Michael Leunig is an Australian cartoonist, poet, painter, writer and philosopher; he talks to Eva Radich about the New Zealand psyche, the importance of following your inner duck and drawing as an act of expression.
Leunig has been bringing his famous brand of whimsy to Australia and New Zealand through his cartoons for fifty years.
He began his career in the mid-1960s and his work appeared in radical counter-culture publications nation review and Oz in the early 1970s.
His work was brought to a mainstream audience through Fairfax newspapers; Melbournes’ The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald.
He is in New Zealand later this year taking part in the Dunedin Arts Festival with his talk, What I Have Found To Be True.
Leunig, now in his seventies, told Upbeat that growing old can increase one’s sense of wonder.
“One’s capacity for delight can increase with old age. I feel the young today are so oppressed by anxiety and driven, and kind of lost in a digital thing a little bit.
"And yet they have got hearts and souls that yearn to be free and to be delighted and to love, and I think it’s harder for them now.”
Leunig says that his mature years he have found him working with a new freedom.
“I don’t worry too much, the best is yet to come; one must always feel that I think. The eagerness to invent and create and delight in something.”
Michael Leunig is at Dunedin Arts festival on 4 October.