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Urban cartoonist Dum-Doodles, who went to school in Kings Langley, talks pop stars, drawing on soap and being bigger than Disney
He counts Chris Brown, Bashy and Stooshe among his fans. But there’s more to Dum-Doodles than dumb doodles.
“I’m the next Disney,“ he laughs deeply. He’s got a strong north London accent, but there is a lilt in his voice which betrays his family’s Ghanian background. “Not that I want to be cryogenically frozen or anything. But people are going to be seeing the name, it’ll all be about Dum Doodles.“
It’s an ambitious statement given that Dum-Doodles, aka Kwam Korsa-Acquah, left Rudolf Steiner School in Kings Langley at 16 with just a handful of GCSEs.
Except, when it comes to animation, at the moment, the 23-year-old from Enfield is on everyone’s lips.
“I blame my dad Francis,“ he chuckles. “His babysitting was sticking me in front of the telly. I took Sesame Street more seriously than most people. I loved Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Ren and Stimpy, I’m very much a ‘90s kid.
“When I left school, I looked at my grades and thought, right, I’m definitely not going to be a scientist, but when it came to art, I was good, I got an A*“, he explains.
“I didn’t understand still life and drawing pots, but I was always doodling, teachers, schoolmates, anybody that annoyed me. I was naughty kid, I’d doodle on desks, walls, soap, whatever...“
“Yep, soap, what can I say, I was a weird kid.“
Since those early days, Dum-Doodles, a nickname he appropriated for said 'dumb doodles', is enjoying marked success.
After all, not many cartoonists can say that UK rapper Bashy gave them their first big break. Neither can they say that US superstar Chris Brown has published their work on his website, or that popstrels Stooche have commissioned pieces.
“I approached Bashy on MySpace and asked him to let me do some art for him,“ he says. “I ended up making the video for his remix of Amy Winehouse’s Rehab and in just five days it had 55,000 views on YouTube.“
The video has been removed as a mark of respect since Amy’s death, but this hasn’t stopped the British talent from enjoying further success. Hype reached the ears of US singer Chris Brown when American socialites and designers to the stars, CoCo and Breezy told the singer about Dum-Doodles’ doodles.
“Chris has got an art blog called mechanical dummy and one day I got an email saying that he wanted to feature me on a project called Young G’z, which celebrates young talent.
“It was really cool, but crazy,“ he says. “I submitted a picture of Rhianna, although, I’m not sure if he’ll still want that on there now seeing as they’ve split.
“As for Stooshe, that again was word of mouth. Their people contacted me and said they wanted me to do something for their Christmas track. I ended up doing some doodles for Ain’t No Other Me, Warner Music saw it, and I was commissioned to work on the album.
“I still see it as drawing on soap. I’m trying to keep level-headed, but a lot’s being planned for this year and next. It’s a crazy time.“ In fact, his next big project is a series of exhibitions across the country, the first of which is currently on show at the Dugdale Centre in his hometown.
“I’m visiting 13 locations with 13 different pieces of art,“ he says. “The drawings are huge, billboard size. “As for the subject matter, well, I tend to see people in pencil, so if you’re a character you’ll be in there.
“Whatever makes you unique, makes you a Dum-Doodle.“
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