THE ART OF HAPPINESS

My talented cartoonist, Jim Hunt, posted on Facebook the first of several rejection letters he received from MAD Magazine. Under the picture was this comment from him: Just found this note. It’s my first rejection from MAD Magazine. Took me about FIFTEEN YEARS to finally break into the magazine. Trust me. The feeling of finally making it was worth the wait. Never give up if you truly want something.

I printed off the rejection letter as well as his note and hung it in my office because it was such a great example of perseverance.

I’ve had the privilege of working with Jim for over a year now and I’m still pinching myself at how lucky I am to work with such a consummate professional and brilliant talent. Not only has he been cartooning for this column on a weekly basis, but he’s cartooned two children’s books and a line of greeting cards I’ll be releasing later this year. In every aspect he’s been a dream to work with. Even though I’ve never met him and he lives about 3000 miles away, he’s become a good friend and mentor whom I often go to for advice.

A great success in his line of work, I find it amazing that he’s managed to make such a good living from his cartooning since graduating from high school. Isn’t that something we were always told you couldn’t do?

“Art’s a hobby,” my younger brother was often told as a kid. “It’s very difficult for people to make a decent living in the arts.”

And, sadly, there’s some truth to that statement. Most artists, including writers, struggle to make money pursuing their passion and often have to get a “real job” to make ends meet. But, like Jim Hunt, my brother is a testament to perseverance and going for it regardless.

When we were young, Jeremie was constantly drawing, designing and painting. He had a huge love of soccer and hockey and would often run out on the field or somehow get to the locker rooms with one of his oil paintings and hand it over to the famous athlete he had painted.

Sometimes they would take off their sweaty jersey and hand it over to him in appreciation. Those moments were beyond thrilling to him. Of course, there were others who would take the paintings with barely a thank you and his little heart would be crushed. But only temporarily. Eventually he learned to only ask for autographs from certain players and keep the paintings for himself.

Now an arts director at a graphic design company where he applies his creative talents on a daily basis, he still has that passion for sports art and paints whenever he can find time. It’s not an easy task with his busy schedule, a full time job and now coaching his own kids in hockey.

But if there’s a will there’s a way. If there’s a passion to do something you really love, like Jim said, we should never give up. Perseverance is the key and rejections are just tests to make sure we’re strong enough to push past the pain and carry on towards scoring our goals.

To visit Jim’s website go to jimhunt.us

To visit Jeremie’s website go to jeremiewhite.com