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What to do when you feel like nothing is going right with cartooning.

It happens to me, it'll probably happen to you.

Cartooning, actually, any creative profession, has a lot of ups and downs. TONS. It’s extremely easy to get discouraged, frustrated and feel like you just want to take your drawing pencil and smash it in two.

I get it. I go through this rollercoaster ride on a regular basis.

There’s a lot I want to do and I don’t think there’s a stopping point. We all want to continue to progress and make things happen. When things don’t go accordingly, it sucks. However, I think there’s a reason for that and we can all use the suck to our advantage. Weird, I know…

So, I discuss a few thoughts in today’s video!


Let’s chat! Be sure to let me know what you’re going through in the comments below.


  1. Doug Hill says:

    Thanks for these videos. When I first started cartooning (would you believe in the late 1960s) I did local cartoons, then cartoons for the army newspaper, They were successful so i tried magazine cartooning. The male adult market was very big (Adam, Cavalier, Genesis, Oui, Penthouse, along with many small markets like Charlton) and I sold hundreds of cartoons. I thought this was what I wanted. Fate stepped in and led me to a 30 year teaching career (teaching art and cartooning and animation). I treasure those years and the opportunity to connect with all those kids. After I retired I slowly got back into cartooning but found the magazine market (general magazines now) was drying up quickly. Again fate stepped in and I tried greeting cards. I don’t make a fortune, but I do make more than I did from magazine cartoons.
    I would also like to thank you for the info on Instagram. I post every day and get to have my cartoons out there for people to see. (Instagram @laughinghippostudio)
    Please keep posting the cartoon info, Beginners will really benefit from your experience.
    Doug Hill

    1. Nate Fakes says:

      Hi Doug! That’s really interesting. Sounds like a lot of what I (and others) go through when it comes to a career with cartooning. It fluctuates so much as well (as you said, the magazine market right now is pretty dicey, at best) and there’s a lot of changing and adjusting. It’s true with most industries, but I know cartooning has DRASTICALLY changed. There’s a lot of new potential out there though and I feel like a lot of it is getting in a good place (and some of it not so much, such as political cartooning).

      Thanks for sharing your story and the post!


  2. Will Dudla says:

    Every time I get bummed about not doing well I just have to say to myself “keep going.” Otherwise it’s so easy to fall into that abyss of despair. I think as artists we are like tightrope walkers in this respect. Such a fine line to tread, and I think it is created by that likeability factor. We all like to be liked (is that even good English haha). Anyways, good stuff as usual Nate.

    Doug: you have a follower from me (@clamsontheside) I love to see others work on Instagram 🙂

    1. Nate Fakes says:

      I think the “abyss of despair” comes with this, and any, creative profession. Without it, it wouldn’t be the same. You keep doing things though and stuff DOES happen.

      Thanks for the comment, Will!

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  4. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
    It is the little changes that make the most significant changes.
    Thanks a llot for sharing!

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