Next month, August 2017, will mark the five year anniversary of my partnership with United Business Media, a large multinational publishing company based in London, UK. I currently do work for a number of independent web and print publishers under the UBM banner. Those clients are Diagnostic Imaging, Physician’s Practice, Psychiatric Times, All Analytics, Medical Economics, Cancer Network, and Ophthalmology Times. I have drawn for a number of other UBM sites that have either stopped running cartoons, been absorbed by other brands, or just went the way of the dodo. The current clients represent a large volume of work for me, as I regularly draw cartoons for each of these sites and magazines, and it all started with answering an ad in Craigslist five years ago.
Back in the summer of 2012, I saw an ad posted by the editor of a startup site called ‘Future Cities,’ which was a publication dealing with the future of global urbanization, sustainability, and technology. It ran for a short time, going under after 2 or 3 years, but it did get my foot in the door, aside from me making a decent income in those couple years they were in operation. Before the demise of Future Cities, the editor attended a conference with her peers and told other editors about my cartoons there, and that if they were looking to add some entertainment content to their sites, I was the guy they should get ahold of. I didn’t know this until after the emails started coming in. All of a sudden I’m getting hit with offers from editors at other UBM sites to draw for them on a regular basis. Of course, I said yes! And I’ve had a rewarding partnership with all these clients ever since.
So you never know what an opportunity can turn into. I recommend always keeping your eyes peeled for opportunities, as one job can lead to many. Even though I’m a busy working cartoonist with a decent amount of regular clients, I still look through Craigslist (and a few other sites) periodically for possible gigs. I also submit to many print and online publications that run cartoons, but that is complete ‘spec’ work. (See my list of magazine publications to see where I’ve been published.)
If you’re new to cartooning, but are serious about pursuing the profession, I recommend the above advice, and also to be very patient, as building your resume and connecting with the many professional relationships you will make often takes time, usually many years. I struggled and faltered for many years (although I always stayed busy, even if they were small projects.) Any project – personal, professional – is only going to help you learn and grow as an artist and entrepreneur, so always keep working, even if what you’re doing doesn’t seem consequential to you at the time.
I will continue posting advice for new cartoonists, along with tutorials on my work process, so keep checking this site for future tips on the art and business of cartooning!