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Stay at Home Comforts: Pete McKee

Celebrated Sheffield artist Pete McKee hasn't put down his pen during this pandemic.

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Many local parents will already have appreciated the Cartoon Workshop series McKee has provided for free on his YouTube channel to help keep families entertained during lockdown.

But the esteemed scribbler has also drawn attention to the exceptional efforts of key workers across different sectors, with 50% of the profits from sales of his Frontline Warrior print going to NHS Charities Together.

Hi Pete. How are you and what have you been up to today?

I'm doing well thanks. Today was team meeting day with the gang. We discussed the pub quiz I did at the weekend and what we are doing in the future. I also played with Little Eric, my chihuahua pup.

If you had to sum up your lockdown experience so far in one sentence, what would it be?

Very busy and sometimes trying, but overall doable.

Are you doing anything in particular to keep your spirits up?

I'm throwing myself into my work to help keep me occupied, trying to keep myself and the nation entertained [laughs].

Do you have any music, book, film or TV recommendations you'd like to share?

I'm finding TV that is meditative to watch. There was this narrow boat program on the other day which was ace and I love watching people mend or create things, so The Repair Shop, Handmade on The Silk Road and evening Wheeler Dealers is great TV for me. I also love watching stuff like Rick and Morty and other animation series.

I enjoyed the film Hide and Seek the other night and I'm currently re-reading Watchmen after seeing the great TV series.

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Is there a particular restaurant, cafe or pub you're missing, or a local delivery you've enjoyed?

I'm missing The Brothers Arms, Hopper Cafe, Jonty's, Homemade by Thelma's, Butta la Pasta, Ashoka... Things I've enjoyed are Seven Hills, JH Mann Fishmongers and Two Steps.

What inspired your Frontline Warrior print?

I was upset by the lack of government support for the frontline in the way of personal protection and the matter-of-fact reliance on the working class who are being put at risk to keep society running, but will be discarded once this is all over and the fat cats will go back to creaming off the top. So I wanted to recognise and celebrate these heroes and heroines.

How have you found doing the Cartoon Workshops and how does it feel knowing that the first episode has already racked up about 45,000 views?

I'm reminded daily on Twitter how much the workshops are impacting in a positive way on children who are growing in confidence artistically. It's a truly wonderful thing that I wasn't expecting.

What's the first place in Sheffield you want to visit once lockdown is over?

The Brothers Arms with my Everly Pregnant Brothers band mates and our beaus.

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