Joe Kohl — Many cartoonists include humorous illustration as one element of a multi-faceted career. Joe Kohl creates gag cartoons for magazines, does color illustrations for many different publications and advertising agencies, creates comic designs for T-shirts and beer mugs, writes and draws greeting cards, and is the author of two cartoon collections, Marital Bliss and Other Oxymorons and Unspeakably Rotten Cartoons.
Balancing many different projects keeps Kohl very busy, and self-promotion is a constant, ongoing process. I make up flyers with samples of my art and send them out. Greeting cards I submit to the companies the same way I would cartoons. I have a licensing agent for mugs, books and T-shirts. Illustration work (books, advertising and magazine illustration) is largely the result of my promotional flyers. I’ve had little luck with source books and talent directories.
Time is no problem. Sometimes i’ll just do greeting cards for weeks at a time. Then i’ll switch to magazine cartoons for a while. When I get an illustration job I set aside all the speculative stuff and tackle the job. Sometimes I look through my old cartoons (sold and unsold) and try to put a new slant on them or adapt them for greeting cards or T-shirts.
“The best part about freelancing is the autonomy. I have no bosses, no time-clocks to punch, no dress code and no deadlines (except for illustration jobs). The worst part about freelancing is no perks, no medical insurance, no salary, no unemployment coverage, no minimum guaranteed income, no pension plan, nobody to talk to, and I always get stuck with all the leftover potato salad at my company picnic.”