How to Become a Cartoonist

What is a cartoonist?
A cartoonist is a professional animator who creates drawings to tell a story. There are several settings a cartoonist can work in. Some work for newspapers and magazines where they create comic strips or political cartoons while some work for a studio and will create cartoons for film or television. Others work freelance and will search for companies and businesses to publish their work. Regardless of what medium a cartoonist works in, they must have a knack for creativity, versatility, and also for art.
What are the educational requirements for a cartoonist?
There is no requirement for formal education. That being said, it doesn’t mean you should forego your education completely. You will find it highly beneficial to pursue a formal education and earn your bachelor’s degree. Many, if not all cartoonists need to know how to draw, right, and also make intelligent business decisions, it would be to your detriment if you did not pursue a college education. Your bachelor’s degree could be in any field, but since you are interested in art or visual art, it would be best to stick with that field. In this major you will take classes that will focus on some of the following: design and lettering, humor writing, color illustration, art history, drawing, and media. It is also beneficial for you to have some form of formal art training to add to your resume. While some cartoonists are able to start their career due to their sheer talent, most of us are not. By being diligent with your education and your training, you will display your work ethic and also how serious you are about this profession.
Another important asset to have is knowledge of computers. Currently, many cartoonists and animators now work with computer software to render their images. While there are some studios that will give you on-the-job training for a specific program, it’s generally good to have a basic knowledge of some popular programs that artists favor. It’s also important to keep up with the trends and see what the newest and current favorite programs are. You always want to be up-to-date and modern. It makes you a better candidate for job opportunities.
What else do I need to be a cartoonist?
As with any form of visual art, it’s essential for you to have a portfolio. In this portfolio, you should have examples of your work and artistic talent. Employers generally will decide if you earn the position based on your previous work, many will determine if your style is compatible with theirs by your work. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have much to present since you are just beginning your career. Even examples you did while in school can prove to be valuable for you in the beginning stages of your career. Along with examples of your work, you should also include your resume, contact information, and also a brief bio about yourself and why you feel you stand out from the rest.
Sources:
1. http://learn.org/articles/What_Education_Do_I_Need_to_Become_a_Cartoonist.html
2. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/multimedia-artists-and-animators.htm#tab-4

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