I started my career as a cartoonist, working freelance for numerous newspapers and magazines. "Being a cartoonist was probably one of the most difficult times in my career, not only was I expected to come up with witty cartoons. People who I met for the first time, having learned what I did, would say 'Well, tell us a joke then!". Unknowingly to them, any 'joke' ideas were potential earnings, until it worked on paper, it was never going to be spoken about in public. At times I was expected to be the life and soul of the party, the comedian in the room, but, I'm human and as we all know, we all have our off days and cartoonists are often known to be introverts. But the hours were flexible and who doesn’t want to laugh at their own jokes! Anyone embarking on a career as a cartoonist or illustrator, will know how difficult it is to get known, or even published. I'm not so sure if things were just easier 20 years ago, or just less competitive, but it does seem to be more difficult to get yourself established. My advice to anyone starting out, would be to never give up if that's what you truly want to do, you may end up with more rejection slips, than you know what to do with, it takes time to find your niche area. Always send any work out through the appropriate route, go and buy a current copy of the ‘Artist and Writers Year Book’, its full of great advice and information as to which publication will take what and in what format. Also, important make sure you address your work to the right person in the right manner. Doing your homework first, can save a lot of time and effort on both parts.