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Q&A

A chance to ask ANYTHING (and hopefully get a good answer).

Since it’s summer time and we’re on break from the normal vlog here at Cartooning Courses, I thought this week it would be a great time to have a Q&A!

This is a, oh, let’s call it a forum, to ask anything. Seriously, ask away! Whatever cartooning questions, concerns or thoughts you have, add them to the comment section. Want to know a good way to color? Ask! How do I sharpen my pencils? I have an answer! What’s my favorite pizza? That’s a toss-up, but I do have some deep thoughts on that.

So, I will respond back to anything asked and I hope that others will elaborate as well. After all, I don’t know everything (in fact, there’s quite a bit I DON’T know), but I’ll do my best to answer and if I don’t have a clue about something, maybe another reader does.

If you’re taking a break from the pool, go ahead…ask anything!

Comments

  1. Out_of_Place says:

    Hi Nate!
    Is there any current webcomic you like?
    What’s your opinion about webcomics with no backgrounds?
    Do you normally pay attention to the details of the drawing or you just read them really quickly?

    1. Nate Fakes says:

      Howdy!
      In regards to webcomics I like, there are a few! Perry Bible Fellowship and Buni are definitely good. I also always LOL at That is Priceless on GoComics. It’s not a “comic,” but very funny all of the time.

      Webcomics with no backgrounds can work well if the writing is good or if the visual is enough to cover all necessary information. I’ve always gone for the simpler-is-better concept, but there are times I’ve added a LOT just to make it visually more appealing. So, basically, I’m good with whatever works best to enhance the comic and make it as good as possible.

      I have a short attention span, so I quickly absorb comics I read. I do pay attention to the details of drawings though. If it’s really off-putting, sometimes I won’t want to read it. Or, the drawing might be great but the writing is bad, so that’s a turn-off as well. Anyway, yes, I pay attention (especially to strips/comics I like). That’s how you sometimes learn to incorporate little gems into your own work also.

      Hope this answered your questions Out_of_Place! Keep em’ coming!

  2. Mauricio says:

    Do you have a way to price your work?
    How do you know you are charging a fair amount for you and your customers?
    I’m creating editorial cartooning and I heard of some people getting contact from magazines and buying their work I’m really interested to know how to price.

    1. Nate Fakes says:

      Hi Mauricio!

      This is a pretty broad question. There are a lot of factors, so I’ll try to make this as to the point as I can without getting TOO big of an explanation (that could be an entire book).

      I do have guidelines that I base my prices off of. An easy answer is the ‘Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing and Ethical Guidelines’ (look it up on Amazon). From there, it’s basically what you would feel comfortable with and feel is fair. This book though offers you a good “base” price (I like to call it) on what else is out there in the market regarding costs for services.

      I also consider factors such as:

      — How easy the client is to work with? (This is big with me. If the client is a bad communicator, asshole or not easy to get along with, I’ll typically pass on working with them or charge an much higher amount to compensate dealing with them.)
      — How long it will take me.
      — Is it ongoing work? If so, I might charge less per image knowing there is more work coming.
      — Deadline. If there’s a tight deadline for something, I may bump-up the price.

      I typically start high and negotiate a fair price if the client can’t afford the initial costs. I’m not too big on negotiating too much, so I’ll go back and forth several times if needed and it will either work out or won’t.

      At the end of the day, you need to be happy and fulfilled with how much you’re charging. If you feel like you’re doing something for cheap, it’s never a good feeling. Don’t sell yourself short. Of course, if you’re starting off, you may have to do a few projects for less than a seasoned pro, but still, you shouldn’t cheapen what you’re doing, either. I know that’s a head-scratcher on where to begin with pricing, but it will sort itself out overtime to where you know how to price your work.

      One thing to consider that I’ve learned from my years of experience: The cheaper the client that doesn’t want to pay you much, the more pain in the ass they typically are. I you have a portfolio and images for clients to view, they know what they’re getting into and should pay accordingly to your standards.

      Great question and hope this helps!

  3. Mauricio says:

    I’m creating editorial cartooning and I heard of some people getting contact from magazines and buying their work I’m really interested to know how to price my work.
    Do you have a rule of thumb to follow when you price your work?

