Tuesday, December 13, 2011

MoAD Behind the Lines Political cartooning


I am very pleased to have my artwork featured in the Behind the Lines exhibition of political cartooning for 2011.

The Behind the Lines exhibition will be on display at the Museum of Australian Democracy until 29 March 2012.
A traveling version of the exhibition will go to the following venues:
Cairns Regional Art Gallery: 27 January - 1 April 2012
Riverside Theatres, Parramatta: 11 April-27 May 2012

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dynamic Portrait Painting in Oils at McGregor Summer School

There is no denying that the founders of the McGregor Schools were visionaries.
From humble beginnings back in January 1969 - with three painting classes and 43 students – the McGregor Summer School has grown to become the ultimate creative arts retreat.
Now entering its 44th year, the School is a leader in the field of packaged arts workshops, offering up to fifty classes and attracting hundreds of participants and an impressive line-up of tutors from across the nation.
It has become a meeting-place for like-minded people; artists, enthusiasts and administrators with a shared love of the Arts.
Beautiful music is made by students in violin, viola, cello, double bass, jazz bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba, percussion, piano and jazz vocal classes.
Masterpieces are painted, drawn, sculpted, stitched and carved in the fine art studios. Painting enthusiasts can learn how to produce Dynamic Portraits in Oils, go on a Pastel Adventure or Draw the Wild.
A range of creative arts alternative such as Bead Embroidery, Creative Writing, Calligraphy, Digital Photography and a variety of Jewellery Making classes round-out the program.
It is a place where absolute beginners can work side-by-side with more advanced and even professional artists in a creative wonderland.
The ten-day Arts Retreat is the ultimate get-away package; offering a relaxed and stimulating environment to create your very own works of art alongside the best tutors in the country by day and, in the evening, enjoying a full program of social and entertainment options including concerts, slide-shows, trivia nights, exhibitions, markets and, to top it all off, a masked ball.
That’s the McGregor Experience!
So, whether you’d like to treat yourself to creative escape or your children to a music or POP Youth Arts experience, the McGregor Summer School is a fabulous option.
The McGregor Summer School will run from 4-14 January at USQ, Toowoomba - for further information visit www.usq.edu.au/mcgregor or contact Liz or Christine on 07 4631 2755.
But be quick – enrolments close soon!
Media Contact: Michelle Fox, USQ Artsworx, +61 7 4631 1114 or 0439 911 623

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Brisbane Writers Festival 2011

I had the great prividge of being a part of the Brisbane writers Festival. I took three caricature workshops and was invited to speak on a panel discussion. The subject was get The Message. I spoke with the very talented and creative people .

Niromi de Soyza is a Sri Lankan woman that joined the Tamil Tigers during the countries revolution. Ali Alizadeh is an amazing Iranian poet. Farid Farid is an Egyption commentator specialising in Eatern Literature. I felt very humble to be amongst these very interesting people.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Brisbane Writers Festival

I will be running three workshops and speaking as part of a panel at the Brisbane Writers Festival.
The talk is titled " Get The Message" speaking about politics and the various methods of commincating opinion in a variety of mediums. My fellow speakers are Niromi de Soyza from Sri Lanka , Farid Farid from Egypt and Ali Alizadeh from Iran.
I am as fascinated to hear their stories as I am excited to be sharing a panel with them.

I shall also be running three workshops on cartooning and caricature at the BWF WordPlay.

Dynamic Oil Painting Course

I am taking a two week full time course in oil Painting at the McGregor Summer School in Towoomba. The course will run from January 4 to 14th 2012.
I am looking forward to running this course for beginners to pass on all I know about painting portraits in Oils.

So great to back with the McGregor Art School!


Gulf News Interview

Gulf News in Dubai have run a story about my work as a Caricature Artist. it is nice to stay in touch with Dubai and I am pleased there is still interest in my work over there.


Qld Clarion Award Nomination

I have been nominated for a Clarion award! I am pleased that even though I have been out of the industry as a full time professional for so long, my artwork is still recognised within the media industry.
It should be a great night of glam dressup, entertainment and good grub and I am just pleased to have been nominated...truely! :)

Fingers and Toes!


