Day 1 of Crummy Skool!
5 THINGS YOU LEARN ABOUT BEING A CARTOONIST
- YOU NEVER KNOW YOUR WORTH.
When I was 5 years old and I drew my first piece of artwork that amazed people around me, the last thing I expected was that I would have to become a professional negotiator. BUDGET AND TIME are so essential; it’s like a crackhead buying his fix and thinking if the high will be worth the steal. The problem is most people see the craft of cartooning as CUTE! Or a colourful hobby. As long as the employee can pay you enough to pay for a set of crayons or give you a few bottles of finger paint you will be happy. The problem with being in the field of the arts is that people that don’t do it think that the ones that do are born with it. This is when the line, “Oh! You were born with such talent!” is sure to be heard when you draw or perform in front of someone that also says “ I can’t even draw a straight line.” No! Talent is not like an advert slogan similar to Maybelline it’s not like, “Maybe you born with it, maybe it’s talent.
Like everything we do we need to grow and to grow we invest. The most important thing we can invest in is time. As a cartoonist I spent my time learning how to make characters come alive with animation and how to develop a Character’s personality, I never had a playstation in primary school, however, I had a lot of scrap paper that my mom would bring home from her work, the one side was blank and the other side had inside information of the companies business dealings. I only cared for the blank side which is why I created my character Jim. If I was planning to be become a lawyer, businessman or an accountant I would probably focus on the other side of the page to figure out how to sue , embezzle or invest in the company.
People think that talent makes a great artist or skilled musician but just like every career choice, focus is what defines us! The time I have spent learning how to colour, ink, sketch, animate, paint and letter is difficult to compare to the time spent trying to get someone to react to the artwork I create and to secure a job to pay bills, but most of all nothing compares to making time to use my abilities to keep creating toons that please me so I can have more time feeling like that kid without a playstation and to create more characters and a fully developed cartoon world on blank pieces of paper, I just want to make sure both sides of the page is blank. This is when becoming a professional negotiator comes into play. So I always ask, “Will the jobs I take on allow me the joy to create for me?” When all the time I have put in my craft must be used to help sell an idea for a company that is expecting to make millions and they want to pay pennies. How can you blame me to have an attitude to want to scream F%$K OFF! Bills don’t get paid with exposure, living off noodles does not inspire a creative! The scariest thing about taking on a new client is asking about the budget, if you ask too much you might scare the client away if you ask for too little you will feel like you are doing slave labour and your new dream will become ways to get a good spot in a good sweatshop. This is when all that time, sketching, painting, inking and animating does not count for s$&t, because you spent all your time negotiating and finding out what you are worth and because you are so good with developing skills and focusing on what you need to do to have the time to create, that you took a part time job with the police as an official negotiator to save hostages because you have been on the brink of robbing a bank so you can afford spaghetti and you can fully relate to the bank robber.