Thanks to a Supporting CAST grant, Lauren Cunningham’s painting and drawing students took part in a two-day cartooning workshop with graphic artist Charles Varner. This hands-on introduction to cartooning workshop allowed students to connect with an expert in the field. Varner, a freelance illustrator/artist for more than 40 years and an adjunct instructor in TCU’s and UTA's graphic design departments, is well known at Fort Worth Country Day: He designed the campus map for the spring 2014 ISAS Arts Festival hosted by the School.
Cunningham was introduced to Varner in 2013, when he was commissioned by FWCD to design the campus map for festival. “I was very impressed with Charles and his work, and I invited him to teach two illustration workshops at the festival,” she said. “The workshops were very well received by students. I am thrilled that Charles returned to FWCD and that the painting/drawing students have the opportunity to learn about cartooning from an expert.”
A TCU alumnus, Varner graduated with a double major in Commercial Art and Sculpture. He attended classes at The Kansas City Art Institute and has been recognized by the Hallmark Cards Scholastic Art Awards. His designs and illustrations appeared in the 1971 Horned Frog Yearbook. This publication received The Printing Industry Award for best college yearbook. Varner also illustrated a major recruitment campaign for TCU and began his freelance illustration career in 1972. Varner worked for Don Ivan Punchatz at Sketch Pad Studio after graduating from TCU.
Varner is a member of the New York Society of Illustrators, the Houston Society of Illustrators, and the Dallas Society of Illustrators. His clients include Exxon, IBM, Microsoft, Tandy/Radio Shack, TCU, 7-UP/Dr Pepper, Arlington Convention Center, Pepsi, Frito Lay, Boy Scouts of America, Neiman Marcus, American Airlines, Bell Telephone, AT&T, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Six Flags Over Texas, Bestfares.com, Dallas Magazine, Dallas Zoo, Fort Worth Zoo, Columbia Pictures, Interstate Batteries, Random House, TXU Electric, Chief Auto Parts, Seven Eleven Stores, SMU, Bell Helicopter, State Fair of Texas, Greyhound, Dallas Morning News, Borden, Old El Paso, Lee Jeans, Trophy Club, Northpark Shopping Center, Huguley Hospital ER and Fort Worth Country Day.