Sydney Opera House Cartoon Show

A bit of fun! The Sydney Opera House are running a wonderful event on cartooning, animation and comic book at. I wish I could be there ! However, my cartoon work will be included in aa display by Graphic. cartoons on grievances. Not surprisingly, I had quite a few!

Freelance Media Talk

I have been asked to join a panel discussion on freelance work at the Media Industry Event at The Edge, Brisbane State Library September 1st. I am looking forward to passing on my experiences in this area to media students and meeting again, journalists I worked with at Qld Newspapers..

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bunnings Trade show

A couple of the fun Burlesque caricatuers i drew att he Bunnings Trade Show.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Please check out my new web page. This one is just for my Fine Art and Painting and The Brooekr Studio exhibitions and workshops.

Monday, June 27, 2011

New Web page

Check out my new web page BrookerFineArt.com
It is in progress so pop in and have a look at how it develops. Feedback welcome.
This is a web page for my fien art, oil painting and illustration work. I am creating a brand new art course in Beginner Oil Painting. Everything I learn I pass on to you. The course will be put onto this web page as a free intro.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Gulf News Interview Dubai UAE

Questions for Joanne Brooker, Illustrator & Caricaturist


  1. How did it all begin? Tell us a little of your early life and influences, and when you knew you wanted to be a caricaturist? An unusual career choice, maybe?
  2. I can clearly remember at age five, trying to draw a rose. Finally I drew round scribbles with a stick stem. Another child said it looked like the scribbles were petals and I was amazed. From that moment on all I wanted to do was to figure out how to make lines into objects. I used to draw all the time at school, even if I should have been working. The most obvious thing to draw was the teacher. That was how I learned caricature, good and bad! I was surprised that I was being praised for my drawing even the cheeky drawings of my teachers. It was an easy move from drawing teachers to drawing politicians at the newspaper!


  1. How would you say a caricaturist differs from an artist? What are the key skills a caricaturist must have? Talk us through how you decide on which personality is a good subject, how you start thinking about representing him or her, and how long it typically takes you to finish one caricature?


  2. A caricaturist understands face recognition. We all have the ability to recognize faces but are not aware of the thought process that is instinctive to us all from birth. I look for the features on a face that I recognize in that person and then I exaggerate them. A caricature looks more like the person than a regular drawing as it mimics the way the brain sees faces. I then add my feelings and what I want to say about that person. If I feel strongly about the subject then the caricature is strong. That is what makes caricature powerful as it can be more honest than some subjects are comfortable with. Most caricatures take minutes to draw but there is a lot of thinking going on before I put pen to paper. Once the face is in my head, it is easily transferred to paper.


3. Tell us about your Dubai adventure? What were some of the most interesting commissions and your most cherished memories of living in Dubai?

I lived in Jumeirah Beach Residences overlooking the Gulf. I thought I was in paradise. We moved in before it became popular and often had the beach to ourselves. I taught caricature at many schools around Dubai which was fun. Kids in the UAE are very open and confident. I also drew caricatures at Atlantis Hotel which was an amazing experience. It was a very successful venture and I wish it could have continued.

My biggest project in Dubai was drawing caricatures of people that live all about Dubai. I wanted to find a way to meet and connect with all the nationalities and levels in Dubai. Myself and another artist, went about Dubai from the fish market, souks, clubs, barbers, restaurants, building sites, camel farms to the financial centre. We drew caricatures and gave them away in return for a photo.


  1. Do you think people have forgotten to laugh today, caught up as they are in the rat race and stress of 21st Century living? How can a caricaturist help inject a sense of humour in society?

I don't think people have forgotten to laugh, in fact we look for opportunities to laugh as much as possible. The stresses of life and especially with the results of the GFC, make it vital that we take the time to lighten up. At the end of life do we treasure money and objects or the time we spent laughing with our friends and family? As a caricaturist I love to make people laugh. If I give them a drawing and they smile then I feel it is more valuable than any money. However, I do still need to make a living!



  1. Tell us a little about your family, and your biggest priorities today?

    My family were a big part of my return to Australia. As much as I love to travel the only place you really belong is where your family is. I had to constantly return to Australia from Dubai as my daughters kept having babies! I now have seven grandchildren and they are my biggest priority.

    I will always travel and look for adventure and I hope this will teach them that the world is a wonderful place and that they can do anything they set their minds to.


