In this new blog series, the Cartoon Museum would like to offer a space for our active volunteers to share a bit about themselves. Our volunteers help us run the museum on a day to day basis. They make sure that we present our best side to the public. They are friendly, knowledgable, and artistic and they are always ready to help our visitors navigate the museum. So let’s get to know them a little bit better, shall we? Today is the turn of Jenny Linn-Cole, one of our most veteran volunteers.
These last two years I have been mainly exploring this country in its entirety by motorbike. This was through an event called the Round Britain Rally where one is given a list of landmarks one has to find. There is at least one landmark in most mainland British counties and one has about 6 months to find them and photograph them with your vehicle (motorbike, trike or very old car) and a rally control card. Last year I managed to squeeze in a bit of sketching including this rather splendid red (which is why I drew it in red biro) bridge in Scotland.
This year I didn’t get to do any sketching as I was too absorbed in the riding. The frames of mind required for riding and sketching are quite different and involve quite a shift to switch. I took loads of photos though. I found that I got quite tired this year and so won’t be doing next year. Here’s me being tired.
More about my travels can be found here: roundbritainrumble.wordpress.com
Meanwhile, back in childhood, I got interested in cartoons on TV and started drawing some characters. Alongside this I was given Giles annuals at Christmas and would get absorbed in the drawings. Then when my father obtained a motorbike for commuting when I was 12 I became interested in them and perused his Motorcycle Mechanics mags avidly. Other cartoonists like Hoffnung and Searle caught my interest and I just seemed to note the styles of many of them.
I studied illustration to degree level but never really made a go of it as a career. Maybe I’d’ve been more suited to techy drawing!
Years later, after raising my son and enduring various trials and tribulations of life which wore me down a bit I needed recourse to get some positiveness into my life. I’d moved to London after my mother died and during studying for an MA in computer animation. All this had burnt me out a bit. I knew of the Cartoon Museum and thought that maybe I could put my accumulated curious knowledge of cartoonary to good use. So I have lurched in and out of the CM now since early 2009 and have continued to add to my curious knowledge through the exhibitions and the books and the people that people the museum.
Elsewhere I volunteer at a community centre with teaching basic computer skills.
If you see somebody at the museum in one of those brightly coloured African shirts known as a dashiki it is, more than likely, me.