Felipe Galindo Gómez, Cartoonist Known as Feggo, Talks About Handling Criticism, Taking Initiative, and Being Whole, Episode 42

Feggo is the pen-name of Felipe Galindo Gómez.  Felipe creates humorous art in a variety of media, including cartoons, illustrations, animations, fine art & public art. Born in Cuernavaca, Mexico resides in New York City. His drawings have appeared in The New Yorker. Feggo has presented numerous individual exhibitions and has received cartooning awards around the world. Some of his works have been displayed at The Library of Congress, Washington DC. 

He joined me this week to talk about his career, how he has learned to handle criticism, and how to take initiative. There were several points from our conversation worth reflecting upon – like this notion of wholeness and how you identify yourself (where you live, where you came from, and being proud of both parts) is so important. We also discussed how Feggo uses his talent to help us think of ways we can solve the challenges in today’s world.  This conversation transcends fields; because in any field you need to knock on doors, promote your work, explore a variety of things, and develop a thick skin to keep going no matter what. 

Other notable Feggo sightings include the design of four window panels installed in February 2008 at the two platforms of the elevated 231 St. subway station of the #1-line train in the Bronx, just crossing Manhattan. Bob Mankoff, Formerly the Cartoon Editor, The New Yorker says this of Felipe: 

“It is a rare cartoonist who appeals to such diverse readerships as The New Yorker, the Reader’s Digest, Barron’s, and Nickelodeon, to name just a few of the magazines where the widely published Felipe Galindo’s cartoons can be found. As cartoon editor of The New Yorker, I especially enjoy Felipe’s carefully constructed sight gags, whose wordless humor unites all demographics in laughter.” 

Highlights: 

  • Feggo shares some of his recent projects including syndication called Trump Truths and his work on infusing humor to help with difficult conversations. (7:39)
  • You will hear about his work with the World Bank on workplace racism. (8:48)
  • Comparing Trump’s light humor about racism versus the “thought-provoking” humor found in cartoons that approach racism (example illustration is an African American boy on a mechanical coin-operated car getting racially profiled). (9:40)
  • Feggo’s immigrant story and experience, putting his artwork into the world. (11:51)
  • Images trigger emotional responses some more than 1,000 words. (13:13)
  • How he considers himself as an accidental immigrant and how being outside of Mexico he appreciates his culture even more. (15:25)
  • Merging Mexican culture with NYC culture through his Manhatitlán series – (*Manhatitlán, a word Felipe Galindo coined, is a merger of two words: Manhattan and Tenochtitlán, Mexico City’s Aztec name). (15:40)
  • He feels like a whole Mexican and a whole American, we talk about a sense of wholeness vs. not being enough. (18:06)
  • Cartoons evolved over the decades and we discuss how not many cartoons have African Americans or Latinos – on being more inclusive in work opportunities and as images on paper. (19:24)
  • The hope is that this moment of inclusivity is not just a PR Band-Aid. (23:09)
  • How can you grow in your craft? Feggo’s formula: knock on doors and promote your work! (24:14)
  • On developing thick skin: luck is when prep meets opportunity. (26:45)
  • Why some people boycott themselves and how to have more humility.  (28:43)
  • If you are in your 40s or 50s, make sure you have the right passion and try a lot of things – it’s like a chain reaction on respecting opportunities small or big. (31:06)
  • Applying a diversification strategy when it comes to your job skills portfolio and why Feggo became a cartoonist and how he uncovered his talent(32:33)
  • Feggo describes his humor: it makes you laugh and reflect. He aims for people to reflect on situations or problems by way of his work. (42:34)
  • His homage to Frida Kahlo as a fellow Mexican who also found an opportunity in NY.  (47:12)
  • Starting when your work is not perfect and not being afraid to promote your work. (53:55)
  • Freelancing can be described in this way: you are either busy or busy trying to be busy. (56:27) 

Links to quench your curiosity 

  • View Feggo’s Portfolio
  • See Feggo on Instagram
  • Read the book: Frida, The Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera 
  • Did you enjoy the conversation? Let’s build a powerful community of dream chasers on Facebook! Let’s huddle around a virtual campfire to open up about the wisdom, insights, and stories featured on An Interview With Melissa Llarena the podcast. Join me there for exclusive takes and behind-the-scenes content.

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Melissa Llarena

Melissa helps movers and shakers up to those in the corner office rediscover what makes them unique so that they can land their dream job in a forward-thinking company where their ideas are listened to, valued, and supported.

She brings insights from having worked in 16-business units (including Human Resources) in NY, Paris, and London. Additionally, in her former corporate career, she worked on billion-dollar brands for P&G and on IBM for Ogilvy & Mather. Later, as the founder and CEO of Career Outcomes Matter, Melissa created a 3-step “sellable strengths” process which has been the centerpiece of her clients' results.

Melissa applies this method consistently to support mid-level professionals up to the c-suite to get into Fortune Global 500 organizations and agencies. She studied Psychology at NYU and earned her MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

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