  1. Any big dreams, or magnum opus project that remains to be fulfilled?
  2. My dream now is to extend my artistic abilities into oil painting of portraits. I have begun a series of paintings which will be exhibited at the end of the year. I am already taking commissions. Maybe one day, my work will be worthy to be exhibited in Dubai!


7. Your biggest strengths and your greatest weaknesses? (three of each, if possible)

I always say my strengths are my weaknesses and my weaknesses my strengths. They all go to make up the complex creature that is me. I am resilient and stubborn, tolerant and impatient. I do not like being told what to do but I appreciate instruction from those I admire. I don't like pomposity or arrogance but I can be guilty of both. I am cheeky and childish which can also be flippant and silly. I try hard to be honest as I am a very bad liar. All this I put into my art.


  1. Apart from your art, what are your favourite pastimes? What is a typical day in your life like?

    I enjoy disappearing into a book. I love traveling and have a list of all the countries I am yet to visit. I love camping and being in nature. My day will always have art in it somewhere, reading about it, drawing or painting, writing up lessons or watching documentaries about it. I love to teach people as I am always learning from my students.


  1. Did you manage to interact with any Emirati artists and caricaturists during your time in Dubai? Do you think the Emirati culture has a tradition of caricature at all?

    I taught caricature at the Dubai Ladies Club which gave me an opportunity to meet Emirate ladies. There is certainly plenty of artistic talent there! Interest in cartooning and animation has been encouraged in Dubai, with the success of Mohammed Saeed Harib wonderful animated stories Freej. I hope that Emirates will continue to see animation and cartooning as a viable career. Caricature is in every culture if you look back far enough through the history of art. Times and context often decides when it makes itself known.


10. Any regrets about life? Any ambitions left to pursue? If you were not a caricaturist, what would you have been?

I sometimes wish I had known as a young woman what I know now, but then if I had then maybe I wouldn't have learned what I now know! I wish I had gone to university when I had the chance but then life follows its path and there is no way of knowing if some other path might have been better.

If I had not been a caricaturist I would have been a photographer. I think that would have given me the chance to do more creatively and to use it document life. I admire war photographers in particular..



Quick Questions:


1. Secrets to living life to the full.....don't take yourself too seriously, no one else does!


2. Life to you is.......................full of promise


3. Favourite artists / caricaturists of all time? Sebastian Kruger who made caricature recognized as a fine art.


4. Three things that you love and hate about Dubai? I loved it drama, it's crazy originality and its extremism.
Hate is too harsh a word but I was disappointed that the GFC caused the worst to come out in some people. I hope that one day Dubai can and will welcome back the people that wanted to be a part of Dubai in spirit as well as for income. Taxi drivers could be a challenge at times as well!


5. Your two favourite cartoon characters from the world of art or film?

Alice in Wonderland and the illustrations of John Tenniel.

Fred Flintstone, who I used to draw from the television when I was a little girl. The artwork of Hanna Barbera still fascinated me.


6. Can computer animation ever replace the art of caricature?

No. Nothing replaces the hand of an artist.


Gulf News Interview Dubai UAE

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mcgregor Summer School

Joanne Brooker has been invited to run her ten day Dynamic Portraiture Oil Painting course at the McGregor Summer School a the University of Southern Queensland, Towoomba.

Running from January 4 -14 2012.

Check out the web page for the upcoming program.

Brisbane Writers Festival

Joanne Brooker will be featured at the Brisbane Writers Festival.
www.brisbanewritersfestival.com.au 7 - 11 September 2011.
There will be a panel discussion on the subject of Working Overseas. Joanne will also be taking four caricature workshops with WordPlay. Check out the web page for the upcoming program.

Monday, March 21, 2011

MEAA Freelance Conference

I have been invited to speak on the panel for the MEAA freealnce Conference in Melbourne. The Conference runs from Thursday /Friday May 19/20 at The Wheeler Centre, Lonsdale St, Melbourne.
The topic for this panel discussion is Secrets for Successful Freelancing. I have been asked to speak about working overseas and how this has expanded my business and work experiences.

There is a lot of interest in my experiences living and working in a Middle Eastern country. This will be a very interesting and informative event and I am looking forward to not only being a part of this but also meeting with other freelance writers, photographers and artists.