About a month ago, I was told that I inspired someone to pursue a career as a cartoonist. That’s pretty cool, right? This person is still in high school, but her work is far above average… she could really do something. I thanked her by doing a drawing for her. She, in turn, thanked ME by drawing an entire comic book using me, Bob, Lez, Lauren and Lucy as the characters. For those of you that don’t know, an entire comic book is A LOT of work. It was hand colored too.
I know, right? Pretty cool.
The following is an email response to the comic and her dreams. I hesitated to share this at first, but I think it could help someone out there that needs a little bump… be it in pursuit of a career or anything else.
got your wonderful comic last night. i can definitely see all the hard work that you put into it. you should be extremely proud of yourself. thank you for not only sharing it with me, but including both me and my family (literally) in it.
i don’t have to tell you that being a cartoonist is tough. it’s not the toughest job in the world, but it’s still tough. should you decide to dedicate yourself to this, you look forward to many sleepless nights, near constant aggravation, overwork with the prospect of little or no pay and a nagging lack of respect from “real” artists. that being said, it’s all worth it when you draw something that makes you laugh or makes you sit back and wonder, “how did i just do that?”
you don’t get into this thing for the money… you get into it because:
A. you can’t picture yourself doing anything else.
B. you have something to say…and
C. for moments like i just described.
there is a long road ahead of you…as there is in front of me. i’m not nearly where i want to be professionally, but i’m stubborn enough to keep at it, despite every single thing telling me to turn around. i’ve sacrificed an awful lot in order to get this dream within my sights. i’m sure i’ll be sacrificing a lot more before it is achieved.
you’re young. you have time to check out what’s out there… don’t dedicate yourself to one thing right now. there may be something out there you’ve never heard of that might speak to you more than cartooning. treat life like a buffet. get a plate and put a little bit of everything on it. taste everything you can. once you’ve done that, go back for what was the most delicious to you. you’ll find as you get older that you may not get many chances to go to the buffet.
if cartooning is what is in your dna, then go for it. but check other stuff out first. regret is a nasty feeling…stay away from it if you can.
i’m honored to have played a small part in what you want your future to look like and/or be. if you ever need any brutally honest advice, don’t hesitate to contact me. who knows, maybe one day i’ll be working for you.
Being a cartoonist day in and day out takes much more than talent. It takes discipline, love and stubbornness… But doesn’t anything worth anything?