Chillpaw Freelance Cartoons

This is Where I Draw the Line

Drawing the Line (and other things!)

When I was a kid, I remember wanting to be a cartoonist just like my dad. He had a little studio in the basement of our 1940s brick ranch house. When he was working, I would quietly go downstairs and try to sneak up on him. (He always knew I was there.) Something about being a cartoonist really appealed to me. At first it was the kneaded erasers. I LOVED kneaded erasers! Before I even knew what they were for! They looked just like little pieces of Play-Doh. But when I found out they had a ERASE things...I couldn't wait until the day I was old enough to have my own. Presumably when my dad didn't feel there was any danger that I would eat it. Which, as I remember, was when I turned 36.  

But there was something about art supplies that really got my attention. Paper, pencils, erasers. florescent desk lamps, electric pencil sharpeners, magic markers (hey, they're MAGIC, how can you NOT be intrigued?) Even today, when I go into any office supply or art store, I can get lost in there for hours. No, not because of my incredibly poor sense of direction, but because I feel at home in those places. At least I do until the manager asks me to buy something or leave.

The other thing that made me want to be a cartoonist was the idea of being able to work at home, alone, and yet, thru my work, reach thousands of people. That seemed perfect for me! So as a cartoonist, to be able to draw and create by myself, and have what I make appear in public whether in the newspaper or on a t-shirt I created, I enjoy what I do.

My lifelong dream has been to sell a comic strip and be nationally syndicated. I've been sidetracked over the years, but I hope to get back to working toward that goal someday. In the meantime, I keep busy freelancing and creating. My other website, The Real Cats by Chillpaw is where you will find cat-and dog-themed t-shirts, some of which benefit various animal rescues..

I also created and run a Facebook page to help the cats at West Milford Animal Shelter in NJ get some publicity. It's called The Real Cats at West Milford Animal Shelter. 

Most of my artwork revolves around animals in some way. This website is where you will find some samples of the artwork that I have created over the years, as well as a store where you can buy some cool things! Thank you for looking! 


My Dad Frank Chillino

My dad was the Production Supervisor of the Comic Art Department at King Features Syndicate for the Hearst Corp. in NYC. He worked there for 46 years! He's the one who introduced me to cartoons, bringing home comic books and paper and pens and other art supplies that I was probably too young to be trusted with. He was my biggest supporter (along with my mom) and also my biggest critic (which I learned the value of long after it was too late to say thank you.)

Dad is no longer here, but I know he is watching and I still hope that someday I will make him proud :) 


Sometimes when I was really little, like maybe three, my parents would lock me out of the house. They would say, “go get a job!” And I would say, “but I CAN’T! I don’t know how to drive! I’m THREE!”


On this particular day, I had just finished cutting the back lawn for my dad and when I tried to go inside to get a drink (it was very hot, too hot, in fact, for a shirt) I found that the door was, once again, locked. I banged on the door and was told that if I was thirsty I could have a drink from the garden hose. So I had a drink from the garden hose and then I started on the front lawn.


I remember that emptying the grass clippings was especially difficult as I couldn’t really reach up high enough to get them into the garbage can, so I usually ended up dumping them on    myself. That’s why my diaper looks so baggy in this picture, it was full of grass clippings.


As I grew up, I came to realize that while seemingly harsh, these things I dealt with as a child were not merely cruel taunts, but actually taught me important life skills that most kids my age did not learn until they were much older, if at all. But I was emboldened with staunch determination, having learned that if I tried hard enough I could accomplish anything, and if I banged on the door long enough, someone would eventually open it rather than have the neighbors complain about “that noisy kid with a baggy diaper full of grass clippings.”


Now, half a century later, I remember my childhood with fondness, thank my mom and dad for all they have taught me, and have my own children to lock out of the house.