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Mike Payne

Renowned award winning international artist Mike Payne is best known as the creator of ranges and concepts of hugely successful characters and licensed merchandise known across the world.


After 26 years in the civil service, Mike Payne broke free and became a renowned international award-winning cartoonist and illustrator. Mike is now one of the UK’s leading and most respected experts in the world of commercial humour, greeting card design, illustrative art, books and gift concept development. Images and creations from the many characters he has created have an immediate and instinctive appeal, and it is estimated that greetings cards featuring his creations have sold in excess of ten hundred million worldwide.

Mike was asked to create a bear with a great depth of feeling for the then newly formed company Carte Blanche Greetings in 1987, and working under his pen name of “Miranda”, Mike created a phenomenon.

Mike’s ‘Tatty Teddy’ character for the ‘Me to You’ concept (the charcoal bear with the blue nose), together with other unique creations, have won numerous awards in the USA, Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and, of course, the UK. Mike has travelled the world doing many “signings” and after seventeen years of drawing the teddy bear, in 2004, decided the time was right to move on to pastures new.

Mike was Sky News cartoonist in 1998 – 2000 where he drew cartoons of the week’s news live on television. This was the perfect environment to entertain and promote the art of cartooning, for which he is globally renowned.

In 2006 Mike created “Charlie’s Ark” about a five-year old boy who brings the stuffed animals in his toy-box ark to life by uttering a magic “Wordspell”. Two audio CD’s “Charlie’s Ark – The First Collection” and “Charlie’s Ark – The Second Collection” were recorded for Andrews UK Ltd.

During “Lockdown” in 2020 Mike decide to write a full book for children of Charlie’s Ark stories which was launched at The Ritz in London on 19th September 2021. The illustrations for the book were done in concert by Mike and his good friend and talented illustrator Adam Pescott. The book was picked up by FuturumKids, (Four EMMY award winners of “Jakers”) an animation company from Ireland.

The FuturumKids team have inked a co-production and co-distribution deal with Toonz Media Group, the global kids and family entertainment major. With an incredible legacy going back two decades, Toonz Media Group specialises in high quality content creation, production and distribution and have invested £5M in production. Charlie’s Ark is now being made into a global children’s television 3G series. Production started in March 2023.

Mike’s new concept is a spot cartoon series called “Little Else”. It’s about a five year old girl’s take on life and her unique thoughts and sayings. It is now gathering momentum on social media.

A lecturer at schools and colleges, with many TV appearances to his name and a passion for professional acting, Mike is a sought after and original public speaker. Mike is still creating, writing, drawing and painting.