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How To Not Get Discouraged with Cartooning

It's not always easy to become a cartoonist. Here's what I do to prevent getting discouraged.

Cartooning is tough (duh!).  Especially if you’re trying to do it professionally.

I used to get VERY discouraged when things didn’t go as planned.

It didn’t help either when you look around and you see all of these other cartoonists killing it!

They have new books!  Millions of followers!  Tons of press!  

And you?  You have your mom reading your comic once in awhile. OH, and your Uncle Bob might leave a comment sometimes.

So, how do you mentally handle things when it seems like cartooning is going…nowhere?

There is a way to move past discouragement.

In fact, when it seems like things are going nowhere, that’s usually when things are going somewhere.

Sure, you can’t just sit on the sidelines and expect it all to just come to you.  You have to put in the work.  But, along the way, trust the process.

Here’s my thoughts on discouragement and how to prevent it.

By the way, if you HAVEN’T signed up for my free cartooning course, you can BY CLICKING HERE.



  1. RT says:

    Thanks, Nate! (Cool cup, btw 🙂 )

    1. Nathanael Fakes says:

      Thanks! The cup is growing on me a bit… 😀

  2. Will Dudla says:

    Thanks again Nate 🙂

    I try to block out the “you suck, you aren’t making it” mentality by just saying to myself KEEP GOING. No matter how hard it gets, keep going. And you said it perfectly when you said, “Trust in the process.” It’s good to hear that from someone else as well:)


    1. Nathanael Fakes says:

      Very cool, Will! It’s very true — the process works. You just have to keep putting the work in and things will happen accordingly.

  3. Bucky Jones says:

    Hi Nate! I appreciate the pep talk 🙂 No matter how long I’ve been at this I always need it, a pep talk, and yours was very appreciated.

    1. Nate Fakes says:

      Hi Bucky! Thanks for tuning in and glad you enjoyed! We all need little reminders sometimes (me especially!).

  4. Lori Munro says:

    Trying to figure out the definition of “professional”. Is it a monetary thing, is it being satisfied with one’s own body of work, is it one’s sole thing and the reason for existence? Maybe its just a DNA thing, can’t NOT draw/cartoon because it’s so much a part of one’s self. I don’t ever remember NOT cartooning… So how does that define a person? I’ve never sought fortune, monetary rewards, so does that make me a non-professional? Welcome to the inner mind of a 5 decade cartoonist. In my opinion, discouragement is as much a part of this entire process as being 110% satisfied in a single piece of work. Discouragement makes the thrill of accomplishment that much sweeter. One has to remember that not everyone does what you do (“you” meaning whomever is reading this). Now if you want to discuss procrastination, which I believe you did in another video, welcome to my world 😎 Thanks for another great video!

    1. Nathanael Fakes says:

      Hi Lori –Discouragement is a huge part of it! Comes with the profession. I think that’s the case with almost any industry, but especially cartooning. And even if you draw for fun it’s easy to be discouraged. BUT, as you say, discouragement makes the thrill of accomplishment that much sweeter! I think that’s why we have it. And yeah, it’s all in the process.

      Thanks for the comment! (And sorry if I’m late responding to this. Somehow I just noticed it.)

    2. Jim says:

      I think it’s OK to just be a cartoonist. Professional, not professional.. doesn’t matter much. There are people with spectacular voices singing for free in church while people who can’t sing make millions.. so who’s the professional? It would actually be kind of cool if people in general defined themselves more by their true interests than their jobs. “What do I do? I’m a gardener and I collect shot glasses.” Interests and passions are generally more interesting than jobs.

  5. Rich Veca says:

    Hey Nate, thanks for this.

    Right now I have a few months left on my lease in Brooklyn and I’ve been looking for any job that could pay the bills and keep me local. I’ve been applying to jobs in the industry too, but nothing has really panned out. I stopped making comics for a few months but am back at it. Right now it’s just been difficult to prioritize and decide which direction to move in. Should I be focusing on my comics, should I switch gears and try to teach myself animation, or should I set everything aside and focus on getting a stable day job? I’m a bit scattered. Anyway, thanks again for all your helpful videos.

    1. Nathanael Fakes says:

      Hi Rich,

      I’d advise doing what your gut tells you. If you want to focus on animation, head that way. If it’s comics, go there. If you’re not finding work right now, keep working on your comics/animations and something will come along if you keep putting yourself out there and working hard. You may need to get a job (not a profession) in the meantime to help keep the lights on, but maybe you could work part-time and try for freelance gigs at first? There are a lot of avenues. It’s important to have stable income, but there’s also something about “going for it”. Definitely follow your heart and don’t get discouraged! Just do what you need to do to get to where you want to go.

      Keep me posted on your progress and thanks for writing!


  6. Tim Mellish says:

    Thanks Nate
    I’m enjoying your cartooning course and tips,
    It’s a good point that publishers aren’t always looking for something the same, very encouraging.
    All the best

    1. Nate Fakes says:

      Thank you, Tim!

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