Creative Spotlight | Alex M

Published on 08 December 2021

Tell us a bit about who you are and what kind of creative work you make.
I’m a cartoonist, back in Australia, after living abroad for 13 years. I started doing Indy comics in the late 90s, and was lucky to work at Disney for a few years where I started drawing to properly pay the bills, then as the studio closed I left Australia to live the expat life. I lived mostly in China, but also did rounds in Poland, UK and South Korea working mostly in advertising, children’s books, video games, toys and television cartoons. Currently I freelance creating animated ads for Pizza Hut, KFC, LV and clients like that, but I do my more interesting cartoons with comedians I made friends with on my LA visits. I animate a lot of clips for Mexican American comedian Felipe Esparza. The episode where he hosts an exchange student is probably my fave.


Are there any special processes, techniques or tools you use to make your creative work?
Back in the day I had an animation disk, Lightbox, and a lot of paper, and I would buy a 100-page sketchbook every few weeks as they filled up. I’m so happy those days are over and I do everything digitally. I’m a total nerd for all these tablet devices. In the house I have a Wacom set up with a Mac, but I actually enjoy drawing with my iPad a lot more, and rarely leave the house without it. I have been drawing with the iPad since they first came out, started out with my finger, but now I use the Apple pencil. It was just so much more practical than carrying a sketchbook, inks pens and pencils. My bags never got filthy again. I still sketch with my fingers, but now on my phone. When I lived in Shanghai and Hong Kong, I had to catch the subway a lot, and it was easier to just sketch on my phone. I even had an exhibition in Shanghai of my subway sketches. 


What is a creative project that you’ve worked on that you’re really proud of? Why?
I don’t have just one, as I’ve been lucky to be involved with a bunch of really cool projects. In Shanghai, I was lucky to direct a 52-episode animated series. It was about cats, and the name loosely translates to “The daily life of Sibe”. As a cat person who likes cartoons, that was a bucket list item ticked off. I also art directed an iPhone game for Zespri and they decorated the game art on a skyscraper that was pretty cool. I really like the animated clips I do for What’s up Fool, being a fan of the comedy scene in LA, and contributing to it is a buzz. Most recently I did an animated video clip for a song called “Release” by Australian musician Willow. I was very happy with how it turned out, and was very happy I could finally do a very nice local project.


What’s the most challenging part of working as an artist / creative?
The business part hands down. I’m envious of all the artists that enjoy sales, negotiating and following up with clients. It uses a different part of your brain, where I would rather just focus on the art. Then there is the work/life balance. Client flow comes in waves, which links to the business part, where you have to juggle projects and pick wisely. 

Do you have any top tips for emerging artists and creatives just starting out?
I’m an older dude, so a lot of things are different today than when I was young. I wish YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and Webtoons was a thing when I started out. If you use social media right, it’s an amazing tool for artists to gage what works, and how to read an audience.


Also, this business is about who you know. So find events and introduce yourself. I started with comic book conventions, but any art gathering will do. Gallery openings, Facebook groups, life drawing etc. 

These are just some nuggets, I learned on my journey, but I’m still learning, and most likely you will too.

Where can we find out more about your work and get in touch?



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