A couple of cartoonist friends of mine got the bad news of being laid off at the newspaper where they've worked for many years. I started my career working at the same paper, but left there 25 years ago to free lance from my studio at home. I can imagine how distressed I'd be if I had stayed at the paper and given them so many years of my life, only to be let go.
I hope they find another employer soon. They're really quite talented, award-winners, both of them. Understandably, economic downswings require companies to look for ways to pare back expenses. But it's a shame that the management couldn't appreciate their value to growing and keeping readership, and do other things to pare back expenses rather than release such important assets. My prediction is the paper itself will eventually fold when it doesn't understand the very talents that helped it thrive.
Being self-employed for 25 years, I have seen many ups and downs in the economy. However, challenges like the ones my friends are facing can be catalysts to actually improve their careers. I think creative people have an advantage in transitional situations because they are forced to devise creative solutions to adapt to the change. One day, I hope they will be able to look back on this time and see it as a blessing that jump-started them to better opportunities.