Allan Cavanagh Irish Cartoonist and Caricature Artist Biography

Allan cavanagh caricature artist ireland self portraitAllan Cavanagh is an award-winning Galway based cartoonist and caricature artist. Originally from Donegal, he moved to Galway as a teenager to study sculpture in Galway RTC (now Galway Atlantic Technological University). In 1997 he joined Macnas after working there as a student the previous year. His first job was the creation of over 300 slip-clay skulls for Druid Theatre Company’s Leenane Trilogy. He worked as a designer, performer, and trainer while there, designing the Carnival of Fools parade for the Galway Arts Festival, and diverse events from the Tour de France to the Ploughing Championships. He performed with Macnas in New York and Dallas, and took part in several exchanges with French theatre company Parole. He has appeared in a U2 video and on New Year’s Eve 1999 he performed with designer Michael Curry’s processional puppets in Times Square.
Allan was lead artist on 2001’s National Sculpture Day in the People’s Park Galway. He has had residencies in Chill Rialaig in Kerry, Errigal Arts Festival, and Galway Arts Centre as part of Seachtain na Gaeilge.

He contributed weekly cartoons to the Connacht Tribune for most of the ‘00s to illustrate long-time Tribune columnist Charlie Adley’s popular Double Vision column (an archive of which you can see here), as well as devising health promotion material using cartoons, with the HSE and Galway Traveller Movement. He has produced on the spot cartoons at conferences for the HSE, NUIG, and the NHS among others, based on the themes being presented.

His cartoons have appeared in various publications, including Hollands Diep magazine and a school textbook in Germany. He has exhibited in Galway, France, Algeria, and the Netherlands. He represented Ireland at the 49+ la BD Francophone Cartoon Festival, Tourcoing in 2008 and in 2009 represented Ireland at the 2eme Festival Bande Dessinee in Algeria.

He is a founding member of the annual Galway Cartoon Festival, which began in 2017.

In 2023 Allan won Supplier of the Year for Gifts & Favours at the inaugral Wedding Suppliers of the Year awards in Johnstown Estate. Allan is currently the highest reviewed caricature artist in Ireland with over 200 5-star Google Reviews.

Allan draws live caricatures at weddings and corporate events. In 2023 Allan drew at over 80 weddings and events, so has probably drawn a decent-sized town over his career so far! He has produced live caricatures for Yelp, Google, Amazon, Ulster Bank, Brown Thomas, Bank of Ireland, and many other organisations around the country, for staff and customers alike. His live caricatures are much sought-after for weddings, where he draws guests on personalised paper. His customised caricatures are also very popular for retirements, birthday gifts, and wedding presents.
Allan Cavanagh
123 Rosan Glas

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