HOW DID YOU DISCOVER YOUR CREATIVITY?
I was a crazy-shy, non-sports-playing kid growing up with very few friends. This left loads of time for drawing and daydreaming. While other kids were learning how to throw a baseball I was pouring over the comic pages of our newspaper studying all the funny drawings. Around age seven I told my mom I wanted to be a cartoonist. My mom smiled politely, like any parent does when they hear what ridiculous thing their kid wants to be when they grow up. But unlike other kids, I was too stubborn (or stupid) to throw the towel in on my crazy dream job.
Note: if cartooning doesn’t work out I’m totally becoming an astronaut.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST "BIG BREAK" IN YOUR PROFESSION?
I sort of stumbled into an internship at Hallmark back when I was in grad school. It mostly just sounded like a nice way to spend the summer. I had no idea it would turn into a 18 year long, mostly-wonderful career as a greeting card artist.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN INSTRUMENTAL IN YOUR SUCCESS AS A CREATIVE PROFESSIONAL?
I can’t say enough about my professor, Roger DeMuth, at Syracuse University. He was the first, unapologetic, humorous illustrator I ever met. When I entered grad school I had bought into the notion that to be a real artist you had to make dark, serious things. Seeing the irreverence and joy in Roger’s work made me realize that creating something funny was just as valid as any other approach to art.
NAME THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU HAVE HAD IN YOUR CAREER TO DATE. HOW DID YOU SOLVE IT?
I’m actually in the thick of that challenge right now! Having been recently laid off from Hallmark I’m trying to figure out how best to support myself and my family going forwards. My webcomic, Fowl Language, is growing in popularity, but like anything on the internet, it’s hard to make a living when you’re largely giving your content away for free.
I’ve enrolled in some entrepreneurial business classes and I’m networking with friends in the webcomic world to try and figure out how I can make this pursuit sustainable. I’ve been using a Patreon page, which allows my readership to help support me monthly, I’m getting ready to self-publish a book of my most popular cartoons and I’m about to expand my online shop.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR LAST SUPPER?
Anything shrimp-based. I’m horribly allergic and that shit would kill me. That is what you meant, right?
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