Q: Got any advice for beginner cartoonists?

Crumble with Post-Its

Here are a few tips off the top of my head…

  • Stick to a schedule.
    I post a new comic every weekday on Savage Chickens. Which is a bit crazy. But it’s important to set a schedule for yourself and stick to it. For example, maybe you could post a new comic every Monday. It’s easier to build an audience if readers know exactly when to check for new comics. And it’s good to train yourself to create new work on a schedule and not just when you feel like it. This sense of discipline will help you in the future. Publishers like to know that you can consistently meet deadlines and consistently produce good work.
  • Don’t worry too much about getting noticed.
    For the first six months of Savage Chickens, only a dozen people were reading it regularly. Then suddenly it got featured in a few places and jumped up to hundreds of people every day. And then it was thousands of people a day! Marketing and social media are important, of course, but the best thing that you can do to get your work noticed is this: Create work that you’re proud of. If you think your comics are awesome, then chances are good that somebody else will also think they’re awesome, and then they pass them along to their friends and so on and so on and eventually you build a consistent audience for your work.
  • Try new things.
    You should always be trying new things, so you can figure out your own style and keep things interesting for yourself. I’m still learning lots about drawing and I’ve been doing it for a long time, but I keep pushing myself to try things that I find difficult. For example, I just finished my first graphic novel (Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy, coming out in September 2016) and it was so much fun to work in colour for the first time, but also a big learning curve. It’s good to challenge yourself!
  • Have fun!
    If you’re having fun making comics, people can tell that you’re having fun and they’re more likely to come back and read more. And, well, if you’re having fun, then who cares how many people are reading your comics as long as you’re having a good time, right? 🙂

Hope this is helpful for cartoonists who are just getting started… if you have any more questions, add them to the comments here or send them to me via my contact page.

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