Tony Colley is an Illustrator, Cartoonist and Comic Artist

Tony Colley has been drawing ever since he was old enough to hold a crayon and not immediately eat it. As a toddler, he often got into trouble for scribbling on the walls and the furniture and the dog.

Before he could even read, Tony would excitedly destroy the Sunday newspaper just to get to the comics, and then study them for hours. Keep in mind, though, he also destroyed a television set trying to find where it kept the cartoons, so maybe cool it if you were planning to label him a prodigy or anything.

At school, Tony showed promise in art and his teachers told him that drawing funny pictures could be a career. Of course, he didn’t believe that for a second and went on to have a number of weird jobs as an adult like checking bus timetables, designing horse websites and putting those little numbers in the corners of receipt books. But he never stopped creating, and he often got into trouble for drawing on the manilla folders and the expense reports and the dog, and for bringing a dog to work.

Illustration and Comics

Eventually he realised that a career doing the thing he loved was still waiting for him, and he went for it. Now his illustration work appears in books, magazines, video games and on the web. Which isn’t to say he didn’t get a bunch of rejection letters along the way. He drew on them.

In addition, Tony loves putting words with his pictures, creating comic strips and serials for magazines and a growing web audience. He even taught sequential art in a popular series of kids’ draw-along workshops at Australia’s National Cartoon Gallery. The kids asked him what ‘sequential’ meant and he said he didn’t know, but it sounded cool. Then they asked him ‘why not just say “cartooning” instead’ and he mumbled something about covering all the search engine keywords. Then they asked if he ‘was allowed to bring a dog into the gallery’ and ‘wouldn’t a whiteboard be better’ and he said ‘class dismissed’.

People describe his sense of humour as ‘oddball’, ‘offbeat’ and ‘I wish he’d shut up about skeletons, we weren’t even talking about skeletons, he just brought up skeletons out of nowhere’.

Tony lives in Queensland, Australia with his wife and two children.