Merton alumna Ella Baron (2014) has won the Young Cartoonist of The Year Competition 2017 in the Under 30 category. The competition, run by The British Cartoonist Association (BCA), was judged by a panel of current cartooning greats that included The Guardian's Martin Rowson & Steve Bell, Peter Brookes of The Times, the Daily Mail's Mac, The Telegraph's Matt, alongside Oliver Preston, Chair of The Cartoon Museum. Ella writes:
"There could be no greater boost to my confidence than to find out that they rate my work. I based my winning entry on the speech Theresa May gave in Florence two days prior to the competition's deadline. My cartoon was a parody of Forster’s A Room with a View, which conflated the uptight British governess Bartlett with Theresa May. I used Forster’s image of Bartlett slamming the shutters against the wonders of Italy as an allegory for Brexit. To satirize how May painted Britain’s breakup with Europe as the start of a beautiful new partnership, I drew her taking shady actions that contradict her optimistic words.
"Since graduating this summer I’ve spent my time dispatching huddles of Baron cartoons to languish in the spam folders of as many editors as possible. I’ve also miraculously had cartoons published in The Guardian and New Statesman. As I take shaky steps into the realm of professional cartooning, it's very comforting to know that the BCA think I’m heading in the right direction.
"As the Under 30 competition winner, I was invited to The Cartoon Art Trust's Annual Awards. Cartoonists tend to be solitary creatures but I found myself in a room full of them! It was invaluable to have my career queries answered by cartoonists at the very top of their game as well as truly special to meet the characters behind the cartoons that have so inspired me. I'm incredibly grateful for the advice and encouragement everyone gave me. Doors are already opening as a result of the competition and I've never felt more determined to keep drawing!"
To see more of Ella’s work, visit her website, www.ellabaron.com.