Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Upton began contributing illustrations professionally at the age of 19 before he graduating from Central Art School. When he noticed that another artist named Upton was illustrating stories for the Evening Standard, he changed his name, adding a second 't', so that their work would not be confused. From his studio in Cheapside, Uptton contributed illustrations to most of the major magazines of the day, including The Strand, Tit-Bits, Good Housekeeping, Women's Illustrated, Tatler, Radio Times, John Bull and The Sphere. Through the agencies of Owen Aves and Clement Danes, he also produced advertising illustrations for a variety of clients (GEC, Johnnie Walker, Mars, Bovril, Guinness, Horlicks, Kelloggs and Nestle), dust jackets for books and illustrations for instructional pamphlets. One of his assignments involved travelling to Ghana on behalf of the Colonial Office to produce a booklet on how to grow better cocoa beans.
Between 1940 and 1942, Uptton was the political cartoonist of the Daily Sketch and Sunday Graphic, and also worked for the Ministry of Information producing propaganda cartoons and posters, as well as serving in the Home Guard. Some of his drawings for the Daily Sketch were reproduced on card and sold to readers.
In the 1960s and 1970s he was a prolific contributor to Treasure, Look and Learn and World of Wonder, the children's educational magazines. He was one of the most prolific contributors to Treasure from its inception in 1963, most notably producing many back covers featuring short verses and front covers on a variety of subjects. He continued to work as a book illustrator until 1987 when his eyesight began to fail.
Uptton lived in west London and was twice married; his second wife, Vivian Elizabeth C Bannerman, whom he married in 1965, died in 1997. Uptton died on 11 February 2006, shortly before his 95th birthday.
Examples of Clive Uptton's artwork can be found for sale at the Illustration Art Gallery.