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When the chance came to take redundancy, he jumped at it and decided to make a go of his art. He also left his south London home and moved to Walthamstow [full disclosure readers: he moved in with me, the author of this article, as I am his other half]. Since then his work has taken off.

“It’s important to see the funny side of life,” he says. “I’ve always been told I’ve got a strange sense of humour and I like to give people a laugh”. Nevertheless, his drawings do convey serious messages such as unemployment, prejudice and epilepsy; a condition that Tim lives with. It’s an aftereffect of the meningitis he battled aged five, which also left him profoundly deaf.

“As a kid my hero was the Pink Panther and I suppose Waylon is my Pink Panther. His character came to life on the page and we set off on our adventures.”

“I find I can be labelled in real life but there are no labels in my art. I just hope it will give you a laugh and occasionally make you think a little. I’m not looking for any deep analysis or critique of my work but hanging one of my pictures on your wall might brighten up your day.”

“It’s exciting to see how Froth and Rind has grown these past few months. Not only does it do the best cheese toasties in E17, it’s also run by great people. And of course, cartoons and cheese go together –.just ask Tom and Jerry.”

Having exhibited at the Art Trail for the past two years, as well as Bygga Bo café on Chingford Road, he now has a three-week exhibition at Froth and Rind, purveyors of cheese and beer on Orford Road. Expect cats, cheese, cats, beer and cats.

“Walthamstow has a strong sense of community and a network of artists willing to help each other and encourage each other to progress,” he says. “I fitted in straight away and moving here gave me opportunities.” As expected from someone whose pictures include a singing deer (“balladeer”, get it?) and a military deer (“brigadier”) he loves puns; poring through dictionaries to help trigger his wordplay. There are also bulls visiting psychotherapists, barfly dogs and football manager cats. It’s clear he doesn’t always take his work too seriously.

Ditching steady employment for the insecure life of a freelance artist appears to have paid off. He’s just painted his second Little Free Library for installation in Camden (he also painted the cartoon cat house on Brettenham Road near Lloyd Park.) He takes commissions; he provides the illustrations for an annual trade magazine; his cards are stocked in various outlets in E17 and he creates his own hand-printed Christmas cards at Inky Cuttlefish studios. So what next for Tim and his animal menagerie? “I’d love to see my work be accepted by the Tate Modern,” he says, “but I doubt they’d get my sense of humour.”

Tim Reedy is exhibiting his work at Froth and Rind, 37 Orford Road September 4-25. To view Tim’s work, buy a print or commission him, visit timreedy.com. He can be contacted on timreedy7_hotmail.com or via twitter @_timreedy

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Profile for Paul Lindt

The E List - September 2015  

A guide to this month's cultural life of Walthamstow, North East London, including a listing section for local events. Featuring: cover arti...

The E List - September 2015  

A guide to this month's cultural life of Walthamstow, North East London, including a listing section for local events. Featuring: cover arti...

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