Saturday, 11 January 2014

The Most Contradictory Rejection Slip Ever?

Well, I’m having a lousy Saturday. I woke up to the sound of a hail storm and landed downstairs to find some of my proverbial chickens had come home to roost amid the morning mail.

To explain as well as I can without going into too much detail: I do various work freelance but for so little money that I feel that I shouldn’t be working every hour or, indeed, all that many hours each month for other people. Somebody left a comment on this blog a few weeks ago suggesting that I should charge £66 an hour, which made me laugh and sob at the same time. Yet despite my not charging £66 an hour for my services, today I was told that I’m not ‘there’ enough, meaning I’m not ‘here’ enough when people need me. That might or might not be true (I’m always reachable via email but not via other methods which I find intrusive) but the only reason for my taking this work was to allow me the time to do other things that are far more important to my mental wellbeing, such as writing and drawing the odd cartoon. Except lately it’s not been working like that at all... I’m thrown increasingly complicated amounts of work for which I would expect to be paid more handsomely than I am being paid, leading me to question that if I’m not getting the time to write or cartoon, then why the hell aren’t I working full time and getting a wage consummate with the hours?

The answer is that I don’t want to rock the boat. I just want to retain a degree of separation from the work. I do it quickly and to the highest quality I can manage in the often short timescales. I don’t quibble (much) when others come along and tinker with my work to the detriment of what I was trying to achieve. I like to think I produce the results with minimum of fuss but apparently that’s not enough… Nothing I do is ever enough.

This was all brought into focus by the arrival of a handwritten A4 envelope this morning with a London postmark. I was intrigued as I opened it, deflated when I recognised my own signature inside. My letter and four cartoons had come back from The Spectator’s cartoon competition with a rejection note attached. Or at least I think it’s a rejection note. The two sides of the card are a bit contradictory...



Guess that's an ironic 'yes.' Anyway, here (below) are the four rejected cartoons. To say that these four cartoons represented the end of my cartooning career might be to overstate the situation. I took a month to come up with these monstrosities based on the damn difficult concept of ‘man in motion’. However, since I finished these, I’ve felt a serious shift in confidence and I guess I’m still trying to recover by drawing the recent caricatures (surely the weakest form of gag cartooning). To get these back today was about the worst time for me to get them. Apparently I’m a lousy employee and a lousy cartoonist. And this self-obsessed moaning blog post proves that I’m a lousy blogger too. Oh, bugger. I’m going to get drunk… Except, when I type ‘drunk’ I mean ‘spend my Saturday afternoon trying to be part of a team, be communicative, and do the work with a smile on my face’...

CyclistSP LegsSP Man In MotionSP SkiSP


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