Remember being a kid and the first time you held a crayon and it felt like an old friend? You inexplicably began to doodle… everywhere… on every surface, just to see where it would take you and what it could turn into. You didn’t know where those swirls and scribbles came from; they seem to have been born within you, waiting to come out.

For cartoonists and illustrators, there is no other choice but to create original images and illustrated stories that flow from their imaginations - yet, reflect their personal opinions, satisfy their soul, and strive to make others smile in knowing agreement.

Parlaying that ”doodle love” into a career requires incredible determination and focus. Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes wrote, “To persist in the face of continual rejection requires a deep love of the work itself.”

No words ring truer for cartoonists and illustrators. And so today, we celebrate some dedicated and extremely talented individuals who have decided to follow their love for doodling to create wonderful images that make us laugh, make us cry and hopefully make us think a little deeper about the world around us.

Jem Sullivan

When you look at Jem Sullivan’s work, you are immediately greeted with bright images of characters, some fantastical creatures and some human, bearing wide expressions in unimaginably hilarious circumstances. And no matter the creature, all seem incredibly human and relatable. That is the humor and beauty of Jem’s work; the seamless blending of something incredulous yet completely understandable and touching - brilliantly designed to make you laugh at the sometimes absurdity of the world around us. As Jem says, “I've done the Hokey-Pokey. I've turned myself around. Isn't that what it's really all about?”

 Greeting card for Shoebox Greetings (Hallmark Cards, Inc.) Concept and illustration

Based in Pensacola, Florida, Jem spent 19 years crafting illustrations for Hallmark greeting cards and in the course of that work earned multiple accolades from the National Cartoonist’s Society, winning Reuben Awards in 2008 and again in 2013. Jem has also worked as an editorial art director for the Pensacola News Journal and taught illustration and graphic design at Pensacola State College. Now on his own, Jem is free to explore work with other greeting card companies and working with art directors on editorial pieces.

 Greeting card for Shoebox Greetings (Hallmark Cards, Inc.) Concept and illustration

Give your heart a laugh today and check out Jem’s wonderful work here and on Facebook

Andy Davey

Andy Davey was born in London. Although his “dark years” as a research chemist remain obscure, after a rebirth in 1993, he emerged into the sunlit world of cartoons.

Since then, Andy’s cartoons and caricatures have been published in various UK and European newspapers and magazines such as The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman, Private Eye, Punch (in its death throes), The Spectator, Prospect, Squib, E! Sharp, and the New Statesman, to name a few! He drew a weekly “profile” caricature for The Sunday Telegraph and has also wielded his pen in TV-land too, drawing for the satirical TV cartoon series 2DTV and covered political events for Channel 5 and Sky TV News. Andy currently draws daily editorial cartoons for The Sun.

Andy’s specializes in editorial/political cartoons, caricatures and cartoon strips extracting drops of what he terms “foul-smelling humor” from the blackest of world news scenarios. He also draws cartoon strips and cartoon illustrations. All of this expression resulted in Andy being “forced, kicking and screaming” to hold the Chairmanship of the Professional Cartoonists’ Organization from 2006-2012.

In a search for more expressive freedom, Andy also began painting canvases and describes that part of his work as, “A release from the editorial and graphic restrictions of drawing cartoons. I tend to naturally look for a compositional balance between visual comfort and chaos.” Visual comfort brilliantly blended with chaos wrapped up in a blanket of humor is exactly what he delivers! You can check out Andy’s work on his website and on StudioVox

Ania Kryczkowska

Ania Kryczkowska is a Gdansk, Poland based full time illustrator and cartoonist who for over 14 years has specialized in character concept design and 3D visualization, custom logo design, high quality illustration, freehand sketching, 2D/3D animations, storyboarding, and book cover design.

Thorgal - New Age - cover concept

Ania has worked on a variety of diverse projects for creative studios, magazines and private companies and considers client satisfaction as her primary goal. Ania values highly the client relationship and describes herself as a “problem-solver that remains engaged until expectations are exceeded”, always maintaining high standards that continually wow her clients.

RCK _Thorny Knight character concept made for comic book by J.Polar

Ania understands the importance of budgets and deadlines and approaches every project in the most efficient, timely way possible. She believes it is this approach that has helped her to satisfy numerous clients with different type of needs. If you are looking for a designer for your next project with loads of passion and a strict dedication to quality, Ania is your designer. For more details on Ania’s art and how to contact her, you can check out her work on her website and on StudioVox.  

Pemalu The Casual Cartoonist (Peter Lurie)

London based Peter Lurie, also known as Pemalu, is a self-described “truly casual cartoonist” who has just gone Pro after having completed an advanced cartooning course at the prestigious Cartoon Museum in London.

Pemalu has developed his own unique methodology for creating his art; all of his pieces are first hand drawn and then digitally painted and his work is almost all completed on an Ipad! He uses the WACOM Companion to help with his freestyle work, which allows him to really run wild with ideas.

Pemalu’s passion involves what he calls blending “illustration with real life”. He combines technology with art and with the aid of a little background wizardry and the blending of animation with lifelike inclusions, the result is a real-life finish to his unique work. Part of this real-life experience includes bright colors and humor infused into his work that leaves you happy and smiling. As Pemalu says, his goal is “Making you smile with lines and color!” Get to smiling now and check out his work on StudioVox, Facebook and his website

RPK Designs (Rick Penn-Kraus)

With the mission “To provide amazing creative solutions that you never thought possible”, RPK Designs is a unique creative consultancy owned by Rick Penn-Kraus, a Creative Director for the marketing, publishing, entertainment and advertising industries. Rick has managed visual communications departments for some of the world’s leading corporations contributing superior creative leadership to award winning projects and bestselling publications for such companies as Weber Shandwick Worldwide, Hill & Knowlton and NewStar Media. He has won numerous awards for his stunning work including, multiple Summit Awards, an American Inhouse Design Award and a Prism Award.

Maya Angelou drawn with one black line

Based in Los Angeles, CA, RPK Designs specializes in graphic design, photography, illustration, video animation, advertising, social media/e-blasts, DVD packaging, videos, and book design and can meet just about any creative need. Maybe it's a logo, a book cover, an ad or a video to show what you or your service is all about, or a new website, because your old website just isn't doing the job, RPK Designs can show you how amazing your projects can be. They will analyze your existing projects, and recommend solutions to quickly get you up and running.

Friday Cartoon: Old and new

With an impressive client list that includes Pepsi, Motorola, Colliers, Adidas, Susan G. Komen Cancer Foundation, Coldwell Banker, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Hallmark Entertainment, HP, Wal-Mart, Avery Dennison, PG&E, Black & Decker, Creative Publishing International,, Waste Management, Carl’s Jr.,, One Eighteen Advertising, the State of California, Mazda, Sony PlayStation among many others, RPK Designs believes in delivering good work through communication, hard work, and a commitment to deadlines, but mostly they believe in being creative in ways you never imagined. Prepare to be wowed and check out their work on StudioVox, Facebook and his website