Do you know how a cartoon logo or character is created?
I am going to show prospective clients and newbie cartoonists the process I use to create the Curtoons cartoon logos and characters. I will accomplish this task using a series of cheesy videos. The first video is below and I apologize for the quality but I got tired of thinking about it and instead picked up my iPhone and started filming.
Eventually the quality will get better and I might even edit the darn things. At this point I just want to show the steps I take to create a funny cartoon design with 10 minute or less video tutorials.
For those that would rather not suffer threw my video I am going to type out what I was trying to tell you in the video.
If you’d like to go straight to the video just skip this additional content, watch me on film and then come back for some extra morsels of knowledge.
If you want to create a cartoon logo or purchase a cartoon logo I think you need to head to the Internet. The best designers now have top quality portfolios online and can be reached easily. This gives customers and designers the ability to work beyond their local borders.
I believe to make it in the cartooning business today you need to have your own website. Any presence online is better than nothing but if you want to create a real business and have your customers believe you I think you need your own domain name website. There are places online that will host your designs for free but you are limited on the look of your website and lack a personal domain.
How to set up a website.
Use your company name or create an available dot com name. Go to a registrar like Go Daddy and purchase the name. Cost is about $10. If you know your host set up your nameservers at that time. If you do not have a host, pick a company like Host Gator as your hosting company. Cost will be about $5 a month. You can even get your domain name through your host company these days. Once set up get into your control panel. Find the area with WordPress. Follow the instructions to set up WordPress and you are ready to go.
I use WordPress and feel it is a great way to build a website. There are zillions of WordPress tutorials online so get busy and learn them. If this is going to be your business you’ve got to put in some sweat and learning.
Create your pages, upload your best images and learn a thing or two about SEO (search engine optimization).
SEO helps people find you in the search engines. If you do not have traffic you will go broke. Use Facebook, Twitter, LinkdIn and Pinterest. Everything helps!!
Once you start getting traffic you’ll want to have a pricing structure and a quote form. When a customer fills out a request, as quickly as possible send them a fair quote. Ask for a 50% deposit. I use PayPal for online payments. I recommend opening your own PayPal account so all of your transactions can be handled online quickly. Once you receive the 50% deposit add the project to your schedule. I track my projects in a little program called Wunderlist. It’s not a job tracking program but it is the best I have found for my needs and you can install it on your computer and mobile devices which allows it to synch every time you update.
At this point you should have a good idea of what the client has in mind for their design. Come up with a sketch or two. I use everyday copy paper to draw on and use throw away mechanical pencils. One handy device I think every cartoonist needs is a light table. The light table will help with mistakes and can help speed up the drawing process.
I draw my pencil sketches to a point that they almost look like finished art. This helps when they are scanned into the computer. I can quickly darken the lines in Photoshop and it almost looks like an inked drawing.
That’s about all I have for Video #1. Starting a cartooning business does not entail a huge cost but there are going to be some dollars involved. Here’s a list of things I think a cartoonist would need to get a business started:
- Computer (I only use Apple)
- Software ( the industry uses Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator)
- Light Table
- Pencils and Erasers
- Copy Paper
- Website & Domain Name
- Hosting & Email Account
- PayPal account
- Phone Number (Clients want access to their designers)
That wraps up part one of creating a cartoon logo and getting your cartoon studio off the ground. Watch the video below and leave a comment if you’d like to make fun of me.