Earle Boulter is a jack of all trades. He’s a teacher, cartoonist, balloon artist, and even drives around Australian Open tennis stories.
He sat down with Charlene Macaulay last week to run through his many and varied roles.
How did you become a cartoonist?
I used to live with a graffiti artist up in Queensland. I just sat there one day drawing Fred Flintstone and thought, ‘Wow, I could do this without even looking at the picture’.
So I started drawing Simpsons characters. I had a little stand at Werribee Plaza drawing cartoon characters and it went from there.
I’ve got a couple of agents and people hear about me through my website.
I’m drawing on Easter Sunday at Etihad Stadium for Collingwood’s presidential lunch. I get some good corporate gigs.
You have six different jobs – run me through them.
I’m a school PE teacher part-time, a cartoonist, a balloon artist, a presenter for VicRoads; I do L-to-P training for VicRoads; and in January, I drive all the tennis players around for the Australian Open.
All my jobs have come to me in one way or another.
I’m not stressed out, which is the important thing.
I was diagnosed with cancer after being under some massive stress at work, so I gave up stressful work for my health.
What kind of cancer did you have?
Bowel cancer. I was diagnosed in 2009, when [my wife] Monika was about five months pregnant with our son, Xavier. The chemotherapy and radiotherapy means I can’t have any more kids.
What’s it like driving tennis players around? Do you get to choose your passengers?
You basically roll up and get a ticket and that says who you’re picking up, where you’re picking them up from and where they’re going. I’ve driven the Williams sisters, Andy Murray. Most of them are happy to chat. The top 10 are great, but number 400 in the world – who has just scraped through on a qualifier – think they’re it.
How did you meet Monika?
Monika and I met at the gym. Our wedding celebrant called me the stalker, but that’s untrue – Monika hunted me down. She was doing the same training and I just followed her around doing my activities and asked her out for a coffee … she shut me down immediately.
Then, two weeks later, we bumped into each other after the Grand Prix at the pub and that was it.