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Cartoonist draws on experience

<p>Despite her life-long love of cartoons Cathy Thorne never thought she would grow up to be a successful cartoonist.<br /></p>

After going back to school in her 30s, Cathy Thorne, right, came up with the idea for the Everyday People cartoon series. The cartoons poke fun at the everyday struggles of women.

Despite her life-long love of cartoons Cathy Thorne never thought she would grow up to be a successful cartoonist.

“Sometimes I ask myself what would the younger me think about what I am doing now,” says Thorne, who for the last seven years has been drawing the popular Everyday People cartoon series. “It’s really exciting.”

Though Thorne’s cartoons appear in numerous newspapers and magazines including the Toronto Star, and the Winchester Parent — she’s even been published in Australia — life has not always been this exciting for the 39-year-old.

Following high school she enrolled in some business courses in her native Montreal. After another brief stint studying theatre, Thorne spent the rest of her 20s working as a waitress or in retail.

“I had an idea in my youth that I was going to be much more successful than I was,” Thorne said.

After a career planning course made it clear that her future was in the arts, Thorne decided to go back to school and enrolled at the Art Centre in Toronto.

It was in her final months as a 32-year-old art student that the idea for Everyday People came to her.

“The minute I started drawing these cartoons I knew I had something that needed to get out there.”

She began producing cartoons, drawing inspiration from her own life.

Determined to get her business started, Thorne mailed photocopies of her cartoons to a series of publications.

“It really didn’t take long. I got a quick response from the Toronto Star,” she says.

Since then Thorne’s cartoons, which poke fun at the day-to-day struggles that woman have to face, have appeared in publications around the world.

The opportunity to make a living off of Everyday People while working from home has left Thorn creatively and professionally satisfied.

“Creatively, first and foremost I love to write and then I love to draw and I get a chance to say something,” Thorne explains.

“There is also the professional reward in that I get to run my own business.”

These days, Thorne says, the hardest part of running her business is trying to balance her time between the cartoons and her two young children. Despite the difficulty Thorne produces one new cartoon a week.

“People always say how do you do it? How do you discipline yourself. The things is I don’t have to discipline myself, this is what I love to do.”

That love ensures the core of Thorne’s business will always be the cartoons. But she admits the Internet is changing how her cartoons are distributed.

Thorne launched her website www.everydaypeoplecartoons.comfive years ago, and says she is looking more towards the web as the main vehicle for her work.

“It seems to be the way of the future and I need to move with the times.”