You are what you do. Not what you say you do.
Anyone can tell you anything they want you to know about themselves, that’s what social media is for. If we actually lived the lives we promoted online what a wonderful life it would be.
The trouble is we can’t believe what people say. We can’t believe what they choose to tell us, all we can really believe is what they do.
Actions, not words.
I have been writing since I can remember. I blogged almost everyday when I had cancer back in 2006 and 2007. I printed all those posts with the intention of editing them into a book. (That still hasn’t happened. Started twice… but still not done yet)
I’ve been cartooning since 2012. I started a blog just to showcase my artwork and get past myself and my own critical nature. I needed my work to “fly or die” on its own. That blog helped me get over myself.
In 2014 the folks publishing The Coffeelicious approached me and I started sending them my work and with their help my cartoons reached thousands of more people. Hundreds of which have decided to follow me here on Medium. I am very humbled by that.
But my point is I call myself a cartoonist and I am only able to call myself a cartoonist because I write/draw cartoons. None of my cartoons are what I hope they would be but I still sit down and work it out on paper.
The sketch above was drawn with no words in mind. I can doodle a cartoon or funny picture and not have a clue what needs to accompany it at that moment. Just like this one, I drew it just to draw it. Maybe I won’t write anything for this cartoon but it’s the practice, the discipline to keep working the muscles and keep making art that makes me an artist.
Without making art I can’t call myself an artist. I can talk about it all I want but if I don’t make art I shouldn’t be calling myself an artist, writer, musician, chef, etc. If you’re a Doctor you need to be tending to patients or you’re just a guy with a degree that says he is a doctor.
My day job makes me a Service Advisor. My night job makes me an artist and I need to practice or those muscles will atrophy (And I get cranky). As long as I make art I am an artist. It’s the act of doing that matters here. Talking about it or thinking about it isn’t getting the job done.
My day job pays the bills. My night job does not, but it keeps me sane.
The cocktail party conversation about what we do “for a living” is sometimes difficult because I make money selling brake jobs and oil changes but I am a cartoonist first and foremost. I can say I’m both but…
Bottom line is: I am a cartoonist with a day job. Just like every writer in Hollywood is waiting tables or driving taxis. And I can introduce myself that way, because it’s true.
What we say we do and what we actually do are two different things. And unless we actually do what we say we do, we’re just talking about it.