Tomi Ungerer – OFFSET 2015

At 83 years old, Tomi was the oldest speaker of the weekend sharing his wise words about his career and work culture with the audience in an interview style presentation. The interview was conducted by Steve Simpson, though at times it felt as though Tomi was the one in more control – “I’m not done talking about this yet…” ha!

Tomi Ungerer at OFFSET 2015

Tomi’s talk was actually an interview with Steve Simpson.

Tomi is an eccentrically funny old man coming out with one-liners consistently. In fact he pretty much opened by saying “I don’t normally do interviews, but I will probably die soon.” To which Steve replied “we have an hour, is that enough time?” The talk wasn’t all humour though, as there were snippets of Tomi’s childhood growing up in Nazi occupied France during the second world war.

You can watch the whole interview from OFFSET’s archive below.

Having been brainwashed during school and generally having a disrupted upbringing, Tomi managed to develop an interest in illustration. Throughout his career, his work has spanned across children’s books to controversial adult content and political satire.

Tomi Ungerer at OFFSET 2015 – Adult illustrations

Some illustration work from Tomi’s career as an illustrator.

Tomi Ungerer at OFFSET 2015 – Illustration for the New York Times

Throughout Tomi’s career, he has worked for various publications including the New York Times.

Tomi Ungerer at OFFSET 2015

As an illustrator, Tomi envies those who can spend a long time on a piece of work. He says he has “too many ideas to get down on paper” to be able to work slowly on something. In comparison to most of the other speakers of the weekend, this seemed to be quite the opposite approach to work.

It’s worth noting that Tomi was the only speaker to get a standing ovation over the whole weekend which clearly affected him emotionally, bless him.

Tomi Ungerer at OFFSET 2015

There was a standing ovation for Tomi after the interview had finished.

Tomi Ungerer at OFFSET 2015

Throughout the talk, there were many bell ringing moments, it turns out that he has a bicycle bell attached to his walking stick.

See more of Tomi’s work over at

Tomi Ungerer's Books

Tomi Ungerer's Books –

Tomi has released a number of books during his career. His satirical style and humour give a great insight into his creative mind. Take a look at some of his books on Amazon including The Three Robbers.

More from OFFSET 2015

Check out some other speakers from OFFSET 2015 with my roundup post that has links to all other OFFSET related things and keep checking back for more posts!

View all the OFFSET 2015 posts

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