Thursday, 4 March 2010

Creating new areas of business for the cartoon market business.

I am often asked how I sell my cartoons to so many varied clients. Parish magazines, missing cat posters, local business directories etc. The reason that I sell so many wonderful cartoons to so many dull publications is that I approach them and suggest that they publish my cartoons. I start with an impartial appraisal of their publication (for free) which usually confirms what I believed all along, that their publication is rather dull and needs some cartoons to brighten it up.

I then offer them a cartoon I've already drawn for free. They usually take this up, even if it has nothing to do with the nature of the publication. It's amazing how many parish magazines will publish a caraciture of LuLu, if it's offered for free. They need to fill space in their magazines, just like big name, national publications do. Once I have them 'hooked' on my unique style of drawing (a few complimentary letters to the editor always help - thanks mum!) I then send them another cartoon for the next issue, but I forget to mention that this one isn't free. Once they have published it, I send them and invoice and threaten them with legal action if they don't pay the £20 they owe me!

Obviously this trick only works once, or maybe twice, if the publication is badly organised. That's an example of parish magazines. Missing pet posters is another lucrative market place for local cartoonists. Most people put up dull photocopies of their missing pets, which is not at all eye catching. I usually take down the poster and when I get home phone the phone number. Yes, they get excited thinking you've found their beloved pet - but when I suggest that their pet might never be found without an eye catching poster, they often ask for help in making the poster better. The budget for cartoon missing pet posters is usually quite small, but with some gentle persuaction they can usually be agreed to cut back on the 'reward' money to fund a wonderful pet cartoon portrait (I charge extra if there's a funny story behind the pet going missing). An added bonus is that if the pet is never found, they still have a wonderful memento of their pet to treasure for years to come!

There's just a few ideas for all you budding cartoonists out there. Next week: Elderly dead relative caricatures, good idea or bad?


  1. Leonard, thats great, but I can't work out what font to use for a lost pet cartoon.

  2. Something, anything jazzy and eye catching will do.

    It's a great market. Last time I got £5 even though the cat wasn't ever found. Result!

  3. Yes, Leonard, your empathy and compassion know no bounds. If I'd lost a cat that looked like that, I'd want it found immediately too!

  4. This is all really helpful information, Leonard.
    Self-promotion is important, and can't be over-estimated.
    I've created a page to show the world how great I am.
    I may add a topless photo to show my tummy.

  5. That's a lovely link Nigel. I think you'll go far, as long as you keep working at it like this!

  6. You've been my inspiration, Leo. I don't think I told you this, but I'm also brilliant at karaoke. I'm off to do a bit tonight as it happens.

    Being multi-talented is a huge asset, believe me.

  7. That was still me, Nigel, by the way. Google's shown me up as another hugely successful empire I run.