Happy anniversary to me

It was ten years ago today that I quit my job to become a full-time cartoonist.

I had been trying to get syndicated for the previous ten years and was getting nowhere. (Well, not “nowhere” – I made some good contacts, got some good encouragement.) It seemed like the dream that I had had since I was a little kid was just not in the cards for me.

I majored on graphic design in college and had worked for small firms and big corporations and I was tired of doing what I was doing. And I had been doing “humorous illustration” as part of practically all my jobs. So 1+1 equals building my freelance base till I could leave my job. I started this process in 1998 (with tons of help from cartoonist Rick Stromoski), sent out promos and started to add  clients. I took the monetary plunge of buying pages in “source books” where an art director would hopefully see my stuff, and like it, and pay me. I was lucky that I also had other outside gigs – teaching cartooning at a local college (which was steady money I could count on) and doing caricatures at parties and festivals.

I met my future wife at the end of 1999 and she knew from the get-go that I was unhappy with my job. It took another year or so to be ready, both in mind and career. It had gotten to the point that I didn’t have enough off-time to do, or look for, any more freelance work. I had made sure I could get medical insurance through a local art organization. Got all my ducks in a row. It was scary. My parents were worried. But once I left, I knew it was the right thing to do. As a matter of fact, I weirdly have little sense memory of having been a clock-puncher for over 15 years.

One Response to “Happy anniversary to me”

  1. Rasa Krokys Says:

    Congrats! Sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do!

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