Becoming a professional cartoonist is a rewarding career; not only financially, but also creatively. This profession helps you to reach out to millions of people and also allows you to express yourself, besides being the highest paid job for artists! Anyone who has a creative hand, a good imagination to match it and possesses talent in drawing can look at becoming a professional cartoonist. This is also a career that does not require special education and experience, but you may need some special courses to enhance existing skills! You can draw for magazines, newspaper, television, publishers, websites, advertising agencies and various other employers.
You could choose to work for…
- Comic strips such as Cathy, Garfield, Dilbert, etc;
- Animation features such as Toy Story, Nemo, Ice Age, etc;
- Cartoon strips in magazines;
- Newspaper editorial cartoons
- Comic books such as Batman, Spawn, etc;
- Cartoon storybooks such as The Cat in the Hat;
- Storyboarding for television and movies;
- Funny greeting cards.
Getting started and gaining exposure
Develop and improve skills such as drawing, writing, coloring and lettering. If you are already in school, join art classes or else look up special courses closer to your area of residence. You can also try to publish your cartoons in school projects or the local newspaper. Joining and completing internships, gaining experience as an apprentice on the job will give you more confidence and insight into your kind of art work. Create a portfolio choosing what you think is your best work. Take advice from the experts, such as professors, freelancing cartoonists, etc. Participate in community events in your area; watch out for such events in the local newspaper.
Browse through to get detailed information on the 10 best markets for artists and cartoonists. It is necessary for you to find out who is the right person/point of contact to get hired! Once you have the point of contact, you have to ensure you get your best work listed in your portfolio; ensure you buy a good portfolio case to display your work!
Existing professionals will be able to help gauge your work and prepare you for the interview, which will be the next step. Check around to see what companies around your area are looking for in a cartoonist. Even if the company does not have a suitable role vacant for the moment, check to see if you can send them your work for future reference. Submit your work to as many places as you possibly can!