Anthony Holden is an artist and father who creates the adorable “Precious Rascals” comic series where he documents all of the silly things his kids do.
The artist says he dreamed of becoming a comic artist since he was a kid but the dream had its ups and downs. “I had always dreamed of being a comic strip artist when I was younger, but by the time I had reached adulthood, newspaper comics weren’t really a thing anymore,” explained Anthony. “The number of folks who make a living just on newspaper syndication is incredibly small. I decided to go to college and study Japanese instead. I had learned to speak Japanese while living in Japan as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
“When I was in school at BYU, I stumbled across the animation major and decided to give it a shot. I learned about the animation production pipeline and decided to vie for an artist position at a studio somewhere doing storyboards, or animation, or design or something. I was mostly just excited by the idea that I might be able to make a living drawing cartoons,” said the artist.
“Getting seen by industry reviewers and recruiters as a student of a school in Utah proved to be a big challenge, but the internet came to the rescue,” continued Anthony. “I had made some friends online with industry pros in LA, and I leaned tenuously and gently on those connections to try and meet people. A very gracious Michael Lester (tremendously talented story artist at DreamWorks) was kind enough to invite me to the studio, where I had a chance to meet with some of my favorite artists in person. This led to an opportunity to apply for the trainee program at DreamWorks, where I got my start in the industry. A good deal of luck helped open doors for me. I’m really thankful to people who gave some unknown kid the time of day.”
“A word of advice to anyone out there making comics: keep having fun! Do what you love! Of course, this will not guarantee commercial success, so don’t hang all your hopes on getting discovered and making millions,” advised Anthony.
“My favorite advice to give to artists is this: remember that cartoons are fun to make but, like any hobby or career, they can’t be the sum total of who you are as a person. You have to be invested in something larger than drawings. For me, it’s my faith and my family,” said Anthony.
“Live a good life, and make cartoons a part of it if you can. Don’t get hung up on social media numbers as a reflection of who you are: you’re a person with real intrinsic value outside of some random metrics the internet associates with your digital persona,” added the artist. “Surround yourself with good people whom you love and who love you back and, when you can, watch and make cartoons with those people!”