Welcome to the world of Alison Lingley
I was born in Derbyshire and am told I drew on any flat surface – appropriate or not – from the moment I could wield a pencil.
At school I started a comic called “Gerbil Weekly” Yes, honestly, I still have a few copies to prove it ! It featured a cast of gerbil characters and mainly poked fun at the school and staff.
I also worked in kennels and dog walked for neighbours. A bit unconventional for a cartoonist / illustrator but I think it helped – I understand too well what it feels like to take a jump without the horse (my speciality). I also know that chihuahuas do not think they are small, but plenty of labradors think they’re lap dogs.
My career as an illustrator happened gradually. I drew cartoons on the spot at dog shows, which led to commissions and eventually launching Alison’s Animals in 2004 with a tiny range of 12 card designs !
I am now very lucky to live and work in the countryside, surrounded by my four legged sources of inspiration.
They don’t teach these essentials at art school.
This venture taught me the terror of looming deadlines and the peril of satire getting into the wrong hands … Despite all the drawing, I just wanted to work with animals. I spent a lot of my early teens working in stables, mucking out, riding and falling off ponies.