We had the good fortune of connecting with Nate Fakes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nate, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Really, I couldn’t imagine anything else. I have a passion for cartooning and writing, so there’s no other direction that I could be content going down. After all, life is short. You have to do what you love to do, even if it’s extremely challenging getting there (which is it).
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Currently, I’ve been busy working on some new graphic novel concepts. I have a non-fiction graphic novel that my agent and I are shopping around right now that I’m very excited about. I can’t talk about it much at the moment, but I’ll release details as soon as I can. Also, I’m continuing to have fun cranking out my syndicated gag comic, Break of Day, and trying some new ideas and premises out for it. Some are hits and some are misses. It’s been syndicated for nine years now, so I like trying to evolve it as much as I can so it can (hopefully) stay fresh and relevant.
I’ve also been really into writing recently and have worked a lot on writing articles for an internet-based company, along with including cartoons in the mix for them. It’s been a nice workflow while developing graphic novels and other cartooning activities. Plus, it’s challenging material to write about technical stuff and making it fun and interesting to read. It helps me grow as a writer, which segues into helping me grow as a cartoonist. Even after being in the game for as long as I have been, I’m constantly trying to grow more and more. It will never end…
Beyond that, I’ve been enjoying teaching the business side of professional cartooning with my Cartooning Courses (www.cartooningcourses.com). I love sharing any information I have about the biz with others to help as much as possible, so this is my outlet to do so. I’ve had quite a few new students jump on board with me and watching them accomplish their goals is always fulfilling.
And, for the fun of it, I’ve been having a good time publishing a lot of my awful puns, work, and regular nonsense up on my Instagram account. It’s growing quite a bit and it’s fun interacting with people there.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love L.A. and all of SoCal. There’s so much here to see and do. Some of my favorite places are Venice Beach, Disneyland (which I actually like more for its history than rides and attractions), Hollywood Blvd, and of course, Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank for lunch. I like a lot of the hidden gems in the area. I recently discovered Whitewater Preserve off of 10 towards Palm Springs. Fantastic nature trails there and scenery! Also, check out the history of Playa Vista and see what it’s like today. It’s fun to walk around that area which has changed dramatically in recent years. All the little shops that I’ll discover driving down a random street are always interesting for me to find as well. There’s an endless supply of uniqueness in L.A. and surrounding areas. I always find it difficult where to take people when they visit because there are so many options!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I had a lot of influences growing up. Though I’m a cartoonist, surprisingly, probably the biggest influence has been and always will be Mozart. This is embarrassing to admit, but I’ve probably watched the movie Amadeus over a hundred times! I know it’s a mostly fictionalized movie, too. Still, that passion he had for music and all he accomplished in his life is what I’ve always strived for with my cartooning (luckily, unlike Mozart, the death at age 35 I avoided). Of course, I have to mention cartoonists as well. Jim Davis (Garfield), Charles Addams (The Addams Family), Gary Larson (The Far Side), and Walt Disney were huge influences on me. Without trying to draw, write, and produce material like them, I’m not sure where I’d be today. I’ve admired practically anyone that can make it in this profession. It’s tough! I’ve always said that becoming a cartoonist is harder than becoming an actor, athlete, or musician. There’s so few of us and it’s such a niche market. However, with technology, I’ve noticed a lot more opportunities out there for cartoonists nowadays. It STILL doesn’t make it easy to make a living, but there are ways.
Other: http://www.cartooningcourses.com http://www.gocomics.com/break-of-day