Q: Do you use your drawing skills for private tasks, say for instance a birthday-card for your uncle? And are you asked by relatives, friends or neighbors to make just a little drawing for a party, a present, etc.of course without getting payed?
A: That sort of thing is inevitable, but I have to say my family, friends and neighbors are all very good about understanding I have a hard time finding enough hours in the day to get my professional work done, so they seldom if ever ask me to do anything for them. I’ve done art for a few things like that here and there, but it is usually my idea and I offer to… they don’t ask. I don’t tell them how busy I am, they see it when they come over or call to ask if I can go out to the bar for a drink and I have to say I’m going to be up all night as it is with some deadline. They get it. I’m busy.
I absolutely won’t take money from family or friends for that sort of thing, which makes the issue even a bit more clouded. I’ve had money offered to me to do a birthday card or some piece of art for family, but I refuse to take it. Then I might also have to politely refuse to do it at all because I just don’t have the time. That sucks, but my petition to the universe to add a few hours to every day has been steadfastly ignored. If I can do it, I do it. Often I just can’t, and I just have to feel bad about it for awhile.
I do a number of pieces each year sort of pro-bono, for lack of a better term, for organizations, charity or the like. One example is the brochure art I do for the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Awards every year. In fact, I am trying to finish the 2015 piece up today, so this is a timely question!
Thanks to Dominik Zeillinger for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here!
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748 New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550
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