James Whitworth: I went from covering supermarkets to landing my dream job drawing the news

By Kelly-Ann Woodward

Being a cartoonist is a difficult career to get into and for James Whitworth it was no different to get where he is today.

James started his climb up the ladder by being a journalist working for the likes of the Sheffield Telegraph and freelancing for many publications such as The Guardian and the Big Issue.

News has always been a great interest of James but writing stories about local supermarket openings wasn’t the type of news he wanted to cover.

James said: “I have always wanted to be a cartoonist and I have always been interested in news.

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“It is extremely hard to get into as it is not a job that is broadly advertised.”

He later worked as a feature writer before finally getting his big break to become a full-time cartoonist and now has a daily cartoon in the Sheffield Star alongside drawing for other publications.

James showcases his work on his website, where the cartoons are available for purchase.

James will be telling trainee journalists at Leeds Trinity’s Journalism Week what it’s like to be a cartoonist today and the issues that he faces every day during his job.

Students at Sheffield Hallam University have already had the pleasure of hearing from James about the history of newspaper and magazine cartoons and why they’re still popular today.

Chloe Linkens, a student from Sheffield Hallam tweeted after James’s talk: “Fascinating to hear from @jameswhitworth today about the history of cartoons.”

A decade of being a cartoonist has come with many sleepless nights but James has said that this is his perfect job and something that he has always dreamed about.

James said: “I can’t think of a better job.

“It is an absolute privilege to be able to do a job that I love when I know a lot of people never get that opportunity.

“This is why I want to share my expertise to students and show them that hard work can be worth it in the end.”

James is coming to Leeds Trinity University on Thursday 17 November for Journalism Week 2016.

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