Commentary &Errol Le Cain 29 Oct 2011 05:19 am


- I’ve been an ardent admirer and promoter of Errol Le Cain‘s work. I’ve followed him since the early 60s when I first saw a documentary on Richard Williams who’d assigned Le Cain a film, The Sailor and the Devil. I’d also featured many of his illustrated books on my blog. In doing such, I’ve received a number of comments from people over the year. This week I received one that I’d like to share with you:

    Dear Michael

    The Eurasian Association in Singapore is exploring the possibility of setting up a permanent exhibition of the works of Errol Le Cain with a thorough biography from the early days of his childhood. ELC was both a Eurasian and brought up in Singapore. I actually have Errol Le Cain’s early life up to 1956 well covered. Will
    be making for interesting reading when done, with some good photos too. It is his life and working life in England from1956 till 1989 that has patches and is missing many details.

    I am writing to ask your help to please publish on your website our appeal for facts about his life and work and for scans at 300dpi of any unpublished illustrations or artwork by Errol Le Cain.

    I have the blessings of his widow Lili Le Cain to do this, and there are still people alive who remember him and his family in Singapore; and many who collaborated with him during his most fruitful time in England. But the time to gather facts is quickly passing. At last I’m getting the replies that make research so satisfying. Inter alia, I found out that ELC’s father had been incarcerated by the invading Japanese in the notorious Changi Prison and was lucky to have escaped with his life.

    Here is a little gem: when Errol sat for his Cambridge leaving exam, he finished his art paper in 20 minutes instead of the 3 hours allotted, so the invigilators (who were from another school) reported the matter which had to be investigated for cheating! Of course he was fully exonerated and his mark was an A1.

    Attached is a very early photo of Errol Le Cain
    in happy times with friends by the sea.

    Please assist me to gather everything we can of the life and art of Errol Le Cain which should be available to the world, and not just a privileged few.

If anyone has any information about Errol Le Cain’s early life in Singapore, please don’t hesitate to write about it.


- Slingshot TV is a new website designed to show off new independent animated films, cartoons and art. The hope to fund, produce and distribute original work and publish articles and information to help independent artists “work better and smarter in the digital age.”

Currently, they have three shorts by Danny Dresden up and running. They’ve just begun.

If you want to contact them about a project you’re working on, or have a general inquiry please email them at


- On Thursday, Dec. 1st there will be an Evening with Paul & Sandra Fierlinger
at the Kelen Auditorium,
66 Fifth Avenue at 13th Street in NY.

The program will consist of a screening and discussion of their documentary animation films and a discussion of the plans they have for the online distribution of their new feature film project, Slocum at Sea with Himself.

I’ve seen about ten minutes of this film and can attest that it is some of their finest work. You’ll want to see it, and I’ll remind you of this as the date gets closer. You should mark it off on your calendar as an important event.

This program is presented by the Illustration Program at Parsons, the New School for Design.


- The National Edowment for the Arts has done some research on the Arts professions, and the information is available on line. Some of the information you can see includes:
    * There are 2.1 million artists in the United States. They make up 1.4 percent of the total workforce, and 6.9 percent of the professional workforce (artists are classified as “professional workers”).
    * More than one-third of artists in the survey (39 percent, or 829,000 workers) are designers (such as graphic, commercial, and industrial designers, fashion designers, floral designers, interior designers, merchandise displayers, and set and exhibit designers.)
    * Performing artists make up the next largest category (17 percent). In addition, each of the following occupations make up 10 percent of all artists: fine artists, art directors, and animators; writers and authors; and architects.
    * Between 2000 and 2009, the artist labor force increased by 5 percent while the civilian labor force grew by nearly 8 percent.

It’s quite an extensive survey available here.

Finally, I have to say that I really enjoy Signe Baumane‘s blog, Rocks in My Pocket. It’s supposed to be built around the animated feature Signe’s creating with its 2D animation moving in front of the 3D sets she is constructing. However, it is really about the everyday life in the world of an artist trying to create a new world. As such we get plenty of the current day problems, but we also get stories of the past life (which obviously affects the current). It’s always a great read – as opposed to many of the self-important blogs I trudge through. The stories are always well written, and the imagery is just a delight.

One Response to “Rumblings”

  1. on 31 Oct 2011 at 9:00 am 1.Peter Hale said …

    Let’s divide “artists” into random individual catagories, then group some together despite incompatibilities while leaving some totally undefined (where do illustrators belong?) – making sure that the catagories contain an inconsistant range of capabilities, grades and salaries – then extrapolate as much pointless data as we can!

    Surely unless the initial catagorising is done with extreme care, knowledge and understanding, this kind of exercise is worse than meaningless – presenting inaccurate, spurious and ultimately false generalities as reliable data.

    Insurance companies pay good money for shoddy work like this!

    (or am I overreacting?)

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