I snagged this from Tony Isabella's message board. Any comments?
Dear Friends ,
As many of you know, I have been operating an Art School and Summer Cartoon Camp for the last two years. On and off, during that time, I have also been writing a column called DRAWN TO SUCCESS that has appeared on websites, including comic book fan sites, cartoonist news sites. ezines, as well as my own SCHOOL site. Because the reaction to the columns has been so strong, as well as the positive reaction to my teaching local cartoonists and the requests for more studies, I have decided to make a book out of my columns, to help aspiring cartoonists achieve success, and offer a PROFESSIONAL APPRENTICE PROGRAM here at the Academy and right within my own studio.
I began my quest for Cartooning Success when I was just 14, and worked in many different situations for the education I received. I have returned the favor throughout my career, giving many cartoonists, artists and illustrators, as well as a few writers, a start toward their dreams. It is because of the achievements of these students, and my own gratitude toward the Professionals who taught me, that I offer this program now to aspiring Professionals across the country and in other lands. I invite you to visit my website, and read all about the APPRENTICE Program here....
I ask you to share this email announcement with as many friends and family members as you think might find it valuable. I also invite you to read my very latest column on Success in Cartooning and The Arts, which follows this letter. This column explains WHY I feel this IS THE TIME to become an artist....and why I want to help. Additional columns can be read at the Academy website. Just scroll down the lefthand menu and look for DRAWN TO SUCCESS. I'd also like to thank my wife and partner, Angie, Scott Lincoln, my assistant for the last six years for all his help, and Tom Brenner, my old Art Director, as well as Reuben Award winning Cartoonist Mark Brewer, once upon a time an Apprentice to this old man, and all the others who have enriched my life and career in so many ways.
DRAWN TO SUCCESS column #21: Master Your Art...and Create Riches And Global Success
ART IS THE LANGUAGE OF THE GLOBAL MARKETPLACE
Or...."My Future's So Bright I've Got To Wear Sunglasses"
THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME
The 21st Century will be the greatest era for the Storytelling Arts in the History Of Mankind, and Those Who Master This Language Will Have No Limits To The Riches Placed Before Them.
That's right. You read that right.
"The 21st Century will be the greatest era for the Storytelling Arts in the History Of Mankind, and Those Who Master This Language Will Have No Limits To The Riches Placed Before Them!!"
NO LIMITS. RICHES. SUCCESS. WEALTH. HAPPINESS. A OPEN INVITATION TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE…..AND EVEN CHANGE THE WHOLE WORLD.
How can I say this? Because I know that the universal language of all of mankind is art. No matter where you go in the world, a picture that is well drawn is understood. A story, that has no words, but is a series of pictures, or images, so well done that they grab your eye and won't let go can change the hearts, the moods, the souls of anyone from anywhere in the world.
HISTORY PROVES THIS TRUTH
Egypt, 1889.......Adventurous British Scientists "read" about the lifetimes of Egyptian Royalty through a series of carvings in the tomb walls.
A Movie House in France in 1934. A Mickey Mouse animated cartoon makes the crowd of Theatergoers laugh so hard they cry.
An Infantry Unit In Viet Nam pins a sheet up between two palm trees in 1968 and watches a wordless 8mm Tom and Jerry Cartoon ordered from the back of a Mexican Comic Book on a Kid's Crank Movie Projector.
1990....A father comes home from a business trip to Japan to his two small children in Connecticut with undubbed videos. His daughter immediately begins to beg for EVERYTHING she can ever find with the character from the video on it, after falling in love with "Hello Kitty", and his son begins jumping off the bed pretending to be "Ultraman"!
2007....A little 10 year old Iraqi boy smiles and points to the screen of a cell phone in an American Marine's hand, as Bart Simpson dances to a ring tone.
Cartoons, and the visual arts have always and ALWAYS WILL transcend any border, and make any language barriers disappear.
JIM HENSON AND ME
I know this from my own professional experience, going all the way back to the early 1980s when I worked for Jim Henson, drawing and writing the Muppets comic strip for him along with my younger brother, Brad.
From the very first day we were launched in newspapers with the strip, we were GLOBAL. The Muppets was the FIRST comic strip in history to be run all over the world starting the very first day. Brad and I became the first cartoonists in history to have to write every single joke for a worldwide audience. We had to work twice as far in advance as anyone else in our business at that time, because our strips had to be shipped via airmail and messenger (prior to the internet, of course) all around the world to be translated into every language of the 80 countries that read us each day.
We had to be extremely AWARE of the GLOBAL MARKETPLACE. We couldn't, for instance, write any "puns" or English language wordplay. It couldn't be translated, you see.
We were taught, from day one...that the best jokes we could tell to the world would be well drawn, easy to understand, and have as few words as possible. We were told to study the masters of early comic strip art, many of whom were European immigrants , who were master artists, but knew little of the English language. Because of this language "limitation", they were forced to tell their stories and jokes with few words, and wonderful, fully drawn, expressive artwork! This , in turn, made them among the WEALTHIEST of all turn of the century Americans! Why?? Not only were they THAT GOOD at it, but also, because the REST of America, who were ALSO in a large part immigrants to this country from all over the world, could READ the comics in the newspaper, NO MATTER WHAT LANGUAGE they spoke in their native country!
