Interview with Buzz Magazine
I was recently contacted by a guy who is creating a new student magazine called ‘Buzz’ who required an interview with a cartoonist. I thought I’d share it…
Q1) Tell us something about yourself ?
I’m Jamie Sale, 24, and I’m a professional freelance cartoonist from Essex. I’ve been drawing cartoons since the age of
toddler and turned pro in 2006 when I uploaded my first site and made my first pennies.
Q2) Why did you choose Cartoon Artist as a career ?
It was the only thing I did from a young age that impressed people and made them laugh. Plus I’ve always enjoyed drawing cartoons. I think it’s such a bonus to have a job that you enjoy and don’t dread going to in the mornings.
Q3) What skills should a Cartoon Artist possess?
Most people would probably think; drawing skills. However, I don’t think that’s entirely necessary. I don’t think you need to be able to draw cartoons that well to be successful as a cartoonist. Some of the best cartoons/ comics are drawn very simply (Charlie Brown) but the writing in is brilliant. Chares Shultz who created Charlie Brown is a great example of this. I think it’s important for a cartoonist to have a great arsenal of gags and one-liners and ideas they can put across in the form of a simple cartoon.
On the other hand, I don’t possess these fabulous writing skills so much more emphasis is based on the quality of my drawings. So I guess it depends what kind of cartoonist you wish to be.
Q4) What are the inspirations for your Cartoon ?
Well, I grew up watching Looney Tunes, The Simpsons and all sorts. Google ‘cartoons from the 90’s’ and you will find most of what I watched as a kid there. Mostly, I copied the Simpsons, and I think that is the most noticeable in my work than any other influences.
Q5) What kind of training is required to become a Cartoon Artist ?
No training, just practice.
Q6) How many hours of practice is needed everyday ?
I don’t think you need to specify an amount of time. I think it should be done as and when you want to.
Q7) What is the relevance of Cartoon in this day and age ?
I think cartoons still have a huge relevance today. Possibly more than they did 50 years ago.
Ultimately, children love cartoons. So it will always have an audience from them. And the 31st most highest rated film of all time (as rated by IMDB users at the time of writing (most of whom are adults)) is Toy Story 3, which is closely followed by WALL-E at number 48. There are many more in the top 250. Disney Pixar and Dreamworks films are always massive hits at the box office.
Unfortunately, we’ve also seen negative impact that cartoons can have. Such as the impact of those cartoons printed in the Danish newspaper ‘Jyllands-Posten’, when they printed several cartoons that offended Muslims all over the world. One of the cartoons depicted Allah with a bomb in his turban. Lives were lost because of these cartoons and it was described as Denmark’s worst crisis since World War II. The Muslim world will have hostilities towards Denmark for some time yet. All because of simple little cartoons.
Q8) What job opportunities are there for a Cartoon Artist ?
That’s a tough one. There are plenty. But there are also plenty of cartoonists out there who want the work. It’s a very competitive market.
Q9) How is Cartoon art different from other art forms ?
For me, you can convey a message much easier with cartoons than with most other forms of art. This probably due to speech bubbles and such. But a cartoon is defined as a humorous or funny drawing, whereas, there isn’t usually too much humor in art.
Q10) What do you do when you are not working ?
I do work a hell of a lot, so I guess unwinding would be the answer to that one. Well I quite like to play sports such as football (or soccer depending on your nationality) and watch football (keen Arsenal supporter here) I like to go on holiday as much as I can with my wife Clare but I need to work even more for that to be possible.
Q11) What is your message for young Cartoonists ?
Funnily enough, I’m writing a book at the moment with a pre-title of ‘How To Draw Cartoons’ (Describes the book pretty well I think) It is aimed at helping youngsters who wish to draw cartoons and give them advice for the biz. I’ve included a couple of quotes from my book which I find most relevant…
“If you want to establish yourself in the world of cartoons, start small. When I say small, I mean set yourself up a basic portfolio online and advertise who you are and what you do. Even start up a Facebook page or campaign. Get people to follow you on Twitter, or better yet, start a blog cataloguing your work. Update them as much as you can.”
“One thing is for certain in this business. You will get rejected. No doubts. Trust me, it will happen at some stage. It happens to everyone. You can’t send off 20 portfolios to various companies and expect to hear back from all of them. In fact, you may not hear back from any of them. It’s just the way the cookie crumbles, I’m afraid. You have just got to keep putting yourself out there. It’s happened to me a lot. Just don’t give up!”
My book should be available in the next few months. You can find info on it and keep updated on my blog at https://www.jamiesale-cartoonist.com/blog/