Cartoon rejection slips should incite creativity, not stifle it!
Cartoon rejection can be considered a curse or a blessing. I consider the rejection aspect as a type of blessing in the sense it keeps me moving forward. It never really bothered me, nor do I take it as seriously as one would think. Really, what cartoonist worth his weight would be happy to get rejected after struggling for so many years to develop a decent and sales-worthy cartoon style. Then again, what cartoonist worth his weight is going to let rejection actually hinder his or her creative work process? Not me. I have been rejected so much and have built on that foundation of rejection to struggle onward.
Cartoon rejection occurs with every beginner
Back when I began circulating dozens, then hundreds and then thousands of single panel gag cartoons to the magazine and newsletter publishing market, all along the way, streams of rejections came in….I accumulted so many letters and rejection slips or what we gag panel cartoonists would call RJ’s I had them stacked high. A bit comical in the midst of all my creative endeavors and happily reading an acceptance letter from a trade magazine telling me they were purchasing a panel for, say twenty five dollars.
Rejection happens even after 40 years in business!
The point I’m reiterating here is to work through and past rejections, use it as a learning tool. If you have to ask an editor “why?”, go ahead and ask. Sometimes you may learn something about your drawing technique or gag writing that simply doesn’t have a certain appeal. Use that information to glean from and better yourself and improve on the drawings and writing of ideas. None of it comes easy and there will be much frustration, but know that you are not the only creative person or cartoonist who sat there, staring at a standard looking rejection letter typed on publishing company stationery. It’s a basic fact of life that every cartoonist goes through, and really, someday you’ll look back and recall how those simple form letters ignited that creative fire inside of you! I always have said cartoon rejection slips aren’t an indication of you doing something wrong but more of an indicator that you’re doing something right….like refining a cartoon drawing style, making an editor think and showing yourself that you need to improve on existing aspects of what you’re doing.