Raymond Hawkey (DW 3 December 2001) is a welcome addition to the Heroes series. But I guess, largely due to the retiring nature of the man, few will have heard of him, but know his work.
I had the privilege of working with him at The Observer for two years from 1966. Starting on the colour magazine working with Tony Mullins and David Cripps, other unsung heroes, and then later with the combining of the creative department in both colour magazine and newspaper – resulting in Hawkey becoming overall creative guru.
In those days the studio was almost as much production as creative, and being the junior, soon became adept at many of the menial jobs, but we always shared the creative work.
Hawkey was the guiding hand, always encouraging, gently pushing creativity, keeping away from The Observer’s notorious drinking habits and handling a couple of projects at the same time.
My memory of him is on a Friday night, as we scurried to ‘put things to bed’, I had to deep-etch three black and white, ten by eight prints of furry animals. (In the pre-computer age, deep-etching was done manually with process white paint and a good brush.)
Hawkey comes into the studio and asks if everything is OK, and can he help? We all grunt, ‘It’s all fine, no thank you.’ On his way past me he notices that I’m on the first deep-etch of three. So he says: ‘Here, let me do one of those for you’. And he did, and it was the best of three’.
Johannesburg, South Africa