Charlos Gary always dreamed of becoming a cartoonist. His first published work, a short-lived comic strip called "State U.," appeared in the student newspaper at The Ohio State University. It wasn't until two years later, however, while working at the University of Toledo's paper, The Collegian, that he committed himself to becoming a serious cartoonist.
Today — after spending decades crafting editorial cartoons, launching a nationally syndicated workplace comic strip called “Working It Out,” and even being nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his newspaper work — this dedication to storytelling has landed him in an interesting place for an artist: the financial services industry.
I feel lucky that I work around a very tight-knit group here and feel very fortunate to work at SCFR. There's a wealth of development opportunities for me, and I'm encouraged to challenge myself whether it be with new software or different drawing styles.
- Charlos Gary
As the Schwab Center for Financial Research (SCFR) communications team's design lead, Charlos spends his days creating infographics, cartoons and motion graphics for Charles Schwab's research publications. “Most of my career was spent working as a designer for daily newspapers,” he said. “Once that industry went into decline, I tried a few other sectors.
“I worked at Bloomberg prior to coming to Schwab and enjoyed working in the financial sector,” he said. And then one day, he saw an ad for a position at Schwab that would utilize his artistic background and newfound financial experience. “It seemed to be a perfect fit for me. The rest is history.”
Charlos's work regularly accompanies market insight and commentary from SCFR experts Liz Ann Sonders, Jeff Kleintop, Kathy Jones and others, and are also used for the Mid-Year and Annual Schwab Outlooks.
To create the illustrations, Charlos says he lets the experts do the driving.
“I want the cartoon piece to be about their vision,” he said. “My primary job is to bring (that) to life and add extra bits of illustrative expertise to it. But I try not to deviate from the main topic that they want. Once I know the topic, I'll send a few rough sketches until we settle on one that works best. After I get the okay, I ink the sketch and add color.”
Based in New York City, Charlos was born in Boynton Beach, Florida, and grew up in Orlando. He attended Ohio State, eventually transferring to the University of Toledo where he earned a Bachelor's in Fine Art. Gary eventually made his way to Chicago, where got work creating graphics for the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and eventually the Chicago Tribune. His work has also appeared in Newsweek, the St. Petersburg Times, the Washington Times and Bloomberg.
Charlos says his colleagues make Schwab a great place to work. “I feel lucky that I work around a very tight-knit group here in New York, and feel very fortunate to work at SCFR,” he said. “There's a wealth of development opportunities for me, and I'm encouraged to challenge myself whether it be with new software or different drawing styles. I've also learned a lot about investing in my role.”
Here are a few examples of Charlos' work: