How Can I Start a Career As a Cartoonist?

Would you like to draw fresh and original comic strips or perhaps develop an ongoing storyline for a cartoon or comic book? Would you like to have your artwork seen by thousands of people on a daily basis? If so, read on to learn some of the steps you can take to begin your career as a cartoonist. Schools offering Children`s Book Illustration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Definition

Cartoonists create fresh, unique, and entertaining images for comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, product packaging, or greeting cards. As a cartoonist, your work can be silly, dramatic, scary, or political in nature, depending on the desired end result. You often have a limited amount of space to display your art and are tasked with creating a design that will help sell a product, further a brand's identity with its target demographic, or just be entertaining, interesting, or provocative.

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Salary (2014) $63,630 (for multimedia artists and animators)
On-the-job Training Moderate amount of training, depending on specific job
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 6% (for multimedia artists and animators)
Key Skills Artistic talent, communication skills, computer skills, creativity, time-management skills

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education and Training

Although no training is required to draw cartoons, you may still be interested in taking some classes. You would want to take courses on how to draw the human body and draw using perspective, and how to use shadows to convey depth and width in 2-D design. You will also want to learn how to create cartoons using different mediums, from the more traditional methods of pen and ink to using the latest computer programs. Since you will be creating cartoons from scratch, and often by yourself, you may be interested in taking classes in how to write text, dialogue, and create an ongoing storyline.

Practice and Definition of Style

If you are an aspiring cartoonist, the importance of practicing your skills cannot be understated. It can take countless sketches and many incarnations of the same design before you stumble across one particular design that is the right fit for you. As you are practicing, you will start to develop your own unique art style, which will serve as the formula for all of your work and create a level of recognition.

Gaining Exposure

Unless you plan on being self-published either in print or on the Web, you will need to find the proper venue to expose your work to the masses. If you want your work to be seen in print, you can start small by sending some samples of your finished work to art directors at your local newspapers or magazines.

After you have some work published, it would be easier to create a portfolio, which would help with your efforts to get a syndicated comic strip; this will make it easier to get your work published in as many newspapers as possible on a daily basis. If none of these options are right for you, you could always self-publish your work in print or on the Web.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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Popular Schools

  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

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  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

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  • Indiana Wesleyan University

    Indiana Wesleyan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Indiana Wesleyan University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

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  • Penn Foster High School

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  • CDI College

    CDI College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at CDI College:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Anywhere: Anjou, Laval, Longueuil, Montreal, Point Claire
  • Virginia Commonwealth University

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Richmond
  • University of Michigan

    Campus Locations:

    • Michigan: Ann Arbor
  • Rochester Institute of Technology

    Campus Locations:

    • New York: Rochester