These turn of the century artists, coming to this country with almost no material possessions, with almost no knowledge of the English language, but extremely proficient at the GLOBAL LANGUAGE of ART....BECAME RICH beyond their wildest dreams.
JIM HAD STUDIED WALT, WHO STUDIED CHAPLIN, WHO STUDIED.....
Walt Disney turned his little mouse, made in America, into a WORLDWIDE HIT by using gags and comedic situations that didn't rely on words to entertain the theatergoers. By using the universal language of picture comedy, and well-drawn, well-defined characters that the whole world could identify with, he created the world's largest entertainment empire. He started out in a tiny little room in Kansas City, which was so run down, mice crawled in through the holes in the walls and kept him company as he practiced his art. Good thing he decided to name one "Mickey".
Jim Henson stood on the shoulders of great storytellers and visual comedians like Chaplin, Bob Clampett, Walter Lantz and Walt Disney, and went global with Kermit and Miss Piggy as soon as he could. He always looked at the world as his stage. He always knew there were no borders to a great joke...or a great story! AND... No LIMITS to the riches that could made IF you were wise enough to always expand your audience to include the whole world!
Jim got rich with that way of thinking....and I'm grateful he took me with him.
I learned those lessons well.
A GLOBAL BASE
When I decided to come back to syndication and newspaper comics, after a few years in children's books and global sports marketing and children's entertainment licensing , I settled on redefining and relaunching NANCY, a childhood favorite. Nancy was appealing because of her GLOBAL BASE. Many of the hundreds of newspapers she had were around the world, owing to her creator's Ernie Bushmiller's knowledge of visual humor and the worldwide market for well done art with few words.
My TINY DINOS, Night Lights, and MUDPIE characters have been marketed all around the world for years. At least 1/3 of the millions in combined sales of all my book titles were from outside the USA. My Night Lights and Fairy Flights Sunday comic feature is sold around the world , with 77 of the 100 papers it has run in outside the states.
IF YOU MASTER THE ARTFORM, YOU WILL HAVE A FUTURE WITHOUT LIMITS!
Wherever you are in your life right now, wherever you are in your mastery of the arts right now, you can master your own future and make it as boundless as your creativity and imagination! Never before has there been the opportunities for the graphic artist, cartoonist and storyteller that exist right now. In this early part of the 21st Century. You, the Up and Coming Comic master.....are right in the middle of what will soon be THE PERFECT STORM!
Yep. It's that time when all the elements are right. When the actions of the whole world, societies, faith, politics, pop culture, communications, technology, and CHANGE are whirling around you. THOSE that can COMMUNICATE GLOBALLY will not only survive....but thrive, and even redefine storytelling and entertainment for the future generations that will come.
THIS IS YOUR TIME.
We are living in a time of great change.
In those times of change, those that cling to the old ways and have no vision and heart to embrace the shining light of the next wave..will fall away. Those that don't have the imagination to reinvent themselves and their work will fall away. Those who refuse to accept everyday of their lives as the "present" that it is...the opportunity to learn something new....to try....to fail...and to try again, smarter......will make it easier for the ones, like you, to move forward in a less crowded field.
Newspapers as we know them are fading away. Print comic books sales have been on the decline for decades. Even TV is becoming less and less relevant everyday. So....how can I not only be optimistic, but tell you that THIS IS THE GREATEST TIME FOR ARTISTS IN HISTORY?
Because the whole world is watching, baby....and YOU have ACCESS to the whole world as YOUR audience, and YOUR MARKETPLACE!
The INTERNET has changed everything forever. The Comic Book publishers, the Comic Syndicates and Newspapers, The Movie and TV people.....they don't know HOW yet. THEY don't know HOW yet to make a buck off YOUTUBE. But, since their lives and businesses depend on them figuring it out....they will. THEY don't know HOW to make enough bucks off sending comics out to cell phones, and PDAs, and all the next 752 things that Apple and Microsoft and Motorola and Sony will have invented and started marketing by the time I'm done with this chapter......but they will.
OR....YOU MIGHT FIGURE IT OUT FIRST.
Hey, Number one records have been cut in closets, basements and garages. The Beatles started in a basement. Kermit the Frog was cut and sewn from an old Pea Coat. "Mickey" was a mouse that a struggling cartoonist fed when he barely had enough food for himself. A man with hardly any family or formal education, who lost his first two elections for local office, became President Of The United States. . Then he freed an entire race of people forever. I know....Lincoln wasn't an artist...but, come on? Abe was cool. You gotta go with Lincoln.
THOUGHTS ARE THINGS. You have as much right as anyone else in the universe to think great, life changing, possibly world changing thoughts. WHY NOT YOU?
Hey.....The Red Sox won a World Series. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
With focus, sincerity, persistence of vision, drive, determination.....and your incredible gift of VISUALIZATION that you have as an ARTIST......ANYTHING you dare to dream, dare to do, dare to draw........can create your fate.