Oct 24, 2016

Tips for making it as a professional illustrator / cartoonist

Recently I’ve been asked a lot about how to make it as a freelance illustrator / cartoonist, which made me realize that I’ve been doing this “professionally” for 10 years now! Here are some tips that I hope will be helpful for anyone aspiring to take this weird life path…

*If you have doubts about becoming a professional artist… don’t

I’m not saying you give up on all creative activities, on the contrary I think EVERYONE should have some sort of creative outlet. But enjoying a hobby is not the same as doing something for a living. Being a “professional” artist does not guarantee you any sort of social or economic stability. There will be moments (specially at the beginning) when you will have to compromise your passion to pay the bills by drawing things that may be quite boring and uninspiring. If you are not able to do that, then maybe you should find another job to pay the bills and keep your art making on your free time.

*Talent is nothing without hard work

Be consistent! Draw every day, as much as you can! No one is born being good, every illustrator or cartoonist you admire has worked hard to get where they are.

*Having an “art block” is an excuse

Don’t fall into this trap. If you really want to become a pro, you have to be able to make yourself to draw even when you don’t feel like it. If you’re frustrated creatively, go for a walk, clean your working space, draw stuff from life (objects, nature, people), stay productive.

*Allow yourself to doodle mindlessly

Not everything you make has to be an ultimate finished masterpiece. Some of my best ideas come from just making horrible doodles in my sketchbook that no one will ever see.

*Draw for yourself and be your own best critic

Learn to accept criticism and opinions, but remember that in the end you will never be able to please EVERYONE. And that’s ok. Strive to make stuff that YOU like, stuff that YOU want to see in this world. Trends will come and go, stay true to yourself.

*Take inspiration from EVERYWHERE

Don’t just stare at your favourite artists’ tumblr all day. Open your mind to as many sources of inspiration as you can: old artists, new artists, nature, dreams, memories, ancient cultures, modern atrocities, outerspace, literature, movies, etc. The more you take in, the more you will allow your work to grow and the more original it will become

*Experiment with as many mediums as you can

Don’t close yourself to one medium, colour scheme, format, style, etc. Try everything once, enjoy it with no expectations rather than to experiment!

*Strive for consistency rather than having a “style”

Don’t obssess over finding your “style”. Allow it to keep evolving at its own pace, it will keep changing naturally. Focus more on just drawing, and drawing a lot!

*It doesn’t matter if you go to school or not

If academia works for you, and you can afford it, go for it. If not, then as long as you keep working, you have a chance to make it. I only have a high school “degree” but thanks to the internet I’ve been able to learn whatever I want for free, like how to use Photoshop or build websites. Having a degree does not guarantee you will make it as a professional illustrator. Working hard and “networking” are a better bet.

*Expensive tools aren’t mandatory

I draw all my comics with just a mechanical pencil and I have a 10 year old wacom tablet. I only splurge on nice Fabriano paper. This is what I’ve found that works for me. Find whatever works best for YOU, it doesn’t have to be the same as what other people use!

*Share your work anywhere you can

If you can go to fests or shows, that’s great, but if you can’t, use the internet! I grew up in Mexico City where there is no “comics scene” but I was still able to make it because I’ve been consistently posting my work on the internet for years. Commit yourself to posting your work on Tumblr, Twitter or Instagram as often as you can. Try to have a separate account for your professional work that doesn’t feature a million photos of your beautiful cat and the delicious breakfast you made today.

*Make merch

What a better way to share your work than making merch? If you don’t know anywhere to get it made locally, you can easily get anything done through the internet (just google “custom… patches/pins/stickers/etc.”) and sell it through Etsy, Storenvy or Bigcartel. It’s a great way to distribute your work and start make some money off of it. I started selling stickers with my drawings when I was in high school to get money for beers and now I pay my rent (partly) from that!

*Don’t work for free

Unless you really want to, because it’s for a good cause, or you owe someone a favor. But otherwise, don’t. Exposure is not a currency. Always ask for a contract and/or at least half of what you’re charging IN ADVANCE to avoid wasting your time with flakes / ruining friendships.

*Be patient and don’t give up

It took me seven years to be able to sustain myself solely from freelance work and my webshop. It might take you less time, or maybe more, to get wherever you want to get. Keep going!


Sep 8, 2016


This year I finally sold all the copies I had left of Ojitos Borrosos, my first book and my first self-published collection of short comics. I printed a thousand of them, because when you print something in offsett that's usually the minimum number of copies you have to print. It sounds like a lot, and it really is a lot, so considering that, it isn't so bad that it took me about 4 years to sell all of them. The book did pretty good, people liked it and it got nominated for "Best collection" and "Best Artist" at the Ignatz awards in 2012. It obviously didn't win but just to know that something I did out of a dinky table in my bedroom in Mexico City was being acknowledged by "the comics world" felt good. 2012 was an explosive year for me, the year I was finally able to make a living making whatever the fuck I wanted, and I'm glad to say I haven't stopped doing that. I've also gotten my comics put out by actual publishers, all whom have been a joy to work with: C'est Bon Kultur put out Lapsos, Breakdown Press put out Sindicalismo 89, I did a mini full colour book of short comics for Kuš! and Ediciones Valientes put out Traducciones and is now working on a spanish edition of Lapsos. Making books is a hard way to make money, but I've learned now that if you want to get the most profits possible, self-publishing is the best way to go. Also if you want to have control over everything, or if you don't want to wait to see who wants to put out your stuff... It may seem daunting to invest so much at once, and then have to sell a thousand books by yourself, but it is not impossible!

