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4 min

When sun sets, creativity awakens: John Auchter and his second life as a cartoonist

In the realm of intelligent automated solutions for commerce, John Auchter stands out as a dedicated communication specialist at Dematic, an integral part of the KION Group. But there's more to John than his professional expertise – he is a talented cartoonist. In this story, we delve into John's artistic journey, exploring how he nurtures his passion for cartoons alongside his role at Dematic.


After previously working for Dematic in the Software Product Engineering department, John discovered his true calling in the field of communications. At Dematic, he focuses on content development, brand guidelines, and fostering effective dialogue within the company. With his unique ability to bridge technical intricacies with creative communication abilities, John plays a vital role in facilitating seamless information flow.

But outside the confines of his professional responsibilities, John's true passion comes to life at night. With a pencil in hand, he effortlessly creates magic on paper. What ignited his interest in cartooning and how has it evolved over time?

How it all started

According to John, “It’s always kinda been.” With a reflective pause, John shared, "My brain was simply wired that way. Cartooning feels like second nature to me." He began his artistic journey around age seven, drawing cartoons for family amusement and finding inspiration in film animations and comic strips. Notably the beloved "Peanuts" cartoons for its distinctive humour. But as time went on, his passion grew deeper, and he became more dedicated to honing his craft.

"With years of effort and practice, I nurtured my limited artistic talent into something I could call my own. While I don't claim to be the best cartoonist, I'm proud of my progress and body of work,” John explained. So how do you generate ideas and give them existence through your illustrations?

A creative, yet quiet strategy

“I let my mind go to places,” John noted. For creative inspiration, John seeks solace in quiet contemplation, often accompanied by thoughtful gazing into the distance. It is during these moments that ideas seem to materialize organically. Not to mention, as someone who occasionally collaborates with editorial companies and radio shows, John understands the importance of meeting deadlines.

Just like any other project, John also faces time constraints. But thanks to his capabilities and knowing some shortcuts, he always feels in control. Therefore, deadlines don't intimidate him, as he always finds ways to make things work. Speaking of work… John, did you ever encounter any crossovers between your profession and hobby?

Unifying Two Paths

At first, John didn’t see any crossovers. Initially, there was a perception that his role as a professional and his hobby as a cartoonist existed as two separate worlds. But over time, he discovered a greater intertwining between them than he had anticipated. Similar to the work of a cartoonist, John’s job involves using words and images to communicate and convey messages.

He utilizes these skills to make eye-catching web pages, put them in presentations, and teach brand rules. His hobby and job are all about communicating and connecting with people. And not only that, but also anticipating the reaction of an audience. “I have to admit, cartooning improved my intuition about audience perception, enhancing my role as a communication specialist,” John noted.

And what kind of impact do you hope to achieve through your cartooning?

A comical and thought-driven approach

“I just want to make people think and laugh,” explained John. As he grew up, various cartoonists such as Charles Schulz, Roz Chast, and Chuck Jones became an integral part of his life for their socially and comically driven work. Just like these artists entertained John with their fun cartoons or animations, he adopted the same hobby and now wishes to reciprocate the favour to his audience. You can find his work showcased in several outlets, notably on the "Michigan Radio" website, where he maintains a dedicated cartoon column named "Auchter's Art." You can check out his work here to see for yourself.

John looks back on his childhood with fond nostalgia – especially the moments he'd grab black pencils and notebook paper, losing himself in immersive sketches. The delight he experienced while bringing forth his imaginative creations was unparalleled, especially when his parents responded positively to his drawings, encouraging him to continue refining his skills.

Now, as an adult, John experiences a similar rush of emotions when he sees his cartoons being shared by people on social media. Yet unlike in the past, growing as a cartoonist in the present era can be challenging. In light of this, how do you manage to stay motivated and continue to grow as a cartoonist, John?

Developing friendships that inspire

"It's becoming more challenging to find publishers, particularly with newspaper companies gradually fading away," John explained, highlighting the current job market. He further elaborated on his own experience of having now contributed cartoons for the website of a group of public radio stations for over six years, which is certainly not a traditional outlet for cartoons.

"It helps that I am a member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists," mentioned John. He explained that being part of this association allows him to connect with new people, exchange ideas, and strive for personal growth. Not to mention – it has allowed him to break free from the solitary nature of cartooning.

"Chatting with like-minded cartoonists about shared goals, like finding work or getting published, keeps me motivated. I've forged valuable friendships through this, which I'm truly thankful for," John shared.

Drawing to an end

John Auchter exemplifies the fusion of passion, talent, and creative pursuit – a true embodiment of KION's spirit.