Ralph Steadman began his career as a cartoonist satirising the British social and political scene of the 60s. In the 1970s, responding to what he called ‘the screaming lifestyle of America’ he teamed up with Hunter S. Thompson which resulted in his iconic drawings for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and collaborations ranging from The Kentucky Derby to The Curse of Lono. Many of his drawings were to be seen in Rolling Stone magazine and he produced his book of collected impressions of America in 1974.
His work has appeared in many newspapers and magazines, from Punch and Private Eye in the early years to the New Statesman, The New Yorker and The Independent.
Early in his career he turned his creative energy to the literary classics, beginning with Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through The Looking Glass. Other illustrated works include Treasure Island, Animal Farm and Fahrenheit 451. He, then, turned to the lives of Sigmund Freud, and, later, Leonardo da Vinci, reinterpreting their genius in both words and drawings. He wrote Doodaaa in 2002, part satire and part autobiography, and The Joke’s Over, a recount of his relationship with Hunter S. Thompson, in 2006.
Much of the 1990s was spent traveling the vineyards and distilleries of the world for Oddbins, the wine merchant. These journeys resulted in three books, The Grapes of Ralph, Untrodden Grapes and Still Life with Bottle.
He has written illustrated children’s books such as Teddy Where Are You and That’s My Dad, and books of poetry with his friend, Adrian Mitchell, in addition to creating sculptures and limited edition prints. He has designed theatre costumes and sets, produced graphics for television and film and designed stamps.
Most recently, he has completed two books with Gonzovationist Ceri Levy– Extinct Boids and Nextinction– about extinct and endangered birds, and is currently working on his third, Critical Critters, which is about endangered animals. He also has a new children’s book in the works called Again! His work continues to influence and inspire artists around the world today.