Tacoma's First and Only Holistic Cartoonist For Hire!
by Dick Rogers
August 8, 2006

Richard Ryan Anderson gave a presentation to those attending the July 15th meeting of Cartoonists Northwest which will not be soon forgotten.

Ryan brought his laptop and ran an entertaining PowerPoint presentation of his life story, tips about website construction and marketing yourself.

Young aspiring artist Anderson's first break came when his Mom sent a strip he'd created to Odyssey magazine. They were impressed with then-thirteen-year-old Ryan's work and asked him to produce a feature for their back page. It was a thrill, at first, then Ryan came to find it "a major drag" staying inside to produce the cartoon while his friends were playing outside.

Later came animation classes in college. These were hand-drawn, frame-by-frame projects. Ryan ran a few slideshows of the work.

Soon the fascination with the internet became a major outlet for his work.

"I like websites," says Ryan, "because you can do anything, and it's seen all around the world."

And so it was on the web that his concept of a fictitious company and its equally fabricated founder & owner were born: www.holisticforgeworks.com.

"An interesting website has consistent branding," Ryan notes. "It has rich and interesting content. It has good functionality, too."

A good website self-promotes, this can be helped along by making it easy for search spiders to go through your code.

"Validate your code," advises Ryan. "Avoid JavaScript and tables which confuse some spiders, use html tags instead. Create back-links, build rich and interesting content."

"Using 'plosives'," he suggests, "Words that begin with BL or PL —is subliminal and exciting, and visitors will remember it. Using meta keywords is the old way to attract browsers, instead use meta description for better results. Have a blog to inform visitors of updates. Get your site listed everywhere you can: Google pages, Stranger web classifieds (they're free), The Comics Journal Forum, Flickr, CNW.net, our friend's website can link to you and vice versa."

Don't know how to do any of this? Newbies can find everything to teach themselves on the internet easily, and Ryan is a prime example. Maxdesign.com and oswd.org are open sources for web design. John (Ren & Stimpy) Krikfalusi's drawn.ca is one another.

You can make a great website from as simple a program as NotePad, BBEdit lite which are both free, or you can buy something like DreamWeaver which has powerful creative tools.

Ryan is currently doing some cartoons, banners and logos for Alaska Brewing. His cartooning has become more than a hobby—now it's a career.

Contact: Dick Rogers