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Yum! In The News

Yum! Public Relations Senior Manager Rick Maynard uses his cartoonist talent to connect and inspire

Rick Maynard draws a cartoon.

Image provided by Rick Maynard.

Published on August 09, 2022

Rick Maynard remembers sitting at his elementary school desk when his teacher called him down. He had gotten in trouble (again) for drawing in class. Not unusual, Maynard said, given his penchant for doodling that started as a young boy. Born in Williamson, West Virginia, and raised in Kentucky, Maynard and his three sisters each have a creative talent. For Maynard, it is a gift for marrying wit with illustrations, which eventually led to a job as editorial cartoonist at the University of Kentucky student newspaper.

“As a child, I always knew I was going to be an artist. The first job I applied for out of college was as an editorial cartoonist. I didn’t get it, but I never stopped drawing political cartoons,” Maynard said. “Political cartoons are rewarding because people who agree with your point of view, love it. And people who don’t are still happy to give you feedback. Each reaction is rewarding – in its own unique way.”

Today, Maynard works as a public relations senior manager at Yum! Brands. And because Yum! encourages employees to pursue their passions, Maynard has been able to continue as a cartoonist, drawing illustrations for a wide variety of audiences, covering a myriad of topics.

"The nice thing about working for Yum! Brands is that you are encouraged to be your authentic self, and my authentic self just happens to be a cartoonist,” Maynard said. “It's a perfect situation for me: rewarding work at a great company surrounded by fantastic people, and then I get to draw cartoons in my downtime.”

Maynard finds opportunities through his illustrations to inspire and heal as well as to raise awareness and funds. He also just likes to make people laugh.


He’s created T-shirt designs for fundraisers, illustrated a book (“Bourbon Tails: The Dogs of Bourbon Country”), and in both 2015 and 2019, Maynard drew a cartoon for every day of the year. He has also contributed artwork for the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” book series. His illustrations have included dedications to musician and songwriter John Prine, who died in 2020 (his cartoon honoring the death of John Prine was retweeted by both Prine’s wife, Fiona, and music legend Bonnie Raitt), American celebrity cat Grumpy Cat (RIP) and dogs, his favorite to draw.

“Dog people are fun to interact with,” he said. “From the point of view of a dog lover, every other dog lover gets it. I’ve tried to draw cats, and I’ve never been around a lot of cats. I don’t know what makes them tick. Dogs I understand, and they understand me. So, I draw a lot of dog cartoons.”

While Maynard has earned a great and loyal following for his cartoon designs, he is most proud of how his art can contribute to the organizations and causes he cares about most. He’s chairman of the Lexington Humane Society and is also an advisor for the society’s Louisville chapter.

“Illustrating the Bourbon Tails book was fun because it combined several things that I’m passionate about,” he said. “I love bourbon, the book raised money for the Humane Society and drawing the cartoons was a lot of fun.”

Maynard continues to use his talent to help friends and raise awareness for issues such as animal abuse. Inspiration, he said, “usually finds me. The secret is not to go looking for it.”

One benefit of being a cartoonist is discovering the ways in which art and illustrations can be combined to put emotional or otherwise upsetting events into perspective.

“You can portray a lot of emotion in a single panel and people who are moved by them are inspired to share them,” he said. “Cartoons are a powerful medium. The people who are really good at this can communicate more in a single panel than someone else can in 1,000 words.”

Find the book, Bourbon Tails: The Dogs of Bourbon Country

Follow Rick on Instagram @cheapshot89


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