As our world speeds up ever faster and – politically at least – becomes increasingly strange and unnerving, it is important to remember to keep laughing. Here, we bring together three artists – Stephen Collins, Flo Perry and Christopher Spencer, aka Cold War Steve – to talk about art and humour
More than ever now, humour feels needed. A bit of light relief in all the darkness, humans have always sought to find the comedy in the tragedy, the absurdity in the mundane, simply because it makes our time on this planet a little more bearable.
We know more about what’s going on in the world than ever thanks to the internet, and while it can seem like a black hole of negativity, among the bad news, unjust decisions and awful leaders, humanity is still championing the funny bone, one cat video at a time.
With just a few clicks or scrolls, it’s become almost effortless to find something that makes you laugh. But what about the people behind the well-crafted memes, satirical cartoons and timely comics? How do they do it, day in, day out? To find out, we asked three creatives to sit down and talk through all things humour.
The conversation features illustrator and writer Flo Perry, whose bold work casts a relatable and hilarious light on everyday situations; Stephen Collins, an award-winning cartoonist and illustrator, who regularly creates timely, news-inspired cartoons for The Guardian and others; and Christopher Spencer, better known by his pseudonym Cold War Steve, who creates dystopian, Hieronymus Bosch-like collages that reflect the post-referendum, post-Trump world we live in now and regularly feature Eastenders character Phil Mitchell.
In a grey meeting room in London, Perry, Collins and Spencer cover the pressure felt from editors and social media, greetings cards, making mistakes, and the fear of getting cancelled.