Cartooning Tactics Used By Cartoonists

Cartooning Tactics

It’s a new day and age. No longer does the cartoonist use paper 100% of the time. The cartooning tactics arsenal should now rely on the digital realm. No longer do cartoonists mail photocopies and the typical cartoon submission consisting of 10 gag panel cartoons in a traditional “batch”. Mail-in submissions and a self-addressed-stamped envelope in the submission to get all of the rejected artwork returned by some “cartoon editor” are almost an antiquated technique. Putting cartoons into a 9X12 envelope along with a SASE was risky. Sometimes the cartoons got coffeecartooning spilled on them, and if you were lucky, a mild “acknowledgement” that your work was good but didn’t make the cut. Well, if you were lucky, the magazine may have accepted one and put it in their files to publish “on publication” and pay you then….sometimes two, maybe three or even four month to half a year later!

And guess what, you’d get a whopping $50. Yahoo – enough for a tank of gas to keep going from your cartooning studio, to the printer to make copies and on to the post office to mail out and wait for more grief! That was then, this is now….the technological age. Many cartoonists now offer their work via specialized custom web sites they’ve built. Web catalogs or online portfolios if you will. Many artists now are techno-savvy.

Cartoonists using software can make their work easier to find

Studying the latest web editing software or using special blogging software and templates like WordPress, to archive and present their artwork, cartoons and gag panels in categorized photo galleries for editors to browse. Such is the “new world” of professional cartoonists.

cartooning tacticsArtists who know how to market and promote themselves using direct email promotional programs can stay ahead of the curve and keep themselves in the game and compete on a high level professional basis with some of the best literary and art agencies in print and also on the web.

The best promotional marketers who infuse humor into their advertising programs employ the services of cartoonists to draw custom cartoons and illustrations to help them get their points across and to grab a reader’s or visitor’s attention to what their specific message entails. Cartoon humor gets noticed on the internet and on web pages or through direct email “blasts” that are continuously sent out via ad agencies and marketing firms who want to grab attention for their vendors and clients. What used to take a self-employed artist the better part of a week or 10 days to assemble in the way of promotional advertising, can be achieved in a couple short hours online.

Self promotion is still necessary for cartoonists

Cartooning tactics for getting his message out to a specific group of recipients back in the 80’s and 90’s, required a cartoonist to purchase an expensive pre-published lists of pressure sensitive mailing labels with art directors names and addresses on them….roughly $500 or more, depending on how many thousands were purchased. Then the cartoonist had to purchase the envelopes separately and to save money on his printed piece, stuffed the promotional brochures in the envelopes on his own time.

Those promotional brochures had to be laid out and designed specifically by the artist or cartoonist doing the mailing. Perhaps 1,000 or maybe 2,000 and even 3,000 brochures were sent out at one time in a single mail-out. A project like this, could cost thousands of dollars and require intense effort on the artist’s behalf….laying out the sample images on the brochure, with all of his contact information….perhaps his business mailing address, and his phone and fax number and many of his best previously published samples on hopefully two sides of the sheet.

Ideally, an 11 inch by 17 inch brochure -folded in half and then trifold to fit in a standard sized #10 business envelope. All laid out before given to a printer, planned very meticulously. Then the waiting for maybe a call or two or three from some discerning and often times serious art or creative director who (if you were lucky) would assign enough work to pay for all of your meticulously planned efforts. If you were smart enough to joke with this person, you were “nurturing” a professional relationship and kept him or her as one of your regulars. Better yet, they offered you a contract and kept YOU as a regular supplier of imagery for their various projects.

Cartoonists must leverage using technology to their advantage

Now with technology, a cartoonist |illustrator | painter or photographer simply needs to have his or her portfolio online as part of his overall cartooning tactics plan and do an email blast to a select group or number of recipients and with ease can have the promotional company he chooses, send the mailing out.

Workflow can be achieved in a much smoother way through using the web and many cartoonists are taking it to another level of promotion by  offering web sites, blogs and e-newsletters the use of a daily web cartoon. The smart artists are providing web comics as part of their overall cartooning tactics planning.