Connect with us

Thai Life

Pencilling humor into Phuket people’s lives

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: THE provocative and amusing work of Dutch artist Iskander Walen is everywhere, even on Phuket.

His art has been exhibited in Paris and Singapore, featuring regularly in Today newspaper, FHM and I-S magazines to name a few, as well as being published in two best-selling books.

His popularity lies in the simplicity of his art. Whether it’s a sculpture of a bomb with a woman’s breast protruding from it, or a cartoon mocking society, Iskander’s work appeals to the masses in its universality and humor.

Recently, two workshops held at Phuket International Academy (PIA) gave 27 students, both adults and children, the chance to tap into Iskander’s contagious enthusiasm and passion for expression through illustration.

“Art should be for fun and enjoyment, not suffering and deep thinking. It has become a bit elitist and pretentious. This is “Cartooning helps them to present and communicate these ideas, which are key to human development,” he says.

“My experience here [in Phuket] has confirmed what I already know. Cartoon drawing is not only for a certain group of people. The students here are all very qualified and it is not over their heads at all,” he says.

At the PIA cartoon workshops, Iskander introduced his students to a number of techniques: developing a character, how to draw facial and bodily expressions, and where to place a speech bubble. But Iskander says being a good cartoonist is not all about skill.

“The best cartoons are not the most beautifully drawn, they are the most interesting. Charlie Brown is really just a variation of a stick man,” he says.

The work produced during the workshops showcased the students’ individuality, with the cartoons expressing everything from slap-stick humor to social commentary.

“Cartooning is for everyone, it’s less daunting than other art forms. It’s second only to photography nonsense,” Iskander explains. For the past year Iskander has been teaching cartoon workshops around Asia in a bid to spread this message.

“All people, no matter how inexpressive, have world views and imagination to some degree. In terms of accessibility, but it is cheaper. All you need is a pencil,” he says.

There are also developmental benefits to cartoon sketching, the artist says. “It is also educational because it combines things you already know, like biology and physics, with topical, new information,” he adds.

So get those pencils out and start scribbling. If you want some inspiration Iskander’s work and tips can be found at

— Alexandra Andersson


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Vietnam9 hours ago

Ho Chi Minh launches 3-stage reopening plan, international on January 1

Kanchanaburi10 hours ago

Border shacks to be demolished for aiding Burmese immigrants

Tourism10 hours ago

Tourism calls for Russia and India to be added to safe list

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Economy11 hours ago

Bank of Thailand plans real-world test of digital currency in 2022

Hua Hin12 hours ago

Hua Hin calls for delay in reopening amid Covid-19 infections

Chiang Mai12 hours ago

Chiang Mai Covid-19 infections swell ahead of reopening

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Koh Samui13 hours ago

Thailand’s bars and beach parties remain strictly closed (cough)

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Covid-19 Sunday: Deaths fall to low of 56, provincial data

Tourism15 hours ago

Ministry of Foreign Affairs sings praises of Thailand Pass

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Covid-19 in prison: outbreaks from overcrowding now subsiding

Coronavirus (Covid-19)16 hours ago

Covid-19 deaths receding, but still here; 1 month old baby dies

Crime1 day ago

Van packed with 39 illegal burmese workers stopped in Phichit

Vietnam1 day ago

Vietnam to test reopening starting with Phu Quoc Island

World1 day ago

Chinese law to limit homework and tutoring pressure on kids

Bangkok1 day ago

Thai man takes grandfather hostage in Bangkok standoff

Thailand1 month ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism8 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11