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My history and cartoonist journey

I was born in Florida, but I found it too hot, so at 4yrs old, I moved my parents to Rhode Island. My favorite pastime was drawing, and in the sixth grade, I discovered my real talent potential. A classmate of mine told me he would pay me one dollar to draw a picture of our teacher.

Because it was a lot of money, I rushed to my task. He was happy, I was rich, and the teacher, who immediately recognized herself, was furious! She must have been impressed because that same day, I got to meet the principal.

Junior High School was where I really started my cartooning career. I drew for the Junior High School monthly newspaper. At the time, my friend, Rob, and I shared a paper route, which is where I dreamed about becoming a professional cartoonist.

We talked about it all the time, but he was very negative about the idea. He often said I would never get published, and I decided to prove him wrong. With a handful of cartoons strapped to my bicycle rack, I rode three miles to my local newspaper, the Warwick Beacon.

I walked into the lobby as if I knew what the hell I was doing (I didn't). In fact, it was probably my stupidity and tenacity that got me the opportunity to meet the publisher, John Howell, without an appointment. He graciously lied to me and said I had some talent, and if I would polish up a few cartoons, he'd be glad to publish them for me. I went home and "polished" away.

I returned a week later with some polished cartoons that I thought were funny, and to my surprise, he agreed to publish them. Apparently, the readers shared my sense of humor because within a month, my comic feature, Andy's Antics, was established.

Cartoonist Andy Anderson article in Warwick BeaconI didn't realize it at the time, but I was very fortunate to get considered for publication at that age. With a deranged sense of confidence, I submitted my comic strips to more newspapers, magazines, and syndicates. The Providence Journal awarded me with the title "Best Of" for 1993, which blew my mind.
Best cartoons of 1993 by cartoonist Andy Anderson
Being published in the Providence Journal and Warwick Beacon created even more opportunities for me, such as drawing a billboard for the number one radio station in Rhode Island, 92ProFM.
Cartoon illustration for 92ProFM billboard by cartoonist Andy AndersonAnd illustrating a children's book with a former cheerleader for the New England Patriots (available here).
Cartoon illustration for book by cartoonist Andy AndersonIn the late '90s, I moved back to Florida. Unfortunately, life "got in the way" of my drawing for a while. After several years I felt the urge to begin drawing again so began I drawing editorial cartoons part-time for the Scripps owned Stuart News, Port St. Lucie News, and Vero Beach Press Journal.
Editorial cartoon published in newspaper by cartoonist Andy AndersonThe exposure from the newspapers opened up more opportunities, such as creating cartoons for the annual ArtsFest and working with clients like the YMCA.
Cartoon illustration for local Arts Festival and YMCA by Andy AndersonFlorida was still very hot and occasionally had these bad storms called hurricanes, so in 2008 I moved to Atlanta, Georgia. As the newspaper industry declines, traditional opportunities for cartoonists are virtually non-existent. Fortunately, the internet and social media make it possible for cartoonists and creative people to share their work with the world.

That's where I am today - drawing cartoons on virtual paper to be consumed digitally. I hope you enjoy them, and if they make you laugh, I hope you consider buying me a coffee or purchasing prints or merchandise. At the very least, please share them with your friends.

Want even more access to my work? Join my community on Patreon, where I share the good, bad, and the ugly of cartooning.