A lot of children love to draw and sketch, so at an early age, many aspire to be someone who can draw for a living. For children who really want live out their childhood dreams, the option of being a cartoonist is one of the most popular careers to be considered. As they grow up, they realize the need for at least some formal education to stay competitive in this field. Fortunately, online schools now offer arts classes which can help aspiring cartoonists realize their dreams.
Cartoonists can run their craft using many styles of drawing and commentary. Though most people usually think about funny comic strips when thinking about what cartoonists produce, there is a lot more to cartooning than just that. The more serious ones could opt to do editorial cartoons for major newspapers and magazines, while those who are more deft in story telling can do elaborate storylines for comic books and graphic novels. Some even work in advertising, making illustrations and storyboards.
The market is also very broad. This gives the cartoonists a chance to really express themselves in a way that they really want to be known for. The most important skill in being a cartoonist is of course a talent in drawing, sketching, and making your pieces look solid and strong. A good sense of humor and an inquisitive mind would also be an asset, as this can help you come up with one idea after another.
Most cartoonists will have to do a lot of strips a day, so a lot of research and reading would come in handy. References to pop culture, world history and fictional characters often define cartoonists' field of interest. A good sense of humor and cunning wit would also come in handy. Aside from knowing the arts, it would also be beneficial to be on top of the field of literature to be exposed to the different styles and techniques used by writers and other cartoonists.
Education. The key to being a successful cartoonist is to refining and enriching your drawing technique. You can enroll in short courses in art for this purpose, but if you're really committed, you can take a degree course in fine arts at any college or university. This type of education and training would expose you to the works of people from the ancient, classical and modern age, making you in the end a better student and practitioner of the arts. This also allows you to have your own style.
Practice, practice, practice. You can not be a great artist yourself if you don't draw repeatedly. You can exercise your craft by volunteering to be part of a local paper or school publication to have a shot at drawing cartoons for other people to see. This builds your reputation and you may also get feedback from your readers about what they think about your work.
Market yourself as a cartoonist! With the internet handy, you can publish or even sell your works online. Even if you display them for free, you can probably get on the radar of publishing houses and comic book lines this way.
Applying for a job. You can work as a cartoonist, and submit your works to a publisher for their consideration. Alternatively, you can apply for a position with the local paper, magazine, or advertising agency. Make sure that you bring enough copies of your past works, including your best pieces.
Being a cartoonist is a rewarding profession. If you love drawing and the arts, then once you've honed your innate skill with practice and some formal education - whether at a traditional college or through online coursework - it's one career you can actually be happy in and earn a good living at the same time.