After realizing I only had 3 copies left of Ojitos Borrosos, it came to me in a dream that it was necessary that I put out what would be like the second volume of that. And so is born Impatience, which compiles my favourite short comics I've made from 2012 to 2016. This time (unlike with Ojitos Borrosos) I had so much material I actually left out all the stuff I didn't like as much. I remember feeling with Ojitos Borrosos that I had to include EVERYTHING otherwise it was not going to be thick enough to be a book. Now I feel like I chose only the quality stuff and left out all the filler. It includes all the comics from Borrowed Tails (that mini Kuš!), Sindicalismo 89 (now with fancy shading), Traducciones (with a slightly better ending, which was the one I originally planned but somehow discarded), the best of Pachecomics, Ghost Girl (which ran on VICE last year), C.S. (that comic I made for Sacred Prism) and my best strips for The Believer Magazine.

I've always been obsessed with books as beautiful objects, so I really wanted to go all out with this one. I'm pretty happy with how it came out, and also that I got to print it in Mexico City. I went there to visit my friends and family in August, as a "vacation only trip" and ended up printing this. My friends make fun of me that I can't take a break, and it's true. I've come to understand that I'm an obsessive person, and if I don't focus my mind on productive things it goes on to obsess about stupid shit. Gotta keep myself busy and out of negative loops!

I feel like most of these comics have come out of that, feeling anxious or desperate. Instead of just suffering, I start weaving stories, using all of what amazes and terrifies me as an inspiration. I know a lot of people think my work is autobiographical, but I don't think it is any more than any other fiction book. Of course there's a lot of things there based on reality, but none of the characters are supposed to be me. Anyway, I don't care what you project unto it, in the end that's what makes it all more interesting! Different perceptions of the same thing make it more than it is just by itself.

Impatience will be debuting at Entreviñetas, Short Run Seattle, Zine Fest Houston and Comic Arts LA. There will also be two release parties for it, Mexico City and one in San Antonio to which everyone is more than invited to come! If you can't come you can preorder the book at my webshop / y acá esta el link para la preventa exclusiva para México. Also if you're interested in distributing copies, I can offer you wholesale price! Contact me at gatosaurio (at) gmail for more info : )

See you soon! / ¡Ahi nos vemos!

Jan 29, 2016

Originals for sale

I'm selling some originals from 2008-2015 because I'd rather give them to someone who will appreciate them rather than have them stashed away in a closet at my mom's house. Your purchase would be greatly welcome for that, and also because I have to pay rent, bills, medical stuff and other bullshit that happens when you live in this world. Anyway, making drawings is my full time job thanks to YOU (the internet) and I love it! So, time to spread these old ones around and make room for some new ones!

To buy, please contact me at gatosaurio at gmail.com with the name of the piece(s) you want. You can see the measurements in centimeters on each photo. Payment is via paypal only, world wide shipping is included. Pieces will ship flat in a cardboard envelope and I will also send you some stickers and postcards. I will be updating this as soon as pieces get sold, so if it doesn't say "sold", it's still available! Thanks for looking


Adentro (2/5) *SOLD

Afuera (2/5) *SOLD

Afuera (3/5) $150

Corona $100

Manglar *SOLD

Peine *SOLD

Paseo *SOLD

Manos $100

Orgía $100

Lodo $80

Infinicat *SOLD

Pastora *SOLD

Guerrero *SOLD

Fauna *SOLD

F U $50

Dorado $50

Maritza $50

Receptáculos *SOLD

1986 *SOLD

Diosa *SOLD

Casa Humboldt *SOLD

Coral *SOLD

Salta *SOLD

Tejas *SOLD

Gato práctico *SOLD

Chocolate $25

Nacho $25

Fries $25


Carne *SOLD

Serpiente *SOLD

Nature *SOLD

Sindicalismo 89 $100

Magia $100

Ninfas $100

Cueva *SOLD

No mames $50

Germs *SOLD

Female Secrets *SOLD

Peludo $50

Hunter *SOLD

Mitocondria $30

Hurones $30

Greñuda *SOLD

Llorona *SOLD

Meona *SOLD

Mocosa $25

Pedorra *SOLD


Exitstance (set of 4 pages) *SOLD

Aguamala (set of 4 pages) $250

Party killer (set of 4 pages) $200

Spera (set of 3 pages) $150

Garden (set of 2 pages) $100

Lic. Pez (set of 2 pages) $100

Sweet Revenge (set of 2 pages) $100

Víbora (set of 2 pages) $80

We have so much in common *SOLD

Start making $50

Wondering *SOLD

Train *SOLD