Rowel Friers was a cartoonist and illustrator born in Belfast in 1920. He was educated at Park Parade Intermediate School, Belfast and then in 1935, he began an apprenticeship as a designer and lithographer at S.C Allen & Co Ltd. He went on to further his education at the Belfast College of Art. From the age of four, Friers has been drawing cartoons of people such as his relatives.
In 1940, the Portsmouth Evening news became the first newspaper to publish Rowel’s work and this was the beginning of his career. After that, he set up his own studio and began producing images for other publications.
Friers was appointed MBE in 1977 and then in 1981, he was awarded an Honorary MA from the Open University. He was also elected President of the Royal Ulster Academy of Arts in 1994.