Creator Spotlight with Cartoonist and Illustrator Mark Monlux

This week we’d like to introduce cartoonist and illustrator Mark Monlux. Be sure to visit his online store, and follow him on both Instagram and Twitter.

What was the inspiration behind becoming a creator? What do you enjoy most about the creative process?

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to draw and be creative. I can’t pinpoint the source any more than I can see the air I breathe, it’s just always been there. How I fill up with joy when I create.

Can you talk through your creative process? How long does it take? Does everything you produce make money?

I like to fall into an instinctual groove. I love it when my lines and ideas flow within the groove.

There are some days when the lines and ideas are obstructed. But when I’m in the groove, the project I’m working on moves along at a good pace as I lose my sense of time. I can look up thinking a full day is gone but find that it’s not even lunchtime, or rise after a few breaths and find the day is over.

Not everything I produce makes money. But, since I need to make a living from my work, most of what I do is targeted for a use, or I will happily use when a use avails itself.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about your line of work?

My value and the value of what I create.

When did you first become aware of copyright, and why?

When I became a creative professional I sought out other established professionals so that I could solidly establish my business. Until then my concept of copyright was very vague. It was through these colleagues that I learned about copyright and how it is an essential component for a creator.

Have you experienced copyright infringement and, if so, how has it affected you personally and financially?

Yes. I’ve had my copyrighted works infringed. I’ve learned not to take it as a personal assault to my ego but as an assault on my business. I deal with the infringement from a business point of view. Clinging to outrage is far less productive than following a plan for resolution.

What do you do when you encounter someone stealing something you’ve invested your intellect, time, and money into?

I send them an invoice. An invoice informs the transgressor that I’m aware of their action. I want to be paid for my work. This approach provides them with an opportunity to take a quick and easy way to resolve a potentially costly mistake.

In order to encourage my clients not to accidentally reuse my work without permission, I have a clause in my contract stating that if such an error does occur, not only will they reimburse for the value of the work but there will be an additional $500 penalty fee for use without permission. When I added this clause to my contract, the amount of permission requests went up significantly.

If you aren’t already a member of the Copyright Alliance, you can join today by completing our Individual Creator Members membership form! Members gain access to monthly newsletters, educational webinars, and so much more — all for free!

get blog updates