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What Is a Cartoonist and How to Become One

What Does a Cartoonist Do?

The job duties of a cartoonist involve working to draw cartoons and characters for animation, illustrate books or comics, make advertisements, or create political cartoons for newspapers or magazines. Your responsibilities in this career vary depending on your area of expertise and the field in which you work. In some cartoonist positions, you may sketch your ideas for approval before creating the actual cartoon. In newspapers or magazines, you may work with an editor and be required to complete work under deadline.

How to Become a Cartoonist

The qualifications that you need to become a cartoonist include a degree or training as a visual artist, a portfolio of past work, and drawing skills. You may wish to pursue a bachelor’s degree in art, fine art, graphic design, or visual art. During your studies, you can build your portfolio and learn techniques in cartoon drawing, character design, or other possible career specialties related to cartooning. You can also pursue an associate degree in visual art or attend a portfolio school where you focus on creating a portfolio for finding employment.

Where Do Cartoonists Work?

Cartoonists can work in a variety of settings. You may work for an advertising agency, a newspaper or magazine, or an animation studio. While some cartoonists have full-time staff jobs, you can also be self-employed. As a freelance cartoonist, you work with different companies on a contracted basis or make your work available for syndication. You can specialize in a specific area, such as creating background scenery for animations, or you can focus on one particular medium, such as political cartoons or comics.