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I was one of those kids that always doodled. In fact, I’m now one of those adults that doodles. The good news is that I’ve made a living out of doodling… much to my and everyone else’s amazement.
I was fairly hopeless at school, especially at Maths, all the science subjects and most sports; I was the last one to be picked for the team. To be frank, I wasn’t even much good at art, proper art that is; I just doodled.
I joined the Army at eighteen and loved running around dressed as a tree and keeping Her Majesty’s enemies at bay but when I had some free time I drew cartoons.
Eventually people started to pay me to draw pictures so I left the Army and became a picture framer and cartoonist.
Together with Emma, we set up Bryn Parry Studios, initially in a cellar, then a barn, then a tannery and finally on the Downton Business Park. The business began with picture framing but grew into a manufacturing business making high quality photograph frames and clocks that were sold all around the world. In 2001, after the American market suffered, we decided to focus on my cartoons rather than manufacturing and my first book was published.
For the next seven years I worked as an illustrator, author and product designer and Bryn Parry Studios produced a wide range of country themed gift products and books illustrated with my cartoons. I have illustrated for various country magazines including The Shooting Gazette, The Field, The Shooting Times and even Horse and Hound as well as undertaken commissions for the Great and the Good.
In 2007 we visited Selly Oak hospital and met some wounded Servicemen, which led to the foundation of Help for Heroes. Our simple intention was to ‘do our bit’ to help support those who serve on our behalf. We thought H4H would last for about nine months but instead it took over our lives and I gave up my cartooning to focus on helping ‘the blokes’ for nine years.
Last year I decided that new skills were needed, my successor as CEO was recruited and I have returned to my studio. Emma and I remain close to H4H in our ambassadorial roles and are immensely proud of the H4H team who do so much for those who have been affected by service to our country
I love being back in my studio in the garden. Working at H4H was a once in a lifetime opportunity and an extraordinary privilege but I feel that the time was right to get back to cartoons and I’m loving it.