an incredible world Cartooning and
Illustration opened up to me! It's a world where
anything is possible. A world with no rules
and no boundaries, where people can fly, animals
can talk and one's imagination has no limits.
Meanwhile, back on earth, I finished school
and set off to the University of the Free State
in Bloemfontein to become a teacher. This plan
lasted just about as long as microwave popcorn
in my kitchen cupboard and I decided that true
joy can only be found in pursuing a more creative
career. Since I found myself operating within
a very limited pool of "creative career"
options, I opted for Graphic Design to fill
the void and put food on the table. In 1997
I obtained my N.Dip.Graphic Design at the Central
University of Technology and was also truly
blessed by being a nominee in the Annual SDSA
Design Achievers Awards.
With my CV typed and Diploma photocopied I started
climbing, what turned out to be, a rather promising
and eventful career in the Commercial Arts.
Still based in the capital of the Free State,
I worked in two prominent Design Houses under
very talented Graphic Designers, one of which
completely supported my cartooning abilities
and provided me with many opportunities to develop
During this time I was introduced to Calvin
& Hobbes and (to this day) frequently loose
myself in the incredible technique, sheer talent
and exquisite wit of Bill Watterson. I am completely
inspired by his incorporation of full-page illustration
with basic cartooning. The Design Industry,
however, started to take its toll and after
five years of mass production, unreasonable
deadlines, overtime and idiotic changes to great
designs, I woke up one morning knowing that
the time has come to move on.
In 2003 I entered the academic side of Graphic
Design as the Institutional Officer and Lecturer
at a Design School in the Free State. Over the
next three years I lectured at two private Design
Schools as well as the Central University of
Technology. I lectured in various subjects including
the History of Graphic Design, Design Illustration,
Applied Concepts & Visual Skills, Graphic
Communications as well as the Software Programmes,
Photoshop and Freehand. During this time I also
started to present the odd Cartoon Workshop
on the side. Because of the fact that I had
to teach myself how to toon, I promised myself
to one day pay it forward and help those who
find themselves in a similar situation.
was my main subject, though, the History of
Graphic Design (which focussed on the History
of 20th Century Art movements) that ignited
a new Passion. I was (and still am) completely
fascinated by the influence History has on art
and found myself captivated by the origins of
the Design elements I had been using blindly
up to then. The concept that everything has
indeed "been done before" intrigued
me tremendously and I started to draw inspiration
from those masters who, in a certain sense,
"did it first". I am still greatly
inspired and influenced by Art movements such
as Art Nouveau (especially the meticulous organic
detail in the works of Alfonso Mucha), and,
of course, Pop Art (especially the bold, brightly
coloured works of Roy Lichtenstein).
It was more or less during this time in my career
that The CrissCrossStudio first saw the light.
Overwhelmed by the fact that no discipline stands
entirely alone my studio is dedicated to the
"crisscrossing" of those disciplines
I am fondest of: Painting, Illustration and
Cartooning. And a new vision started taking
shape. I imagined them big... really big
Bloemfontein and I finally ran out of gas at
the end of 2006 when, armed with the slogan,
"Sometimes one just needs to jump and build
your wings on the way down", I followed
my heart back to the Mother City with one aim
in mind: a Career in Creativity!
And it's here where the CCS found both its roots
and its wings.
I spent the first seven years working as a Store
Manager for a large Art Supply Store in the
Western Cape, a gig that turned out to be quite
the blessing. My day-job placed me right where
the action was. I met the most amazing and inspiring
artists, gained priceless knowledge about art-making,
built up quite the extensive network, and made
new friends. And then, of course, there was
the Staff Discount! Oh, yes, one should mention
the Staff Discount
I used it wisely and
after-hours, once I was done playing Retail
Roy for the day, Creativity continuously florished!!!
Evenings, weekends, days off, they were all
dedicated to working on and building "the
dream". At one point even my car served
as a studio as I drew, inked and "watercoloured"
in the early morning hours between commuting
In 2014 ToonSchool made its reappearance, all
because of one single young lady's enthusiasm
and eagerness to acquire the skill. So, in the
beginning there was only one
During the same year I also finally mustered
up enough courage to take the inevitable leap
from employed to self-employed!
days I pretty much explore everything that can
originate from a pencil.
I paint some, I draw some, I toon some.
love what I do.
love how I do it.
love being Creative.
I am truly, truly blessed.
the Creative Force be with You!!!