Careers In Cartooning
Being called a cartoonist can mean very different things to different people. When I tell people that I am a cartoonist they ultimately ask what papers my cartoons are in. Most people think cartoonists just draw comic strips.
If you are considering a career in cartooning you might think about what field of cartooning you would like to specialize in. Here are a few examples if how diverse the world of cartooning can be.
1. Gag cartoonist – these guys draw simple single panel cartoons with or without punch lines. Most gag cartoonists work for magazines and newspapers but can also have great careers selling cartoons for newsletters, presentations and books. Many times the writing is harder than the cartooning in this field.
2. Comic Strip cartoonist – these are probably the most famous cartoonists and are the most associated with a career in cartooning. Getting a comic strip in the funny pages today is about like winning the lottery. A comic strip artist must not only know how to draw on some level but must be a great writer and storyteller. The best cartoonist in the world would not be able to sell one comic strip if it wasn’t well written.
3. Graphic cartoonist – I put myself into this category of cartooning. A graphic cartoonist creates cartoons, logos and mascots for marketing purposes. There is no need for writing skills but a creative eye and a knack for color can really help out in this field.
4. Cartoon Illustrator – I think this is the most talented group of cartoonists. Just about anyone can learn to draw cartoons but very few people have the raw talent to become great illustrators. Cartoon illustrators create very detailed images that rival photography and painting. These artists design movie posters, illustrate books and create works of art.
5. Animators – these guys are a bit of a mix of everyone. They need good drawing skills, strong design ability, writing aptitude and for backgrounds they need illustration skills. Some animators are unskilled and use static cartoon images that are moved by hand rather than by drawing.
6. 3D Computer cartoonists – 3D guys create cartoons on the computer and use sophisticated programs to help animate the characters. The ability to use a computer is a must.
7. Caricature artists – a caricature is a cartoon interpretation of a persons face. Caricature artists take a persons features and learn how to exaggerate them. These cartoonists can work in a studio or on the street. Some caricaturists can draw quick facial sketches in a matter of moments while others take hours after studying many photographs of the subject.
8. Editorial cartoonist – these guys are a bit like the gag cartoonists but they must combine their drawing and writing abilities into a single image. Most editorial cartoons are political and run in print.
9. Greeting card designer – a greeting card designer has to convey a feeling or grab someones attention in just a split second. A card designer should have strong writing skills and a tough of illustration ability.
10. Comic Book illustrators – drawing for comic books takes the talent of being able to draw the human body. Comic book illustrators are very talented and have the skill to draw the human body in the best shape it can be. Writing skills are a plus in this career.
11. Internet cartoonist – due to the reach of the Internet, a new field of cartooning was created. Many unpublished cartoonists have started online comic strips and have had success. Most of their money comes through subscriptions, advertising and merchandise sales. You really need to target a small niche to be successful in this field.