Having your first ever paycheck signed by Gerry Anderson, after landing a job on his 1980s puppet series Terrahawks, sets the bar pretty high. But sculptor and cartoonist Stephen Mansfield has managed to land one amazing job after another in his 30-year career, characterising countless famous faces for Spitting Image, creating monsters for Doctor Who and now carefully recreating celebrity visages for Madame Tussauds in London.

But after years of making 3D sculptures for others, Stephen has recently rediscovered his love of drawing and, inspired by cartoonists such as Ralph Steadman and Quentin Blake, has begun creating his own artwork.

“My real joy is cartoon caricatures,” says the Winchmore Hill artist, who will be exhibiting his drawings properly for the first time at the Southgate and Palmers Green Designers Art and Craft Fair this weekend.

“They are very scratchy and I use old pens and blob on the ink and do them mostly freehand and just let my imagination fly, really,“ says the 49-year-old.

Although he has done a few famous faces such as Mick Jagger, Humphrey Bogart and Captain Mainwaring from Dad’s Army, Stephen prefers to draw “generic” people and scenes which people can see themselves in.

“I did sit down at one point to think of some famous people to draw but realised if I did someone like Harry Styles only a certain number of people would know who he was. But with the generic ones people always says ‘oh that’s like my grandma’ or ‘my mate does that’.”

Born in Palmers Green, Stephen discovered his talent for art at Hazelwood Junior and Winchmore School and developed it at Middlesex Polytechnic.

The job on Terrahawks came about through a mixture of industry contacts and luck but landing the gig on Doctor Who, at the start of Sylvester McCoy’s era, was a childhood dream come true. Stephen got to create giant human bat creatures, the famous melting head in episode Dragonfire – “we got quite a lot of stick for it as people thought it was too gory for children” – and the demon that the Brigadier fought in his final episode, Battlefield.

“I used to watch it when I was a kid and think ‘that would be a really cool job, going in every day and making monsters’,“ says Stephen, “so to end up doing it eventually was definitely a box ticked.”

He went on to work on satirical series Spitting Image, sculpting Noel Edmonds, Jason Donovan, Ken Dodd, Nigel Lawson and one of the many Margaret Thatcher puppets.

“It was a lot of fun as the team was quite young.

“If someone was suddenly in the news we would sometimes only have a few days to create their puppet.”

Jobs with The Jim Henson Company and on West End shows such as Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables followed before he joined Madame Tussauds 15 years ago, recently sculpting Dame Judi Dench.

“I suppose it does sound quite interesting when you say it all in one go like that,” chuckles Stephen.

“But now I have started doing these drawings I have found my real joy in them. Hopefully others will like them too.”

The Art and Craft Fair is at St Monica’s Parish Centre, Cannon Hill on Sunday, November 16, 10am to 6pm. Details: openstudios.uk.com