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Madeline Horwath ’13, Cartoonist

Madeline Horwath’s darkly hilarious cartoons can regularly be found in The New Yorker, and they have also published in the Chicago Reader, Weekly Humorist, and other venues.

The path to a dream career was not a straight line. Though Madeline studied art and made comics as a student at Beloit, these were not their first career goals.

“I graduated from Beloit College in 2013 with a major in Fine Arts but no idea of what type of career in the arts I wanted,” says Madeline, “but luckily, not long after graduation I somehow managed to land a graphic designer internship in Washington DC. I say luckily, because I learned that that was not the path for me so I moved around the country working odd jobs and trying to figure out my life’s path.”

It was during one of these odd jobs that Madeline’s cartoon portfolio began to take shape.

“Eventually, during a receptionist job, I would sketch gag cartoons in my free time. Upon learning that my cartoons were the same format as New Yorker cartoons, I purchased a plane ticket to New York where I was to wait in the lobby of the Freedom Tower in hopes of getting a meeting with the humor editor. By a stroke of luck, I got that meeting and a month later, I sold my first cartoon. Since that time, I have blossomed in a career I didn’t plan on, but am forever grateful for.”

Madeline stresses that the co-curricular elements of their Beloit education have been crucial to their success.

“It was during my time at Beloit where I gained a sense of self awareness and a better understanding of my relation to my surroundings. These traits helped me to understand humor and what people respond to as well as my strengths. College is not just about growing academically, but shaping yourself into the adult you will eventually become.”

Scott Espeseth
January 28, 2021

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