Portrait Gets a Giggle


Garry Lightfoot has had an amazing career—at the height of it he worked for Fairfax Media and the Sydney Morning Herald as Art Director, a highly responsible job with a lot of pressure, that he remembers now as ‘the best job in the world’.

Garry was one of those kids who doodled and drew—never needed to study art, because he was brimming with natural talent. As a young man he began a journey working in the media, beginning under the tutelage of the legendary cartoonist Paul Rigby in Western Australia, before leaving the West and scoring a job with Fairfax in Sydney. It was the 80s and he was riding high on the wave of his own ability earning himself a reputation as one of the best.

‘It was during the time of the advent of the computer,’ he says, ‘a revolutionary, chaotic time of change which some people embraced and others didn’t.’

For Garry it was an incredibly rewarding time that enabled him to earn a name for himself, in particular in the court room, where he covered some of the great media sensations of the 80s including the Fitzgerald Inquiry and the subsequent investigation into corruption in the Queensland Government, for which he was awarded the NSW Law Society’s Golden Gavel Award.

After Fairfax Garry spent some time working in other media organisations but eventually went out on his own, and these days he is a freelance caricaturist and portrait artist, living in Lennox Head and offering his services to local clients.

One such client is Rob Moir from Northern Rivers Seafood, who recently decided that his old staff caricature—that had been hanging on the wall since it was originally done by another artist in 1995—needed updating. The business had grown, several staff had changed, and it was time.

Rob knew of Garry’s reputation and had heard of his uncanny ability to capture people’s likenesses in two minutes on the back of a beer coaster. So he got in touch, and Garry was given the ‘challenging’ task of capturing the personalities of all of Rob’s key staff and immotalising them on paper forever.

And here’s the result. Check out more of Garry’s portfolio.

One Response

  1. Ken Frampton

    I wonder what happened to those great drawings of club members drawn by Garry that were displayed in the clubhouse. It would be great if they could e found and displayed again as many were of personalities now passed on.


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