30 Under 30: Hallie Bateman, Cartoonist/Illustrator

(Photo by Darcy Rogers)

Today marks the release of our sister publication, The L Magazine‘s “30 Under 30″ feature and we thought we’d highlight a few of the people featured by running Q&As with them. One of them is Hallie Bateman, age 25. Illustrator and cartoonist Hallie Bateman is a regular on The Awl and The Hairpin—you may have seen her most recent collaboration, “NYC DSM: The Mental Maladies Caused By Living In New York,” which pictures such common afflictions as “Rat King Personification” and “Umbrella Creation Disorder.” Her drawings also appear regularly on The Oyster Review and pop up occasionally on sites like HyperallergicGristPandodaily, and The Bygone Bureau. “I had a huge creative output as a kid — I made movies, drew comics and wrote stories as a form of play,” Bateman says. “It didn’t occur to me that art could actually be my occupation until I was toward the end of my English degree. Something clicked and I jumped into illustration with enough gusto to make up for whatever needed to be made up for. Now I pretty much do exactly what I did as a kid, except more, and better.”

Tell me a little bit about the path that took you to where you are today—both in your career, and just, you know, in Brooklyn.
 
I studied writing and only got into illustration towards the end of college. When people asked what I was going to do when I graduated, I said vaguely: “art”. I worked as a staff illustrator for a tech blog for a couple years and then went freelance when I moved to Brooklyn. I do art!
 
Did you always know what you wanted to do?
 
Nope! My parents are both journalists and I vaguely expected to end up writing in some capacity. Which I do! But I didn’t know there would be pictures.
Has it ever been challenging to be taken seriously because of your age?
Not really. And luckily, for a cartoonist, being taken seriously isn’t really my focus.
 
What advice do you have for people who feel like they don’t have enough experience/aren’t old enough to go after their career dreams?
Don’t wait for permission or recognition to start working. Just start!

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