    1. Nate Fakes says:

      Magazines typically have set guidelines and prices. They will tell you what they’ll pay and that’s pretty much that. I haven’t experienced too much negotiating with magazines, so they’ll tell you how much they’ll pay upon acceptance. It’s worth looking into Gag Recap (www.gagrecap.com) to know what you’ll make per comic of certain publications.

      Hope this helps!

  4. Tim Mellish says:

    Hello Nate
    Can you take us through your digital process of creating cartoons.
    Cheers Tim

    1. Nate Fakes says:

      Hi Tim!

      I actually have a vlog up for that: http://cartooningcourses.com/how-to-draw-a-cartoon-episode-2-cat-and-rat/

      That’s probably easier than trying to explain it here. To give you a good idea of what I use though (without watching the video) is basically an iPad Pro, the software Procreate and Photoshop. Those three tools are basically it these days!

      Check out the video and if you have any questions afterwards, please let me know.

      1. Tim Mellish says:

        Thanks Nate

  5. Simeon says:

    hey nate, i’m a college student from India. i really want to make it into the industry ( you can explain about the american one) but my problem is that i dont know whom or how to approach, hope you can shed some light on this for me.
    love your work( it’s part cringe and part comedy gold XD) and very much appreciate the helpful vlogs you post.
    keep up the amazing work,
    Simeon

    1. Nate Fakes says:

      Hi Simeon!

      Thanks for writing. If I have this right, you’re wondering on how to approach people in the cartooning industry and get moving. I’m not sure what specifically you want to achieve (animator, syndicated cartoonist, etc.) but there are some basics.

      One is — have a online portfolio. This is your calling card to direct any art directors to or anyone that you would like to be hired by. Post ass-kicking work on it that you’re proud of.

      From there, the best approach is simply to ask. Find a company you want to work for and contact them with a link to your work. Or, if you’re after clients, shoot them an email as well. It’s important to send to the Art Director. Their info can typically be found on the company website or you can sign-up for a service like Agency Access (www.agencyaccess.com) that can provide you with that information.

      Also, in general, I always preach about just getting your work out there! Social media is huge. So, post away! That can potentially bring clients to you instead of you seeking them out. Just have a link to your portfolio on your accounts so people know how to find you and make contact.

      Another nugget of information is think outside the box when approaching an art director or company. Old fashioned snail mail goes a long ways. Make a cool postcard with your art and send it that way. Or, create something totally unique for someone that you want to work with that’s memorable. I’ve done that a few times and it’s worked!

      There is more I could write about, but these are the basics. On top of that, try to get together with other cartoonists and talk shop. It’s good to know others in your industry and colleagues can often shed light on who’s hiring or doing what you want to do.

      Hope this helps and keep me posted!

  6. Jim Shoenbill says:

    Hi Nate, I’ve always been curious about ‘online syndication, via GoComics, for example. Main questions:
    How does this come about? Did you submit normally and they came back with an offer for online but not print?
    Do they support you or your comic in any particular way?
    Is it worth it? I assume they must pay something but get the impression it’s not much.

    Thanks, Jim

    1. Nate Fakes says:

      Hi Jim!

      I’ll be happy to answer your questions. How did this come about? I submitted material to the editors and also was posting my feature, Break of Day, on Comic Sherpa (on GoComics it’s a place to feature your own work for a small monthly fee). They did eventually offer me a syndication contract for online only — not print. Newspaper syndication is a different beast currently with the state of newspapers, so it just wasn’t an option at the time (or even now probably).

      They support the comic by posting any kind of ads I have, for example, books and also by featuring it in various mediums (social media posts, day-to-day calendar, etc.). Plus, it builds a fan base via subscribers on GoComics, which is always a good thing. With online syndication, it’s in various newspaper markets all over that have a comics section on their digital editions.

      It IS worth it. It’s definitely NOT a living being syndicated online only. I rely on clients and other cartooning sources for my income, but it does give my feature a platform that can lead to other opportunities. My feature has brought in numerous jobs that I wouldn’t never had gotten without it.

      Thank you for the question!

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