The "For Love or Money" Dilemma

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I thought I had settled things within myself.  I thought I was all right with the idea of being a paid artist, making good money.  No, those accusations of "greed" still come up now and then, even though I know there never have to be "starving artists" in this day and age (Thank you, Internet!).

And yes, I love cartooning, no matter the price scale.  It gives me great pleasure to create my original cartoon characters, write gags and stories, and either draw or animate them.  I am thrilled to do my caricatures, whether they're of celebrities to go on my website ( or of "civilians" at parties and events.  I even get great joy giving faces and bodies to other people's characters, as with Bertha Phillips' storybook animals.

Then comes the issue of "the long green".  Am I overcharging someone who cannot afford it?  Am I undercutting myself just to get a client?  If I want cartooning to be my livelihood, do I have to do several art jobs (and other jobs) at once?

I guess I'll just have to go with what I know.  I have, can and will make money as a 'tooner, and it's all right.  I am not greedy or uncaring because I want more money for my works--I need that money!  Whether it's money from ads on my website, the occasional freelance job, Film Annex web TV revenues or the caricatures I do at events, I want to make substantial bucks--and that's OK!

I am reminded of geek musician Nicole Dieker, she of the one-woman band Hello, the Future.  Last year Nicole blogged about making over $1000 in one week for the first time in her career.  Of course she was overjoyed, but then she confesses about feeling a pang of guilt, saying something like, "Aren't artists supposed to be starving?"  

So I'm not the only creative worker victimized by the world's stereotypes--good to know.

I leave you now with sketches of characters for Bertha Phillips' third book "God Made the Cats".  I've designed all of them except the Cats themselves.  Hey, something to beat the blues!


About the author


I call myself a 'tooner--one who cartoons. Animated shorts, single-panel gag cartoons and celebrity caricatures are my specialty!

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