My One Year Anniversary

I normally don’t post on the weekends, but exactly one year ago today I shook hands with friends and co-workers, turned in my security badge, grabbed my box of stuff and walked out of corporate America to draw cartoons for a living.

Wow. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long. I remember telling my manager that I was giving her my two weeks’ notice – best meeting of my life.

Don’t misunderstand, I’ve been a professional cartoonist for years. In fact as soon as I’d moved out to the Chicago area and married my wife I began sending out cartoons, and selling them soon afterwards. The big difference is that now drawing cartoons is my sole contribution to the family checkbook.

To be fair I’m still not technically doing it full time. I’m also a stay-at-home-dad to my smart and already too-funny-for-his-own-good 15-month old. But it’s as full time as it’s going to get for the next 18 years or so.

There have been a lot of ups and downs this year of course. I was in the middle of a selling spree (UP!) when my hard drive decided to cast off its mortal coil (down…). There were times when I thought I’d never see another contract (down…), and then I’d be flooded with emails and calls needing cartoons ASAP (UP!). And of course there were days when my brain had simply decided not to be funny (down…) followed by my humor muse opening the floodgates (UP!).

But all in all it’s been a wonderful year, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything! It was a little scary at first (despite my lovely wife’s encouragement and confidence), but to quote Alanis Morissette, “I recommend biting off more then you can chew to anyone, I certainly do.”

5 thoughts on “My One Year Anniversary”

  1. Mark, congrats to my colleague and friend. By odd coincidence it's been 5 years next month since I left my "real job."

  2. Hey Mike, I'd like to hear more about your schedule, and how it works balancing a cartooning career and a full-time dad!

  3. How do I balance a career and chlidren? Jason, that's easy: no kids. I mean, yeah, I got some cats, but they're self-cleaning.

    I think you want Mark ….

  4. Hey again Jason!

    Sorry this took so long to get back to you on.

    My schedule is pretty simple – when my son sleeps, I work.

    He's still taking 2 naps a day so I get about 3-1/2 hours to get my work finished for the day.

    Of course I also work very early in the morning and late at night.

    As far as balancing thing go, I gotta tell ya, I wouldn't have it any other way! I count myself lucky to be able to not only draw cartoons for a living, but to be around for my little guy.

    Hope that answers it for you…

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